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The Honest Men

1923

‘So I told Molly to move the chair away from the radiator and we just carried on.’

The assembled company in the railway car chortled and murmured comments of ‘that’s the way’ and ‘don’t you just always’. Sitting still in the midst of this was Fitzroy, who stared into the embers of his cigarette and began to speak in that dreamy voice that always made the others go silent.

And what did he say?Collapse )

Quotes of interest

“I am still haunted by the curve of your back, cutting a disdainful line across my lawn that last day of your visit all those years ago. How I wished you would turn to at least look at me, if only just so I could see your face. Perhaps I flatter myself to think that my refusal was the cause of your scorn. I did not mean it as a slight against your beauty. To me, you will always be the English Adonis. But I cannot spilt my time as you do. My body is no longer mine to do what I please with; it belongs to my wife.” -- Letter from Lord Crispin Fitzroy to Rupert Mosley, 1928

“I met Crispin in Eton and as long as I knew him, he never changed. He always combed his hair the same way, always had the same boyish face and angular body, always the same reserve and obedience tempered by a wild imagination and a blushing naiveté. He was a schoolboy when I met him and, to me at least, he was a schoolboy until the day he died.” -- Rupert Mosley, Memoirs, 1953.

“Went to Covington Thursday. More whispers about Mosley and Fitzroy. Can’t be true. Fitzy is too polite for sodomy. Far too clean. Mosley just sees him as a lock he can try to pick. I said as much to Robbie Brand, the big idiot.” -- Alistair Bromley, diary, 1922.

“He [Crispin] is neither as straight nor narrow as he pretends to be. Still, I know he is true to me. He has chosen me. And I love him all the more for it. I love every part of my husband, even the parts which may not love me.” -- Lady Mary-Eugenia Fitzroy, diary, 1930.

amandolo è dolce agonia [loving him is sweet agony]” -- written in the margin of a sketchbook kept by Lord Crispin Fitzroy, 1921.

Family Tree

The Fitzroy name goes back to Charles II of England, who created it and the titles of Earl of Euston and Duke of Grafton Henry Fitzroy, his illegitimate son by Barbara Palmer, 1st Duchess of Cleveland.

My mother’s surname is also Fitzroy, although Her line is considerably more watered down than my father’s though, which probably keeps us all from falling over with blood loss after pricking ourselves with the letter opener. Her mother’s surname, Lennox, was given to Charles II’s illegitimate son by Louise de Kérouaille, Duchess of Portsmouth, along with the titles Duke of Richmond in England, Duke of Lennox in Scotland.

This would make Charles II my Five-Greats-Grandfather. On both sides. Or something. I don’t know, once it starts getting into back into the 18th century and second cousins once removed start getting involved, I start to get confused. I can, however, draw you up a simple diagram of the more important (i.e. alive) members of my family and how they relate to each other. I’ll even use the fancy paper.
My handiworkCollapse )

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27th July 1918

The evening was eventful, but the intricaties involved are beyond my ability to explain and longer than my hand could bare to write. But it ended with Bromley becoming so drunk he couldn’t walk and I had to quietly look for someone to help me get him to his room. All I could find was Haverly and although he is quite old and moves a quite bit more slowly and carefully than he used to, we were able to do the job together.

But as I reached to adjust his blanket, he grasped my forearm, his fingers bunching up the fabric of my shirt and I saw that he was crying. Everything seemed to freeze then and perhaps it was lucky, for I think if I would have had the ability to move, I would have jerked my arm up and away, pulling it back towards me, and pulling myself all far away from the sorry scene. But horror and fear of being a coward stopped me, and so I just waited, staring at the fold in the sheet by his left shoulder for what seemed like ages until I felt his fingers loosen and I was able to fold his hand neatly over his chest. I then thanked Haverly and retired.

I stood and looked out the window, out over the yard and up to the sky, but also in my mind I looked at myself from without, making a picture in my head of how I would appear to anyone watching. And all I could think is that I looked awfully strange for a child. I was far too big, far too tall and absurdly serious, with that knitted brow we see on children and smile thinking about how such looks are a waste, that they don’t really know yet how hard the world can be. How did I come to inhabit this strange body? What happened to the one I knew before? How do people live, I thought, after growing up? How does one even survive?

I felt damned, and angry at being damned by something so small. No grave sin, no major transgression I could set up in my mind and run over again and again down to the smallest detail; it was simply the combined weight of many small sins which had planted in my mind the seeds of decadence and cynicism and unhappiness. And with that I had been thrust outside the realm of Christian love and forgiveness forever.

