“Encouragement”, Ch. 12 (PG):  The Kimball Ball, Part 3:  Understanding,  October 25, 2016 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #989) 

aEncouragement-aRegencyLovestorycover_Aug3116byGratianaLovelace_180x282(An original Regency romance  copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace; all rights reserved)  [(1) story cover, left]

[From time to time, I will illustrate my story characters with:  Richard Armitage as Lord Christian Blount Earl of Sussex, Kate Winslet or Emma Lady Hamilton as Lady Madeline Lucretia Sinclair, Dame Maggie Smith as Lady Lucretia Beckham Knott, Polly Mabrey as Lady Elizabeth Blount, Crispin Bonham-Carter as Lord Harold Blount, Dame Judi Dench as Lady Catherine Blount the Dowager Countess of Sussex, Rupert Penry Jones as Lord Duncan the Viscount Lindsay, and others as noted.]

Authors Content Note: “Encouragement” is a frothy love story with sometimes humorous and sometimes dramatic themes of love and relationships.  It will mostly be at the PG and PG-13 movie levels. Specific chapters or passages may have a further rating of:  D for dramatic emotions, and LS for love scenes that are tenderly sensuous and not explicit.  And I will rate the chapters accordingly. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide for a chapter, then please do not read that chapter. This is my disclaimer.  And as is my habit, I will summarize the previous chapter’s events at the beginning of each chapter.

Author’s recap from the previous chapter: While Lord Christian and company attend the Kimball Ball on Friday February 9th, 1816—then him having his sister Lady Lizzie’s presumption of his proposal of marriage to Lady Madeline—Lord Christian feels thwarted at every turn.  And Lady Madeline feels that with Lord Christian seeming to distance himself from being engaged to her, that she has lost him forever.   But the truth is somewhere in the middle.   And the night is still young.


“Encouragement, A Regency Tale of Love and Romance”,
Ch. 12:  The Kimball Ball, Part 3, Understanding

The rest of the evening at the Kimball Ball continues with merely a ruffle of excited conversations about Lord Christian Blount the Earl of Sussex and Lady Madeline Sinclair–without a ruffle for the other attendees, perhaps.  The two individuals at the center of everyone’s gossiping conversations might have an alternative view of the matter.

It is toward the end of the evening–really, in the early hours of the next morning–as the ladylucretiaknott-ismaggiesmith-asladyviolet-indowntonabbey-250_634x649_oct2416-viasatellitesister_grati-sized-crop-flip-clrKimball Ball begins to wind  down, that Lady Madeline finds herself at the refreshment table procuring ices for herself and her very fatigued  Grandmama, Lady Lucretia  Beckham Knott—but for that elder lady’s  surreptitious glancing in her granddaughter and Lord Christian’s general direction  [(2) right], when she thinks they are not looking.  To Lady Knott, there is nothing so annoyingly recalcitrant as two well suited individuals who do not recognize that they are a perfect betrothal pair.

Musing while she waits patiently in the refreshment queue for the  ices in glass cups, Lady Madeline’s thoughts tend toward the events of tonight.   I danced with a dozen or more men throughout the evening tonight, but I could not tell  my Grandmama who any of them were—though undoubtedly, she is keeping an inventory.  For much like wine, suitors should be relegated to the cellars to age and ferment—waiting for their eventual selection in which to delight us—with the suitors not chosen relegated to becoming dusty and forgotten.  For me, it was enough that these suitors were not Lord Christian Blount, the Earl of Sussex.  Oh, why must I have feelings for him now, when he clearly does not want me for his wife?  Then I feel his presence near me and I turn.

Lord Christian:  “Lady Madeline, your Grandmama told me that you went to procure some ices.” She looks at me quizzically.  So I reply teasingly.  “I thought that I might be able to assist you.”  I smile broadly.

Lady Madeline: “Only if you promise not to knock them out of my hands.”  I say less than humorously and a bit sadly.  But my granite mountain is undeterred.

Lord Christian:  “Lady Madeline, I fear that I have injured you in some way.  Might we take a turn about the Solarium to chat in the cool night air? It is rather stuffy in here.”  Though the Solarium might be ideal for lovers’ trysts—with all of the plant fronds about—it is well inhabited by footman, supposedly to provide aid to the Kimball’s guests.  But stil

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l, some privacy will be afforded to us.

