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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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Michaelangelo

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naxhi24

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The First Minister dies during a mysterious house fire. Although some people asked what had happened to the First Minister, most didn't care because he didn't really do anything at all.

*A police investigator finds coins dating from 8th century Afghanistan in the rubble after the fire. He does not know why these coins are here, but he pockets them anyway*
 

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ML8991

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Early Tremors
Pedro was typically a calm man, even with his heavy workload. An easy, but confident, step was a memory most people could recall with ease if they were enquired about the up and coming crown favourite. Then it was with confusion that he sat at ease at his desk when suddenly his hand jittered rather dramatically across the fine draft of a letter he had planned to send, ruining his fine script in an instant. He looked at his hand as he, with as much control as he could muster, set down his fountain pen, musing with increasing worry as the hand continued to jitter, indicating this was something beyond simple fatigue.

Soon the hand stabilised, but he did quickly don both jacket and hat, as he briskly walked out of his office, and into the busy streets outside. Working in this city had it's advantages, and due to the Prince Duke's high respectability, as well as status, the lower level masses quickly parted from his way, he was quick to find the establishment he was looking for, a place he hoped he wouldn't have needed to visit for another decade at least yet.

But in he went anyhow, and quickly mused the selection. Although the family had an array of canes before 1800, a family estate fire, some say through the dangerous acts that his relatives achieved that century, quickly removed most traces of family heirlooms, as well as a great deal of the family's wealth, with only a few hard wearing, such as the Agincourt sword, being recovered from the husk of the manor. And so he looked. It was hard to see in the dark light of the shop, especially with the brightness of the day adding further contrast to the environment inside. But he found what he desired eventually. A fine ebony piece with a delicately engraved silver cap, which seemed to come in two parts. Pedro pressed down on the inner ring, offset by a brilliant cut emerald, which sparkled even in the dim light, and a fine, steel, stiletto popped clean out, the cap piece acting as a fine handle, for such a fine blade.

He replaced the concealed blade, and tried his weight on the cane, it supported him well, he quickly bought the piece, and quickly returned to his work, it would be something amiss if one so young could support such a cane, something usually reserved for those near half again his age, but the concern of Pedro about his tremors forced his hand, or rather his preconceptions, that this was strictly necessary. But due to his embarrassment from such an event, Pedro hid his impediment with as much grace and ease as many seemed so easy to recall when meeting the young favourite.

((a reasonable IC, basically Pedro is developing Parkinson's at a young age, but as it is low key for now, he is unaware of his condition- he does show concern and considerable foresight, with his buying of the cane))

 

Michaelangelo

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Fernando Armando Hernando Rolando Fernández and his assistant walked around the World's Fair in Barcelona. The many stalls and exhibitions were filled with wonders. The innovations of fellow Europeans was pleasing to see, although Fernando found the non-European ones a little less satisfactory. Most of them displayed examples of their foreign debauchery and barbarous ways. It was an insult to the West to even view some of these things. Their one redeeming quality was their food, at least. At one stall, Fernando had bought some dates that were quite tasty. As they passed by the Japanese booth, Fernando offered one to his assistant. "Would you like a date?"

Before his assistant could respond, a swarm of Asian men surrounded them. Fernando was absolutely baffled by their sudden appearance.

"Senpai?"

"Senpai."

"Senpai!"

Fernando turned to his assistant. "What in the blazes are these Orientals talking about?"

"I don't know, sir," the assistant responded. "I don't speak Chinese."

The Asian men seemed to be looking for something, or someone. One seemed very interested in the date in Fernando's hand. Perplexed by their behaviour, he held up the date and said, "Are you looking for a date?"

"Senpai?"

"Senpai."

"Senpai!"

The one man fascinated by the date moved closer, too close for Fernando's comfort. The capitalist smacked the man in the side with his cane. "Get away from me, you savages!"

