Revolution and Reaction - A (very) French Victoria II Interactive AAR

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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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MadMartigan

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May 15, 2017
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((Private letter to @MadMartigan ))

Dear friend,

I do not mean to intrude in your personal life, but are you going to run for the Chamber of Deputies? I believe your chances now are much greater than the last election due to the change of political climate and that Bishop Deficit are now a Peer and not a Deputy.

Yours,
Lothaire.

((private))

My friend,

I have decided to stay in Paris and run for Tremblay's old seat. Is it improper of me to hope that a certain Major in charge of a fort in Brittany might find a way to return to civilian life, to Paris, and to his old seat?

Your old colleague,
Thibaut Duval
 

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A Hope For Unity

Four years ago, Condé would have been sitting in Lassay together with the many whom he sponsored in the chamber. Enjoying the best of food, wine, sweets and whatever else his cooks had to offer. But now, well now it was pretty similar, he was still enjoying the best wine, food and sweets which his cooks could offer, and his stomach didn’t return to the world afterwards. Though this was on a smaller scale, the minor part of the local nobility and gentry that resided in the countryside, along with the deputies of the ultra-leaning, not that it meant many, but there was a certain intimacy with only gathered among fewer guests than the larger parties. It also helped that this was a bit of an older crowd, rid of all the young firebrands which could stand there arguing with a passion from the sun rose in the morning, to it set at night. Each one of those firebrands always thought that they had so managed to get their point across after two hours talking, why everyone else were trying to wake up in time to at least pretend to applaud.

The small gathering discussed everything from the latest politics, along with literature and the occurring events in Paris. Once again hearing about the praised parties that were now held at Lassay. Also a new newspaper that was quite scandalous in its print. The most surprising of all however was something which the Prince was already aware of. The fracturing and collapse of the Ultraroyalist faction. Sully’s constant struggles and the opposition of even the government to the laws which the king promises, at least under the pretense of their recommendation. It looked dark for the whole future of the faction, the liberals had reorganized themselves and now actually posed a threat, worst of all, there was little doubt that Orléans was clapping in his small greedy hands. At least it made Condé reconsider the letter from Saint-Aignan.

At the first the Prince had considered just leaving it be, Saint-Aignan was a minister, surely as the whole ministry served his Majesty they could figure it out on their own. Though it was becoming clear that was not a reality, it seemed as if the ministry was more split than the chamber itself. Condé however could not help but sigh that he had to do this for the sake of the government. The true reason, however, that Condé decided to do this was not for the sake of the government, it was not for Saint-Aignan and certainly not for the sake of Sully who should rightfully be doing this instead of Condé. No, it was for the sake of Charles, so that his government would not make a total fool of themselves and collapse, thus reflecting poorly on him and perhaps even worse, force him to work with a liberal majority in the chamber. Condé would not leave the King to such an appauling idea, at least not without attempting to intercede and as such the invites were sent out to the various ministers of government, along with the leading voices of the Ultraroyalists, to attend on his Royal Highness with tier presence on the 10th of November.


To Claude Louis Marie de Beauvilliers, 7th Duke of Saint-Aignan (Private – @Marschalk)

Your Grace,

I thank you for the letter, and I hope that mine finds you in better health than I am in. My health since my retirement has not entirely improved, but it no longer declines as rapidly as I felt back in Spain. My doctor has given me similar advise it seems, one must wonder if they give such similar advise because it’s the best cure, or they are too incompetent to simply find something better.

Philippe, luckily, is doing very well, he is becoming a better and better rider daily and has recently begun practicing fencing whenever I don’t force to focus on his literary studies. But how are your own children doing, I hope that they are well and do you proud.

Now as for the true matter of your letter. It is indeed a shame that the government of His Majesty has come to such a fractious condition that it is unable to provide a united front to ensure the wishes of the King. It is due to the wish that His Majesty retrains good council regardless of an election, along with a chamber that is to him temperament that I agree to host this conference. Within the next day or two you will receive an official invitation for a banquet to be held here at my estate on the 10th of November. I have of course invited those whom you recommended, but I have also taken the liberty to invite the prominent ultras within the chamber so that we may hear they suggestion, for we shall need a much larger backing if His Majesty is to be happy with this coming election.

Louis Henri Joseph de Bourbon, Prince de Condé, Duc de Bourbon, Bellegarde, Buise, Marquis de Graville, Comte de Valery, Seigneur de Beaugé, Chantilly, Château-Chinon, Château-Renault, Montluel, Château d'Écouen, etc., also Prince du Sang



(Private invitation to @Maxwell500, @Fingon888, @Marschalk, @Firehound15 along with all the NPC (@99KingHigh) Ministers and prominent ultra’s in the chamber, and any other potential PC Minister I forgot about)

By the pleasure of his Royal Highness, the Prince of Condé, you are hereby invited to the château d'Écouen for a banquet in celebration of His Majesty, His reign and for the good fortune of the upcoming election.

The banquet will be held on the 10th of November 1827, his Royal Highness is most eager to see you present.

Ansel Roux, secretary of His Royal Highness, Louis Henri Joseph, Prince de Condé, Duc de Bourbon, Bellegarde, Buise, Marquis de Graville, Comte de Valery, Seigneur de Beaugé, Chantilly, Château-Chinon, Château-Renault, Montluel, Château d'Écouen, etc., also Prince du Sang
 

Dadarian

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Le duc d'Océan

Le duc d'Océan is the sixth and final novel written by Henri-Maurice de St. Germain, at least during his primary period as a mainstream writer for France. A man whose world was rapidly changing, both in the political as well as the literary landscape, this book was meant by Saint Germain to be a fitting fair well to Parisian society and politics as a whole. A man undone by his popularity, Le duc is a novel which cries in pain.