Lady Madeline: I suspiciously look at Lord Christian [(3) right].  “Given the commotion earlier, people might presume again that you are going to propose to me.”  I challengingly gaze at him.

Lord Christian:   I throw up my hands in mock defense and smile.  “I plead no contest, My Lady.  I promise not to propose to you, if you promise not to reject me before I do.”

Lady Madeline:  “Your logic is rather circular, Lord Christian.”  I tilt my head quizzically at him.

Lord Christian:  “Good!  I am glad that you noticed.”  I smile broadly and tuck her small hand around my arm and steer her away from the ices.  We walk out the French doors toward the Solarium–where other couples are strolling. So we are essentially–if not particularly–well chaperoned.

Lady Madeline:  I look forlornly at the other happy couples, wondering if I will ever know that joy–of being in love.  “It is rather crowded out here.” I remark disappointedly.

Lord Christian: “Then let us walk the few steps to the area with the large palm fronds  and sit upon that near stone bench.  It should afford us a measure of privacy while still keeping us in full sight of others to protect our reputations.”  She nods.

After we have settled ourselves upon the stone bench, there is a slightly awkward silence between Lord Christian and myself. And ever one to abhor a vacuum, I rush in again.

Lady Madeline: “Lord Christian, I wish to thank you again, for clarifying that I am not engaged to you.  Perhaps I should wear a sign upon my forehead?  The sign would read, I am so not Lord Christian’s fiancé.”  I flutter my lashes at him in my best coquettish flirt–I hope. Yet in truth,  I use humor as a mask when I am feeling sad.

Lord Christian: “Ha ha ha ha ha!  That would be a good jest!”  I roar with laughter.  “You have spirit, Lady Madeline.  Fear not, you will attract some eligible man whom you will deem worthy to call your husband.”  I smile at her warmly, then I tuck a loose tendril behind her ear. It is an intimate act, touching another person–however slight that touch might be.

Lady Madeline:  I gaze up at him.  “But what of you, Lord Christian?”  I ask hopefully.lordchristian-isrichardarmtiage-innorthsouth-epi2-116-jan0214ranet-sized-blur-clr-shrp-crop2-clr

Lord Christian:  I look at her questioningly, hopefully [(4) right].  “Me, my Lady?  Are you asking generally, or particularly?”

Lady  Madeline: I blush at my boldness.  “Oh generally, of course.  Are you finding any one lady worthy for you to offer for her to become your wife?”  I ask him boldly.  And I wish I had the courage to add, might I be worthy?

Lord Christian:  “Hhhh!  Such as you with your dowry, Lady Madeline, I feel constrained by not knowing if someone likes me for my title and lands–however mortgaged to the hilt they might be–or for myself.  You said it, yourself, people are on their best behavior–them wanting to appear to best advantage, and thus not speaking honestly. It is difficult to know who speaks the truth and who is sincere in their attachment.”

Lady Madeline: “Except for us.  We have always been honest with each other–to a fault, perhaps.”

Lord Christian: “Indeed we have, Lady Madeline.”  I smile cordially at her.
Lady Madeline:  Then I somehow find courage to speak resolutely from my heart as I gaze ladymadeline-blue-ballgown-iskatewinslet-asmarianne-insensesensibility_oct2016pntrst-crp2-clrhair-skn-eyesuncertainly [(5) right] at Lord Christian.  “And in a spirit of honesty and frankness, I wish to be clear about my feelings for you, Lord Christian.”  I soldier on.  “Tragic love stories and poems are rife with lovers having missed opportunities, of not knowing each other’s true feelings.  I do not want to waste my life wondering what my life would have been like if I had acted or spoken differently.”

Lord Christian:  “That is commendable, My Lady.” I am not sure where she is going with her line of reasoning. She has made it quite clear to me that she does not welcome my suit—with her dissembling somewhat with her surmising that I think of her only as my sister’s friend.  Then she astonishes me.

Lady Madeline:  “Though I had first scoffed at my Grandmama’s notion of you and I making a match—with the intention of our becoming engaged to be married–I no longer feel that way.  Lord Christian, as I have come to know you and your character, I find that you are a good man, family oriented, honorable, and kind–the best of men.   And you are the most handsome man whom I have ever met.  So I fear that every man my Grandmama throws toward my path is wanting in my eyes–and in my heart, because they are not you.”

