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London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

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Re: London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

Post  John Vickery on Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:02 am

"It is a lament, I suppose," Vickery said. "The first two lines can best be translated, I had a comrade once, you could not find a better - although that preserves nothing of the rhyme or rhythm. It tells of the call of duty and the heartbreak of the fight."

Something that he was all too familiar with, and thankful that neither lady in the room had had to experience.

He asked Emma for the first note, and clasped his hands behind his back to sing, a capella.

"Ich hatt' einen Kameraden,
Einen bessern findst du nit.
Die Trommel schlug zum Streite,
Er ging an meiner Seite
In gleichem Schritt und Tritt.
 
Eine Kugel kam geflogen:
Gilt's mir oder gilt es dir?
Ihn hat es weggerissen,
Er liegt vor meinen Füßen
Als wär's ein Stück von mir
 
Will mir die Hand noch reichen,
Derweil ich eben lad'.
"Kann dir die Hand nicht geben,
Bleib du im ew'gen Leben
Mein guter Kamerad!"

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John Vickery
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Re: London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

Post  Edward Torrington on Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:57 am

It was a sad piece, and even without knowing the lyrics, Bella's vivd imagination produced for her the picture of a young officer singing it alone and far away, mourning a dead friend. She did not know enough to picture a battlefield or a man dying from his wounds in a tent, or perhaps from sickness, cold and starvation. But the picture she kept coming back to was a grave with the riflemen standing around it.

When Vickery finished, she had to blink twice - he had probably experienced whatever the song really said. And that made her feel ... not exactly sad, but young and unimportant, and rather tongue-tied, for she felt that any compliment would feel hollow.

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Re: London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

Post  John Vickery on Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:04 am

There was a natural pause after he finished that Vickery did not want to interrupt too soon. He also did not wish to let it drag on for too long and spoil the rest of the day, so he turned to Bella and smiled brightly at her.

"Now I have brought the mood quite down, I find, and must apologise. This is supposed to be a merry pastime and like a clumsy soldier, I have to spoil it. How may I make it up to you?"


Last edited by John Vickery on Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:13 am; edited 1 time in total

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Over the hills and far away ~ Traditional

An officer must be confident in giving orders, or else the soldier will not be confident in executing them.
avatar
John Vickery
Captain

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Re: London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:12 am

Willoughby lifted his cup to his lips. He had drank up the remaining amount and then rested the plate and its cup on his knee, holding both carefully. Well sung, as the song before was too. He gazed at Bella for a moment or two and then at the piano for longer.

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Re: London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

Post  Edward Torrington on Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:27 am

"Oh, no!", Bella protested instantly. "It was just ... so sad and beautiful."

She gave her head a tiny shake to rouse herself from the mood and put on a bright smile. Recognizing his attempt to brighten the mood, she teazingly asked:

"I don't suppose you will agree to teach me any of the Spanish gypsy dances, will you?"

----

Edward, who had had similar thoughts often enough himself when younger, picked up on Willoughby's facial expression easily enough and chuckled gently. "Don't even think about it. She wants to ask you a hundred and ten questions about Spain tonight, and show her new hussar cavalier off to all her friends." He tilted his head and pursed his lips for a moment. "It's rather hard getting back into this polite game of talk after being away such a long time, isn't it?"

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Re: London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

Post  Emma Vickery on Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:32 am

Vickery turned to Bella. "I have seen them danced, of course, but I do not think I could begin to replicate the intricacies of the steps myself, rather less teach anyone else.

Somewhere in another room, a clock's chime sounded and Emma looked up, startled. "Oh, John - the time -!"

Vickery's eyes widened as he caught her meaning. "Yes - oh, of course." He bowed to Bella, her brother and Willoughby. "It seems we must cut our call short, especially if we are to be dressed in our best finery for Lady Caroline this evening."

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Re: London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:36 am

Willoughby glanced away from the piano then finally at Torrington. "I would not wish to embarrass your sister, Torrington. Have no fear of that." He did not look convinced that she should be interested in those stories though and gave him a non-committal shrug and a wry smile.

"I hope you amend the idea to her that the Spanish ladies are all dancing gypsy dances of crudeness and sin. It is not so. Nor are castanets the instrument of such ladies of impolite society." He spoke more quietly so that a lady might not get her ears tarnished by the idea.

At the sound of the clock he arched a brow and then turned to nod to Vickery who was saying his farewells. It was ironic, for he had intended to leave first a short time ago and would have, had he known the time.

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Re: London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

Post  Edward Torrington on Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:57 am

Bella immediately stood up, too, to accompany them to the door. Although she would have wanted them to stay longer, she understood.

"Oh, then you will just have to dance with me tonight and pay me a compliment there! Nothing lifts the spirits more than that, don't you think?"

Putting the sheets down from the piano, she asked Emma: "Would you like to take the score for some of the Italian songs with you? Then each of us has some new things to practice, and we can exchange them the next time we meet again."
-----

"I know." Torrington bowed his head. "You would hardly have been invited if I had any fear of that. I spoke in jest - forgive me." He became aware that Vickery and his sister were leaving and turned a bit, giving Willoughby a half-smile. "Will you allow me to say my goodbyes to them for a moment?"

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Re: London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:04 am

Willoughby nodded and stood himself. He carried his plate and cup to the small table where others were. He waited for the host to bid his guests farewell, before he too could speak his own.

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Re: London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

Post  Emma Vickery on Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:10 am

"You shall have to call on us - both of you," Emma said, and took her card-case from her reticule to give Isabella her card. "I should very much like to borrow some of your scores, if you do not mind lending them," she added, and turned to Torrington. "We shall look forward to seeing you again, and I shall not forget I have promised you a dance this evening, sir."

