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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Dadarian

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Liberals and Poland; How the liberalist causes death
Upon the receipt of further news from far-flung Poland, it is becoming obvious that the common Pole has been betrayed by their own. Prodded and whipped, treated like cattle by liberalists, the Poles were incited. Whereas it came across as a brutal repression caused by Slavic barbarity, it seems to be much more likely that this rebellion was spawned by the pseudo-socialist agenda of the liberalists. Little more than terror-mongers, they have chosen to take stands with common interests such as the Church, which they fundamentally oppose. This shows the very depths in which liberalists will sink in which to seek power, as they have nothing to guide them but their hunt for wealth. Using the Church as a simple organ of government instead of a fundamental plane of society, they ploughed through the ripe fields which were common discontent to support anarchy. All the which, liberalists remain safe in their manors and monied properties, awaiting a die-down in violence before seizing all the assets of the dead. For that is their goal, death, and enrichment from it.

Remember, liberalists are here in France too. Record locations of liberalist meeting sites, record names of known liberalists, and submit these lists to the authorities. Subversive and dangerous individuals are likely to plan much harm to every man, his welfare, and his family. Only you can keep France and the Crown safe from liberalists.

M. Fidele
 

Michaelangelo

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Guémené-sur-Scorff, France

For the first time in years, the Rohan family was gathered all together again, albeit missing one key member. They were all gathered in the study at Guémené, silently pondering their own grief. Belle, now widowed, sat in an armchair, dabbing at her eyes with a handkerchief as she tried to hold back sobs. Her daughter Marie leaned against the arm of the armchair, her hand on her mother’s shoulders, trying to comfort her as she tried to hold back tears of her own. Belle’s other daughter, Amélie, stood behind the chair, leaning against a bookshelf and hunched over as though she wanted to curl up and hide from the world. Across the room near the window and pacing back and forth restlessly was the eldest son, Beau. His inability to stand still contrasted sharply with his younger brother, Henri, who stood near his mother with his head hung lowed and staring sadly at the floor. As for the youngest of the group, the twins Louis and Philippe, they stood together against the far wall in silence, the shadows masking their presence and making it easy to forget they were even there at all. None of their spouses or children were present, for this was a personal affair for just those gathered.

The death of the head of their family, Louis de Rohan, necessitated this reunion for the reading of the will. None of them truly wanted to be there, for it forced them to yet again face the fact that their beloved husband or father was gone. Instead they had to wait as the judge sat down at the desk across the room and shuffled through his paperwork. When he was finally ready to begin, he cleared his throat and eyed the gathered family. They all let out a collective sigh and prepared for what was to come as the judge put on his spectacles and began to read aloud.

“I, Louis de Rohan, Prince de Guémené, Duc de Montbazon, Duc de Bouillon, Seigneur de Clisson, being of sound mind, do hereby declare this to be my final will and testament, and do hereby revoke any and all wills and codicils heretofore made jointly or severally by me….”

The judge droned on for some time, reading through the legal preamble that accompanied all wills. They all listened with detached interest, still trying to come to terms with the loss of their husband or father. Occasionally Belle would interrupt the rambling with a sob, with her daughters comforting her as she went through this most difficult process. Eventually they got to the meat of the will, learning what their husband or father had left behind for them.

“To my dearest Belle, the love of my life, the one whom guided me through my darkest of times, I leave a portion of my wealth so that she may live the life of a princess she deserves, as well as my entire collection of literature stored within the library at Guémené.”

Belle suddenly burst into tears, unable to hold it back anymore. She had always cherished the great library and spent countless hours in there. Louis had always known how much she loved the written word, and it had been a source of bonding between her and her husband. It was almost too much for her to bear.

After Belle’s sobs had subsided, the judge continued with his reading.

“To my children, Beau, Marie, Amélie, Henri, Louis, and Philippe, I leave a small portion of my wealth for them to properly provide for themselves and their family, so they and their children shall not want for anything.”

Amélie was beginning to sniffle, trying to hold back tears, while Marie was dabbing at the corner of her eyes. The men remained stone-faced, even if their eyes appeared a bit more moist.

“To my eldest son, Beau, I pass my titles as Prince de Guémené, Duc de Montbazon, Duc de Bouillon, and Seigneur de Clisson, as is his birthright and in accordance with the laws of succession, as well as grant him all estates associated with said titles.”

Everyone in the room remained in sullen silence, although Beau’s head had raised. His eyes narrowed, deep in thought as he watched the judge carefully, perhaps wondering if there was more to come that had been excluded. Surely there was still more to be mentioned as the eldest son of the deceased.

“And to my second son, Henri,--”

The judge paused for a moment as he cleared his throat and adjusted his spectacles, looking down intently at the will as if he had difficulty reading it. Louis’s children looked around at each other, Henri seeming particularly alarmed as his name had been mentioned before the pause. Beau continued to glare at the judge, as if he did it intensely enough, he would be able to read his thoughts and see what was going on. After offering an apology for the pause, the judge continued.

“And to my second son, Henri, who is hereby designated as the head of the household as my main benefactor, I leave the remainder of my assets, estates, properties, and wealth, including but not limited to the Hôtel de Rohan-Guémené, the Hôtel de Rohan-Montbazon, and all my shares and my position as co-owner in the Rohan-Descombes Manufacturing Company. May he carry on my family’s legacy in my stead.”

A few gasps filled the room, and Henri’s jaw dropped so low it looked as though it was about to fall off his face. All eyes turned towards Rohan’s second son, who no one had expected to have received the lion’s share of their father’s inheritance. It had been assumed that Beau, the eldest, would naturally inherit the most, especially after their father’s obsession with changing the inheritance laws to prevent the breakup of estates, but it seemed their father had had other plans. None were more surprised than Beau himself, who was now clenching his fists so tightly that his hands were turning red.

“Oh, Louis,” Belle said, gently shaking her head as she forced herself from her seat. She eyed her two eldest sons with a sad look as she walked towards Beau.

A piercing glare from Belle’s eldest son stopped her short. Practically snarling out his words, Beau said, “Did you know?” He rose to his full height, practically foaming at the mouth. “Did you know that Father intended to disinherit me?”