Lord Christian:  “My Lady, are you saying that you …” I begin with a hopeful sigh.  But then she annoyingly interrupts me.  She does that quite often, I think bemusedly.

Lady Madeline: I hold up my gloved hand as I stand and begin to pace in front of him.  He stands out of ingrained politeness.  “Please sit down and let me finish while I still have the courage to say what I feel that I must.”  Lord Christian nods respectfully at me as he sits down again and leans back and folds his arms in a listening pose.  “And I am attracted to you as a woman to a man–not as you being an Earl.” He raises his eyebrow.  “Oh, your title is nice. But as I said before, I am interested in love with the man whom I marry.  And I believe that I am falling in love with you, Christian.”  I boldly use just his given name.  I sit down on the bench next to him again, and I look up at him beseechingly as I clasp his large hand in mine.  I may be a little plump compared to the taller and reed thin debutantes go, but his grand height and large hands make me feel diminuative.  I like that.

Lord Christian:   “Lady Madeline, Are you asking me to marry you?” I ask with incredulity. Now even she is thwarting my best efforts to propose.  Well, maybe my best is not as good as other people’s best might be—mine having no flowery poems, and I have never proposed before.  So I am not practiced in the art of proposing.

Lady Madeline: “Not in so many words.  I will leave that office to your execution, if you feel so inclined.”  I add hastily as I smile hopefully at him.

Lord Christian: “My Lady, you do me a great honor with your confession …” Now I address her informally, in kind.   With great gentleness and softening my deep and sometimes gruff voice, I respond to her.  “Madeline, though I am very fond of you–more than any lady of my previous acquaintance–I feel that I must be honest with you and state that I am not in love with you, not yet.”

Lady Madeline: “I knew that.”  I nod.  “But I still find that the confirmation of it is a disappointment.”  I cannot help but pout wincingly as I  slightly lean away from him.

Lord Christian: “Do not misunderstand me, Madeline. In the interest of not failing to act upon life altering opportunities, I also do not wish to let you slip through my fingers–with my wondering what might have been between us.  I am certain that if we marry that my fondness and my tender regard for you will–in time–develop into a deep love for you as we share our lives together and we have children together.”

Lady Madeline: I smile hopefully again.  “But?”  There is always a but.

Lord Christian: “But, … you must know that some crass people will try to put it about that I am marrying you for your dowry and for your legacy that you will inherit upon your grandmother’s death–to bolster my diminished estate finances and to create a suitable dowry for my sister Lizzie.   While that is not entirely true, the money does make my choosing you easier.”

Lady Madeline:  I think about that for a moment.  “Are you saying that it is easier for you to offer for me because I have money?  Or are you saying that my having money allows you to consider offering for me?”

Lord Christian: “I do not precisely see the distinction between those two conditions.”  My brow furrows in confusion.

Lady Madeline: “Well, in the former, you are marrying me for my money.  And in the latter, you want to marry me, and the money facilitates that.”  I look at him in hopeful yearning.  Please, oh please, say the right thing, Christian.

Lord Christian:  “Madeline, there are many ladies with significant dowries–and dowries larger than your own– that make them worthy of my consideration.  Our hosts’ daughter Lady Penelope is one.  But you and I have connected on a personal level with each other.  We are honest and open in our thoughts and feelings—when we choose to reveal them.  And though your forthrightness might be off putting to other suitors, I find your candor refreshing.  You are a spitfire, My Lady.”  I think that if she is this passionate in a Solarium—someone else’s Solarium for that matter–god help me when I get her to our marriage bed.  On second thought, I will leave god out of it.  I smile broadly at her and she smiles sweetly in return.  “And I choose you to be my countess, my wife, and my love.  I will have no other love but you when we become engaged and are wed.  I will be faithful to you–as long as we both shall live.”  I speak with a sincerity that I never knew that I had.  I want this. I want Lady Madeline to be my wife.

Lady Madeline:  Grinning madly because my heart is full with love for this man, I prod him a bit to get on with it. “Well then?”  Lord Christian stands up from the bench, moves to stand in front of me as I remain seated.

Lady Madeline blushes charmingly and lowers her eyes demurely.  I take her hands in mine and she looks up at me.  Then I kneel before her on one knee.