Le duc is an old fisherman from a spot somewhat South of Toulouse, a teeny village of no more than a couple hundred people. A long time fisherman, le duc has the respect of the village, regardless for his rough and plebeian exterior. The story begins with le duc, on his boat, seeing a carriage coming to his house. After making the appropriate alterations to his nets in order to keep for a short absence, le duc makes his way home. There he meets his child, his only son and twin daughters. They, unlike him, have taken to land and stayed there making homes and families. The family is at le duc's home for two reasons, the first to convince him to abandon his boat and the second to take a place on the town council, a much desired position within the village bearing much prestige.

Le duc does not respond, and although the book goes into depths regarding his children's motivations and thoughts during this conversation, the outwardly taciturn duc remains untouched by the author's hand, his motivations only available for those to guess upon. To which, as an answer to his rather worried children, le duc gives wine, bread, and invites them to join him for dinner in the coming eve. This pleases the children immensely, and they flock about le duc with soothing words regarding place, station, wealth, and their futures.

Le duc does not respond, only allowing the odd smile to creep upon his face at the words of his children. As they leave, le duc returns to his boat and continues his earlier fishing. This is where, the hitherto oddly non-Romantic prose of Henri-Maurice ascends into a wicked trail of Romantic imagery. An assault on the senses (for a Classicalist) erupts as the descriptions for the sea, waves, fish, and sunset highlight subtly the feelings held within le duc, but not expressed.

The chapter of le duc at sea ends and the story returns to the children arriving at their father's house. There, the wine is poured, the food arranged, and a pleasant peaces comes over the busy children. However, slowly night descends with no sign of le duc. Worried, they head to the dock, where they find a passage of the bible carved into one of the poles.

John 10:27-29 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”

The children, without description, leave. A peace descends upon the pier, the lonely dock made by hand of le duc. The final imagery of the book is one painted in calm colours, describing the swirling blacks and blues of the ocean meeting the night. However, the stars shine brightly, for there is no singular effort that can snuff out God's own light. The book was dedicated to Henri-Maurice's father and was published by the Publications de la Maison d'Herbes in late 1827.
 
Last edited:

Cloud Strife

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Your Royal Highness,

Your reply are most appreciated. Unfortunately I am reluctnant to stand as Deputy again. The reason is that I wish to pursue a military career and that I in all honesty didn't feel like I managed to do much good. Perhaps I could play another role? Advisor of some sorts or patron of liberal press?

And I am in no need for financial aid. My father created a prosperous trade compwny which secure my income, but I thank you for your kind gesture and charitable intentions. Now again I wish to pursue a military career, but if you require of me to enter politics as a Deputy I will comply. But I would be eternally grateful if you were to find another role.

For our King I am in full agreement of what you've said. As such this only prove why you should be the leader of the - moderate - left movement. Then you can use your sway over the Left to lead them into a desired path and your role as a cousin and advisor of His Most Christian King to ensure he is not led astray by extremism.

For who are to join, beside my "own faction" as you named them, I have a few persons in mind:

M.Thibaut Duval as he, if he are to run for Deputy, will most likely gain a seat in his department following the winds of change and the Archbishop of Reims being elevated to Peerage. He's also a moderate liberal who represent the industrious class. It would be benefical for the Orleanist movement to have him by your side.

Deputy Durand as he have already great integrity and fame among moderate Deputies.

M.Claude Artraud as you may need an ideologist in order to give the Orleanists weigth. He may also then pursuade with academic conviction liberals away from radical leftism to moderatism.

M.Rotschild again to gain support from the industrious class. He've also already been a minister giving your movement much more gravity.

Perhaps also these "new Royalists"? Of course then those of moderate persuasion. To lure them away from reaction to moderation.

M.Cazal. A person of fame can be a great boost of prestige and popularity.

For these I am more skeptical of: Deputy Lafayette and General Lamarque. They are of liberal conviction and would grant you much support. Perhaos your grace might also sway them away from Republicanism. But they might be too radical for you.

Others I have in mind are M.Francois Guizot, M.Laffitte, M.Adolphe Thiers, Duke of Broglie Achille Léonce Victor Charles. Marquess Laurent de Gouvion Saint-Cyr have also served both under Napoleon and the current monarchy, his appointment could mend some wounds as he've also proven himself to be of moderate Doctrinaire persuasion. I believe it could also be wise to invite moderate editors and journalists to influence their view.

These are my reccomendations. You're free to follow them or discard them and name your wishes.

Your obedient servant,
Chef de bataillon Lothaire Lécuyer.
Dear Lécuyer,

Sometimes propriety dictates that we must submit ourselves to the judgement of the electorate. Select a department that is friend to our interests and I will see to it that you are put up for the Chamber without much trouble. What is best for our national defense are the voices of those who are committed to its proper cultivation. In this you will do more good than applying yourself to military science.

Work with M. Laffitte and other men of good character to organize a Left that can persuade our good King of the benefits of the middle path. I grant you the privilege of introducing to me those you think can aid in this noble and good cause. See to it that they write to me or attend upon my person at the Palais-Royal when I host discussions or when my Lady Sister plays host in her Salon; my estate manager shall see to it that you are provided with the proper details.

Regards,
M. Orleans
 

Marschalk

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LA GAZETTE DE FRANCE

ON THE DEFENSE OF THE PRIEST​

DURING the latest years the level of the energetic anticlericalism of the Left has reached significant heights. The press has been excelling in hurling most debasing epithets against the holy fathers, especially belonging to one of the monastic orders. The publications and caricatures, in which malignancy was mixed with panic, have demonstrated such absurd levels of fear towards members of a religious association who have given the oaths of poverty and chastity that one can but doubt, if the good gentlemen have mistaken the good monks for the wolves of the wild or some dragon of the ancient legends.

