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Anne was woken early on the morning of the 12th June. Two days prior, she had returned to Kedleston where she had greeted her family again and then immersed herself in trying out outfits whilst Lord Curzon finalised the preparations. Everyone was happy and Anne felt herself getting caught up in the joyous mood at times and almost forgot that this man whom she was to be engaged to was chosen by someone other than her in a manner which she did not approve of. This was perhaps the greatest indicator of all that during her time spent at Miss garner’s Institute for Young Ladies, Anne’s mindset had been changed subtly yet surely and she was by now far more a Lady of Leisure than she realised. However, whilst misgivings of a choice of husband did not trouble her unduly, those of what accompanied did, for present for the celebrations after her third and final trip to the hospital was Charity and she was a living embodiment of the horrors of enhancement.
Since her third trip Charity’s breasts had swelled dramatically in size, so much so that they now dominated her whole body and were, (according to her half-sister) an official size of 52MMM.1 More disconcerting though, were the changes that had gone on with her face which was now virtually unrecognisable from that of the girl whom Anne had first met less than a year ago. As promised, her lips had now been inflated to such a size that they appeared as two pillows on her face and indeed, Charity could not close them completely and drooled without her fleur de bouche. When she did have that implement removed, her speech was now much different, somewhat slurred and with a lisp which Charity explained was caused by the fact that her tongue had been deliberately shortened and inflated and a large piercing driven through it. Furthermore, her nose had been reduced to a mere button whilst her eyes were now large and staring like a doll’s, bright blue in colour caused by contact lenses decreed as mandatory at all times by her fiancé. This with her platinum blonde hair created a impression of vacant mindedness and inhumanity. Anne shuddered when she thought that her lot would probably not be dissimilar.
On the day of her engagement though, even those thoughts were driven from her mind and all that Anne could think about was staying alert and not fainting away. The lacing started as soon as she was bathed and continued in stages until one. Then work began on her hair and then came the dress, an outrageous creation in cream which took several hours to fit as it required over a hundred fresh roses to be pinned onto it. Whilst this was being done her make-up was attended to and her boots laced on before finally, at four o’ clock in the afternoon she was led out of her room, down the stairs and outside to the garden party that was being held in her honour. After that, things passed by in a flash. She was introduced to the Duke of Norwich, (who wasn’t unhandsome and not too old either), and speeches were made by Lord Curzon and the Duke. Then came the engagement itself, with a large diamond ring being placed on one of her wooden replica fingers and the dreaded enhancement demands being given to Lord Robert. Finally Anne was presented with a box, (which Perkins took on her behalf), which she knew could only contain one thing and thoughts passed through her mind of what it would be like to have something shoved… up there. Then there was music, some chatter and it was over even before it had begun and Anne Curzon was a single woman no longer but instead promised to a man whom her ears had not yet drunk a hundred words of that tongue’s utterance.
As that man and his tongue contained to drink and be merry out in the garden however, the first intimations of intimacy to come were being made known to Anne in the bedroom. Immediately she had been stripped down to her chastity belt and corset before being laced into a monoglove, bathed and then placed on the bed face down, her buttocks in the air. Then Perkins approached with the box, opened it in front of her mistress’s face, covered the ivory rod within in olive oil and then slowly but firmly inserted it into her anus. The feeling was a peculiar one. It caused her to feel full and bloated and tight down there, yet at the same time it was comforting and almost as if her husband was with her. Still, whatever the feeling, Anne knew as she settled down to sleep on her side that evening, arms pinioned behind her, waist compressed to nothing and her buttocks full of her fiancé’s gift, that she would have plenty of time to get used to it.
Less than an hour after she had returned from Kedleston, Anne was called into the Headmistress’s office. With the help of Perkins she minced down the corridors and into the office where the maid sat her down before leaving after a glance from Miss Garner. Then the door was shut firmly behind her and to Anne’s surprise, Miss Garner removed Anne’s fleur de bouche.