“Of course not,” Belle said, drawing closer and beckoning for a hug, wanting nothing more than to comfort her poor child. Beau was having none of it though and pushed her aside, perhaps a tad too roughly. She nearly stumbled to the floor, and Marie had to swoop in to grab her to keep her from falling. Amélie had stepped out from behind the armchair, a look of concern on her face.

Beau ignored the women in the room and turned his gaze to his younger brother. “You did this,” Beau said, pointing accusingly at Henri. “You poisoned Father’s mind, turned him against me.”

“I didn’t do anything,” Henri said, sputtering out a response. “I had no idea he was going to do this.” He was breathing heavily, struggling just to wrap his head around what was happening.

“It’s not Henri’s fault,” Belle said, tears streaming down her cheeks. “It’s not anyone’s fault. I don’t know why your father did this, but please don’t fight. We can figure things out.”

“I know exactly why he did this,” Beau said, the anger growing in his voice. “Henri has always been his favourite. He doted upon that sickly pathetic boy since he was a baby while he treated me like a stranger. He never loved me; he only cared about poor sickly Henri.” He gave Henri a scowl, the contempt clear in his eyes.

“No, no, no,” Belle said, her lip trembling. “Your father always loved you. Please, there is no need to fight.”

“Shut up,” Beau said with great force, drawing a gasp from both Marie and Amélie, who had moved to comfort their increasingly hysterical mother. Clutching at his hair, growing more agitated, Beau said, “Clearly Father wrote this during one of his bouts of illness. He wasn’t in his right mind; that has to be it.” He turned to the judge, who was awkwardly sitting at the desk in silence as he watched the family drama unfold. “You! When was this will written?”

The judge sputtered for a bit, not expecting the sudden question. He adjusted his spectacles and examined the document quickly. “1858, my good sir.”

“Your father was not ill then,” Belle said between sniffles. “I’m sorry, Beau. This should never have happened.”

“I told you to be quiet,” Beau said, anger overcoming him. “Father was mad, he had to be. We just didn’t realize it at the time.”

“Father was not insane,” Marie said with determination, stepping away from their mother to confront her older brother. “He may have been ill the last few years, but I spent more than enough time around him to know that he was of completely sound mind around the time he wrote that will.”

Unable to come up with an appropriate excuse, Beau suddenly declared, “The will is a forgery. That has to be it.”

The judge cleared his throat, cowering a bit as he became uncomfortable at the attention he was now receiving. “This will was properly signed and witnessed in accordance to French law. It is authentic.”

Spiralling into a full-on temper tantrum, Beau stomped one foot and said, “I will not accept this. That inheritance is mine by right.”

Henri took in a deep breath, watching his mother with concern as she practically fell to her knees sobbing. Building up his courage, he faced his older brother and said, “This is exactly why Father chose me over you.”

Beau’s gaze shifted his way and it took all of Henri's strength not to cower before the intimidating glare of his brother. Often he had succumbed to just a scathing look, always fearful of his brother’s aggressive nature, but not this time. Puffing out his chest and standing as tall as he could, which was not much with him being barely over five feet in height, Henri said, “Father chose me over you because you are a self-entitled petulant brat with anger issues and the intelligence of a donkey. He trusted me with his legacy because unlike you I am not an ill-tempered ape prone to drink and gamble my fortune away. No doubt if you had inherited everything of worth, you would have squandered it in a few years and smeared the Rohan family name into the dirt.”

Everyone’s jaw dropped, shocked by the sudden outburst from their often polite and well-spoken brother or son. Beau seemed most taken aback, shaking his head as if unable to even comprehend Henri’s words. Still feeling the high from standing up to his bully of a brother, Henri said, “No matter how much you whine and moan, Father left his inheritance to me. He intended for me to continue on his legacy, and I shall do whatever it takes to live up to that expectation. I will not disappoint him as he must have expected you would.”

“How dare you speak to me like that,” Beau said, stepping towards his brother with his fists raised. “I’ll beat some sense into you.”

Henri backed away as he was confronted by his brother. Belle was now sobbing hysterically on the floor as her family fell apart around her. Fortunately Marie still held on to her senses and stepped to her brother’s defence. She rushed towards Beau and grabbed him by the forearm. “Stop it. You’re upsetting Mother.”

Beau let out an angry grunt, grabbed his sister by the wrist, and wrenched her grip free. She let out a gasp and attempted to twist herself free with little success. He then pushed his sister aside, unceremoniously throwing her to the floor. Belle let out another heavy sob at the sight of her children fighting, and Amélie unsuccessfully attempted to calm her down.

Henri, who had had enough of seeing his brother first yell at his mother and now assault his sister, let reason escape him for once. He grabbed the first object he could find, a golden candlestick sitting on a nearby end table, and hurled it at his eldest brother. It collided with his brother’s jaw with a dull thud and knocked him back a step or two. After rubbing his aching jaw, Beau locked a piercing gaze on his younger brother, and Henri knew he had made a grave mistake.

“I’ve had enough of this,” Beau said, spitting out each word. “I will not let you steal my inheritance.”

Beau reached towards his belt, and everyone’s eyes widened as they realized he was reaching for the revolver at his side. As he drew the weapon, Belle, who had risen to her feet once more, let out a gasp and promptly fainted to the floor, only to be saved at the last minute by Amélie catching her. Knowing himself to be the intended target, Henri attempted to dive to the side, aiming for behind the armchair his mother had sat at earlier. Meanwhile, Marie, who had risen back to her feet and saw what her older brother was doing, rushed headlong at her brother and dived for his waist.

This all happened in the matter of a few seconds. Henri dodged to the side, panic clear on his face as he awaited the potentially fatal shot. Marie collided with Beau’s torso, wrapping her arms around him and carrying him to the floor. Despite being a woman, she was unusually strong and was more than capable of tackling her brother. Regardless, she was not quite quick enough, and a bang filled the room as the gun went off.