However, we have witnessed such enthusiasm before as well. More or less moderate levels of hostility towards the state religion and its servants, the wish to diminish the role of the holy institution and the teaching within the state have been demonstrated by such circles since the beginning of the Restoration. We all remember how eager were the gentlemen of the Left to sell the forests that were, during the revolutionary period, confiscated from the Church. At the time it was claimed that it was the only way to improve the financial situation of France – when this measure was voted down, it, of course, proved not be so. The true intention behind the advocacy of this plan was, of course, desperate fear that the Crown would choose, in the future, to restore these forests to the Church, which would increase its wealth and strengthen its position in the French society.

And sadly enough even many moderate liberals have united here with the extreme ones.

The same skepticism we saw regarding all such affairs, be it the restoration of the role of the clergy in education or any other measure aimed at the resurrection of Christian values in a Christian Kingdom.

So why does the Left distrust the Priest so much?

Any reasonable Frenchman knows and understands the great role the Priest plays in the most crucial moments of the life of each of us. When we are born and are but weeping babies, he helps us to make a first step towards our eternal life though the holy act of Baptism. When we come to the age when it is proper to establish a family, it is the Priest that unites us in the sacred matrimony. And then before we die, he receives our confession and serves the Vigil before the funeral. And during the life the Priest at most difficult times offers us his spiritual guidance, help and instruction, assisting us on our long way to God.

Therefore the life of majority of Frenchman (who are, without doubt, good Catholics) is closely interwoven with the clergy. It is only reasonable that one should give such an important and holy institution the defense and support it deserves. If the Christian faith is the guiding light on our path, why we do not want to protect it from abuses? If we often let the servants of God educate us, grown man, and appeal to their judgment in the most grave moments of our lives, why not entrust them with the upbringing of our children, taking into account their long history as educators and guarantees of moral values?

However, in order to understand the importance of the Priest and religion, one must reach a certain level of spiritual and intellectual maturity. For a fully grown man, who has knowledge of life and death, reaches the conclusion that the eternal link to the Heavens that connects us to it exists through the sacred institutions.

However, many forever remain in the state of youthful rebelliousness. These who have not in their mind crossed the line between a child that does not wish anybody to teach him morals and that rejects any authority and a father, husband and responsible man have an instinctive disdain for the clergy. These who have no peace in their soul reject these who might have doctored it. As a child prefers to play the games of pirates and rogues, while a grown up man knows that the royal guards and gendarmes are the ones in the right, these people prefer the dusty studies of the secular philosophers to the teachings of Christ. And thus comes the anticlericalism.

Sadly enough, many among the Left have forever remained in this state of infancy, which France itself has left behind– moving from the godless Republic and secular empire to the truly Christian Kingdom.

But can the children govern the fathers?

- B. de S.A.
 
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DensleyBlair

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((Private letter to @DensleyBlair ))

M.Cazal,

A secret will be shared with you. Please tell no one, but I may run to become a Deputy again. As such I ask you if you have saved your notes on our conversations? If so I believe they are most fitting for you publish - if you deem it worthy of your time - if I am indeed to run as Deputy again.

Kind regards,
Chef de bataillon Lothaire Lécuyer.


Cher Lécuyer,


Naturally, I have kept all of my records of our conversations all those years ago. Alas, my own schedule is such that I am unable to edit or otherwise organise the pages I wrote down at the time, but I shall forward them to you along with this letter so that you may do with them as you please.

Avec amitié,

Cazal
Along with the letter, a package containing numerous octavo sheets of transcription arrives the Hôtel Lécuyer.
 

ThaHoward

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Paris, November 1827.

Lothaire were speaking with his wife of what to do next. He had applied to several military units after finishing his degree in more advanced military science. Lothaire had spent the last one and a half years studying military history, operational and strategic doctrines etc in order to advance his career and mostly for his own sake to get better confidence and understanding of doctrines and become a better leader. He had applied to several units, some had refused him, some had accepted him. The choices were few, but interesting. One were a Grenadier Battalion who offered him to become their commander. Then it were one of the Dragoon Regiment he had served in during the Wars. Appereantly one of his fellow soldiers were now the Regiment commander, and were happy to have Lothaire as a Chef d'escadron among his staff. Lothaire also applied to be a reserve officer, mostly being inactive, in case he were to retire. As such he were to be a Major in a Regiment of the reserves, only being called upon in times of wars, crisis or training periods. Most tempting for Lothaire were the battalion he had served in during the Spanish Intervention. They had kept their very aggressive standard and their motto of "Strike First!".

He spoke with his wife. He said he were tempted to be in the staff among the Dragoons. It would surely advance his career and it would be nice to meet old friends. Yet of now he were most attached to the battalion he had taken part in as he stormed the walls of San Sebastian. And he enjoyed being in the field the most, being in battle and not behind a desk. So he said he would take that position, something that saddened Christine as she had always felt uneasy for losing her husband. So many times had he been in the thick of battle, so many times had she been left at home praying she would see him again. Yet he enjoyed it for a reason no one but him could ever understand. And she knew how much he loved it, and how depressed he felt when he were not leading men and not being in battle. But then Lothaire recieved a letter. Christine and Lotharie discussed for a while and she could see that he were in one way sad, but also very happy. But she were happy aswell, thrilled. Her husband were not to endanger himself anymore.

((Private letter to @Cloud Strife ))

Your Royal Highness,

I will submit to your wisdom. I will enroll in the Reserves and stand to become a Deputy once more. If you have no objection with the men I mentioned I will invite them. I shall hold a banquet for some charitable reason and see that you and thy are invited and ask them to approach you. If you would rather wish so I will drop the banquet alltogether and send them to you directly. For now I'm ponding on running for the Seine department, mostly as I were a Deputy there for several terms, please let me know if you believe I would be better off for another Department.