“I have asked you here, Anne,” she started, “to discuss a matter which I am sure has been utmost in your mind over these last few weeks. You doubtless know by now that it is standard procedure during any engagement ceremony conducted in this country involving a Lady of Leisure, for her fiancé to submit a list of desired enhancements that he wishes to be made to his fiancée’s body. Your fiancé was of course, no different from all the others in this respect and indeed I have the list that he handed to your uncle here in my hand. However, whilst I must impress that these enhancements will take place whatever your feelings on the matter, I do also appreciate – and sympathise – with the majority of my girls who harbour grave misgivings and fears about the operations before they take place, and indeed, considering the recent history of your family, I doubt not that you Anne, must be harbouring greater fears than most. Am I right in this respect?”
“Yes ma’am,” nodded Anne.
“As I suspected. And may I also ask, are these fear partially based at least, on the recent enhancements that your cousin Charity has been subjected too.”
Again Anne nodded. “Yes, ma’am…” Her voice started to falter, and a tear appeared in her eye. “Please ma’am, I don’t want to become like her… a freak… it’s terrible!”
The headmistress smiled kindly at Anne. “Do not fear child, your situation and Charity’s are quite different. You say that what has happened to her is terrible, and I quite agree, for it is. What has been done to her is nothing about beauty and more about… well, I don’t know what depraved ideas are behind it but believe me, they are deprived. Fear not though, your guardian would never have chosen you a husband that would demand such things.”
“Then why has he chosen such a beast for his own daughter?”
“Now that is a worthwhile question Anne, and I suppose it only right that I answer it now. However, before I start, let me reassure you that your enhancements are not to be like those of Charity; indeed, I consider them quite restrained indeed. Does that comfort you somewhat?”
There was a short silence whilst Miss Garner collected herself and Anne regained her breath which she had lost during her spate of high emotion. Once her breasts had stopped heaving thought, the headmistress began.
“Anne, the situation of you and your cousin – or should I say half-sister, though trust me, not a word shall ever be breathed of that matter – could not be more different. For starters, the Good Lord has blessed you with a natural beauty that Charity, alas, never had. You are the very image of your mother who was a most celebrated beauty in her day whilst Charity has always been at best plain and at worst, well somewhat ugly. I do not wish to sound harsh, but it is the truth, even if it is not just that she have no natural bloom or elegance. Now that of course, does not mean that you are perfect; your features are the very epitome of prettiness but your figure is boyish; an English lady has sumptuous breasts and derriere, you have neither, but this we shall come onto in a while. In the meantime, back to your sister.
So, your sister was born without beauty and alas, her early education soon revealed her to be without either grace or brains either. She was a clumsy girl who excelled at naught save for gossiping and giggling. Your step-father wished for me to enrol her here – he offered me a lot of money in fact – but I said ‘no’. I have a reputation to uphold you see and I knew that even my tutelage could not create a lady out of her. All of that however, does not account for her current predicament; that I am afraid she brought on herself.
Instead of Miss Garner’s, Charity instead attended Berkhamstead School for Girls, an esteemed yet not that esteemed educational establishment in the Home Counties. There she went and there she failed to excel. However, last year, she managed something far worse. Berkhamstead you see, also operates a boy’s school and once a year they hold a Grand Ball where the girls and boys may dance; the idea being to accustom them to life after school. However, at this dance she met and fell in love with one of the male pupils, the son of a shipping magnate I believe. Anyhow, somehow – I certainly cannot fathom out how, their security must’ve been lax in the extreme – she and this young man managed to sneak out into the garden where they were found copulating by no less a figure than the Mayor of Berkhamstead – quite what he was doing in the gardens, no one is quite sure, nor will they dare to question. Well, after that her prospects were ruined. As you know, to become a bride in this country, a girl must still be a virgin. Now of course, as you have direct experience of – nor shall I breathe a word about that too – there are ways and means these days of rebuilding a hymen, but one can never rebuild a reputation. Charity’s mistake was not that she copulated with this boy, but that she was so stupid as to get caught. She was expelled immediately, (though he only received a sound thrashing I believe), and all hope of marriage was lost, for even with her large dowry, no respectable man would ever think about marrying her. Oh, your step-father tried of course, but there were no takers. He had given up hope, the worst that could happen had happened and then, he received a visit from the Earl of Stafford.”
“An offer of marriage?”
