I've been working hard at assuming Court polish, but the more I learn about what really goes on behind the pretty voices and waving fans and graceful bows, the more I comprehend that what is really said matters little, so long as the manner in which it is said pleases. I understand it, but I don't like it. Were I truly influential, then I would halt this foolishness that decrees that in Court one cannot be sick; that to admit you are sick is really to admit to political or social or romantic defeat; that to admit to any emotions usually means one really feels the opposite. It is a terrible kind of falsehood that people can only claim feelings as a kind of social weapon.
It would have been funny if I had been an observer and not a participant, an idea that gave me a disconcerting insight into gossip. As I walked beside the silent Tamara, I realized that despite how entertaining certain stories were, at the bottom of every item of gossip there was someone getting hurt.