Your obedient servant,
Lothaire Lécuyer.

((Private letter to @MadMartigan))

Friend,

It is not improper at all. I will in fact be running myself, I'm just debating if I will re-run for a seat in Seine, as that is where I have traditionally lived and represented, or if I am to run for a more secure location. Any advice on that matter? For your campaign I wish you the best of luck, also I would like to give you a friendly advice. Seek the support and patronage of the Duke of Orleans. He is keen on uniting French liberalism and moderatism under his banner, and I believe we are much better off under his leadership.

Kind regards,
Lothaire.

((Private letter to @DensleyBlair ))

Dear Cazal,

I understand. I thank you for your work and wish you the best of luck in your endeavours. May your career continue on it's bright path, I look forward to your next novel.

Kind regards,
Chef de bataillon Lothaire Lécuyer.

And so it were decided. Lothaire were to pension (tempoairly?) from the Army, enroll as a Major in some Reservist Regiment and run for a Deputy. But for which department? As he were thinking of it he told his wife to make the needed preperations for the Banquet they would hold - the signal that his campaign were to commence.
 

Dadarian

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Selvandieu

Selvandieu is the first foray into the art of playwrighting by Henri-Maurice de Saint-Germain, inspired in part by his student (Victor Hugo) activities in the area. Although written carefully, Saint-Germain was not bound to the standard conventions of the era, mostly due to his ignorance of the propriety within the art. Although difficult at first, Henri-Maurice's name allowed him to have his play put on in Paris only a month after it was written.

Selvandieu is about Pierre Selvandieu, an artiste extraordinaire who was expelled from Haiti following a slew of publications insulting the government. Written in the style of a comedy, Selvandieu holds a flair to it in that it is very tongue in cheek humour, almost to the realm of low brow. This underpins perhaps Henri-Maurice's desire to get away from the heavy handed narratives that he was used to and towards something a little lighter of heart and of (emotional) effort.

Act One begins with Selvandieu on the boat to France, surrounded by entirely illiterate crew which was not all that incapable of thought. The entire act is Selvandieu, simply assuming no one knows any better due to a lack of education, parades about the boat quoting the Greats and inserting himself where he is generally unwanted. This results in turn on the crew, a surprisingly well read lot for a bunch of people that don't understand the meaning of letters, to consistently prank the young author. Gags with origins in Shakespeare but hugely exaggerated are used, such as prat falls, buckets on heads, and at one point the audience are given little paper balls to throw lightly at Selvandieu. The crescendo of the act comes in the form of a debate between Selvandieu and one of the 'dumber' sailors, Mont Bleu, who articulately undermine's Selvandieu's elitism not as a subject of race or place, but due to him being born "with a head of cabbage".

Act Two takes place in Paris, where Selvandieu attempts to make it big by selling untold amounts of books. This doesn't work as people aren't interested in reading what he is writing, leaving Selvandieu to decide that Parisian society is wrong and it is proper to change their tastes. This results in a trio of miscommunications, such as being mistaken as a paper boy at the printers, being thrown out of a salon after accidentally insulting a noble by calling his tastes "conservative", and finally being thrown out (literally) of his hotel following a comical amount of late bills. Selvandieu, deciding that Paris was not yet ready for him, and totally devoid of cash, runs to the Germanies for inspiration.

Act Three takes place when Selvandieu returns from the Germanies in time to find Paris in a crisis of culture. Writing an incredibly dull book (with different readings having different scripture to keep the audience of their toes) about the Germanic landscape and rivers (in obvious parallels to their rather rotund women) Selvandieu finds a modicum of success. This inspires Selvandieu to write an article thoroughly decrying all other types of literature trash and his literature as the only good type of literature. This results in Saint-Germain (playing himself in the first rendition and played by others in further plays) throwing his books at Selvandieu. This forces Selvandieu from the stage, allowing Saint-Germain to thank the audience for their patience and apologise for their lost fees. The act (and play) ends with Selvandieu crying from the side that his book is better, causing the Saint-Germain to pull out yet another book and throw it into the sides crying "Mon Dieu Selvandieu, quand serai-je débarrassé vous?"*.

The Publications de la Maison d'Herbes was the premier printer for the play.

~

*"My God Selvandieu, when will I be rid of thee?"
 

DensleyBlair

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Some salon or other


‘Seeing as we have to address the elephant in the room at some point, M. Cazal, have you seen—’

‘Yes, I have. I even kept my little paper ball as a souvenir.’

‘And, dare I ask, what did you think?’

‘It was very, what's the word … subtle. Very entertaining, but seeing M. Saint-Germain striking down like that … what it says about a man, to have been so successful in so many ways and still feel the need to write something like that, I do not know. I'll just stick to my dull books about German rivers, merci beaucoup.’
 

99KingHigh

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Some salon or other


‘Seeing as we have to address the elephant in the room at some point, M. Cazal, have you seen—’

‘Yes, I have. I even kept my little paper ball as a souvenir.’

‘And, dare I ask, what did you think?’

‘It was very, what's the word … subtle. Very entertaining, but seeing M. Saint-Germain striking down like that … what it says about a man, to have been so successful in so many ways and still feel the need to write something like that, I do not know. I'll just stick to my dull books about German rivers, merci beaucoup.’
((Don't you mean Catholic domes? You can't hide from me...:p))
 

Fingon888

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To the Marquise d’Armentières ((Private @Eid3r ))

Chère Marquise d’Armentières,

I have received your letter with a gladdened heart, but must assure you that the good Général de brigade has shown more than ample gratitude for his fine and illustrious service. I know that my dear Adélaïde was overjoyed at your most generous invitation. She constantly complains that she is without her usual and proper company in our quarters here in Paris. I shall most certainly attend your dinner, and do whatever is in my power to honor your husband and yourself. May God watch over you.