At his frightful yelling, the Asians bowed their heads in apology and withdrew back to their stall. Fernando and his assistant quickly left before they were swarmed again. Once they were far away, Fernando said, "What was that all about?"

Fernando's assistant shrugged. "Who knows. I guess they just really wanted a date."
 
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Firehound15

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The Protection of the Rule of Law Bill: No
TAtEtPEoHMCMWiRtTWWStBH: No


"Señor Presidente,

"I beseech of this Assembly, could we stop with petty infighting and instead pursue the greater end of promoting the well-being of those to whom we owe this office? Must we solely present bills written with the primary intent of damaging other parties? Certainly, I have much more faith for His Majesty in a time when this body does not do its proper duties, so I must question, in the name of providing as effective a counsel as possible, whether there should be any partisan division in this chamber whatsoever, and why we can not, instead, advise for His Majesty to run elections devoid of petty partisanship, and rather leave it to his subjects to select the most qualified, most determined, and most appropriate individuals to serve upon these benches."
 

Keinwyn

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((Private))

Lolo had been in a foul mood since arriving in the mosquito infested, God forsaken inferno of a country that was the Spanish Niger. His black humour had not been improved by butchering the native excuse for armies in a monotonous chain of engagements. Nor by brutally suppressing any hint of resistance in the aftermath. Nor even by securing several choice parcels of land for himself and his associates to turn into prime plantations.

Consequently, it came as some surprise that his spirits could be lifted by something so trivial, so unassuming, so natural. Indeed, it felt as though all the weight of the past months discontent was slipping away and leaving him light enough to soar into the air. Lolo found himself grinning unabashedly as he once again slammed his swagger stick into his victim's face. This wasn’t some inferior negro but a proper man; someone from whose existence he could derive a thrill from obliterating. He could not even remember what exactly this individual had done to provoke his ire.

‘Sir, I think he’s dead.’ Sanchez, Lolo’s servant caustically remarked some time later.

___​

They disposed of the body in the most obvious way;

‘He lay with a woman, father.’

The priest looked confused. ‘He what? But how…’

‘He killed himself out of remorse, father.’

The priest looked skeptically at the bloodied mess of splintered bone that had once been the man’s face. ‘He-’

‘Killed himself.’ Growled Sanchez.

‘Yes.’ The priest looked nervous.

‘So he’s a suicide. Can’t bury him in holy ground, now can we?’

___​

Several days later Lolo happily returned to Spain.
 
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naxhi24

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The bills were put up to vote in the Audience.

The Protection of the Rule of Law Bill passes with 153 yes votes, 116 no votes, and 131 abstentions.

The Motion to Ensure the Proper Execution of His Most Catholic Majesty's Will in Regards to Those Whom Would Seek to Betray Him fails with 34 yes votes, 260 no votes, and 106 abstentions

The first motion shall be sent to the State Council for further debate.
 

naxhi24

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The State Council has passed the motion, and now the motion sits before the King.
 
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PARTIDO AUTONOMISTA



{Free Trade/Interventionism/Anti-Military/Secularism/Full Citizenship}

Ideology:
Regionalism, Monarchism, Liberal Conservatism, Mutualism, Proto-Libertarianism

Formed out of the loose arrangements of the Movimiento Rojo, the Partido Autonomista was the culmination of Cesc Roma's gradual takeover of his uncle's political movement, which had moved the party away from the general apolitical positions of Eloi Roma, and towards the Proudhonian economics of the Duke of Menorca's mutualist explorations. As a result, when he made the decision to officially merge the most successful regional associations of Los Rojos, the Duke found himself overseeing the establishment of a political party which was a syncretic mixture of ideologies.

The most significant element of Las Autonomistas was that the new organization had a much more formal and rigid hierarchy and campaigning mechanism, although their pursuit of regionalism was not significantly dulled by this merger, and the Partido Autonomista continued to grant local chapters of the party a great deal of autonomy, particularly in regard to campaigning, which was still a decentralized process, although the new political infrastructure was intended to assist in achieving more widespread electoral successes.
 
