I hope this letter finds you well and not, I beg you, in too great a fury with me. Please first let me offer you the sweetest and most sincere apologies for failing to appear at your aunt’s rout party, at Corbett’s ball, at Almack’s, and at the multitude of other events where I promised that I would save you from the horrors of tedium.
To be frank, I am quite certain that you would find yourself tolerably entertained by the world whether or not I had found it worth the bother to be born, but I really am most sorry, which believe me is the only reason I am writing at all. I have been obliged to frank this all the way from Paris and if it was just a matter of tipping you off to my current whereabouts I know d___ well you would extracted that intelligence from the twins long before this letter reached you.
If however they have been too indisposed to give you the details, as they usually are, as you may have guessed I have been packed off on another hunt for another of Father’s natural children. Can you conceive of it, my dear? Another one!!! Mother, upon hearing the news from your humble servant, exclaimed some rather choice but unfortunately unrepeatable things, the gist of which was “that the old devil should learn that you (by ‘you’ she means me, of course) have more pressing matters to attend to than his indiscretions”. I believe I replied to her that she could be somewhat more understanding – after all, all her natural children were born in her bed and consequently were far easier to keep track of - whereupon she hit me with her fan.
So now I am also in her bad graces, which is admittedly a relief as she has been talking about marriage again.
I expect to remain in Paris for some time – Father’s instructions were more bewildering than usual. The twins have already commanded me to report back to them with news of all the very latest modes (as has my dearest Mother, her displeasure with me not extending to such important matters, bless her) so if you would have me do the same for you I would be most glad to serve.
P.S. – If you have any need of any of my more unusual aid, which is to say in your case my usual aid, Ralph has been instructed to act in my stead. He is a good, faithful soul, and deserves to be a Sotcourt even less than I do.