Wednesday, May 29, 2013

May 29th, 1783

Mme de Vergennes is returned to court, being one of those who are loathe to leave Versailles I think she is unhappy that Madame Elizabeth spends much of her day at Montreuil now. That will soon be rectified though as the court goes to Saint Cloud shortly to escape the heat of summer, which will doubtless soon be upon us.

Thierry and I will not accompany them, fleeing instead home to Auvergne tomorrow where, God willing, we may stay for sometime, and perhaps begin our own family. The problem of the second marriage will be solved when Maman, my brothers, Msr. Poisson, and Christine join us at my home Portaberaud, in Riom, for a small ceremony. The fact that Thierry may now sign as the Marquis de Mercoeur is of great advantage to us.

My poor friend, Christine, will be most unwilling to leave; but though we will host a full gathering of friends in Saint-Saturnin I think, she must return to Sweden to her aunt and uncle who have at last insisted on a match for her. She was ill in Rome when the word reached her that her sister is once again pregnant, and that her family expects her to come home to marry a much older Count. She will be his third wife, so it is to be a marriage of little convenience to her unless he gives her the freedom to travel and experiment as she prefers to do. Having grown children of his own I cannot imagine he will need her home very much, so there is hope.

Christine reminds me as I write this that her Count also has younger children, so it is likely that she is intended to mother them; a prospect about which she is rather grim. Having arrived three days ago, Christine will journey with us to Auvergne, which is in some ways defiance and in other ways a reward for her consent. We must make the next weeks seem long for I do not know after when I shall see my dear friend again. Perhaps we shall have to visit her in Sweden.

My step-father has had much to say of my match. His words, even as read through the lens of my mother's letters, are full of vitriol. We have never much cared for each other, and I suspect that he is disappointed that I have not raised the family's fortunes more. My brothers, though, are very well. Andre, having broken his ill-advised engagement to that actress is now a clerk in Riom, which pleased Maman greatly as now she may see him often. He speaks of reform often, she writes, but sinks into melancholy when no one takes any heed of his ideas. Mattieu is to enter the army, and a commission has been purchased for him at great expense, to which I did contribute, but not as great a sum as was desired.

I will see them all soon, in any case, and must prepare by saying a final farewell to l'Hotel de Sully where I have lived so tumultuously these last few years. It has been a refuge for me and a prison, and I am so glad in my heart to be returning to my beloved Auvergne with my husband.

Olympe, Comtesse