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ML8991

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The State Council has passed the motion, and now the motion sits before the King.

((Nax, passing it to the crown is part of the role of the President of the State Council/Secretary to the State Council, so don't jump our roles))
 
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Great things were in motion.

Ever since she established the college, finding new people to support Maria's ideas had been easier and easier. They were still quite small, but their numbers were growing at steady rate. It was time to take the next step.

She needed to get the word out, to establish her movement in the public mind.
Maria Blanco Alvarez was going to make a newspaper.
 

Marschalk

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((Audience - Private))

We remind the Audience that it is up not to this body to interfere with state appointments and executive decisions which are solely Our prerogative. Attempting to teach Us what ministers we should entrust with what objectives, in what way Our state departments should be divided and trying to set obscure terms, ranging to seventy-five years, for execution of this plan, is not something that befits this body. For this reason We would not accept such motion. If any subject sees injustices within Our courts, he can report them to Us - but it is for Us and only for Us to judge this information and choose appropriate remedies and methods if necessary. We would review the state of Our courts per a governmental committee and see what can be done to better their condition if there are problems - but it is up to Us and not the Audience. We also note that some members of this body have seen it appropriate for themselves to discuss such matters as nature of Our power and express audacious statements regarding it. We warn that such behavior could led only to Our severe displeasure.

At the same time We are sad to announce that the Duke of Escalona, after decades of loyal service to the Crown, has passed away. As it befits his office, the Second Secretary of State would execute the duties of the acting head of government until the end of next elections.
 
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Open Lettet to His Most Catholic Majesty,

LS.

The fact that HMCM's office did not recognize the fact that there are injustices in the Royal Judiciary does raise fears that His Most Catholic Majesty may not know the extend to which these injustices have been reported and brought in direct connection with the Interior Secretariat and Interior Secretary. It was therefore that the Royal Audiencia did advise and will advise again that serious and fundamental action is undertaken in the Judiciary and the Cabinet to guarentee the Rule of Law, which has been slighted many a time in past years.

The Representatives of the People supportive of this much needed motion will join and listen to their constituents, who are rightfully saddened by the inaction of HMCM Office in light of the existing evidence.

Yours sincerely,

Francisco de Valle,
Member of the Royal Assembly,
Leader of the People's Party
 

Riccardo93

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((Private: First Secretariat Officials, His Majesty))

Regarding the Abuses of the Royal Audience and the Laxity of the State Council in Previous Matters

It can be safely stated that the Royal Audience has, since its inception, overstepped its legal bounds numerous times; the most recent motion sired from that body is wholly indicative of that point. In the estimation of the acting First Secretary, however, the blame does not solely lie with the Audience, fount for such thoughts and actions though it may be; a great, though certainly lesser, share of the blame can be placed upon the State Council, which itself has become a body without purpose, presence, or power, despite its de jure status as the immediate superior of the Audience.

It is therefore deemed both advisable and indeed necessary for the upper body to be immediately remodelled to more effectively serve its intended purpose within the system, and provide a meaningful counter-balance to the Audience. To accomplish this, the Office of the First Secretary shall endeavour to resolve the various structural issues of the State Council, as well as enshrine its position as an effective body at the service of the Crown.

~ El Marques de Pontevedra

-

Regarding the Present Nature of the State Council

Having reviewed this eminent body and, having found its structure to have become both unnecessarily bloated and needlessly unpruned, the Office of the First Secretary proposes these general reforms.

The body, having in previous years ranged wildly in terms of its numbers and the stations of its members, shall now be composed – generally – of some thirty men of high birth, born into families of Marquis, Dukes, or Grandees of any station.

These men shall be appointed solely by the Crown, and no person or body can override the decisions of the Crown in such matters. These men shall also be thoroughly vetted by the Interior Secretariat and representatives of the First Secretary before assuming the post to ensure moral uprightness and absolute devotion to the Crown.