Everyone else in the room could only watch as Beau’s and Henri’s bodies hit the floor. Carried down by the weight of Marie, Beau hit the floor hard, his head bouncing off the hardwood and knocking him unconscious. The smoking gun skittered away, released from his grasp. Henri landed more gently but let out a deep grunt followed by an agonizing scream. Blood was streaming from his left leg, and it was soon clear that the bullet had found its mark.

Everyone was too stunned to react, that is until Belle regained consciousness. Seeing her one son lying unconscious and her other one bleeding out on the floor, she let out a piercing shriek and rushed to Henri’s side. “My baby. What has happened to my baby?”

Amélie followed her mother, and noticing that the wound continued to bleed, proceeded to rip off part of her dress to wrap around the wound and staunch the bleeding. She ripped off another piece and tightly wrapped it around higher up the leg, having read somewhere that it would help stem the flow of blood to the leg. Across the room, Marie grabbed the revolver and checked on the brother she had just tackled to the floor. He remained unconscious, probably for the best. The youngest brothers, Louis and Philippe, had not left their corner of the room the entire time, too in shock to react at all.

Slowly everyone gathered around the wounded Henri de Rohan. His eyelids fluttered as he faded in and out of unconsciousness. His leg hurt immensely, but he could barely even focus on that. He could faintly hear his mother crying off to the side and the whispers of encouragement his sister gave him as she attempted to treat his wound. There was a flurry of conversation after that, but he could not make out a word. He was beyond hearing at that point as he finally blacked out, not knowing if he would ever see his family again.

* * * * *

Paris, France

Henri Rohan rode in a carriage through the streets of Paris accompanied by his mother Belle. He watched the buildings pass by through the window in silence. Neither he nor his mother were in the mood for conversation, not after what they had gone through. After the reading of the will and the subsequent violent squabble, Henri had been rushed to a surgeon to treat his wound. Unfortunately for him, there were not too many skilled surgeons to be found in Brittany, and the one who ended up treating him was certainly not the best. While the man had managed to seal the wound and stop the bleeding, he had failed to remove the bullet, claiming it was far too close to a major artery to remove. It remained lodged in Henri’s thigh, where it occasionally brushed up against a nerve, sending a spasm of pain down his leg and seizing it up. He was now forced to walk with a cane to compensate for the new limp he had developed. He had already looked short and sickly before, but now the cane and the limp surely completed the look.

The damage to Henri’s leg paled in comparison to the damage done to his family. Reconciling with his brother seemed an impossibility now. Beau would never forgive him unless Henri gave him what he saw as his rightful inheritance, which meant absolutely everything his father had given him. The chance of that was slim to none, for their father had clearly intended Henri to be his chosen successor and he was not going to disrespect that decision, even if it cost the family any form of unity. Beau would have to learn to live with what he had been given, the titles and lands that had been passed down by Rohan men for generations. If Henri could live with not being the Prince de Guémené or Duc de Montbazon, Beau could learn to live with knowing he was not his father’s chosen successor.

Henri couldn’t help but laugh at that last thought. Beau would certainly not be coming to terms with what had happened any time soon. After what had happened at the reading of the will, they had had to lock Beau up in the tower at Guémené for a few days to give him time to calm down. He had ranted and raved for days, trashing the furniture and swearing vengeance on his younger brother. Even after he had calmed down and was let out of the tower, Henri could still see the murder in his eyes. He was not going to let it go that easily. In the end, it had been blackmail that had forced his hand. Not wanting to live in fear of his brother his whole life, Henri made it quite clear that if Beau attempted to come after his inheritance, he would let the world know about his attempted kinslaying. Only that threat of exposure had brought a temporary end to the conflict. They had then all agreed that if anyone asked about Henri’s new wound, they would claim it was the result of a hunting accident. The judge had also been paid off for his silence, although if Beau decided to make the inheritance an issue, he could prove a compelling witness. If Beau wasn’t careful though, Henri had no qualms telling everyone how he had truly developed the limp that now plagued him.

The carriage came to a halt with a creak, drawing Henri’s attention. They had arrived at the Hôtel de Rohan-Montbazon, his father’s home in Paris. Henri shook his head at that last thought. No, not his father’s home, but his now. His father had given this place to him, and now it would be his home. He stepped out of the carriage carefully, leaning against his cane to avoid falling.

After stepping out, Henri glanced back at his mother and offered to help her out of the carriage. She took his hand and stepped out gingerly, seeming so much smaller and frailer than she used to. Recent events had taken their toll on her. She would have loved nothing more than to spend the rest of her days in Guémené, the place she felt closest to her late beloved. That was no longer a possibility. Guémené belonged to Beau now, and after his recent display Henri could not trust his older brother to watch over their mother. It had not helped that Beau had bitterly pointed out that Henri was the designated head of the household in their father's will and thus caring for their mother was his responsibility. He hated to take his mother away from the home she loved, but he would not leave her alone with Beau. She would be safe under his care here in Paris, even if she would be unlikely to be happy.

Stopping outside the front door, Henri took a moment to admire the Hôtel de Rohan-Montbazon. His father had worked so hard to acquire this property, one of many that he viewed as part of his family’s legacy. Pride swelled inside him knowing that his father had trusted him with it. He would not let his father down. With a sigh of relief, feeling relaxed for the first time in days, Henri said, “It’s good to be home.”

Belle looked up at the Hôtel for a moment, her eyes teary and wet. She took in a deep breath and stepped towards the door. Before grabbing the door handle, she said, “This isn’t home. Home is wherever your family is, and I don’t know if I have one anymore.”
 

Otto of england

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Rhone sits at his desk chair in his study in his Parisian office. The office itself is neat and tidy, but extremely spartan; the floor is well worn hardwood, his chairs do not have cushions being just bare wood, his desk is beat up from years of use and the varnish has worn thin across much of its surface, and his book shelves to the right of his desk are generic and plain looking, crowded with manual after manual on arms development, physical sciences, military accounts, histories, etc.. Across from this stands the most well maintained, ornamental piece of furniture in the entire room, carved out of a fancy piece of of dark tropical wood that only those well versed in would working could identify. On this display case rests multiple intricately design firearms and swords, highly etched and fancy revolvers of all sorts, intricately decorated and well made rifles, beautiful artistic sabres that would make even the most hateful of luxury envious.