Lord Christian: “Lady Madeline Lucretia Sinclair, you have entered my life and shaken it up–delightfully so.”  I smile broadly. “And though my heart has been an inarticulate organ until now, I hope to explore rectifying that deficit–with you.    I wish to spend my life with you by my side as my wife.  And I will be your husband, always at your side—in calm waters and stormy seas.  Will you marry me?”  I wait nervously for her answer. Then I see tears streaming down her eyes and I instantly move to have us sit next to each other on the bench again and gently take her into my arms–rocking her gently while chastely kissing her temple.  “Shhh.  Shhh.  There, there.  It is alright if you want to think about my marriage offer.  I will not press you to give me an answer right away.   I can wait.”  I gaze down into her blued eyed innocence. God in heaven!  She is so young!  I hope that we are doing the right thing, for her.  I vow that I must ever keep her protected and feeling loved and cherished–no matter what.

I sniffle gazing up at Christian as my tears fall.  And he takes out a handkerchief from his jacket pocket and he blots the corners of my eyes that continue to leak, and then he dabs at my nose before offering his handkerchief to me.   I take the linen into my hands and I blow my nose with a very large and unladylike honking sound–quite unintentional, I assure you.  And he bids me to keep the linen. I would say that I would never wash his linen offering–to preserve this moment–but with my nose expulsions leaving a stain upon the linen, that is not practical.  Christian continues to gently rock me in his arms–his very large arms–and he kisses my temple.  I feel safe and cherished by Christian.  Even if he does not love me now, I think that he will grow to love me.  And I take a leap of faith.

Lady Madeline:  “Yes, I will marry you, Christian!”  I gush.

Lord Christian:  I gaze down into her eyes with something akin to love for her, I think. “Truly, Madeline?  You will be my wife?”  I smile warmly.

Lady Madeline: “Yes, Christian!  I will be your wife!” I sigh again.

Then I lean down and brush my lips against her soft pink lips–knowing that mine is the first kiss that she has ever had as her rosebud mouth purses itself together against my lips.  But I cannot revel in this moment as sounds behind us make others’ presences known to us.  So I hastily release Lady Madeline from our improper but chaste kissing pose. She appears quite flushed–and in truth, so am I.


Not unsurprisingly, my little sister Lady Lizzie bursts out of a nearby bush where she has seemingly been concealed
Lady Lizzie: “Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  You did it, Christian!  Oh Maddie!  We are to be sisters!”  I first hug my brother and then my soon to be sister-in-law, Lady Maddie.

Lord Christian: “Lizzie!  How long have you been standing there listening?”  I ask sternly–my worrying how much of Lady Madeline’s and my discussion that she overheard.  But she relieves me on that point.

Lady Lizzie:  “Just the bit where you were on bended knee and asked her to marry you. You were so romantic, Christian!   I almost swooned.”

Lord Duncan:  I clap my old friend Lord Christian’s shoulder.  “Well done, old man!  I never knew that you could speak so eloquently.”

Lord Christian:  “Nor did I.”  I grin sheepishly at my old school friend, Lord Duncan.  I notice several couples in the vicinity whispering and pointing in our direction.  Then I clasp Lady Madeline’s hand in mine and I smile at her adoringly.  “Perhaps we should tell our news to your grandmother before the gossips ruin our surprise.”  I start guiding her into the Kimball’s Ballroom again.  Lizzie and Lord Duncan follow behind us.

Lady Madeline:  “Oh yes!  I want Grandmama to hear it from our own lips.”  I smile, then I blush for remembering where my lips were recently situated–pressed against My Christian’s lips.   “Hhhhh!”  I sigh.

Lord Christian: “What’s that, My Dear?”  I smile knowingly at her.

Lady Madeline: “Just me sighing with happiness.”


Quickly reentering the Kimball Ballroom, everyone is abuzz and looking at Lord Christian and I as we walk quickly toward my smiling Grandmama Lady Lucretia Beckham Knott.  I wonder what she has heard already. We bow and curtsy before her with smiling faces–his smile nearly as bright as my own.

Lady Madeline:  “Grandmama, Lord Christian and I …”  But he interrupts me–when that is usually what I do to him, I think giddily.

Lord Christian:  “We have an announcement, Lady Knott.”  I know that I am smiling quite giddily—if I can ever be said to be giddy—because the sides of my face hurt, but in a good way.

Lady Knott “Indeed? And I am eager to hear it.” I smile hopefully.