“Indeed Anne, but with conditions. The Earl of Stafford had a reputation and no respectable father would allow their daughter near him, but even so, as a male his plight was not as desperate as Charity’s. But anyhow, he offered your step-father a lifeline, full and open marriage to Charity, but on one condition: extreme enhancements. Lord Curzon tried to argue and reason with him of course, but to no avail; without the enhancements, no marriage. And so in the end he had to agree.”
“But why would he want such… enhancements?”
“Who knows what goes on in the minds of men, Anne, who knows? However, it is well-known that the Earl of Stafford is a regular visitor to the House of the Enhanced Venus and it appears that he wished for something similar to… take home.”
“But what is the House of the Enhanced Venus, ma’am?”
“It is a brothel, Anne, in plain English, a whorehouse, but in reality it is far worse than that. The girls in the House of the Enhanced Venus, do not come cheaply you see, for it is far worse than that. Indeed, these girls are not noble girls, often from quite humble backgrounds, but they are educated in a manner reminiscent of the worse kind of Ladies’ Institute and then they are enhanced beyond all recognition. The ladies there, if ladies be the word, have breasts the size of beach balls and lips so large that they can no longer speak clearly through them. Their noses are reduced to mere buttons, whilst there buttocks can fill the largest armchair. They are made into parodies of feminity for the enjoyment of the most deprived of England’s manhood. Many have their teeth removed so as to give more oral enjoyment, others have far more removed, be it arms or legs. Some are mere stumps of humanity, pillows for the enjoyment of the sickest of men; men such as the Earl of Stafford. The place is a disgrace to our nation; it gives fuel to foreign fires that our society is debauched and immoral. Many have campaigned to close it down but when it numbers royalty, archbishops, peers and even the prime minister amongst it patrons, well, what chance have such measures of ever being implemented? Particularly since it is also a good source of foreign revenue – your compatriots the Russians being the best customers I believe.”
“But that is sick, disgusting!” exclaimed Anne. “How do those poor ladies live?”
“Anne, I do not know, but often they do not live long. Those who have the ability to, often commit suicide; alas the more brutally maimed cannot do that, though the Lord takes most before long. A few of course, enjoy it but then their minds must be even more addled that those of their customers if that be possible. But anyhow, that is that and that is why Charity is as she is. Do not blame Lord Curzon, and do not fear either, her lot is not yours. You have beauty and a reputation and very soon, thanks to the enhancements ordered by your fiancé, you shall have an even greater supply of both. Now Anne, let me help you stand and come over here to look at this viewing screen connected to my calculator.”2
Helped up by Miss Garner, Anne minced over to the screen where she was sat onto a small stool in front of it. Then the headmistress went over to the device and typed some figures into it. Then, on the screen, an outline of a female figure appeared and started to rotate in front of her. “That figure,” said Miss Garner, “is you, Anne. Or at least, you when you entered this establishment. I have typed in your measurements and here is the result. As I said before, and is quite clear from this projection, your figure is boyish, your breasts small and your derriere almost non-existent. Now, let us add in the changes that have occurred since your arrival here.” The headmistress typed in some more figures and pressed the ‘Send’ button. The waist constricted dramatically whilst her breasts and buttocks grew very slightly. “This is you before the ball, the measurements that were sent out to all prospective husbands. As you can see, the corseting regime that you have undergone has had a dramatic- and indeed pleasing – effect. Your waist is much smaller and some of the fat has been pushed into your breasts and derriere. All in all, the effect is quite stunning; the contrast between the smaller waist and other areas, even if they have barely grown is incredible and indeed, for a Lady of Leisure in the past, it would have to suffice. These days however, we have science to help us and so, if I type in these measurements provided by your fiancé, well, you will see what I mean…”
Miss Garner typed and pressed ‘Send’ and Anne certainly did see. The breasts of the figure on the screen blossomed outwards whilst the bottom ballooned in size. These additions, added to the tiny waist, created an incredible – and incredibly sexy – silhouette. Anne gasped and Miss Garner smiled. “It’s remarkable isn’t it?” she commented. “I must admit Anne, I think that your step-father has chosen well for you, as the Duke of Norfolk’s tastes are exquisite. The breasts are actually somewhat smaller than is standard for a Lady of Leisure, but I for one think that breasts that are too large can detract from the waist which must always be the centre of attention, whilst the derriere, well, now that is somewhat larger than standard so it seems that your husband-to-be is what is commonly referred to as an ‘arse man’. The derriere is of course, not seen by the public, only intimately and so is his special preserve and I guess that it will be a little strange at first for you but I personally feel that such dimensions suit you, Anne. Now of course, this programme does not show all. Breasts have different shapes of course, some sag, some are firm and hopefully, in years to come we will have the technology to display such intricacies on screen as well, but for now, well, you have a general outline, do you not? Now, I have made an appointment for you at the South London Hospital for Women two months hence where all enhancements will be made. Before then, try not to think about them and instead focus your mind on studying and pleasing your fiancé on his monthly courting visits. Now Anne, do you have any comments to make or questions to ask?”