Rhone sits at his desk drafting letter after letter of all sorts. On his desk lies no less than 20 signed and stamped letters a part of his campaign idea to try and organize a bunch of republican-bonapartists to stand for election but en mass refuse oaths to try and show the people of France that all hope is not lost. Another 20 papers are in progress to try and convince perfects to let these men stand for election.

Rhone muses to himself aloud after writing the 13th letter to a perfect, this time the perfect for his home town of Le Puy, "I sometimes wonder if this whole affair is even worth the effort, perhaps I would be better spend putting my energy on assisting the development of a naval revolver."

Upon hearing this his aide, Bisset, in the corner puts down his book and looks over at Rhone. "Monsieur le Comte, what is it you said? I must apologize I was engrossed in this treatise on chemistry and was not listening intently to you."

Upon hearing his aides voice Rhone realizes he has been muttering aloud while writing all of these letters. Feeling a bit embarrassed he reaches down to his drawer and grabs a letter and a package to go with it. "Monsieur Bisset, I need to you to take this package to the courier post haste, it is late as it is," Rhone says as he stands up and walks over to Bisset, "make sure you get it to the correct courier this time, I wouldnt want it to be misplaced again."

Upon hearing this Bisset immediately feels awkward, because the last package he accidentally delivered to a random Parisian. Normally, that wouldnt be an issue, but this package had a ornamental revolver in it that cost 400 francs to make delaying a gift by a few weeks. As Bisset picks up the package from Rhone he is surprised at its weight, this box definitely needed both hands, and it would not be fun to carry it the 5 km to the courier. With that Bisset trudges out of the office carry this package and can be hear mildly swearing the entire way with the occasional "tabarnak!" under his breath.

---------------------

((Confidential @etranger01 ))

Your Imperial Highness,

I hope this letter finds you in good health, I hear many reports that the weather in London is just dreadful with it raining more often than the sun shines, that kind of dampness would be unkind to my old bones. That said I hope the accommodations offered by the British, and your good friends among the upper end of the British society have proven fitting for a person of your stature; while they will never be as good as France, the surely beat the jail cell, the baking sun of Algeria, or the god-forsaken, malaria infest jungles of Vietnam.

However, I must profess my most sincere apology, because by the time this letter and its associated packages finds its way to you it will have been already too late for it to arrive in time for your birthday. To that I am truly sorry. It is my hope though, that even late, this package my serve to remind you that there are still many of us in France who await your return in the future, whenever that maybe. In side I have included a most handsomely created revolver from my own personal collection, and several bottles of 1810 Bordeaux wine from my wine cellar. I am most confident that luxuries such as these are not amiss among your friends in London, but I fear the quality of their products - for can any wine truly compete with one from France? Particularly, from such a fine vintage.

In the mean time I shall continue my work here in France, organizing and keeping your name alive on the ears of the people of France. If I were not so old I may entertain the thought of joining you in London, but alas, such travel is ambitious for me at this age. I suspect that I have but one great travel left in me, and I shall save that for a time when France is in its most need.

Your Loyal Servant,



Général Godefroy Raymond de la Rhône, Comté de la Rhône
 

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Gorchakov responds on 30 April, and refuses the note.
[Secret]
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs contacts the Duc de Broglie and the Comte de Bourqueney, at London and Vienna respectively. Within its communiqué, it relays the Russian response and notes the stubbornness of Gorchakov.

It commands both to present a query to the foreign ministers: will London and Vienna, together with France, put joint pressure on Russia to isolate the Prussian menace, even if the matter of Poland is left as a domestic issue for the time being?
 

Dadarian

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On Loyalists, and how Liberalists can never be one
Loyalism requires being able to hold yourself to one cause. An example for you, reader, would be your loyalty to your family and the Church. This is because you are, at your heart, a Loyalist. You believe in something, anything. Even, heavens forgive me for saying this, the socialists believe in something. They believe, through the incorrect mechanisms, in improving life for every Parisian. This is a goal that the Droite National also wishes, but in a correct and non-violent manner. However, the liberalists believe in nothing but their pound of flesh, their pieces of silver. Liberalists do not believe in the Church, excepting where they can seize Church lands and Church funds. Liberalists do not believe in family, as they have and will actively seek to break up the family unit by forcing women and children into their factories to produce meaningless nonsense. Liberalists do not believe in tradition, except where they can utilize it to gain power.

To which, Loyalists must stand up, united, in a great anti-liberalist front. Shoulder to shoulder, arm to arm, the commons must unshackle themselves from the yoke of the haute-bourgeois and return to the everloving bosom of King and Church, to family and the farm. For in the factory, all you make is smoke and all you bring home is debt. On the farm, one can create an undying legacy for one's kin, and support oneself through all the harsh times.

Reject the liberalists, report the liberalists, beware of the liberalist.

M. Fidele
 

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A Letter to the Duc d'Orleans
(( @Cloud Strife ))
Your Highness,

It would appear Committee of the Rue de Lille, which had maintained airs of sending its own candidates like Le Grand Lecuyer to the Deputies, now endorses the Union libérale; no doubt a reaction to the manifesto in L'Union capturing the attention of every nobleman in Paris. There is I am to understand, to be no ambiguity in the Chamber in which I endeavor to be elected. Only those for and those against the Union. It is a shame, as I had thought that the progressives of the Committee might have joined forces with the forces of the social gospel among the Legitimist camp. After all, both sides would defend protectionism against the attempts of the heirs of the great Descombes to liberalize France's trade relations with Britain. How then has the progressive, protectionist faction lined up with free-trade liberals?

In any case, I would ask from you a piece of advice. In the Chamber of Deputies should I endeavor to be for the Liberals, or against?

I am a man of commerce, like my late father, but it was the social gospel of the Church as espoused in Belgium where I met my wife that drew me to Christ. And the laws of thermodynamics which I, as an engineer, view the superior guide to man's endeavors have as of yet to make a final determination in which of two general paths the material progress of Paris and the rest of France resides.