Lord Christian: I turn to gaze down at Lady Madeline with adoring eyes and I lift one of her gloved hands to my lips for a kiss. “My Lady, your granddaughter, Lady Madeline Sinclair has done me the very great honor of agreeing to become my wife.”

Lady Lizzie: “He did it!”  I bounce into the air. Well I jumped, but it is not ladylike to do so.  So I will only admit to bouncing—which is something akin to various dance steps, and therefore acceptable.  Then I squeeze my brother’s other arm that Lady Maddie is not attached to and he smiles at me—with a kind and happy smile.

Lady Knott:  “Maddie, Dear.  Is this true? Christy has offered for you and you have accepted him?”  I ask with happy tears in my eyes.

I notice with amusement that Lady Knott has returned to referring to me as Christy again.  So I must be back in her good graces.

Lady Madeline: “It is true, Grandmama.”  I nod smiling excitedly as I sit next to my Grandmama on the sette and we hug.  Then I gaze adoringly up at Lord Christian.  “I love him, Grandmama. He is the best man I know.”  I hold out my hand and he takes it again–giving my hand a gentle squeeze.

Lady Lucretia: “This is wonderful!  There will be much to plan.  But before a formal announcement can be made, Lord Christian should seek your father’s permission, Maddie Dear.”   I counsel them about the proprieties.

Lady  Madeline: “But Grandmam, Papa is at our country estate–as his gout prevents him from traveling to town.”   I pout in concern for my Papa.  For Grandmama has exclaimed so much upon Papa’s ill health—despite his seeming to put a brave face on it for me, for he always seems hale and hearty—that I have become quite worried about him.

Lord Christian: “Not to worry, Lady Madeline.  I will travel to your family home upon the morrow and present myself directly as a candidate  to your father, with my requesting your hand in marriage.” Then I blanche.  “I wonder, will your father be offended that I asked you before first obtaining his permission?”

Lady Knott: “He better not, if he knows what is good for him. Maddie’s father absented himself from her first season.   He therefore, surrendered his right to refuse your suit.”  I nod my head curtly.

That son-in-law of mine, Squire Sutton Sinclair had better not cause any difficulties for this marriage.  Though my granddaughter Lady Maddie and Lord Christy have only recently met in the last two weeks, I feel certain that I can bring her father around to the suitability of a match between them, with a little encouragement.  That is my  fervent hope.  And I believe that once Maddie and Christy are wedded as husband and wife, their marriage  will be the making of each other.

On the carriage ride home, Lady Madeline sits next to me–with my sister Lizzie, and Lady Knott sitting across from us.  This privilege of closeness is one that I can only now claim as her betrothed.  Lizzie’s and my brother Harold never turned up at the Kimball Ball, so I will have to apprise him of my change in status when next I see him.  Of course, Lady Madeline and I can do nothing more than to hold hands.

But Lady Knott does allow us a brief newly betrothed fiances farewell in her foyer after she ascends the stairs to hasten to her bed this night.

Lady Madeline: “So, Christian, you will travel tomorrow morning to talk to my Papa?”

Lord Christian: “I will, Madeline.” I revel in the now intimate connection we two possess that allows me to address her so informally—without it drawing societal censure.

Lady Madeline:  I frown. “Now do not let Papa goad you into retracting your proposal.”

Lord Christian: My eyes widen. “Do you think that he will?”

Lady Madeline: “Not really, but where do you think my forthrightness and candor come from?”

Lord Christian: “Ha ha ha ha ha!  I gather, not from the Knott side of your family.” I tease with a sly grin.  Because My Madeline’s Grandmama Lady Lucretia Beckham Knott is quite formidable

Then my grandmother calls out from the second floor landing.

Lady Knott: “Please hurry it up, children!  I am an old lady kept from my bed long enough.”

We both burst into giggles at being allowed some liberties as a newly betrothed couple—such as private conversing and goodnight kisses, with my Grandmama watching a discreet distance away.

Lord Christian and Lady Madeline: “Ha ha ha ha ha!”

Lady Madeline: “My apologies, Grandmama.”

Lord Christian: I gently squeeze Lady Madeline’s  hand in mind.  Then I wickedly ask.  “Will you give me a parting kiss to strengthen my resolve in the face of your father’s potential wrath?”

Lady Madeline:  I unconsciously wet my lips and smile.  “Maybe a little one.”  This will be only my second kiss.