Anne of course had a thousand questions to ask and a hundred comments to make but she had caught the tone and glance of her headmistress. Only one, ma’am,” she replied.
“And what is that, Anne?”
“May you replace my fleur de bouche and have Perkins escort me back to my quarters. I am suffering from fatigue caused by my journey.”
“Certainly Anne. Goodbye.”
1 For those who wish to compare this with someone in our world, I believe that Sabrina Sabrok has similar sized breasts. She however, wanted to have them.
2 These terms can be translated into ‘monitor’ and ‘computer’ in our world although there are differences between our concepts and Anne’s.
Life returned to its usual monotony of intense restriction and lessons for Anne but things were not quite the same now that she was engaged. For starters the large ivory phallus in his anus reminded her of new status daily but also there was the prospect of monthly ‘courting’ visits from her future husband. The first of these came rather quicker than Anne had anticipated – time flew by at Miss Garner’s sometimes – but she certainly remembered it for a long time afterwards. As with any special event, she was excused from lessons, laced tighter than usual and dressed sumptuously, this time in a grand ‘walking’ dress in forest green, (that permitted virtually no walking whatsoever). The Duke of Norwich arrived at one as expected and met her in the sitting room where he kissed her on the cheek, (causing Anne to blush in a most embarrassing fashion!), before helping her up by the waist and taking her for a tour of the garden. Whilst she struggled along, her breasts heaving nine to the dozen with the exertion of exercise, he chattered to her, talking of the wedding preparations and his hopes for the future. She learnt that they were to be married in London, in no less a temple than Westminster Abbey and following that the Reception Banquet and Ball – and the wedding night! – would be in the prestigious Cumberland Hotel. When they got to the end of the garden however, where there is a white bench surrounded by a trellis of flowers, her fiancé leant over her and whispered in her ear.
“Anne, I love you very much.”
Anne did not reply of course. She could not with an enormous red fleur de bouche lodged in her mouth.
“Do you love me?”
Did she love him? She looked at her fiancé. He was certainly a man that a girl could love but as of yet, she did not love him. Still, could was a start. She nodded slightly as her high collar permitted naught more.
“My love, your waist excites me, it causes an unquenchable fire in my loins and a thirst in my throat. Oh how I desire to kiss your ruby red lips!”
It was at that moment that Anne realised that the duke was no poet. She felt his hands encircle her waist.
“I want it tighter and smaller. I want to lace you until you faint, my wasp-waisted angel!”
No, he was definitely no poet! And the thought of being laced even tighter, well!
“My darling does the ivory prick in your bottom fill you? Does it make you dream of times to come. When I think of you with me inside you…”
Well, it did fill her, but as for the times to come…
“…I cannot contain myself, but look here my dove, here is a secret that I shall share with you, our special love secret.”
Anne looked. He pulled from his pocket a small silver pocket watch. Or at least, that is what it looked like. However, when he flicked it open, she was surprised to find no clock, but instead a small switch.
“Do you know what this is, Anne?”
She shook her head.
“It is a reminder for you that I am thinking of you and missing you dearly and waiting for the time when we can be together as only a man and wife can,” he told her. Then he flicked the switch and to her hsock the ivory phallus deep inside her began to vibrate causing peculiar, yet pleasurable, sensations. She gasped loudly.
“Ssssh, my love, not so loud!” he chastised. “No one must know. Whenever I think of you I shall turn it on. It stays on for ten minutes, just about for you to… appreciate my devotion…”
Ten minutes of that! Already Anne was feeling quite hot under her high collar. Ten minutes of such sensations when she could be eating, studying, whatever! It would be a trial indeed, though not necessarily a terrible one.
