An Interview with Lady Augusta from Consequence by Hazel Statham
Upon meeting Lady Augusta at a card party last Thursday evening, I took the opportunity to ask her about her nephew, Marcel, Duke of Lear. There had been much speculation about his recent nuptials and I hoped she would be able to furnish me with an account of the affair.
“Just left the dear boy at the opera,” said Augusta, obviously not loath to talk of her nephew. “From what I can gather the outing had been arranged for the benefit of his new wife – it being her first visit there.”
“Ah, yes, I’d heard they’d married in France,” I said, eager to continue the theme of our conversation. “A whirlwind romance, I believe.”
“That as may be,” replied Augusta, “but, nonetheless, they appeared well matched at the time.”
“But not so now?” I enquired, wondering at her reserve.
“The chit got wind of his previous character and took exception to it. Declares she wants naught of him now!”
“You say ‘previous’. Do you think him reformed?”
“Who can tell? He certainly appears to have moderated his ways, but who knows how long he will wait for her to come about before reverting to his former life-style? He is a man of his time and has been used to his own way in all things. Who knows just how long he will tolerate the current state of affairs before rebelling.”
“Do you think there is a chance for them? Could all be lost?”
“I’ve told him to woo the chit! He has charm in abundance when he chooses. Never known him to be at a loss in the female department. Always been a favorite with the ladies and knows how to turn it to his advantage.”
“Do you see any weakening in his wife’s defenses? Do you think she will come about?”
“Hard to tell. She’s a taking little thing and has been willingly embraced by society. Who can blame her if she appears overly bright at times. She hides a broken heart. However, there is one aspect of which Marcel must beware. I believe Sir John Austin, a former suitor has made it obvious that he is not averse to squiring her around town and they are frequently seen together.”
“And you think this a cause for concern?”
“If Marcel does not see fit to bestir himself to secure her affections once more, then, yes, it is a great cause for concern. The child is obviously lonely and in need of her husband’s support. Who would not seek solace elsewhere if it is not forthcoming? You ask if it is a love match, then yes, I truly believe it is, but even love matches can go awry if they are not nurtured!”
At this point, we were called to the card tables and as loath as I was to relinquish my companion, it would have been churlish to ignore our hostess’ wishes that we join different sets. The evening ended quite profitably in my case and it was seen that Augusta shared my success.