While I know very well a man of your stature is beyond such petty things as partisan politics, I would greatly appreciate your advice on this subject. Your uncle is the one who recommended me to the role of State Engineer and now I find myself the captain of many enterprises of which you are the primary investor. It goes without saying that your judgement means much to me.

Yours faithfully,

Reuben V. Duval
Dear Duval,

I hope all goes well with you and your family. The rough and tumble world of partisan bickering is no substitute to the sincere pleasures of family life. The politicians bicker, the people suffer, such is the way of our world and it is my sincere hope that the Monarchist, or even the Republicanist, would set aside these grand debates on how we should govern and actually set to work to govern. I value, and we of the Junior Line have always valued, performance and your record in Algeria in the service of France speaks much to your diligence and commitment to performing the necessary tasks to advance our nation.

You speak of soliciting my person for advice but instead I would ask yours. It is not the role of the Monarchy to associate itself too deeply with faction. We must represent the interests of all Frenchmen and remind all our fellow brothers of their duty to the nation and mission to better their condition through self-improvement. Having read the Liberal Party's manifesto and endured--I think that would be a fair description--the declarations of good friends for and against it, my own reading is that there is much of the spirit of the 1830 contained within the manifesto's four corners. But that is my interpretation. What is yours?

We trust your judgement to manage key parts of the Orléans business concern, why would we not trust your political judgement as well? Support of our interests, and by extension those of the monarchical principle governing France, must be sustained among all legitimate political movements. It is natural we expect the government ministry to be loyal and faithful but the opposition as well ought to be loyal and faithful.

Whichever path you take in this election let your steps be towards the accomplishment of our common interests, that is the destination you should keep in mind. The road that you chose to travel to reach that goal is yours to decide.

With the warmest regards,
Orléans
 

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Name: Henri de Rohan, Prince de Rohan
Born: 7 April 1837
Profession: Co-owner of the Rohan-Descombes Manufacturing Company

Background: The second son of Louis de Rohan, Henri experienced a difficult childhood. He was often plagued with prolonged bouts of illness, leaving his body weak and frail. Even as an adult, he barely reached over five feet in height and possessed a small physique. Physical activity was difficult for him, so he often resorted to more mental pursuits. He was an avid reader, both of traditional literature and political treatise, and most of his childhood was spent focused on a healthy education. This allowed him to develop a keen intellect, complimented by his increasingly honed wit. Despite his frail appearance and his tendency to tire easily, Henri remained incredibly positive and possesses a friendly demeanor, although he was also prone to bouts of mischief, especially against his older brother Beau.

Even though he was still a teenager during the Second Republic, Henri took a keen interest in the incredibly active political environment. He often picked his father’s brain about political events and the various factions that had developed. It was during this period that he developed a deep fondness for the Orleanists and their movement, favouring their more liberal leanings and conciliatory approach in opposition to what his father described as the stubborness of the Legitimists. It is perhaps an amusing coincidence then that he ended up falling madly in love with Daphnée de Lécuyer, a member of perhaps one of the most recognized Orleanist families. Winning her hand in marriage was one of the happiest moments of his life, and he remains completely and utterly devoted to his beloved wife. Despite concerns that his frail health would affect his ability to sire heirs, the happy couple are the proud parents of four children.

During his early adult years, Henri ended up being dragged into the world of finance and industry by his father. After creating a manufacturing company with the famed Descombes, Louis often involved his second son in its operations, teaching him about the various aspects of the business and eventually granting him a position within the company. When his father’s interest began to wane and his health deteriorated, it fell upon Henri to run the company in his father’s stead. With Descombes busy with politics and his eventual withdrawal from public life, Henri became the face of the Rohan-Descombes Manufactoring Company in all but name.

With the death of his father, Henri has suddenly been tossed into the limelight. Designated his father’s primary heir, a fact he had not even been aware of beforehand, he has suddenly been left with most of his father’s assets and properties he had acquired over the decades. Despite the protests of his older brother over the inheritance, Henri is suddenly faced with the daunting prospect that his father had always intended for him to carry on his family’s legacy. It is a difficult task he has been presented with, but he is committed to ensuring that the Rohan name is not forgotten.

* * * * *

((For those interested, here are the remainder of Louis de Rohan's children, excluding the entirely forgettable and unimportant Louis and Philippe.))



Name: Beau de Rohan, Prince de Guémené, Duc de Montbazon, Duc de Bouillon, Seigneur de Clisson
Born: 24 February 1830
Profession: Peer of France, Chef d'escadrons

Background: The eldest son of Louis de Rohan, Beau grew up with a sense of entitlement born from being the eldest son of a prince. With the thought that he would one day be the future Prince de Guémené, his pride grew tremendously and he often lorded over his younger siblings. He also possessed a stubborn and aggressive streak, charging headlong into everything and bullying others into getting his way, often resorting to violence when it suited his needs. His attitude was further aided by his large stature and muscular build. His father made many attempts to tame this beastly aggression, but met with little success. Added to this was a natural predisposition to be both headstrong and unflinching in his convictions, making it incredibly difficult to persuade him to change his opinion or listen to reason, even when presented with facts to the contrary. This was most prelavent in his opinion on politics, with Beau often arguing with his father over the senior Bourbon line and its divine right to rule, something Beau devoutly supported without question.

As Beau grew into adulthood, he traded his more childish beahviours for more adult sins. He developed a fondess for alcohol, enjoyed the company of women, and tended to throw money away gambling. The second was somewhat lessened by his marriage to Charlotte Amélie Gabrielle de Conflans d'Armentières and the birth of their children, but the latter proved a point of contention as he attempted to weasel money out of his family to fuel his gambling addiction. Tired of his son’s behaviour, Louis coerced his son into joining the army, believing that it would instill discipline into a man who lacked self control. Beau ended up being enlisted into the Chasseurs d'Afrique in Algeria, prefering cavalry due to the large amount of time spent horseback riding during his youth.

