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3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Emma Vickery on Tue Apr 29, 2014 7:38 am

"Well, that is understandable. It must have been a long time since you last saw her, after all - I suppose she was not Out by the time you went to join Lord Wellington in Spain?" Emma said, and paused in speaking for a moment to enjoy the music and the dance.

"You dance very well, my Lord," she said after a few moments, and and let a slightly teasing look come onto her face. "Oh - but my brother says I must not call you 'my Lord', that you have a mortal dread of it," she added, looking laughingly up at him.

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Edward Torrington on Tue Apr 29, 2014 8:33 am

"Not a mortal dread, but it is rather uncomfortable to be called a lord in a setting where your professional standing is much more important than your social one - or at least should be. And I would not want friends to call me that either. But you might call me whatever you feel most comfortable with - Edward, Torrington, Captain, Mylord, Sir: All at your service, madam."

He twirled them around, outclassing a rather clumpsy younger couple.

"I can only accept half of your compliment, though - the other half must go to my partner, whose dancing cannot be called inferior to anybody's."

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Emma Vickery on Tue Apr 29, 2014 9:36 am

"I would not know about that, sir, but I am certain that your professional status would weigh at least as much with John as your social standing ever could," she informed him, still smiling.

Torrington's lead was easy to follow without having to worry about crushed toes, scuffed shoes, a torn hem or even wandering into anyone else on the dance floor.

"I am sure my dancing could not be as polished as yours, were I deprived of such places as Almacks, not to mention the various private balls such as this."

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Edward Torrington on Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:20 am

Slightly blushing, Torrington confessed:

"Well, I also can recommend Monsieur Lavalle's dancing lessons ... He is mostly responsible for any respite I could give your toes. You are a regular attendee at Almack's then? I'm afraid the last time I was there, I was not so fortunate to make your aquintance, although I believe you were in town that season?"

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Marashar on Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:27 am

"Oh, of course it has changed, with so many gallant and dashing men like yourself back, and not even wounded this time. It was terribly boring before, with so many interesting men gone, and those that were on furlong mostly wounded and either unable to dance or talking our ears off with their war stories. Frenchmen really must be rather viril, if Napoleon could stand to loose those numbers of men as they told me they have killed, and still held out that long."

The last was not exactly a speech ready for a polite drawing room, but the good lady was testing the waters a bit - how experienced and urban was her partner?
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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:31 am

"I gather you did not enjoy to hear those stories as much?" Willoughby asked as they continued with the next turn. One of those wounded must probably have been Atkins as well, though he doubted he would brag, he would certainly have enjoyed the society once well enough to leave his home.

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Emma Vickery on Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:25 pm

Emma had to think back. "Oh, yes indeed, ever since I came out, in the year Seven. Of course, you may not have wished to make the acquaintance of yet another blushing young deb. And of course the army went to Spain with Sir John Moore the year following, so you must have gone with them, I suppose?"

She certainly could not recall seeing him - but it was several years previous and she could not remember the faces of every person she had ever seen, especially those with whom she had no acquaintance.

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Edward Torrington on Thu May 01, 2014 7:09 am

"No, I only joined them after their retreat. In Seven ... I was still in Scotland, although I think I was in London during the Season for a few days."

He smiled apologetically. He had mainly been there to visit his family, his tailor and his solicitors, and tried to escape all but a few select balls, where he had done his best not to be dragged into the carousel of debutants.

"You must forgive me - it is more my loss than yours."

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Marashar on Thu May 01, 2014 7:39 am

"Oh, I enjoy war stories as much as any other woman, but I rather hear them now that we were victorious. Before, you always hoped and prayed that surely next week it would be all over, and that this battle finally had been the push that made the whole French house of cards flutter to the ground. And always the war dragged on and you welcomed the next round of men back with their stories."

She shrugged an elegant, but somewhat weary shoulder.