“My angel, I must go, but remember, I count the days, and in a certain way I shall be with you every night and day!”
He stood up, kissed her on the cheek and then left her, red in the face and breasts heaving on the bench until Perkins came to collect her several minutes later.
“Girls, it is imperative, now that you are all engaged to be wed and become proper Ladies of Leisure, that I breach the difficult subject of Ladies Companions, for I expect that during your lives ninety per cent of you will have some experience with them and thus I believe that it is important to view them in the correct light.”
Anne was interested in Miss Garner’s words as she had never heard of these Ladies Companions before.
“Now, before I start, can I just make a count? Nod to me girls, if your mother has a Lady Companion.”
Anne looked around and noted that most of the girls in the room were nodding.
“As I expected. Now girls, please nod if this is a subject which distresses your mother and has been distressing you as you prepare for marriage.”
Again Anne looked about her and whilst a few of her companions had stopped nodding, most still were. This surprised her; after all, a Ladies Companion sounded quite a nice thing, not something to be scared of. She was eager to hear more.
“Indeed, it is as I feared. Now girls, I do hope that this lesson today will help to put most of those fears at rest, as well as explain to our two girls who have been brought up in foreign climes,” (and at this point she nodded to Anne and Oksana), “exactly what a Ladies Companion is and how we must deal with them. However, before we start may I state, state most plainly, that a Ladies Companion is not something to worry about. Is that clear girls?”
All the class nodded.
“Good. Now, what is a Ladies Companion? Well, the best way to describe one – and the official way – is a friend to a Lady of leisure. As we are all aware, Ladies of Leisure are privileged ladies and thus it is not appropriate for them to mix with any females on a personal level whom are not Ladies of Leisure themselves. However, that does present us with some problems, as Ladies of Leisure are few and far between and thus we can, at times, get lonely and in need of a sister in whom to confide our feelings. That is where Ladies Companions come in. These are girls whom our husbands or parents have educated to a certain degree – though not to the same high standards it must be stated – and who share our lifestyle and thus can empathise with our problems. They are however, much lower than us in the social order, being effectively somewhere between servants and mistresses, and are well aware of that difference in status. Therefore, you are superior to them and can order them about. Your servants on the other hand, cannot, unless the order comes from you. The only person who can supersede your authority with regards to Companions is your husband. Is that understood?”
“Excellent. Now all of that sounds good and nothing to fear, but of course, there is another side to Ladies Companions that is never – and I repeat never – discussed in polite company, but is present nonetheless, and it is this aspect to their role that causes so many Ladies of Leisure such distress. It is this that I shall discuss now and I shall do it by quoting from this book entitled ‘A Ladies Companion’ by one Melissa Lockhart who was the companion of the Duchess of Sutherland some fifty or so years ago. Please listen girls, for there is much that you can learn from it.
“ ‘I was born, dear reader, in a cottage in a small village in Staffordshire to a humble peasant farmhand and his wife. My childhood was idyllic, playing in the fields and helping my mother with the chores. We were not rich and indeed at times went short of food for there were eight of us children, but we were happy. All of that changed however, when one afternoon the Duke of Sutherland came riding through the village with some companions and we villagers stood by the roadside to bow, curtsey and marvel at that great man. I was about fourteen at the time and regarded as pretty in the village and when he saw me, he stopped and asked of my name. I gave it, proud that such a great man had deigned to notice me. Following this, he rode off and I thought no more of it until a week later my father announced to me that great luck had befallen me and that I had been offered a position in the great house at Trentham by no less a personage than the Duke himself who had been impressed by my bearing and intelligence when he had ridden through our village.
So it was that a trunk was bought and packed with my few belongings and I rode off to Trentham Hall on the back of a farm cart full of excitement as to what my new life might hold. Well, upon arrival I was introduced to the Housekeeper and placed to work at the Master’s Table serving his evening meal. This was not an easy job as you might imagine and much had to be learnt before I could commence my work, for not only must I know how to do the work, but also my bearing and diction as worked on, but everyone treated me kindly and indeed with a certain respect as if I were a lady myself. Once I began, I do confess that I made a few minor mistakes, but the Duke never once blamed me and instead I excelled so well that it was announced after only a month in the post that I was to be promoted to the position of ladies maid to no other personage than the Duchess herself.