Vickery smiled and offered his friend his own card. "And to think if it were not for the inconsiderate Mr Bromwell, we might not have passed such a convivial afternoon," he said.

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Re: London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

Post  Edward Torrington on Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:30 am

Both cards were recieved with great pleasure. While Bella packed up the scores Emma had selected into a convenient bundle, Edward bowed to Emma. "The pleasure will be mine, Miss Vickery." He grinned at Vickery. "You nearly make me kindly disposed towards Mr. Bromwell. Shall I invite him the next time you visit me as well? He lends any gathering a certain flair, I have to admit."

When she saw that he was standing as well, Bella smiled at Willoughby.
"Are you going as well, Mylord? But we shall see you tonight, too, shan't we?"

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Re: London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

Post  John Vickery on Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:40 am

"Oh dear Lord, no," Vickery exclaimed involuntarily. "I do beg your pardon, Lady Isabella," he said, aware that ladies were not used to such strong language. "But Mr Bromwell twice in one day is more than enough of him for anyone. I daresay we shall likely be unfortunate enough to see him at Almacks in the future, however."

Emma curtsied. "I think, next time, I shall have to play one of my particular favourite pieces for you, Lord Torrington," she said, and accepted the bundle of music that Bella wrapped up for her. "Thank you for allowing me the pleasure of accompanying you, Lady Isabella," she added.

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King George commands, and we obey
Over the hills and far away ~ Traditional

An officer must be confident in giving orders, or else the soldier will not be confident in executing them.
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John Vickery
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Re: London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:43 am

"Ah...yes, I shall need to else I might be late, and...Yes, I am." He cut his reply short and bowed politely to Bella. "It has been an honour to meet you." He said softly. If it had not been for the fact that his no-show could displease the lady, he would perhaps have reconsidered and not come at all. But now he was bound by that promise.

"And to you I thank for inviting me." His last words were for Torrington. He held his card to him in hopes that Torrington should take it. "I wish you a pleasant day, and see you tonight." He spoke and turned to leave.

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Re: London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

Post  John Vickery on Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:51 am

Vickery offered a card to Willoughby as well. "You shall have to bring your violin if you plan to call on us," he said. "I think Emma might like to hear you play." She might even like to accompany him in playing something, but he did not say that aloud; he had no idea how well the other played, and it would be up to Emma if she chose to offer that or not.

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King George commands, and we obey
Over the hills and far away ~ Traditional

An officer must be confident in giving orders, or else the soldier will not be confident in executing them.
avatar
John Vickery
Captain

Species : Captain; 5/60th Rifles
Number of posts : 2869
Location : Leading from the front
Member since : 2008-08-03

View user profile http://showthecolours.forumakers.com/t1736-capt-the-hon-john-vic

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Re: London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:00 am

Willoughby stood in the spot in part startled, but regained his composure quickly. With a light nod he accepted the card from Vickery. "I hope that I shall not disappoint then." He held his card to Vickery in turn.

"I will not come without my violin, I promise." The instrument would need even more attention, as he was rather critical of his skill, but it would not exactly be a sacrifice.

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Re: London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

Post  Edward Torrington on Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:16 am

"If we are not very careful, we might even see him tonight!", Edward remarked drily. "And Lord Gwydyr can expect to hear from him even sooner - though I hope he will restrain himself to a card." He opened the door for them. "I will listen to it with the greatest pleasure, Miss Vickery." With his crooked smile, he added teazingly: "Are you sure you do not wish to take the harp along?" This earned him a good-natured glare from his sister as Isabella shook her head, dimpling again: "It was my pleasure as well singing with you! And with you, Major! It was so fortunate that we should have met in the park - otherwise I would have been here now practicing dull scales all on my own."

She handed Emma her own card. "I think Mama will want to give her own to Lady Saltash tonight, too", she promised. To Willoughby, she curtsied. "I will look forward to seeing you again tonight, then!" She felt that he was slightly uneasy and felt guilty for it, but she did not know what to do about it. So she resolved to be especially radiant at the ball tonight for their dance and hope that it was only a bit of shyness on his part. And perhaps Mama would even allow him to call on her and he could bring his violin then, too.

Without fuss, Edward took Willoughby's card, thanking him and briefly glancing at the directions. "You live in your grandfather's house at the moment? Is he in London, too? I neglected to inquire after him before."

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Re: London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

Post  John Vickery on Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:22 am

"I should have very little use for a harp at the moment," Emma said. "Though I think you for the offer, and I look forward to seeing you both this evening - and your mother, too."

Emma took Bella's card and smiled at all and sundry before she and her brother left the room to collect their outdoor things.

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King George commands, and we obey
Over the hills and far away ~ Traditional

An officer must be confident in giving orders, or else the soldier will not be confident in executing them.
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John Vickery
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Re: London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:29 am

Willoughby wondered if he was to dislike seeing Bromwell or consider it as merely the follow up of the event that day and be glad to hear about the horse's well being. He decided to merely see what will happen and allow fortune and luck to take it's pick. He bowed again, rather politely and most gracefully to Bella and listened attentively as she spoke. "Until then, Lady Isabella." He spoke with a more genuine smile, though not as radiant nor strong as one he had had before.

He turned towards Torrington, observing Vickery and his sister depart. "My grandfather is indeed in London at present. He is considerably well." He smiled again. "I will tell him, that you have inquired after him. He would certainly be welcoming of a visit."


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Re: London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

Post  Edward Torrington on Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:35 am

"Then I certainly shall call!"

Edward and Bella followed them into the hall where the butler already had their coats and headgear ready, and after the last words of leavetaking, a rather pleased Edward was left to convey his own radiant sister back to their mother.

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