Sunday, March 22, 2009

Excerpt: Chapter Four

From my WIP, Through Charlotte's Eyes


18 August 1791

What a frightful day it has been. Here, reader, is what happened, and why you must understand my sudden thoughtlessness and disregard for Aunt’s friends as well as my own. I meant no one harm, but they were discussing the mother of Gracchi and Coriolanus as well as of some of my other favorite heroines in history. How could I not speak in admiration of them and of the old Republics?

I called the old Republics “the noblest form of government”—for that is what they are—but Mme Levaillant retorted, as if she was hurt: “Can it be that you are a republican, my dear?”

My embarrassment left me speechless. All I wanted was to leave the room, but I could not ignore her nor the stares of all of Aunt's guests. I whispered, “I should be, if the French were worthy of a Republic.”

One of Aunt’s Royalist friends gasped. Silence filled the room. Finally, someone spoke and turned the discussion to other, less political, topics. I do believe I have offended them, and I do wish I could take back all that I have said.

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