Sunday, June 5, 2011

May 17th, 1781

Three days until the wedding is scheduled to happen and it is now or never. I called Marianne to me as soon as I woke this morning, having slept very fitfully in fear of sleeping too late. I told her to pack a trunk or two with only those items most essential for leaving the city for the season. Fortunately this will not draw suspicion as the household is packing for me to depart for my husband's home as it is. I told her that she should also alert the coachman and one footman to be ready to leave the city at a moment's notice, but to keep out of sight until summoned. She seemed genuinely surprised, which as I feel certain she reads this journal, would greatly surprise me. I promised her the pair of earrings which the Marquis gave to me for my birthday if she could accomplish this, but only when we reached our destination safety. I then dressed simply and sent word to F- that I needed to see him urgently, and gave Maman some money to buy a few things for the wedding.

In due course he came, looking stern and peeved already, and I should admit that I feared his reaction, especially as Thierry was not there to protect me, and I have learned well in the last year not to trust my own servants. I informed him that there was to be no wedding, that Thierry and I planned to wed and that he would not hinder us. As I expected he quickly brought up the fact that I had told the King that I would marry him, and that is when I informed him that he would be the one calling it off.

He looked for a moment as if he were not sure whether to laugh or shout, and then said simply that he would do no such thing. I told him that he would or be branded a cuckold and a fool. I told him that he could await me before the priest and guests, but that I would not come. I told him that he could say he had misgivings about our marriage, say that he knew I loved another and could not force me into a loveless marriage, say that his own family (of which he is the head) opposed the match, say anything, but should call it off and let me go, or look the worse for it.

"There will be rumors of the truth." He said.
"I expect there will, but there always were anyhow." I countered. "Yours as well as mine."
He bristled at this, but seemed incapable of comment. Standing suddenly, he paused, and then strode out the door. I do not know what he will do now, but in case we are not waiting to find out. Marianne had my traveling costume laid out awaiting me when I returned to my room, and as I scribble these few lines the coach is being brought around. I escape now to Thierry who, God willing, awaits me.

Olympe, Comtesse

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