Sincerely,
Le Vicomte de Saint Fulgent, Maréchal de France et le Ministre de la guerre
 

Dadarian

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"M. Saint-Germain, why did you write this play? Isn't it a tad cruel to poke at a man so poorly known and unpopular as M. Cazal?"

"I rather hope that is not the take away. There is not enough levity within the circles of French society, it is all so serious."

"Isn't it still rather cruel?"

"I mean I guess. I poked fun at M. Cazal because I thought he could handle it, would appreciate the exposure, and maybe to promote a new style of playwrights in France. Also poking at the Classicalists would most likely cause a literal riot."

"You're probably right on that end."
 

Davout

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La Semaine

Who Knows?

Fighting ended in Spain 3 years ago but we still have not finalized a peace treaty with the restored Spanish government. When will the war officially end? When will France be reimbursed for the gold and blood spilt to restore the Spanish Monarchy? Who knows!

Our Army of Occupation is still in Spain. When will they return? Who is paying for their care and upkeep? Who knows!

The last Budget was handed down 4 years ago before the Spanish Intervention. The Government fought a war. The Government paid 2 billion Francs to the Emigres. The Government handed over the schools to the Church and paid them for the privilege. How much are our taxes? What is our deficit? How much has been borrowed to indulge the lifestyles of the rich and noble? Who knows!

Nobles plot to murder each other and keep gangs of thugs to settle scores. Saint-Aignan wants to throw peaceful citizens in prison for telling the truth. When will be enjoy the peace of 1821 again? When will liberty be allowed to shine? Who knows!

Who knows when we will enjoy a vigourous, progressive Cabinet which respects the people and the King, which promotes the interest of the Nation instead of itself, which is open in its thoughts and actions? Because the Duc de Sully and his minions certainly do not know.

It is time for a change. Time for progress. Time for a new voice in the Government. Someone with the trust of the King and the love of the People. Someone with a steady hand, possessing an old and respected name that inspires confidence. Someone of maturity and moderation. Can we find such a man to take the reins of Government? Who knows!
 

Michaelangelo

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Beauty and the Beast: Part XI


Belle raced like the wind through the night, darting her way towards Morlaix. She did not stop to rest or even give her horse a break, for she could not bear to be away from her father any longer. Somehow she knew the path, memories of the route she had taken with her father returning in an instant. Her father needed her and she would not fail him. She would not let him down after having left him alone for so long.

With her focus placed solely on returning to her father, Belle was surprised when Morlaix finally came into view. The city had been her home for so many years, yet her most fond memories she had of it were of her father. She had to reach him. Galloping through the streets, nearly knocking people over in her haste, she raced towards her old home. The people she passed by took notice of her, recognizing her beautiful face at once despite the extravagant gown she still wore. They began to follow in her wake as word spread of Belle’s return.

When she finally reached her father’s house, Belle leapt off her horse and threw open the door. Dust flew through the air, as though the room had not been cleaned in some time. The room was quiet, other than the sound of heavy breathing. Her father rested in his bed, wheezing and coughing. At Belle’s entrance, he stirred and looked towards her. A smile crossed his sweat-drenched face at the sight of his daughter. He tried to sit up, but let out a series of coughs as he collapsed back down in his bed.

Belle trembled as she stood beside her father’s bed, watching him labour just to breath. Guilt overwhelmed her at having abandoned him to this fate. She should have insisted on visiting him sooner. The Beast had not been treating her as a captive after her first escape, yet she had never tried to leave after that. She would have to live with that now.

“Belle, is that truly you?” Maurice said, his voice cracking from the effort. His eyes sparkled, so much livelier than the rest of his body. His body was failing him, but his spirit was not broken.

“Yes, father, it’s me,” Belle said, clasping his clammy hand as she held back tears. “I’ve come back to see you.”

“Oh Belle,” Maurice said as he held onto Belle’s hand as tightly as he could in his frail state. “Please forgive me.”

“Forgive you?” Belle asked, sitting down on the bed next to her father and looking him deeply in the eye. “What could you have done that needs forgiveness? It is I that should be asking for forgiveness.”

“No, there is no reason for you to feel that way,” Maurice said, his face growing serious for a moment before he was wracked with another coughing bout. “I thought that I could keep you here, give you a good life, but I was wrong. Morlaix has never been your home. You have often longed to go elsewhere, to see the world beyond, but I denied you that. I am sorry for that.”

“You were just trying to protect me,” Belle said as tears started to leak from the corner of her eyes. “It was I that abandoned you. I should have come back sooner, should have—”

“Please, say no more,” Maurice said, holding a shaky finger up to her lips. “You do not need to give me excuses. For too long I have refused to accept that you are a woman, not the little girl you used to be. I wanted you to stay with me forever, but that is not what’s best for you. Despite the circumstances of our parting all those years ago, you have found your place in the world. I do not blame you for staying away for so long. I read your letter and I could tell the happiness you felt with that noble lord. Belle, all I’ve wanted for you is to be happy.”

Belle at this point was close to sobbing. She leaned down, pulling her father into a warm embrace. Feeling her father’s arms around her finally made her break out into sobs, and her father merely patted her on the back while giving words of comfort. They stayed that way for a minute before Belle finally pulled away.

A sharp series of knocks on the door drew both of their attention. Belle rose from the bed, wiped her face clean of tears, and stepped over to the door. She could hear a wild cacophony of sounds as though a crowd had gathered outside the house. As she opened the door, she was surprised to see that she was right. It was as though most of the village had shown up outside her door. Standing in the doorway was Gaston, same as he had been years before, roguishly handsome but mixed with unbearable arrogance.

“So it is true,” Gaston said, staring down at her in surprise. “You have returned.”