Joining the French Army did little to curb Beau’s habits or alter his stubborn opinions, but it did give him an opportunity to channel his aggression. He quickly rose through the ranks of the Chasseurs d'Afrique due both to his noble status and his unprecedented bravery. Completely fearless on the battlefield, Beau would not hesitate to charge straight at the enemy and showed no moral qualms with mercilessly slaughtering his opponents. Many unfortunate Arabs fell before his cavalry charges. He soon gathered a following amongst some of the men in the Chasseurs d'Afrique for his willingness to lead from the front. Despite this, some in the upper ranks questioned his often suicidal bravery and his natural instinct to charge the enemy head-on when more prudent tactics were recommended. When finally promoted to the rank of Chef d'escadrons in the early 1860s, his squadron became informally known as the Riders of Rohan due to his men’s unflinching willingness to follow their leader into even the most reckless of skirmishes.

With his father’s death and the discovery that his father has designated his second son as his primary heir, Beau is forced to face his biggest challenge yet. He feels that he has been cheated out of his rightful inheritance, deepening the already wide divide between him and his younger brother Henri. The question now remains what he will do to recitify what he sees as a grievous mistake and insult to his honour, or if he will succumb to the deep emptiness threatening to consume him as he realizes that his father did not think him worthy of carrying on his legacy.



Name: Marie de la Rochefoucauld née de Rohan, Princess de Rohan, Duchess de Liancourt
Born: 18 August 1831
Profession: Princess, wife, mother

Background: The eldest daughter of Louis de Rohan, Marie was wild and energetic as child. At heart she was a tomboy, prefering activities often practiced solely by men, even if this was contrasted by the incredible beauty she inherited from her mother. She loved physical activity, developing into a deep fondness for horseback riding and fencing as she grew older. She also possessed a love for the outdoors and dreamed of exploring the world, showing great excitement whenever the family left their family estates to go to Paris. At times she could be just as headstrong as her older brother Beau, but remained an overall bright and pleasant young woman.

As she blossomed into womanhood, she shed her tomboy image and dived headlong into Parisian society. Attending any ball, gala, or dinner party she could, especially those hosted at the famous Hotel de Lassy, she fell in love with high society. She would often don expensive gowns as she attended these events and flirt with any eligible bachelor should could find. Despite embracing the finer aspects of life, she could still be quite rambunctious and possessed a level of fitness not often seen in most noblewomen.

The idea of marriage had not been a popular one for Marie, who believed it would constrain her and restrict her independence. It took much convincing from her parents and a little coercion to finally get their daughter to settle down. Eventually she was married to François de la Rochefoucauld, Duc de Liancourt, who proved a bland if at least lenient husband. Since the marriage, Marie has learned to settle down, especially after giving birth to two sons, yet she continues to yearn for a life of adventure she may never have.



Name: Amélie de Moncey née de Rohan, Princess de Rohan
Born: 12 November 1833
Profession: Princess, wife, mother (?)

Background: The second daughter of Louis de Rohan, Amélie is a mild-mannered and intelligent woman. Shy and precocious as a child, she preferred to hide away in her room or the library reading a good book. Her obsession with literature was thoroughly encouraged by her well-read mother, who dutifully taught her to read using a myriad of books on all subjects. She was particularly fond of any works of fiction, fascinated by the detailed characters and wondrous locations. While her sister Marie dreamed of travelling to far off lands, Amélie was more than content to experience them vicariously through the novels she read.

As Amélie grew older, it became clear she had inherited her mother’s beauty, with some even claiming that she looked like a younger version of her mother. Despite that, she often dressed quite conservatively and tended to blush when complimented for her appearance. She remained distant and aloof well into her adulthood, only truly able to connect with other people through intellectual pursuits. A discussion on politics, French society, or a myriad of topics could draw her out of her shell and cause her to speak on them for hours on end. Anyone who spoke to her at length would soon notice that she held a great love for the French people and desired nothing more than to see a France where everyone could speak their mind and the government truly represented the people’s interest.

Eventually it came time for Amélie to marry, and the young Raymond de Moncey was arranged to be her husband. Unlike her sister who feared being restrained by marriage, Amélie held a more romantic view of it, believing it to be a chance for a truly deep connection with another human being. While still her shy self and unlikely to truly open up to her husband until she had time to get to know him, she dreamed that she would be swept off her feet and carried away like one of the characters in her books. Now she is given a chance to adjust to a more settled life, one where she can raise a family of her own.
 

99KingHigh

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[Secret]
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs contacts the Duc de Broglie and the Comte de Bourqueney, at London and Vienna respectively. Within its communiqué, it relays the Russian response and notes the stubbornness of Gorchakov.

It commands both to present a query to the foreign ministers: will London and Vienna, together with France, put joint pressure on Russia to isolate the Prussian menace, even if the matter of Poland is left as a domestic issue for the time being?
Broglie provides the instructions to Lord Russell; the information causes quite a stir in London. Lord Palmerston believes the French intend on territorial revision on the Rhine; he offers to send another forceful demand to St. Petersburg, this time with insistences for an autonomous Poland within Russia and the provision of certain liberties. But he cautions against any action directed towards Prussia, which he declares in the Lords “is not the source of discontent nor the stage of its current expressions.”

Bourqueney responds that Vienna could be amenable, but that any protest against Prussia must concern the German Question and not the Polish Question; they would otherwise support the English proposal with French cooperation for a more explicit note and protest in St. Petersburg, after which time additional measures could be considered
.
 

Lyonessian

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Broglie provides the instructions to Lord Russell; the information causes quite a stir in London. Lord Palmerston believes the French intend on territorial revision on the Rhine; he offers to send another forceful demand to St. Petersburg, this time with insistences for an autonomous Poland within Russia and the provision of certain liberties. But he cautions against any action directed towards Prussia, which he declares in the Lords “is not the source of discontent nor the stage of its current expressions.”

Bourqueney responds that Vienna could be amenable, but that any protest against Prussia must concern the German Question and not the Polish Question; they would otherwise support the English proposal with French cooperation for a more explicit note and protest in St. Petersburg, after which time additional measures could be considered
.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs lodges a second, more explicit note of protest in St. Petersburg, jointly with Austria and the United Kingdom
 

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Jockey Club de Paris
(Joint IC with @m.equitum )

It was in the grand setting of the Jockey Club de Paris that the Prince de Polignac met his old friend, and fellow club member, the Prince de Conde. Save a brief meeting during the funeral of the late Duc de Lévis -- Polignac in attendance to condole the widow, and Condé appearing to make sure that Lévis was actually dead -- the pair had not had occasion to meet for some months.

