Missing an Old Friend
Saturday, 10 June 1809
I’ve been with Daniel after entering in Trinity whilst being inseparable. It hath been years since a departure of an old friend from Eton—Benjamin Hawkins, a grandson of the Marquess of Stratsberry—as I saw him as an older brother. We've been sending letters after we separated since he’s been Woolwich for joining military.
From the letters, he seems to be courting Lady Dominique de Guerre—second youngest daughter of the Marquess de Guerre—a French aristocrat who earned a title of Marquess during his exile.
I ne’er knew a friend courting a daughter whose mother was a lady-in-waiting of the late Queen of France—Marie Antoinette. Her father was a former companion of the King of France who was executed by the revolutionaries. Alas, he was a great lad until he was exiled in England—which his family aren’t unable return to France until the war is done.
An Invitation to the Ball
Wednesday, 14 June 1809
'Twas a year as Father earned the title “Earl of St Ives” whilst I earned “Viscount Mousehole” as a title used for the eldest surviving son of the titled earl. Father hasn’t returned hither since a year after earning these honourable titles. He went against that bloody Napoleon, "Emperor of the French" and his brother "King of Spain".
An invitation was received— ‘twas hosted by the Marquess of Stratsberry. He invited me, Mother, and Uncle Charles to a ball in Manchester. The ball might start this Saturday evening, yet I was gay upon to see my dear friend Benjamin and his grandfather again.
The Ball in Manchester
Sunday, 18 June 1809
I was accompanied by Uncle Charles and Mother to the ball yesterday evening. I have met other people who claimed to have connections with Father or Uncle Charles. The Marquess and Marchioness de Guerre were present whilst their daughter Lady Dominique de Guerre was ne’er been seen from the ball. The Marquess and Marchioness shown gratitude as she might be staying at home since she ne’er been interested invited with these balls unless ‘twas hosted by her dear Mother and Father.
I met Elinor O’Vile or Miss O’Vile—the eldest daughter of Sir Seamus O’Vile, Bt.—I was keen upon dancing with her in the ball as she claimed to be a friend of Lady Dominique de Guerre since their youth.
Miss O'Vile; Elinor's Peculiar Uncle
Wednesday, 28 June 1809
Elinor and I strolled on the gardens in Ufton as I met a familiar man—an actor from a play in Bath. As a young lad, I went to the theatre in Bath with Uncle Charles to see his plays. On contrast, Mother forbid me to see his plays in the theatres as she wanted me to educated by a tutor—Mr Raymonds, but I ne’er sure what the reason was? Yet I’ve wrote a poem for that actor:
"A stroll to the gardens / Led me to a queer fellow. / As Elinor called him, / He was queerly familiar. "
I ne’er knew that fop was a relative of the O’Vile family. Mr Gilbert O’Vile was respected dramatist and actor—yet bit much respected as David Garrick and Ignatius Sancho. I ne’er seen his plays in Bath since his wife departed.
He was introduced as “Elinor’s Uncle” which made me to startle for this respected lad—I ne’er knew this man was their uncle! His manners complimented as he described me as “handsome as courtesan”, as he reminds me of “her”—I ne’er knew if ‘twas his dearly departed wife and actress—Margaret Lennox.
A Giddy Invitation
Friday, 30 June 1809
A letter sent from Gilbert O’Vile, a day after knowing his dear niece Miss O’Vile. The letter might be an invitation to a ball or a possible marriage of a friend. Rather—an invitation for a private dinner:
See me in Astley by fortnight—specifically on twilight. Ne’er tell this to your mother nor anyone within society, ‘tis between me and you.
This is a private invitation to a dinner than a ball—as a congratulatory for courting my niece if I were not mistaken.