Belle merely nodded her head, overwhelmed by the gathering horde of people outside her father’s home and just wanting to get back to her father. She had never liked Gaston when she had lived here years ago and she didn’t like him now as he stared down at her with a lewd grin.

“Just what are you wearing?” Gaston said, grasping a piece of the exquisite fabric making up her gown. Belle tugged it from his grasp.

“It was a gift from the lord I was staying with.”

Gaston’s eyes widened. “Maurice was telling the truth.” He glanced at the people gathering behind him and stroked his chin. “Your father has been telling some crazy stories for the past few years about how some nobleman kidnapped you and was keeping you hostage. We had thought him insane.”

“He is not insane,” Belle said, crossing her arms with a defiant look on her face. “I have been staying with a lord all these years as his guest.”

“Guest?” Gaston said with a laugh. “According to your father, you were held against your will.”

“It was all a misunderstanding,” Belle said, fiddling with her hair. “He never meant us any harm, and my father and I understand that now.”

Gaston stood for a moment, taking in Belle’s expensive clothing and demeaner. He shook his head before trying to take her hand, which she slapped away. “What did he do to you? Did he give you these clothes so you’d bed him?”

Without any warning, Belle slapped Gaston across the face. “I am not some whore who shills herself out to the highest bidder, even if you wish I was. The Master is a good man, kind and sweet. He’s a better man than you’ll ever be, Gaston.”

Gaston rubbed at his face for a moment before shrugging it off, the overconfident grin of an egomaniac returning to his face. “The Master, you say?” He turned to the crowd, holding out his arms as if preaching to a group of faithful. “Are you hearing what I am hearing? She’s fallen for her kidnapper.”

Glancing back at Belle, Gaston scowled at her, a look hidden from the crowd. “This nobleman not only kidnapped this poor girl, but has bewitched her as well. She’s been put under his spell. If we do not do something about this, who knows who will be his next victim.”

Murmurs of agreement came from the crowd as Gaston stirred them up. He pointed to the local baker and said, “What is to say that this noble won’t come after your daughter next.” He then pointed to a tailor. “Or even yours.” The crowd nodded along with each statement.

Raising his hands angrily to the sky, Gaston built up more fervour as he railed against this unknown noble lord. “These nobles think we are toys to play with. They do as they please and take whatever they want. We are nothing to them. This is the same injustice we fought against decades ago, under both the Republic and the Emperor. It is time we stand up for ourselves. No longer will we let them tell us what to do. No longer will we let them kidnap our daughters and cower in fear that we may be next. These nobles are nothing but beasts and we are their prey.”

“What should we do?” a voice said amongst the crowd.

Gaston took a torch handed to him from someone in the crowd and held it high. “I say we kill the Beast!”

“No, you cannot,” Belle said frantically, grabbing at Gaston’s arm. “He would not hurt a fly. Please, leave him be.”

Gaston glared at her a moment before moving close enough to whisper in her ear. “Perhaps once he is gone, you will finally realize there is only one man in this world who can look out for you, and he’s standing right in front of you.”

Belle’s jaw dropped. Gaston would murder the Beast out of pure jealousy. How could any man be so petty? She wanted to beat him with her fists, but she was too shocked to do anything. Why was this happening?

Gaston waved the torch in the air and called out again, with the villagers chanting in sync. “Kill the Beast! Kill the Beast! Kill the Beast!”

The chant continued for several seconds before a lone man stepped forward and cleared his throat. “Uh, where can we find this lord?”

Everyone exchanged glances with their neighbours and then looked up at Gaston expectedly. He blinked a few times before turning his gaze to Belle. She crossed her arms again and held up her nose. They wouldn’t get a word out of her.

“I know where to find this lord of yours,” a voice said from the crowd. A man stepped forward, a nasty scar where his eye used to be. It took a moment for Belle to recognize him as one of the men that had accosted her in the woods so long ago.

“Well then, it is settled,” Gaston said. “We kill the Beast.” The villagers cheered and started marching off down the street, following the scarred man in the general direction of the Beast’s castle.

Belle tried to follow, hoping that somehow she could stop them. Gaston grabbed her by the arm and guided her back to her father’s house. He casually tossed her inside, making her trip and fall on her rump. He turned to two men and said, “Make sure she does not leave this house. It would be best that she doesn’t warn the noble.”

Belle jumped to her feet and tried to rush back outside, but the two men slammed the door shut in her face and pressed it closed. She tried in vain to force her way out, but she was too weak compared to them. She was trapped in her father’s home. As that realization sunk in, she slid down to the floor and rested her face in her hands, holding back tears.

“What am I going to do?”

A quiet cough from the bed reminded Belle of her father’s presence and she walked over, embarrassed that she had forgotten him in the madness. She wanted to comfort him in his ill health, but found herself too lacking in emotion to do much of anything. The Beast’s life was now in danger because of her. If nothing was done, he and perhaps his entire staff would be dead.

The sudden sensation of touch as Maurice grabbed his daughter’s hand nearly startled her. He looked up at her, a sad smile on his face. He patted her hand, pulling it close to his heart. His licked his dry lips before speaking. “You must go to him.”

“I cannot leave you,” Belle said, struggling with tears as she rocked back and forth.

“Belle, my daughter, I love you dearly, but you must go,” Maurice said. “I protected you your entire life, for it is what we must do for those we love. Perhaps I failed when you were taken from me, or failed to realize that you no longer needed my protection. I have come to accept that I cannot protect you any longer. Now it is time for you to protect the ones you love.”

Belle opened her mouth to speak, but Maurice shushed her. “Do not speak. You must leave. We will see each other again, of that I am certain, but I cannot hold you here any longer when harm will come to others you care about.”

Belle stayed for a moment by her father’s side, cradling his hands in hers. She let his words sink in and finally came to realize that he spoke the truth. She loved her dear father, but she could not stay. The Beast needed her. She smiled sadly down at him and said, “Thank you.”

