You have just swept someone a magnificent, yet insolent, leg.
You have interrupted a game of wist to introduce the players to your ward.
You have been pronounced a social success by the greatest bitch in Paris.
An aging beauty of nearly thirty has pronounced you an original, and declares that you will keep the Duke’s interest for months, at least!
No one at this decadent court suspects you of being what you really are – sincere.
Why, the Count is sure to be there tomorrow!
You yourself cannot deny, as your enemy sweeps into the room, emeralds gleaming on his fingers, that he is a truly elegant man.
The game is more intricate than you think, my dear Armand.
The only thing flashing more violently than the diamond pin on your lavender greatcoat are your eyes!!!
Paternity is never truly in doubt because every single family has at least three highly visible traits that are present in each individual member. Who could mistake the ____ hair, the ____ brow, and the unmistakably _____ eyes of a De Lesseps?
Your mother and father are dead, or something, but you have never missed them from the first moment you laid eyes upon your rescuer, the rakehell baronet. Your entire dead family means nothing to you now that he has saved you from, I don’t know, having a job.
The ladies who had once closed their ranks to you on suspicion of your base birth now rush to celebrate you once it has been revealed you were no bastard at all, but a legitimate daughter of the Fontanelles.
There is lace at your throat and wrists and disdain in your eyes and heart.
Literally ten hundred men are in love with you, so fresh and unused to the cynical methods of court, but you have no idea what love is, you can’t even tell when they’re chucking jewels and violets and sonnets at you that anyone has ever taken notice of you before, gutter rat that you are. Me, m’sieur? Impossible! You foolish little chit, can you not see that half of London would ransom their family fortunes for a chance at your hand in marriage?
You love the girl too much to marry her. Ironical, no?
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.