Again though, this was a job that required much training, not only in actions but also in appearance. Her Ladyship decreed that all her servants be laced to no more than twenty inches and so I had to undergo some waist training as well as get used to the high heels of three inches that were also standard with the job. However, once these had been mastered, I began in my new role.
Seeing to the Duchess was much harder than serving at the table, (though the pay was five times the amount), as being a Lady of Leisure she could do virtually nothing herself, and furthermore, I had virtually no social interaction with her, (as Ladies of Leisure are no supposed to converse with servants), unlike with his Lordship who often used to chat with me. On top of this, she did not seem to appreciate my presence which I supposed was due to my inexperience and so I endeavoured to win her over by performing the very best that I could.
Every morning I woke her, bathed her and toileted her. It was strange and not pleasant wiping the bottom of a grand lady, but she seemed to accept with an air of indifference. Worse things were to come though, for I would also administer her enemas and help lace her to a frightening size of but fourteen inches, and then bind her arms in the incredibly painful-looking reverse-prayer position, so that they sat elegantly above her enormous bustle. I also fed her three meals a day and helped her sit and stand. To be fair, despite her coldness to me and her great status, I actually pitied the Duchess considerably, for she was a sorry soul indeed, sitting bored most days, unable even to wipe her own nose or brush a tear from her eye and having no one to talk with save her husband who was often in London or out on business or hunting. Little did I know however, what was in store.
Things changed all of a sudden when, after about four months in the post, her Ladyship got ill and the doctor was called. He was a middle-aged and quite effeminate man who hardly noticed me as he diagnosed her malady as the flue and recommended several months in the Italian sunshine. That was that and the following Monday her Ladyship left with another maid to keep her company, and I was at a loose end or so I thought. Then, on the Thursday, I was called into the Duke’s study and to my astonishment, the doctor was there and he explained, without hardly looking at me, that I had captured his heart when he had attended to Her Ladyship and that he had inquired of His Lordship who had informed him that I was single, and therefore I had come to ask my hand in marriage!
Well, what could I do? I told them of course that my father must have the final say in anything, but His Lordship assured me that he had already ridden over and asked and that my father was delighted, especially since the doctor was offering a sum of £20,000 to support my family, a sum that His Lordship had generously agreed to double. Well, it all seemed a fait accompli and whilst I felt nothing for this doctor, I knew that I had to accept for the sake of my brothers and sisters. However, I did point out that despite the generous offers of both the duke and the doctor, my parents relied on the wages that I sent home and I feared that if I were married I would be unable to work and support them monthly. To my surprise though, His Lordship said that he understood this entirely and that he and the doctor had talked the matter over and that whilst it was not usual for a doctor’s wife to go out to work, I was a special case and thus I would be allowed to continue to work at the hall. However, in light of my new status as the wife of a professional man, continuing as a maid would be unsuitable and so it was decided that I would become the Companion of Her Ladyship, a position that did need to be filled as the doctor had decreed that one of the causes of Her Ladyship’s ill-health was a lack of refined conversation. However, to fulfil that role I would require some training and so the doctor had agreed that I be sent away to a training school for six months and that he put off the wedding until I had completed my studies. And so it was that I agreed, gave my future spouse a peck on the cheek and then packed my bags and went off to study.
My studies were at an institution named Miss Grice’s Academy for Ladies Companions and they were far from pleasant. Much time was spent getting used to the clothing that I now had to wear which was similar to that of Her Ladyship only much plainer of course. I must confess that I found it hard to walk in ballet heels and move with my arms bound and I detested the insertion of a fleur de bouche in my mouth and the tightening of my stays to an excruciating fifteen inches, (they had to be tight, but not to eclipse those of my mistress). However, complete them I did and then I returned home to marry my husband in a quiet ceremony in the parish church attended only by my parents, His Lordship and the priest. Even then though, I do confess to you now that I had no inkling of the true nature of their scheming.
