|Related Logs:||Cheering Up, various others|
|Beneath wax seals.|
|July 18, 289|
On request, I have written a lengthy poem for Rosanna Groves; that is, a comedy in three brief cantos. She is concerned about the correspondence being reviewed elsewhere, so if you could forward the enclosed sealed message, I would appreciate it.
P.S.: Don't worry, her maiden shame will survive. I'm very discreet.
Lady Rosanna, my dearest and most platonic friend,
I have complete faith in your capacity to make nice, even when the making is as sore a trial as the one you describe. Store your venom, save it, and use it as needed. I know you don’t need me to tell you that, but I inscribe the reminder on this page to let you use it as anchor. Let them be your mantra.
Have you any favored and familiar books in the library at your home, Lady Rosanna? Tell me any titles with which it will not trouble you to be seen. A book-based cipher is easily composed, and would render any communication between us beyond comprehension. If perhaps not beyond reproach…
As to Rutger: I am sure that he will provide no stain upon your beauty. Besides, even one or two wrinkles may only add character to skin otherwise flawless. I’d continue in this vein but really. I don’t do sonnets.
For a man who has already set his reputation ablaze and watched it scorch, what ruin may even a clever man wreak? Lord Rutger Nayland has shown himself indifferent to every last evidence of social pique. Words are my greatest weapons, next to arrows; but let’s not mention those.
You yourself provided me the easiest fodder to wield blame, in the measure of your flawless reputation and the hurt in your melting brown eyes. I have made it known and talked of that Ser Kittridge plucked the sultry spinster in a calculated attempt to protect you from Rutger; really, if one could spend one’s virtuous and beautiful sister anywhere, why would one spend her on a dangerous lunatic with living heirs? I’m sure I don’t know. But I cannot ruin a man already wrecked, and bear in mind that he has already lost your regard, which strikes me as an intangible of the highest value. Not to mention your dowry because I am sure it would be terribly rude of me to speculate on just how broke the Naylands must be right now.
You will be pleased to know that everyone around here has heard of the betrothal by now, and most particularly of why the betrothal. It may not be sufficient punishment for Rutger’s ludicrous ill faith, but it is something I honor myself to lay at your delicate feet. I am not actually sure what your feet look like, but I speculate that your toes are idealized. Particularly the middle toe on your left foot. Don’t look so outraged, I am merely being complimentary.
Justin’s non-execution execution has brought forth everyone out of the woodwork and the Rockcliff is doing a tidy trade. I look for you amidst the other flowers of the aristocracy inexplicably choking the balustrades around Four Eagles Tower but I don’t see you. Instead, I have borne witness to Naylands and Haighs. It’s not really a fair trade, although I will share with you that Lady Katrin has made herself indefatigably ridiculous with that young pup of a sleeveless Nayland. If one must make a cake of oneself and wreak ridiculous ruin upon an alleged pure and pretty virgin, should not one avoid doing so while recordably unchaperoned in a public inn?
It just lacks style.
I asked Riordan if the said widdling puppy is only following his example, but he claims that Rafferdy should have to be a better dancer than he is, and so of course any other similarities in womanizing or other potential sleazemaking are strictly coincidental. Well, he didn’t say that. Do you suppose there is something in the bloodline? Watch your nieces and nephews carefully for signs of strange dishabille, false gentility and bad dancing; I mean it, I find the prospect terribly concerning.
Katrin’s sister is remarkably better-behaved and even speculated with me as to the identities of nameless commoner persons who may have had a go with your brother’s fiancee, although I suppose I should not countenance that as referent to “good behavior”.
One final note: if your self-control needs release, sweet Rosanna, I invite you to eviscerate your would-be sister upon the page. Because, firstly, it might help, and secondly, why not? If you are going to indulge yourself somewhere, it may as well be with your very good friend. Mayn't it?
Yours in sincere friendship,