I had the briefest desire to throw myself from the roof, but even that seemed useless. All those stairs…all that mess. It was better that I should have never had been born, but there was nothing to be done for it. So, instead I went outside and sat on the stairs overlooking the same view I had just left in my room.

The night sky in the country seems different from that in the city. I thought of what the people in London or Eton must be doing now, going about their lives without me. And then I tried to think of all the people in the world, now lying in the dark fast asleep, or working under the sun, adults, children, men, women, in Europe and Asia and Africa, in all different clothes speaking all different languages, laughing, crying, dying, being born. How dense and impossibly complex it looked from far away, so disorienting and dizzying in fact that I had to close my eyes and try to get closer to it in my mind.

Everything then appeared to me in spheres, the lives of these people grouped by the manner of their living. Some similar, some different, but all shared, none completely unique. And as I began to categorize them in my head, I could see how easily one could sometimes move between them and, in fact, how one often had to.

Tilting my head back, I smiled up at the cosmos.

There is not just one way to live. How stupid of me not to realize sooner.

I then stood up and went to bed and did not arise until noon. I do not know what this means. Most of these strange feelings were gone when I awoke, but still I feel fundementally changed in someway.

Until next we meet,

T. C. L. F.

From anson_greene

1) Go here to generate 10 random numbers between 1 and 100. (Generate a different set of numbers for each character you pick.)

2) Then I will answer the corresponding questions from here

2 April 1918

Dear diary,

O Suffolk! O Euston Hall!

Photobucket

It is rather good to be home.

Well, except I'm not exactly there yet, being as I'm on the train. Ashy alighted early in Surrey and Bromley has just taken his leave at the desolate Marks Tey station, and as I now sit alone and watch Essex fly by my window (it looks loads nicer when you're going though it; once this was all I knew of it, but I have since been disillusioned by standing stationary within it), I know Suffolk and the dear Bury St Edmunds station can not be long in coming.

Yes, I take a rather twisty way of getting home, but the extra time spent with Ashe and Bromley, outside the confines of the school, is worth the trouble. Of course, after a week, Bromley will be coming up to join me at home for what is officially a stay of only a fortnight, but what we will try to stretch into most of the spring holiday through a well planed subterfuge of missed trains and reports of poor weather and illness. Knowing Bromley, we will likely endeavor to spend most of the time potted up to our ears.

It’s to be a full house then; Mother and Father and Lillian, of course and then me and Bromley, but also Augustus and Joanna and little Agnes, Freddie and whoever he’s managed to dupe into liking him for the time being, possibly Mary (we never know what she’s doing and likely, neither does she, until she does it) and then Lord and Lady Southampton, with their daughter. My mother neglected to mention which daughter, but as this is my diary, mirror of my heart, I can admit to hoping with a MIGHTY FEVER that it is Mary-Eugenia and also hoping that it becomes warm enough for her to want to go for a swim. (the following few sentences are obscured by heavy blots of ink)

I’ve said too much. Time to lay down the pen.

Your friend the cad,

T. C. L. F.

Freudian Inventory Test

Freudian Inventory Results
Oral (30%) you appear to be stubbornly and irrationally against receiving help even when it might be the more intelligent option.
Anal (86%) you appear to be overly self controlled, organized, and possibly subservient to authority, this effectively narrows your exposure to a wider set of options and ideas lowering the odds that you will make the best decisions in life.
Phallic (10%) you appear to have negative issues regarding sexuality and/or have an uncertain sexual identity.
Latency (53%) you appear to have a good balance of abstract knowledge seeking and practicality, dealing with real world responsibilities while still cultivating your abstract and creative faculties and interests.
Genital (20%) you appear to have a conventional, closeminded, and regressive outlook on life. Change is an inevitable and positive part of life, learn to contribute to it, not fear it or oppose it
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Overly self-controled? There is no such thing.

Just because my mind is not as filthy as a psychoanalyst’s does not suggest there is anything wrong with me. Quite the contrary.
The halls were quiet. Of course. Only prefects were allowed to wander around a night, due to being responsible older boys who could be trusted to act in accordance with school rules.

Presently, the prefects were all out in the woods, digging up a cache of beer.

Except one. He still had some sense of duty. There was something he needed to do before sneaking out.

Crispin’s footsteps echoed hollowly as he approached the end of the hall, stopping at the door on the far corner.

Opening it, he saw a bundled form lying on the bed in a sliver of moonlight.

Crispin cleared his throat. ‘Greene.’