As before, members of His Majesty’s Government are ex officio members of the State Council. Other such exceptions to the general guideline set forth in the articles below may be taken at the discretion of His Majesty.


...

Should this be found acceptable to His Majesty, the restructuring of the body can begin with all deliberate haste.

~ El Marques de Pontevedra


((In effect, the State Council will be composed of ~30 noble men, ranging in viewpoints from conservative to reactionary, typically equal in representation, but occasionally veering 60/40 in either direction depending on appointments and deaths and the like)).



 

naxhi24

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News from the East: 1882-1885

The World’s Fair was winding down. The many vendors and national booths were packed up and shipped home. Barcelona would slowly return to normal, and the area used to host the World’s Fair once again became a simple part of the city. The lights and spectacles of the Fair would slowly fade away, until it was gone. Thousands of people had attended the world’s fair from all over the world. They came from Europe, the Americas, Asia, and the Middle East to share their culture and technological achievements, and Spain opened its doors to new fangles and new ideas. The people’s opinion on the World’s Fair was what Spain cared about the most, and that opinion was simply…

“It was okay I guess.”

Yes, after all that preparation, all the spectacles and comforts Spain provided to the visitors, and all the sights and sounds the varying nations brought to Spain, the general consensus of the fair was “average”. There were many factors that did contribute to the World’s Fair rating as “mediocre” or “plain”. The first factor was the lack of appearance by any major figures at the fair. The only person who spoke from the Spanish government was that of the Marquis of Ponteverda. Not even the King bothered to make an appearance at the World’s Fair being held in his country! Not a single government official besides the Marquis even bothered showing up to the fair. The Minister of Foreign Affairs was said to still be in Bilbao, not even bothering to consider going to Barcelona, the First Minister was too busy in his estate doing God knows what, no other government official bothered showing up! This angered many foreign dignitaries, who called it “rude” for the Head of Government and the Head of State to not even show up to the fair that they were hosting! “It would be like a Duke hosting a ball and not appearing at said ball to greet his guests” said one dignitary. Not to mention that the political hostilities of Spain crept its way into Barcelona as well. Outside the World’s Fair, socialist speakers stood and preached against the feeble democratic system Spain had. They weren't heard from again after they spoke, which led many to assume the government had taken care of them. These acts still left a bad taste in people’s mouth. “We came to the World’s Fair to enjoy ourselves, not listen to activists!” said one visitor. With these in mind, it came to no surprise that the world did not really think of the World’s Fair in Barcelona as “great” or “good”, they just thought it was “average”.


(Barcelona World's Fair)

While Spain was baffled at the opinion on the World’s Fair, reports began to flood in from the naval department. You see, long ago, the War Council of Spain adopted a plan to modernize the Spanish Navy with ironclads, steamships, and advanced vessels. The reports that came back were astonishing, production on these new ships had not even started yet! The reason for this was due to one thing, “lack of materials”. The amount of materials needed to make a fully operation ironclad were extremely lacking in the world market. The machine parts and the steam engines needed were very hard to find. As long as the parts needed are in absence, the navy cannot be modernized, and that proved to be a prudent problem for Spain’s War Council. As hard as they tried, the War Council couldnt scrounge the necessary materials needed to start the construction of all these steam ships. As the state was trying to find parts, the nature of the free market decided to take its turn in helping the cause out in the form of a young entrepreneur whose name is unknown to history. This young man wanted to build a factory aimed at creating steamers for use in trade and possibly military action. He had a hard time securing funds though, and did not trust the state (with all its mutualism and worker control) to run the factory. He decided to make a trip up to Bilbao to see the good (but notably absent from the political world) Marquis de Roja to ask for funds. He went to his manor, and before the guards could kick him out, he pleaded his case. He said that Los Amarillos were good to capitalists, and wanted to ask for his support in funding the construction of his factory, claiming it would bring great wealth to the Basquelands. The Marquis said yes, and gave the man the needed funds, allowing him to construct his steamer shipyard. The Marquis then went back into hibernation for who knows long. As the government increased the regulations on the factories they owned, capitalist began to build their own industries. Railroads were slowly being taken over by the private market, along with many production facilities in Spain. This story of the little man who wanted to build a shipyard is just another example of the free market combating a state market. The Marquis Ponteverda and the Royalists though would fight back against the free market with state measures to boast the economy. Taxes for the middle and lower class were lowered by 25%. In order to cover the deficit these created, the Royalists increased the tariffs on imports by over 35%. Tariffs would now fund the economy, and the battle between the state and free market continued onward.