As per custom, the Prince de Polignac was dressed in a black coat, to symbolize that he was in mourning. “Surely, you’re not lamenting the death of Lévis,” remarked Condé, “his passing couldn’t have come soon enough,” a wry smile crept across Condé’s face as he thought of the late Lévis, who had laboured to eject Condé from his presidential post.

“Indeed, no,” Polignac began, “I mourn the loss of my dear nephew, Louis de La Rochfauclaud, who died tragically while travelling in Egypt.” The Prince’s thoughts turned again to the unfortunate occasion of his nephew’s sudden illness and to that make-shift resting place where Rochefoucauld had been interred.

“I grieve with you,” interjected Condé, the smile which had crept upon his lips dissipating in the news of someone actually worthwhile had died, “It has been an unfortunate year, Rochfauclaud, Rohan,” he said as he signalled for a nearby waiter to bring two glasses of fine cognac.

“Too many good men are no longer with us,” said Polignac, recalling the death of the Prince de Guéméne, who was a close friend and relation to both himself and the Prince de Condé.


The cognacs arrived, and both men found a vacant pair of seats by a window in the vast sitting room of the Jockey Club.

Condé nodded, feeling the gold glass in his hand as he relaxed in the chair and looked out over the streets of Paris. The clocks behind his eyes busy at work as his back straightened, before his gaze returned to his fellow Prince, “It is certainly a year of change, Rohan being the primary reason that I am here in Paris once again. I have grown rather fond of the countryside during the last ten years… they provide far better stability than the streets of Paris.” Condé sighed, “What do you make of it all, all these changes?”

“Tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis,” remarked Polignac as he lifted his glass from the platter on which it rested. “Times change, and we change with them, so it would seem.” It had been some time since the latest Bourbon Restoration, and the King, though in a frailer state, remained on the throne. “Shall we drink the King’s health?”

Philippe’s eyes looked over the room, remaining on the waiter for a brief moment as the other guests and patrons were engaged in their own conversations, in their own games. “Of course… his health.” Condé said as he raised the glass, putting it to his lips as he felt the liquid run over his tongue, feeling his chest with warmth as he drank, letting it fall to his stomach before he leaned forward, “You can feel it too, right, a change in the air here in Paris. It is no longer the tranquil serenity which His Majesty’s procession brought with it from the countryside.”

“Indeed, there is an unsettled feeling throughout the city. Though the people go about their daily affairs, buying bread, going to and fro in their habitual way, there is a rather strange sense that the people are restless. Of course, it could be nothing.” Polignac looked out the window adjacent to them, and noticed a carriage pass. Suddenly, flashing across his memory, was the attempted assassination of the King, of Henri V, Le Dieudonné, when Orsini threw bombs at the royal carriage. The Prince had only read about the frightening scene in the newspapers, but it seemed so vivid in his mind.
“I had occasion yesterday evening to join your associate, M.Lecuyer, for luncheon. I understand from him that the two of you have acquired a newspaper. I didn’t know that you, upon returning to Paris, had decided to try your hand at journalism.”

Condé could do little but chuckle at such a prospect. “Yes, a newspaper.” A smirk slithering across his lips, “I had not expected it either. Yet I was approached by a group of… promising new politicians who desired a new outlet for their ideas, their hopes and dreams of the future. I thought they had merit, and this ensures that they argue in favour of continued protection for French farmers.”

“Indeed. The agriculturalists have built this country into what she is today,” remarked Polignac, “and it is ever important that their views are communicated and their interests protected. It was just the other day that I read in L’Union of the formation of some new political grouping, led by the Comte de Charlus, recently elevated to the ducal dignity upon the death of his father, and the Viscount Merivée, whom I’m sure you recall. It seems that their association is committed, among other matters, to making certain reforms for the tranquility and prosperity of the countryside.”
“With your return to Paris, and with the acquisition of a newspaper, are you, by chance, contemplating a return to politics?”

“Perhaps.” Philippe pondered for a brief moment, “I do not think I shall ever take office again. It would be a step down, or perhaps that is merely my hubris and pride that speaks to my mind. But to serve as a Prime Minister, or worse yet a Minister is not an ambition of mine. I rose higher, much younger. Politics are far more suited for men such as Charlus… Levis, who thrives on opposition.” Condé took a deep breath, biting the inner side of his cheek for a brief moment, “Rather the position which my father held in his day, together with Bourget. The dinner room of officials and their cheques, the influencer in the darkness. You?”

The Prince de Polignac thought for a moment, “Politics has never been quite to my liking. All these people with ideas, each advocating some principle or some philosophy. It is, I am told, a matter of some distinction these days, whether one falls into one petty faction or another. The only good parties are the ones where the champagne flows liberally and the music plays through the night.”

“Mayhaps you shall join me in the shadows, my friend.” Condé replied, looking Polignac over as he raised the glass to his lips once again, “I remember how elegantly you moved during the interregnum.” The smirk growing wider. “And a particular document we signed together.”

Polignac grinned: “Those were the days indeed.” Recalling with great fondness those past times, the Prince de Polignac, again sipping from his glass, raised it as to announce a toast: “to the shadows!”

“May they ever linger!” Philippe replied as he took another sip, a chuckle coming from his lips, “So… your company is to open up, or so the rumour goes.”

“Rumours abound in Paris, but I can tell you that the Government has taken interest in the matter of the piercing of the Suez. M. Descombes, who you will no doubt recall, has impressed upon the King that the project should be financed entirely by means of borrowing from the Rothschild’s financial institution. With the recent resignation of M. Descombes, perhaps the Government may alter its advice. It remains to be seen.”


Condé turned, looking over to the waiter who was waved over, “Bring me some ink and paper.” he ordered, a deep breath filling his lungs as it was brought at his request before Condé slipped a handwritten note to Polignac. Reading the message, the Prince de Polignac remarked: "to the shadows, indeed!" The pair drained their glasses of cognac.
 