Lord Christian: “I am not accustomed to sizing my kisses.”  My eye brow rises in a challenge.

Lady Lucretia: “Children!?!”

Lord Christian: “Right!”

Then I take my fiancé Madeline into my arms and I kiss her fully upon her lips [(6) right].  Guy-and-Roseanna-kissing-areRichardArmitage-andDanielaDenby-Ashe-inNorth&South-epi4-340-Jan0114ranet-sized-brt-crop2brtShe seems startled at first, but then I move  my mouth in circular sucking motions–and she tries to imitate me in reply.  She is so charming in her innocence.  Her kissing will take some tutelage–which I will be very happy to provide.  She whimpers cutely.
Lady Madeline: “Hmm.”

Lord Christian:  Lord how that sound rouses my passions!  Then I moan deeply in answering response. “Hmmmm!”

Lady Lucretia:  I stamp my cane upon the top step of the second floor landing. “Alright! That is enough until the wedding.   I said it is time to go to bed.”

Lord Christian and I reluctantly stop kissing.

Lady Madeline: “Yes, Grandmama.” I sigh dejectedly.  Then I smile at Christian. “Good luck with Papa. Be sure to come straight back here and tell me how you get on with him.  I will be nervous the whole time you are gone.”

Lord Christian: “As will I.  I have never asked for anyone’s hand in marriage before.  But I will see you on Monday at the latest when I return to town.  And were your father to refuse, I will simply get a special license and spirit you away to Gretna Green to elope.”

Lady Madeline:  “As romantic as that sounds, I want my Grandmama to have the wedding for me that she is always talking about. She is so looking forward to it.”

Lord Christian: “As am I.” I kiss both of Lady Madeline’s hands and then her sweet lips before I depart.  She waves to me from her Grandmama’s front door and I wave back at her with a smile.

And even as I slowly climb the stairs toward my Grandmama Lady Knott to go to bed to sleep, I feel that my excitement at being newly betrothed might keep me awake. Our understanding is more than I could have hoped for.  And if I do sleep, my intended Christian will inhabit my dreams.


Back inside our carriage to head home, my siblings—plural now– look at me expectantly.  It seems that our brother Harold has materialized after all.  And after arriving very late at the Kimball ball—only to find that we had departed—he tracked us back to Lady Knott’s home and forsook his hired carriage for our family carriage with the Sussex crest on each side.

Lord Harold: “Well, well, well, so you proposed to Lady Madeline afterall, big brother.” I look cagily at Christian, not at all swept away by romantic notions as our younger sister Lizzie is.  Marriage is a business transaction, plain and simple.  My brother scowls at me.

Lady Lizzie: Seeing her brothers staring at each other, Lady Lizzie intervenes.  “Oh Christy!  Never mind Harold.  He is just jealous because you will get to marry Lady Maddie!”  Harold frowns at our little sister dismissing him so eagerly—and I rather like that she did that.    “And you have made me so happy!  I do not think that I will be at all nervous now at my ball next week, since everyone will be talking about your and Lady Maddie’s engagement.”

Lord Christian: “Now, now Lizzie.  Lady Madeline and I do not wish to usurp your rightful spotlight.  It will be your presentation ball for the season.  The focus will be on you.”

Lady Lizzie: “Silly!” I swat at my eldest brother Christian. “Your and Maddie’s engagement will be the talk of London!”

Lord Harold: Not leaving well enough alone, I ponder aloud. “Hmmm.  I wonder what Lady Brenda  will think about your engagement?”

Lord Christian: “Harold! Mind your tongue!”  I scold him.  “You are not to repeat that name, in my or anyone else’s presence ever again–least of all in front of my intended, Lady Madeline.”

Lady Lizzie: I look questioningly between my two brothers.  Then I brave my elder brother’s wrath. “Who is this Lady Brenda to you, Christian?”

Lord Harold:  “She was his…”

Lord Christian: “I said stuff it, Harold!  If you want a shilling of your allowance this next quarter, you will do as I say.” I fume.

Lord Harold: “You are an insufferable ogre.” I frown.

Confident that her brother’s ire will not be visited upon her, Lady Lizzie softly inquires.

Lady Lizzie: “Was Lady Brenda one of your amours, Christian?”