Maurice merely nodded as Belle rose to her feet. She glanced at the door, knowing that there was no escape that way. However, her time with the Beast had taught her how to escape confinement. When the door was not an option, go for the window instead. Before doing so, she cast aside her gown, stripping herself down to her undergarments. She found some old clothes in the room that had once been hers. Her father clearly had believed she would return, for he had not thrown a single thing away. She was grateful for that and quickly changed into something much more maneuverable. When that was done, she kissed her father goodbye and stepped over to the window.

A quick glance outside revealed no one in sight. They clearly had not expected anyone to leave by the window. She pushed open the window and snuck outside, trying her best not to make a sound. When that was done, she padded over towards where she had left her horse. She cursed when she saw that it was gone. One of the villagers must have taken it. With that not an option, she headed to where her father kept Philippe stabled. She let out a sigh of relief when she found her father’s favourite horse nibbling on hay.

“Philippe, it’s time for you to make the ride of your life,” Belle said as she saddled the horse. He showed no outward signs of comprehension, but somehow Belle knew that Philippe would not fail her. After getting up on the saddle, she snapped the reins and kicked the horse’s side to get him going. He reared forward and broke into a gallop. They rushed past the two men guarding her father’s front door, startling them. By the time they got around to chasing her, she was already on her way out of Morlaix and on towards the Beast’s castle.
 

etranger01

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The Society of the Good Fellow-Citizens
"Heaven helps those who help themselves"

Founded in 1827 by Henri Bourbon d'Armentières and Victor Durand, the Society of the Good Fellow-Citizens was established as an organizing committee designed to coordinate the efforts of the opposition against the ruling Ultraroyalist faction, which had dominated the previous elections. The Good Society (as it was generally known) was led by a steering committee consisting of multiple individuals from across party lines and presided over by a rotating chairmanship. It was intended to unite the liberals with the moderate royalists and create an organized opposition effort to depose the Sully Ministry at the ballot-box. The Good Society first came to prominence in mid-1827 when it announced its intention to hold a public funeral for former deputy Jacques-Antoine Manuel, who had been unseated by the Sully Ministry's concentrated electoral effort in 1824 and had died earlier in 1827.

The Good Society was notable for its efforts to dredge up "forgotten" voters from the previous election and for its compilation of a list of preferred candidates, thus allowing the opposition electors to vote in unison against the present Ministry. These candidates were generally selected from those who were seen as the most plausible winners of their respective seats and the lists were balanced between moderates and liberals. With no opposition candidates competing against each other, they could turn their respective efforts and the Good Society's sizable war chest towards defeating the local Ultra candidates.

Bourbon d'Armentières and Durand traded on their substantial political capital to enlist his fellow candidates and prominent opposition figures to support the Good Society, calling upon all opposition leaders to unite under one umbrella effort and bring down the widely-disliked Sully Ministry. In order to shore up this effort, he embarked on a national tour, during which he and his representatives attempted to forge a general accord for the coming election...

Members of the Society of the Good Fellow-Citizens (excerpt)
- Henri Bourbon d'Armentières (@etranger01)
- Thibaut Duval (@MadMartigan)
- Victor Durand (@TJDS)
- Francois Guizot (NPC)

- Armand Marie Marrast (NPC)
- Adolphe Louis Robin-Morhéry (NPC)
- Camille de Montalivet (NPC)
- Alphonse de Lamartine (NPC)
-

((OOC: Indicate your desire to join the Society in IC, over PM, or on IRC, and you'll be added.))
 
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Rolman99

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Capitaine Jean-Alexandre Renaudin
Born March 13, 1798
Positions: Capitaine (company-level) of the 2nd Dragoon Regiment
Battle of Waterloo (logistical support)
Battle of Irun/Siege of Bilbao
Department: Manche
Party: Independent (Liberal, moderate amounts of Napophilia)

Jean-Alexandre Renaudin was born into a world in disarray. His upper middle class family narrowly escaped the Republicans’ wrath on more than one occasion, retreating to their small, Alpine villa to sit out the revolution. It was there that Jean-Alexandre spent his first six years, before his family returned back to their old residence of Cherbourg in 1804 with the rise of the Empire. Much of their assets were stolen or seized, but Jean-Alexandre’s father reversed their poor fortunes with a handful of lucky investments. The Renaudins idolized Napoleon, seeing him as the family’s, and France’s, savior. Jean-Alexandre shared that adoration for L’Empereur, and when he returned during the Hundred Days, he was quick to sign up. However, due to Jean-Alexandre looking younger than most at his age, a concerned officer sent him to work on the ammunition wagons, kept away from the battle itself. Two years later, Jean-Alexandre, who was enamoured by the glory of the military, reenlisted in the Royal French Army, and trained as a dragoon. He was placed in the 2nd Regiment, and rose through the ranks rather quickly. When the 2nd Dragoons participated in the Invasion of Spain in 1823 as part of the Prince Conde’s X Army, seeing combat at Irun and performing competently. By 1827, Renaudin has been promoted to become a Capitaine of the 2nd Dragoons.

Jean-Alexandre is a rather pretentious romantic and self-styled scholar. He anonymously writes poetry, short stories, and editorials. Good? Sometimes. Maybe.

Politically, Jean-Alexandre is a liberal of the sort a member of the urban bourgeoisie would know well. He has a good deal of respect, and perhaps even longing for, Napoleon and the Bonapartes, which he keeps hidden in order to avoid controversy.
 

etranger01

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When asked by a writer from Le Dioclétien about his intention to write an electoral manifesto, Henri Bourbon d'Armentières responds accordingly:

"My good sir, let us not outwit ourselves. Simply know that I am for sewers for the city; roads for the country; tools for the farms; tariffs for the industries; freedom for the press; the franchise for the poor; new ministers for the King; and the Charter for the people. Let that be my manifesto."
 