(Bilbao is a major port in Northern Spain, so it was an ideal location for a major shipyard)

While the free market grasped to take control of the Spanish economy, wedding bells toiled in Madrid. Yes, the long awaited royal wedding between King Felipe VI and French Princess Amélie of Orléans took place in early October of 1882. Amelie was the eldest daughter of Prince Philippe, the Count of Paris, and heir to the French throne. The bells in every church across Spain rang for hours to celebrate. Fireworks were launched off into the nighttime sky in Madrid, countless aristocrats spoke about the benefits of the marriage, and a large mass orchestrated by an Archbishop was held to solidify the union. Many foreign royals such as Russian nobles, German Dukes, Italian Dukes, even the King of Portugal, attended the wedding. While many parties in Spain differ from what they believe, they all share in common a support of the monarch (mostly because it is a requirement to be legal). The celebration for the new Queen lasted for over a week, with nobles hosting grand balls and extravagant parties. The marriage further increased ties with the French and Spanish nations. About ten months later, a son was born to the couple. An heir to the throne! The new child was given the name “Carlos”, in honor of Felipe’s father and grandfather. What wont be told though is the condition the child is born with. Infante Carlos was infected with Haemophilia, a blood disorder that makes the body struggle with producing blood clots to stop bleeding. It is called the “Royal Disease”, and it has affected royals from Portugal to Russia and everywhere in-between. The child though is expected to live. A year later, another child was born, a healthy baby girl who was named “Blanca Francisca”. While she is in better condition than her brother, she will not see the position of monarch anytime soon…


(The new Queen of Spain)

It was a good thing though that the King married the daughter of the heir to France. In August of 1883, Henri V passed away in his sleep. He was 62 years old. Upon his death, all traces of the French Bourbon line were declared extinct. Now the only Heads of State in the world that share the name “Bourbon” are in Spain. Prince Philippe, grandson of the last Orleanist King of France, would ascend the throne as Louis-Philippe II, King of a new France. His first act as King was to reintroduce the Tricolor as the national flag of France to overwhelming jubilation from the masses, a group that has yearned to see the flag restored and have even flown it in defiance at the World’s Fair in Barcelona. Louis-Philippe II also reconvened the National Assembly, and ordered universal elections for the people of France. He allowed unions to operate, the ballots to be secret, and reintroduced many of the freedoms the Third Republic had established in its short tenure. The only “conservative” policy he kept was to keep the state press under his control. Truly, the man was a liberal beyond a doubt, and the people cheered him all the way. The Orleanists managed to make their King a savior to the masses, a man who saved them from the autocratic regime of Henri V. The King also had good luck with negotiating with foreign powers. In Germany, the Nationalliberale party, a liberal party, took power in the Reichstag, and had a liberal appointed Chancellor. The two liberal powers would begin negotiations with the hopes of improving relations following the war that shook them both. This is though an ominous sign for Spain. Two liberal governments have formed in France and Germany, two very powerful states. With Spain still holding onto Arch Conservative beliefs, would France and Germany continue to associate themselves with Spain? Spain did try to normalize relations between these two governments, but it is unknown if they have worked.


(Just because the German and French governments are on the same page doesnt mean they still fully trust each other...)