Lord Christian: Not wanting to confirm nor deny, Lord Christian obfuscates.  “Lizzie, whatever Lady Brenda was to me in the past is immaterial.  My present and future are with Lady Madeline.   Please do not bring up the matter further with me or with Lady Madeline. I do not wish Lady Madeline to be distressed.  Unlike some…”  I glower at my brother, Harold. “…I plan to be faithful in my marriage to Lady Madeline.”

Lord Harold: “Well, I guess a leopard does change his spots.”  I retort cheekily. Unfortunately, my brother then punches my said cheek and knocks me senseless as my head hits the side of the carriage.

Lizzie immediately fusses over our now unconscious brother while chastising me for my violence.

Lady Lizzie:  “Christian!  How could you!  What if Harold bruises and they have not gone away by the time of my ball next week?”

Lord Christian: “Then he will have to tender his regrets for being unwell and not in attendance.”  I will not have my philandering brother ruin my chances with Lady Madeline.

Leave it to Harold to change my happy mood to the opposite.  I only hope that my discussion in requesting Lady Madeline’s hand in marriage from her father goes better tomorrow–well, today, actually.

To be continued with Chapter 13


“Encouragement”, Ch. 12  References by Gratiana Lovelace, October 25, 2016 (Post #989)
1) The “Encouragement” story cover is an image representing our young heroine Lady Madeline Sinclair, is the young Emma Hart in a straw hat at 17 years old in painted by George Romney  in 1782; she was later to marry Sir William Hamilton in 1791 and become Emma Lady Hamilton, was found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emma,_Lady_Hamilton#/media/File:George_Romney_-_Emma_Hart_in_a_Straw_Hat.jpg ;  For more about Emma Lady Hamilton, nee Emma Hart/Amy Lyon please visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emma,_Lady_Hamilton

2) The image of Lady Lucretia Beckham Knott in an elegant evening gown and jewels is of Maggie Smith portraying Lady Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham on the ITV/PBS program Downton Abbey (2010 – 2015) and was found at http://www.satellitesisters.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/article-0-1586CE46000005DC-250_634x649.jpg

3) Lady Madeline’s pale blue silk evening gown for the Kimball Ball (flip) is Kate Winslet as Marianne Dashwood in 1995’s Sense & Sensibility found at   http://dzbawards.com/images/actresses/sense.jpg
4) Lord Christian  is Richard Armitage portraying John Thornton in BBC’s 2004  drama North & South, epi2  found at richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/nands/album/episode2/ns2-116.jpg

5 Lady Madeline’s pale blue silk evening gown for the Kimball Ball is Kate Winslet as Marianne Dashwood in 1995’s Sense & Sensibility found at  https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/e4/a8/be/e4a8becc0d292a3c0f1412358cef9653.jpg    (slight color revision)

6) Lord Christian  Blount  kissing Lady Madeline Sinclair is portrayed by Richard Armitage and Daniela Denby-Ashe as John Thornton and Margaret Hale  in the BBC’s 2004 drama North & South  found at richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/nands/album/episode4/ns4-340.jpg


 Previous  Blog Ch. 11 Story link with embedded illustrations:


About Gratiana Lovelace

Gratiana Lovelace is my nom de plume for my creative writing and blogging. I write romantic stories in different sub genres. The stories just tumble out of me. My resurgence in creative writing occurred when I viewed the BBC miniseries of Elizabeth Gaskell's novel North & South in February 2010. The exquisitely talented British actor portraying the male lead John Thornton in North & South--Richard Crispin Armitage--became my unofficial muse. I have written over 50 script stories about love--some are fan fiction, but most are original stories--that I am just beginning to share with others on private writer sites, and here on my blog. And as you know, my blog here is also relatively new--since August 2011. But, I'm having fun and I hope you enjoy reading my blog essays and my stories. Cheers! Grati ;-> upd 12/18/11
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3 Responses to “Encouragement”, Ch. 12 (PG):  The Kimball Ball, Part 3:  Understanding,  October 25, 2016 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #989) 

  1. October 25, 2016–The link for Ch. 12 of “Encouragement” on my Wattpad site is:



  2. October 25, 2016–Thanks for liking/starring this Ch. 12 of my original story “Encouragement”! I’m glad that you enjoyed it! Cheers! Grati ;->


  3. Pingback: “Encouragement”, Ch. 13 (PG):  Seeking Betrothal Approval, October 29, 2016 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #991) | Something About Love (A)

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