Eid3r

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Marseilles, Bouches-du-Rhône

And so it appeared that the good poet of Marseilles, Alphonse de Lamartine, had decided in favour of running for a seat in the House of Deputies, a feat rendered much easier by the retirement of the prolific writer Henri-Maurice de Saint-Germain, a man so renowned that victory was naturally assimilated to his name and all resistance was futile. Having pushed for a long time her friend to contest the election, it was all natural for the Marquise d’Armentières to visit the southern department to help him out.

The invitations had been sent to most of the city’s notables, in fashion and style, and the dinner was expected to be a copious affair, the wine selection having been the subject of the most inflated rumours that may or may not have been planted to stimulate attendance. The net result was a room packed to the brim and a most joyful mood, as the good marquise was entertaining the crowd and making many acquaintances, ravishing many with her pristine manner and her ability to drop little bits of Parisian gossip here and there, to pique the curiosity.

Lamartine, for his part, was a complete success, many ladies fawning over his literary repute and much bourgeois finding inspiration in his unflinching honesty. When the time for the habitual political speech to be delivered, which is to say, just before the main meal and before people’s attention evaporates with their general sense of sobriety, the Marquise was asked to introduce him. She gently proceeded to the dais, and once she capture a moderate amount of attention, for there was never any scenario in which the crowd would be completely silent, she spoke briefly.

“My dear friends, good and noble people of Marseilles. It is a delight to be in your society tonight and an honour to be invited to introduce a man of impeccable morality, of distinguished literary fame and of the most brilliant intellect, Monsieur Alphonse de Lamartine, who is contesting the election for one of the seat in the Chamber of Deputies to represent your interests in Paris. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the unique, the bright and the mellifluous, Alphonse de Lamartine”

Under much applause, the newly minted politician proceeded to the dais and delivered his speech, a rather entertaining affair, punctuated by anecdotes and humorous remarks, leaving an excellent impression. To be prosaic, she had successfully brought the mountain to Muhammad, and her good friend had delivered. She then enjoyed the supper before retiring to her apartments to pen a letter to her husband.

“Dearest Henri,

I hope this letter finds you well and that the rigor of the current electoral campaign is not too harsh on your moral. While it pains me greatly to be separated from you and while I yearn to be restored to your warm embrance as quickly as possible, I know that this is for a greater cause.

We held here in Marseille a most successful event to introduce Alphonse de Lamartine to the good society of the city, connecting him to the moneyed interests able to ensure is election and political fortune. I am pleased to say that I believe he made the strongest of impression.

Should he be elected, I am led to think you will find in him a most amenable ally, given the praise he heaped on your person during dinner and the private reassurances he gave me thereafter.

Otherwise, Charlotte is quite well, her sleep being only trouble by the natural pain of teething. We should be back in Paris within the week.

Your beloved,

Amélie.”
 

99KingHigh

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His Most Christian Majesty, King Charles X, King of France and Navarre


Mon Cher Condé,

Oh, my good Cousin, you must know of these afflictions that plague my person! The foe of our Crown spits upon Holy Church and Holy Throne; oh, the present course is not to be permitted. I come now to you, cousin, in first part brother, and second part, as your Lord and Sovereign; for what I must impress upon you is of the paramount importance of our sacred person. Everywhere across Paris, the Church—the instrument of divine purpose that beholds all and assigns upon the Throne the inviolable privilege to reign—is enduring the worst ridicules. No, cousin, this is Intolerable to me. I should now call upon you to return the Favor of the grace I did to your noble Title; by the fact that you are a Royal Highness, I expect your person to take an action befit for a Royal person, and give contribution to the Realm that has bestowed you everything.

Mon Cher Condé, I intend to give action of example against those who belittle Holy Catholic Church, and make action of noble purpose from the princes du sang. I know, but cannot acknowledge, that you have a son, who goes by the name Philippe Henri, but I do not give him the name of Bourbon. If you wish him to be held in regard of court, and wishes to be granted the privileges of your estate, I should command you to press upon him the cloth of the Church, and by this action, he shall be given the royal grace, and although he shall not, and cannot be, a prince du sang, he shall be a person of great esteem in my Kingdom, and the love and grace of the Throne will warm his person; but by these benefits he must oblige what I have said, so France may known that the regal blood and the ecclesiastical spirit are one and indissoluble.

Amitiés,

 

MadMartigan

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May 15, 2017
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Paris, November 1827.
((Private letter to @MadMartigan))

Friend,

It is not improper at all. I will in fact be running myself, I'm just debating if I will re-run for a seat in Seine, as that is where I have traditionally lived and represented, or if I am to run for a more secure location. Any advice on that matter? For your campaign I wish you the best of luck, also I would like to give you a friendly advice. Seek the support and patronage of the Duke of Orleans. He is keen on uniting French liberalism and moderatism under his banner, and I believe we are much better off under his leadership.

Kind regards,
Lothaire.

My good Major,

I am afraid I cannot find it within myself to seek the patronage of His Grace the Duc de Orleans. He was late of a fraternal order of which I am a part, and his betrayal, I cannot find any words more gentle to accurately describe it, is what killed the Duc de Piombino; of that I am as sure as I am of anything in this life.

Even if I should one day distance myself from my brothers and find my own path in this world politically, just as in your and I's old wild days, I will not ever turn my back upon them. I know he is a Prince of the Blood and I respect him for that, but as a man of conscience I cannot say that I would trust that man to run a mail room in a factory much less the future of liberalism in France.

I understand your disappointment, but I hope you do not hold this against me. I shall always consider you a friend and an ally, both within and without the Chamber.

Respectfully,
Duval
 
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