"People here complained about the costs of the war, and all the limitations it imposed, people coming from the war complained about all the necessary things they were missing and the terrible conditions. It became tedious. And in between would be the bright-eyed young heroes, just on their last ball before shipping off, and you always felt like you were dancing with ghosts already."
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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Thu May 01, 2014 7:54 am

Willoughby looked surprised. "Every woman wishes to hear war stories? I'm not quite so certain that you are correct in that." He was silent for the next few turns, listening first to her, then to his own thoughts. His smile had faded a little, and his gaze was just a bit more distant. He may not have been one to see the injured come home, but he certainly was the one who saw them leave and who saw many, who never left because they perished sooner.

Her words reminded him also of himself, of how young and foolish he was at first, and how stubborn. He nearly missed a step, but regained his composure valiantly and turned his attention again to her. "...It must not have been easy on you. We ever only thought of ourselves when leaving. Of how bright a career, how heroic a deed we will have and do and be known by even. We were there,...we knew when it happened, but you could only wait and hope." He turned again. Half way now, and he was getting the hang of it perfectly and much more elegantly than before.

"Have you known many that never returned....and pardon me, should this topic feel too morbid, you are most welcome to lead me away from it. I am just getting used to the time of peace and...lack of the macabre." He smiled warmly.

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Emma Vickery on Fri May 02, 2014 3:50 am

"Do all gentlemen learn the art of flattery while at school?" Emma asked lightly. The compliments were easy to hear, of course, and she was no green deb any more.

"I am sure I would have liked to have become acquainted earlier, but we are acquainted now, at least. So it cannot be all bad." She followed his lead into another turn.

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Edward Torrington on Sat May 03, 2014 8:43 am

"This walz certainly isn't bad. In fact, it must be ranked among the most pleasant times I had."

Torrington answered in a similar tone.

"I can not speak for all gentlemen, of course, but I must confess that if it was taught in school, I missed it. But my sister tells me that truthful compliments are always acceptable, so I can but trust her good sense there."

Together they successfully negotiated the tighter turn at the end of the ballroom, and Torrington felt ridiculously pleased when Emma followed his lead lightly and perfectly, and he managed to neither bumb into nor inconvenience other couples sofar. Another gentleman a bit in front of them was not quite as successful, and Torrington pressed his lips together in a sympathetic wince when the resulting collition ended with an audible rip of the lady's gown and a painful exclamation of the gentleman as well as some choice words uttered by the gentleman of the other couple as he tried to steady his lady.

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Emma Vickery on Sat May 03, 2014 8:49 am

"Oh, dear," Emma said, glancing over with a sympathetic look, before looking back up at her partner. "Your sister is right, of course, at least about the compliments part. But I suppose that we are own worst critics? For we must surely see our own faults best of all, or be thought conceited?"

She wondered for a moment what tomorrow's Tatler would make of her partnering Lord Torrington, and decided she didn't particularly care.


Last edited by Emma Vickery on Sat May 03, 2014 9:35 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Marashar on Sat May 03, 2014 9:18 am

"Oh, even without the war, there will be enough of the macabre in London. We had our far share of that before, and I don't think it will stop as long as this city stands. You missed all the suspense and fear the Ratcliff Highway murders caused in 11, didn't you?"

Lady Needlestone easily switched the topic, gracefully not noticing her partner's brief stumble, and instead merely giving him a dazzling smile when led her perfectly through a tight spot later.
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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Sat May 03, 2014 9:34 am

"I have. Haven't heard of it either." Willoughby answered. They were still dancing without and tears in a dress, nor any achy stepped on feet and Willoughby was keen on continuing and on finishing the dance in the same manner. No bumping into other dancers either, or causing any other accident.

"I am glad to see that you have stayed safe in the ordeal, as also many others here." He would have loathed to see Bella hurt or placed in danger by it, or worse. the same of course was thought for the safety of his cousins and relatives.

"I've practically missed everything until this year, though I have had sporadic letters received from home." He turned them again, careful and graceful and light on his feet. "Do you have any plans for this season?"

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