As Spain tried to get relations normalize with its neighbors, news from the east arrived in Manila, and from Manila they sailed through the Suez Canal to Granada where a telegram letter was sent to Madrid. Hong Xiuquan was dead. The Heavenly King had died in late 1883, leaving a power vacuum between supporters of his son and supporters of a new government. The Taiping were thrown in complete disarray. As China was going through instability, Spain watched. The War Council suggested to the government to invade the Heavenly Kingdom while they were at their weakest. If they could form their own trading enclave along with the British and Russians, they would become rich off of the tea and silk that flowed out of China and into the western markets. King Felipe gave the go ahead, and a makeshift fleet was assembled in Manila (since the real fleet was still just sketches on paper still). 15,000 men, most of them Filipino colonial soldiers, boarded five ships, and sailed into the Korean Bay. Their target was the region of East Shendong, a region full of resources like tea and lead. As they were sailing, word reached them that the Russians, who occupied Korea and two ports in the area, would aide the Spanish in further weakening the Taiping government. The Spanish would dock in the port of Weihawei, and move into East Shandong from that position. Russian forces would storm into Manchuria with the hopes of furthering their influence in Northern China. General Manuel ‘Lolo’ expected heavy resistance from the Taiping, but no army came. It turns out that the Taiping army was all but gone. The entire Chinese army, reserves included, only number 39,000 men, showcasing just how weak the Taiping were. The army also was equipped with ancient firearms and outdated technology, easy pickings for the Filipino soldiers. However, not many shots were fired. Hong Xiuquan’s son, in order to avoid further humiliation at the start of his regime, sued for peace with the Spanish. He offered them money and the port of Shanghai as a trade port into China. The message was sent all the way back to King Felipe, who pondered this decision for quite a while. He could keep East Shandong, but probably incur the wrath of the Russians and British who have enclaves in the region, or accept the offer of the Taiping and take Shanghai. He decided to take Shanghai, as the city was right on the delta of the Yangtze river, a very important river to the Chinese. From there, his hope is that he can expand inwards and continue the Spanish expansion into China. For the Taiping, this was just another Unequal Treaty being forced upon them.


(Spanish Shanghai)

As March of 1885 rolled around, the election season was prepped to begin. The People’s Party though struck first. Don Francisco de Valle launched a media campaign with papers, pamphlets and speeches across the nation supporting his reform that he wrote prior. This “reform” was aimed at curtailing the power of the ministries, but caused huge controversy when the Royalists saw it as wanting to change royal power (for suggesting that the King have any of his powers changed, limited, or remove is illegal in this country), and thus considered it treasonous. The PP said it would not do any of that, and pressed forward with it. It barely passed the Audience, and it barely passed the State Council (a body whose members were divided mostly on whether or not the motion was indeed meant to curb royal power and not on political agenda). When the motion reached the King, the King decided to state his opinion on the matter by rejecting the motion. Don Francisco responded to this by beginning his media campaign for the rejected motion saying that “it was the first step to a more free Spain”. He also began promising to, if his party was chosen, to begin reforming the secretariat and the judiciary “to make it imparcial to political opinion”. Across Spain, crowds of people would form to support the motion. The PP has struck first in this election, now it's up to the Royalists to respond.

The PP and Royalists were about to lock-heads once again. With no signs from the Movimiento about their plans, and no word from their leader, the Duke of Seville, it is most likely that the PP is now the only opposition party left...

------------------------------------
Player Actions Needed: Pre-election season has begun! Chose your leaders, make deals, and submit your platform. I want all the parties to give me their platform on time this time, else I will penalize you in the election. The election shall begin Saturday at 9:00 PM EST or Sunday at 1:00 AM GMT.

Please IC and campaign, I know some of you are good at that, but I really want an effort to IC this election, else I will be a sad-sad GM.
 
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Riccardo93

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"As March of 1885 rolled around, the election season was prepped to begin. The People’s Party though struck first. Don Francisco de Valle launched a media campaign with papers, pamphlets and speeches across the nation supporting his reform that he wrote prior."

The Marquis de Pontevedra, naturally, censored these heavily.