Good evening! May I offer you some tea? Perhaps some seed cake? (I am always polite, you see, even when deeply perplexed). When I went to my slumber last night, it was 1810 and I was visiting my dear friends Lord and Lady Seaforth-Haigh-Smythe. I was most comfortably ensconced in their lovely Yellow Chamber (rumored to be haunted, by those inclined to romantic superstition), and when I awoke I found myself here. In the small (yet charming!) cottage of Lady Amanda, surrounded by almost as many pets as our own Duchess of York possesses and forced to sleep on something called a “sleeper sofa.” There is also this magical contraption, the come-puter, and its instant post.
I am confused by many things in this new abode (tea in bags? Horrors!), but I am sure good manners and proper behavior will see me through. In my own time, I am rather well known for my knowledge of etiquette. I even pen my own pamphlet, “Ask Lady Cordelia,” where many a bewildered soul faced with social conundrums has benefited from my advice. Perhaps I can be of assistance to some of you?
As I bide my time until I can return home, I am quite relieved to see that a house party has recently (and properly) concluded, and that these, er, “Riskies” at least possess some knowledge of proper attire and gentle pursuits such as music.
Farewell for now!
thanks for joining us; is that picture you? And if it is, what exactly is on your head?
If a party has concluded to which you were unexplainably not invited and you discovered that your good friend left, leaning cloyingly upon the arm of your gentlemen friend, who also never spoke to you regarding said party. Should you assume the worse? Be understanding? Or, just run them both through, or serve them tea laced with poison?
I’m considering the latter.
My Dear Lady Cordelia,
Delighted to make your acquaintance! The company on this “blog” (as we like to call these little virtual tea parties) is largely feminine in nature, as you may have observed; but we are not entirely lacking in gentlemen. There is myself, of course, and also the terribly exquisite Mr. Bertram St. James. With your guidance in matters of etiquette and his sartorial splendor, I think we will do quite well.
And please be reassured–in spite of the question from Miss Devastated, the tea from tea bags, while perhaps not everything one might desire, is generally not laced with poison.
Your most obedient servant,
You are most heartily welcome, Lady Cordelia! I am sure your expertise will prove most useful. And I am so glad Lady Amanda has “put you up” (as we say) on her sleeper sofa. (I expect they didn’t have such things in your time!)
But I do have one question… Your portrait is lovely, but … hmm, I really don’t know how to put this. (I suppose I could use one of your etiquette lessons!) What I mean is, is that a recent portrait? Or might it perhaps be of when you were just slightly younger?
(There, now I’m certain I’ve made a faux pas. Sorry.)
In any case, I am delighted to have you here!
Greetings, Lady Cordelia! I am Bertram St James, Exquisite. (But I daresay you can tell from my picture that I am exquisite.)
I, too, am a time-traveler from nearly two hundred years ago. And when I read your account of how you came to be here — that is, how you came to be now — I was struck nearly dumb with amazement! For I, too, stayed with Lord and Lady Seaforth-Haigh-Smythe the night before I awoke here! And I, too, slept in their haunted Yellow Chamber!
This haunting is definitely of a mysterious kind.
By the by, tea-bags are not as horrid as you might think. Just find a very small knife, cut open the bag, and use the contents as you normally would.
Your humble Servant,
Bertram St James
Welcome to our salon! I am sure we will all benefit from your sage advice, though I am afraid we may occasionally shock you…
We are indeed delighted that you condescend to visit our humble abode, and hope you find life in this century agreeable. I hasten to tell you that tea–known as “loose tea” although I assure you it is no reflection upon the morals of those who drink it–is available.
On the subject of morals, I should advise you that a Mr. B– S– J– whom you may meet is an avowed rake. He disappeared for some time during our House Party with a female guest–indeed, I do not believe they were ever formally introduced! –and I am afraid that we may only conclude that the Worst ensued.
He has also not denied his association with a certain Miss H– W–. Madam, I beg of you, guard your person and your heart well. Do not let the elegance of his person or address lead you to acts you may later regret in shame.
I shall be more than happy to act as chaperone should the occasion arise–indeed, it is absolutely necessary I or one of the other ladies serve in that capacity.
Greetings, all! ‘Tis I, Lady Cordelia. Until I can decipher the mysteries of this “user i.d.”, I must beg to trespass on your Risky Regency signature a moment longer. (Is it something like a calling card?)
Lady Janet, I am most gratified to see that someone in this time pays attention to such proprieties! You are quite right about Sir Bertram, I fear. I was most astonished to see him here, and discover that his own travel tale is so similar to my own! I trust you have warned all the other young ladies to be on their guard?
Lady Cara, such impertinence will never gain vouchers to Almack’s, I am sure! The portrait was my dear, departed husband’s favorite image of me, as it was painted soon after we became betrothed. I use it in memory of him (sniff). Lady Megan, my headdress was the very height of fine fashion in the year I made my bow. But I am not surprised you did not know that, after looking at your new “La Belle Asssemblee” which I believe is titled “In Style.” Style, indeed! (sniff)
I wish to send thanks to Sir Bertram, though, for the most useful hint on the proper use of those odd little “tea bags.” It did indeed work most beautifully to cut open the package and make a proper cup of tea. If I could only persuade my hostess not to always wear these flannel “paaa-jama” trousers about the house. I am sure it cannot be proper.
Thank you to everyone for your kind greetings! I am sure that finding such congenial company will make my new situation far more bearable.