All was revealed however, that night, the very night that should be the happiest of a woman’s life. I was taken to my chamber and undressed by my maid so that my husband could receive me. Within an hour he arrived, but too my surprise seemed devoid of either passion and happiness. I tried to excite him but nothing worked and he just sat miserably on the end of the bed. Misunderstanding, I tried to comfort him, but then it was he who burst into tears and explained all. “My dear wife, for that is what I must call you now, I am sorry, so sorry, but you have been cruelly deceived and I am a part in it. You seem a nice girl and I wish that I could love you as a husband should, but alas, it cannot be, for I never have loved you or found you attractive, though that is not your fault. I am a sorry thing indeed you see, for my inclinations lie not with women but with men and I am already married – in my heart – to the butler, Mr. Greaves. It is not I that has had my heart captured by your beauty and grace, Melissa, but instead the Duke, a fine man, but alas also a married one. When he first saw you as a girl, you enraptured him and all of this, your job as a maid, then a ladies maid, now as a Companion and my wife are all just a ploy so that he can be with you respectably in the eyes of the world. You are destined to be married, Melissa, but not lawfully and not to me but him. I do like you and wish to be freinds with you, but naught more can we ever be. So please, forgive me and lie back, for within a quarter hour His Lordship will be hear and your duty is to pleasure him as you had imagined you would me. Goodnight and forgive me, Melissa.”
And so it was, that within the quarter hour His Lordship came and used me. Then my life as a Companion began and I understood why Her Ladyship had always treated me coldly. When she returned from Italy daily we sat, be it in the house or the garden, restrained and more often than not, muted, two dolls for him to play with. Sometimes she would be upended and used, other times I, often both of us at the same time, particularly when he had his friend, Charles Stanley around. She hated me as I was taking what was hers, yet I never asked for it and never wished to hurt her. Mind you, I will confess to enjoying it at times, but that is by the by, immorality should never be enjoyed and I ask the Lord daily to expel such devilish notions from my mind…’”
Miss Garner stopped and looked around the room. “I shall cease reading at that point, for what is relevant to us has been told and the remainder is more an exploration of Mrs. Lockhart’s intense, yet somewhat dulling, religious beliefs. What matters to us however, is as follows. Firstly, men get bored of their ladies after a while and look elsewhere. Secondly, they generally seek solace in a Ladies Companion whom you have to live with daily, almost as a second wife. Thirdly, Ladies Companions rarely choose to be such.
That men seek alternative partners is not something that you can do anything about so do not try to. That they seek solace in Ladies Companions is also not something that you can change. You can however, do something about your relationship with these unfortunate – and yes, I must emphasise that, unfortunate – individuals. In my opinion, the Duchess of Sutherland acted wrongly in the case of Melissa Lockhart. She shunned her from the word go and made both her life and that of the companion, a misery. My advice to you girls, is to embrace these Companions and treat them as companions instead. They cannot help their predicament but you can use them as friends and believe me, a friend is something that you often need as a Lady of Leisure. Indeed, treating them as such can even help your lot in other ways. What if your husband prefers his new-found lover and if she complains of your treatment to her, do you think that he will treat you kindly for it? No, not indeed, he will torture you in ways that only a husband can. Yes, you are superior to these girls, and that must never be forgotten, but they hold power too and you cannot give them cause to use it.
And besides, it is not all so negative and political. Have you not noticed that I have encouraged you all to have a friend and to be intimate with that friend whilst here at this school? Well, that was done for a special reason, for intimacy between two women can be an amazing thing, for we women understand each other’s bodies better than a man ever can, and besides, men like to watch two beautiful women enjoying each other’s company. So, my advice is to be friendly and love your Companion from the moment that you meet her. Pity her a little, make her know who is boss too, but also act as an older sister, (for invariably they are much younger than you are), and teach her, teach her pleasure and satisfaction, for any gift that you give, you shall receive a thousand fold, I promise. Now girls, that is all for today, you may retire to your rooms with your special friends where your maids will undress you and you may think of practicing some of the things that I have talked to you about today. Class dismissed!”
And dismissed it indeed was, with Anne glancing at Clare Hawkins and winking. British society truly was quite different under the surface that she had ever expected. But oh, if she could have a Companion such as Clare, then truly life could be quite enjoyable, quite enjoyable indeed…