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Re[2]: A lurker's tale

     Elayne FitzJames warms by the fire, and asks some questions:
Thank you most gracious lady. The chill HAS gone straight through to my 
bones today! I do hope spring comes soon!
*sip*  Ahh...
I have heard the recent discussion regarding the pronounciation of your 
name, Countess. However, my difficulty is determining how to address you.... 
<snip> I often wish gentles wore labels on their clothing to help me 
recognize their rank. I am not at all skilled in the game yet.
     The current fashion is to address Dukes and Duchesses as "Your Grace;" 
     and Counts, Earls, Jarls, Grafins, (etc.) and their female 
     counterparts as "Your Excellency."  I follow this fashion of honor 
     when speaking of or to others.  It however, causes me fits of giggles 
     when applied to me.  I've been adequate at many things, damn good at a 
     few, but "Excellent" at none.  
     If you feel moved to formality, "My Lady Countess" is about all I can 
     stand with a straight face.  "Countess Ianthe" is O.K. for everyday 
     wear.  The majority of the time, (like now - sitting around a fire, 
     passing refreshment around) just my name is fine.  If you're Henry, 
     "Hay-Yoo" is acceptable.  Don Fernando calls me other things, but 
     these are situational and range from "Pearl of My Heart" to 
     "Moose-Cow".  I would not suggest emulating his example.  (He himself 
     has always preferred the simpler "Don" to either "Count," or "Sir".)
     Although many wear tokens of their accomplishments, I cannot oblige 
     you with a label.  Being of the less well-landed sort, with my ancient 
     estates just barely able to support themselves, I have had nothing to 
     spare to spend on coronets or fripperies that I have not stitched 
     myself.  To recognize me, look for a tallish lady, dark haired, 
     wearing black (a frugal color) wistfully watching the lists, and 
     almost always embroidering.
I am afraid that I did not bring any embroidery with me on this jaunt, 
since the needle does not usually suit me. So I wonder if anyone might like 
to have their portrait sketched? I have brought charcoal and paper and can 
render fairly.
     By all means!  I would point out that Sir Shinawassee has a certain 
     brooding depth about him as he sits over there sipping his draft.  If 
     you wish to do a full figure sketch, Henry's ankles deserve 
     immortality (he's over there, leaning against the wall trying to look 
     Authoritative, as befits a Source).
     -Ianthe                                    kim.salazar@em.doe.gov
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