Launcelot William Penn writes…
I am pleased to announce that Lord Joseph Farnsworth, the 14th Viscount Comely, our very generous Amberleigh patron, has encouraged and succeeded in gaining the company of a fleet of sailors & theatre performers, the odd author, inventor and optical magician to spend a season within our village assembly. Thereby travelling onward a month long with a tour of our fair county of Gloucestershire, thereafter.
The time & venue is to be this very season at the Rose and Crown Inn Assembly rooms! A special service provided for our enjoyment by the proprietors of The Rose & Crown Inn, Mr Bryan and Mrs Leandrea Wallis.
You shall be highly entertained with the nuances and tonal inclinations of the operatic, Miss Nancy Storace, once again right here in our county! A particular friend of Lady Elizabeth Marlowe. Sink Me! I had to get it off me chest. It is rumoured this fine songbird has been ‘noticed’ by the great Joseph II of Vienna for his own Opera Company, and shall be leaving our shores soon to take up a residence. Me thinks, our connexions to the lady, and a recent visit from the Count and Countess of that fair city, may have something to do with this progression of career opportunity, purely speculation, purely speculation. We are fortunate indeed.
My word, this era of ours is afloat with new discoveries, inventions and thematical demonstrations and theoretical thesis on the most foxing officious subjects! Odds Fish! One is oft surprised by the sophistic intelligence that come up with such perspicacious notions & clever devices!
Take the world of the optical medic for example. We are fortunate to have three doctors of optical science to share their new found knowledge with us.
British physician John Ayrton Paris will start us off, I hear tell, with a demonstration lecture on a fascinating device, that when spun mysteriously creates an optical illusion! Called a ‘Thaumatrope’ it helps the doctor define the state of the view of a patients eyesight, whereby how a picture is refracted within his eye orb. So intriguing in construction and execution that even a child can work it, it is said. But do not dismiss this invention as a mere trifle, it shall become a most prized toy indeed, as a boxed set of 12 hand coloured/engraved discs will be selling for a mere 150 pounds. Egad!
On a more serious level of intrigue, via the famed Marylebone street shop, we have Mr. James Simons of London, who will be providing us with, a detailed workings of the latest inventions of Philosophical, Mathmatical and Optical inventions, we have it on good authority. Mr Simons will impart the findings of an up and coming famed French Scientist colleague, on the wave theory of light, after explaining to us, Huygens 1678 “Treatise on Light” from whom which is the source of all this curiosity in light refraction’s and optical fascinations. If you have the temerity to sit through the 3 hour lecture, you will find yourself well versed in the workings of the eye. I have been assured a particularly exemplary coffee shall be provided at table, awaiting the patrons to this event.
In addition, Mr Simons will be providing a multitude of optical tools for your perusal situated at the Great Hall.
Still in this optical field, we can look forward to a triple delight. A most informed lecture on Sir Isaac Newton, by the leading Scottish scientist & philosopher, Reverend David Brewster. The good Rev’d prides his current work due to the studies of his predecessor. The good Reverend will in addition, be the staying guest of our own Reverend Thomas, and will conduct a special Scottish sermon at church that Sunday at St. Hildegards, here in Amberleigh. This shall certainly not be missed! Thirdly later in the week, Mr Brewster shall reveal the marvels of his latest invention of the magical “kaleidoscope” by a means which has its direct link to our beloved Greek forebears – quite ala mode currently, whom in which provided the key to how to capture ‘beauty’ within a wee telescope! We lucky audience may have the pleasure of experiencing this incredible discovery in person, when we can peer into the blessed contraption, with a tail of eager beavers a mile long behind thee, in the Manor’s Great Hall. By Jove! I shall find it hard to resist this remarkable feat of science, me self.
For those of us with cousins in the Americas, and yes, for the ladies ~ he is in want of a wife, we have the auspicious presence of the young devilishly handsome Naval officer, Lord Thomas Wyndlecombe 5thEarl of Yewbridge. In support of his grace, we have on hand, the famed botanist, Sir Joseph Banks, from the good ship Endeavour. Guests of our own celebrated Admiral Endicott, recently returned to us from such travels that took him so far abroad. A six months to get there, By Jove. Between this trio of fine naval officers we can expect to be entertained with champion tales of battle and politics, and the magnificent flora in vast foreign lands, with chivalrous wit and wisdom dappled aboard His Majesty’s vessels; And a subtle nudge to encourage our youth, as to why our young men ought consider a vocation upon the high seas, in the British Navy. Due to the aura of such dashing adventures, Mrs Leandrea Wallis, will naturally have on hand, in her keeping, a good supply of smelling salts. (sic)
To supplement the curiosity of the younger ladies and gentlefolk, who may be overawed with the high brow facts & findings of the great scientists, physicians and politicians.
We have the wonders of the Astley Performers who have set up outside the Great Hall at Comely Park, who will delight their audience daily with spellbinding plate spinning and juggling with balls and batons, magical acts of great magnificence and clever tricks with the common deck of cards! Odds Fish?!
We are honoured to have the presence of England’s Merry Widow gracing our neighbourhood for a one week only! Miss Sarah Sidons, in person! This fine actress will be performing some of her longer stanzas through the character ‘Isabella’ from Thomas Selbournes’ “The Fatal Marriage” (that it has only recently whispered to be unveiled with “a season of Garrick’ booked in Drury Lane, London, later in the year). We are most blessed indeed to have a preview, with such illustrious connexions of our own Lady Caroline’s Thespian links! Sink Me!
And finally …
‘Some of us’ shall be entertained with a demonstration and a talk with a complimentary morning tea in the fine sitting room at the R&C Inn, on the brewing and making of cosmetics for the ladies at home – by our very own Mrs Henrietta Cole. Lately from London, Mrs Cole has come to live within our midst, and is greatly enjoying the cleaner air of our fair country paradise, of Amberleigh. Her concoctions are gaining popularity with our villagers, and it was put forth to her by Lady Caroline Farnsworth, to explain more fully, how to create the marvels of outer beauty to her sisters in kind. Mrs Cole asks, may she have the pleasure of your company. This is a “Ladies Only” lecture, sorry gentlemen!
And so on that note, I shall officially open the doors to the Assembly season at the Rose and Crown Inn, for 1782-3.