Passion's Song (A Georgian Historical Romance)
Walters could call it
inferior. He simply refused to believe I had written
it.”
    “ So, find another
teacher.”
    “ But who? I don’t know of anyone
else.”
    “ John Faircourt,” Julia
said.
    “ I doubt he’d take me on as a
serious student.”
    John Faircourt had no small reputation as a
composer, and he was said to be highly discriminating about whom he
chose to study with him.
    “ I think I might have some
influence with him,” Julia said. “My father was his patron, you
know.”
    “ If I was a man, Mr. Walters would
not have hesitated to work with me.”
    “ I’m sure Mr. Faircourt will have
no such hesitation. Do promise me you’ll go to him. I’ll even write
you a letter of introduction.”
     
    When Isobel and Bridget arrived at John Faircourt’s
house, Isobel’s mouth was dry and she swallowed nervously before
knocking. What would she do if he refused to accept her? He was,
after all, one of London’s most well known musicians. “Is Mr.
Faircourt at home?” she asked the servant who opened the door.
    “ Who shall I say is
calling?”
    “ Miss Isobel St. James. I’ve a
letter of introduction.” She presented Julia’s letter.
    She did not have to wait long before the servant
came back to usher her into Mr. Faircourt’s drawing room. He rose
when she came in and, smiling warmly, bent over her hand.
    “ So, you desire to continue your
music lessons with me, do you, Miss St. James?” He held Julia’s
letter in his other hand. He was about fifty years of age and was
not a particularly tall man. His prodigious stomach was proof he
enjoyed his roast beef and pudding to the utmost. He wore gray
breeches, none too loose at that, and a gold-embroidered waistcoat
of the same color. His shirt was a fine silk, and frothy point lace
fairly dripped from his cuffs and cravat. His receding hair was
worn long and was excessively pomaded and curled, Isobel
thought.
    “ Yes, Mr. Faircourt, I
do.”
    “ Tell me, Miss St. James, have you
a favorite musician?” He refolded Julia’s letter and slipped it
into his pocket. “Is there someone you wish to style yourself
after?”
    Isobel could not help suspecting that he was
humoring her and it rankled her. “I wish to style myself after no
one but myself, Mr. Faircourt. But, if I may say so, I think there
is a great deal for me to learn from you.” Faircourt chuckled at
that. “I want to be a composer,” she rushed on, “not merely a
fortepiano player. I may never be as great as Wolfgang Mozart, but
I feel I have something.”
    “ So, you think Herr Mozart is
great, do you?”
    “ I believe he is a genius, Mr.
Faircourt,” she said fervently.
    “ I do not share your enthusiasm
for the Austrians.” He looked down his nose at her and raised his
eyebrows. “However, I suppose my students are entitled to an
opinion or two of their own.”
    “ Would you care to hear me
play?”
    “ Oh, I don’t think that will be
necessary, Miss St. James. Lady Julia’s recommendation is quite
enough for me.”
    “ But, what if I have no
talent?”
    “ If the Lady Julia says you have
talent, then it is so!”
    Isobel must have looked surprised, because he
coughed and said, “Well, perhaps you might play something, if only
to prove your patroness right.” He indicated the fortepiano with
one hand.
    She sat down, hands poised over the keys, looking at
him expectantly.
    “ Anything you like, Miss St.
James,” he said with a little shrug of his shoulders. She chose
Mozart’s C- minor sonata for fortepiano, and when she finished, he
cleared his throat. “I think that is adequate. I should, of course,
be most pleased to have you as a pupil.”
    “ Thank you, Mr. Faircourt, I am
honored, indeed!” Isobel smiled triumphantly.
    “ Though Lady Julia intimated in
her letter you may not be able to devote all your energies to
music, I should be happy to help you when you may come.”
    “ Yes, I’m afraid my father
heartily disapproves of my musical inclination,”

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