Last edited:

Bioiron

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((Joint IC with @Qwerty7))


Dubois sat in the apartment listening to his fellow radical comrades and what they had to say. As a new guest, Dubois didn't want to enter into the conversation too early. He wanted to listen out the mannerisms and view points of those he was speaking with before he made his point. Dubois wasn't one satisfied alone with saying his piece, but in successfully convincing people. To do that, he had to know as much as he could about those he would speak to before hand.

When the topic of the election of France came up, he felt it was his moment to speak.

"The situation we face with the election is difficult, but it still presents an opportunity. Yes, an organized effort to run candidates would be futile, even if the few sympathetic to the radical cause that have the franchise were able to elect a deputy, they'd be obligated to reject the oath and therefore not serve as a force in the parliament. Now, if the franchise we could elect a vast slate of candidates that refused the oath, seeing such a large chunk of parliament sit empty would do much in the way of legitimizing this reactionary institution, but on account of the suffrage laws, that's more or less out of the question.

That still, however, does not mean the election does not provide us with opportunity. There are a couple of scenarios that see highlighted political awareness on the part of the masses, one of those are elections and another are foreign crisises. As our radical brothers in Poland bravely rose in an insurrection that'd lead to the Prussian and Russian governments to sign a pact to suppress them, putting the balance of power between the ruling cliques of europe at risk, we have foreign crisis, one that coincides with an election. This is an excellent moment to pull the revolutionary instincts of Frenchmen up out of their hearts into their minds.

I happen to think the best way to achieve this is to attack the conservatives in government more than their more liberal parliamentary opposition. Yes both are simply wings of an otherwise united ruling class, but the best conditions for radicalism occur when the ruling class faces political instability, which can be triggered by disorderly transitions of power from one wing to another, particularly during a delicate crisis such as this polish uprising.

I am of the opinion that the best way to attack these conservatives is by undermining their purported strengths. In this case, attacking their claims to commitments to community by pointing to their dismantling of regulations and state aid and also reveal that their solidarity with foreign tyrants is stronger than any of their claims to catholic solidarity on account of not taking strong action in favour of the liberty of the poles.

All the while we point to the illegitimacy of the election due to the denial of true universal suffrage.

In so far as we can impress upon our connections within France the importance of following this model, I believe we can make gains against the royalists this election without putting a single one of our numbers in their reactionary parliament."


At this point, Bouchardon arose from his seat in the corner. He began, after a near-tubucular cough, to address the topic of elections:

"Thank you M. Dubois for your contribution. We are all glad that you are able to join us to speak about such a pressing issue.

Gentlemen, I agree with M. Dubois on many of his points. The elections now underway are mere illusions, yet is this not the case with all democratic elections? The bourgeois will never permit real movement by the people, and all that can be done is a mere tinkering by certain men who style themselves as "progressives". The petit bourgeois democrat will always cower before the prospect of true rule by the majority. It is not election that brings about social change, but rather it is something more. These difficulties are seemingly compounded by our refusal to swear an oath to a decadent aristocrat who pretends to be a ruler.

M. Dubois is still right to think that we should contest the elections. The working class must organize themselves into a political party in order to assert their independence and strength as a class. This party will provide a basis for the revolutionary spirit to grow and enliven the nation. There is still much to be said in favor of the Polish people and their courageous fight against the massive powers of Russia and Prussia. I see in the Polish workingmen something of the French revolutionary of 1789, and it would be a dishonor to the revolutionary tradition which runs through our history to ignore them.

I do, however, disagree with M. Dubois on the precise details of an election strategy. I believe that the conservatives and liberals are worthy of equal assault from our campaigns. We should not restrain ourselves when we write about liberals, because they are the ones who are most likely to divide the working classes with promises of reform. The conservatives are wolves who openly prey on sheep. The liberals are wolves pretending to be sheep, and this is far more deadly."


Adrien Dubois, having listened to Bouchardon, endeavored to make a succinct reply.

"It is well and good to say that all that bourgeois are mere illusions, the issue we face, however, is that the if the people of France saw it that way clearly enough, they'd have already overthrown the bourgeois order. To create the groundwork for revolution, the bourgeois fraud must be demonstrated at every level.

I am not calling on restricting one's self from writing against the liberals, we have every grounds to attack them, I am merely making two simple cases.

Firstly, time and effort is finite, what we spending doing one thing can be spent doing something else and as such we should focus where are efforts would have the most impact. I argue therefore that we focus on attacking attacking the conservatives, we needn't worry about the splash of our bombardment hitting the liberals, indeed most of our attacks on the conservatives will similarly indict them.

Secondly, to reiterate, the reason I see attacking the conservatives as being the most important, is for the purpose triggering instability through a transition of power, particularly during a crisis. If if were the liberals in government, I'd council that we attack them more than the conservatives.

Though aside from that, I agree with M. Bouchardon's conclusions."
 

99KingHigh

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs lodges a second, more explicit note of protest in St. Petersburg, jointly with Austria and the United Kingdom
Gorchakov refuses the third note on 9 May, that is, three weeks before the French election.
 

LordDuval

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A Critique of Recent Calls For Reform
and an Alternative Proposal for the Course of France

"Nationalism, political liberalization, Secularism, economic protectionism and rapid industrialization", these were the principles Montvicq laid out as the basis of the Committee of the Rue de Lille; with similar sentiments found among the frequent editorialists of La Presse.

And now we find those same editors endorsing the principles if not the actual organization of Bessin and Levis, the principles of Union Libérale, as published in L'Union. Decentralization, liberalization, a sort of reformist gentlemanly socialism, all balanced supposedly with the fiscal conservatism and martial diligence of the former Descombes Ministry.

So we have the marriage of La Presse and L'Union, a Union of the Press, or a Union of the Liberal Press at least. We are to believe that the protectionist, patriotic defenders of industry and French military pride have laid down their arms to frolic in the fields of friendship with proponents of free trade and federalization of the state.

To borrow a term of phrase from the Anglo, balderdash.

Where to even begin to critique such a ludicrous enterprise?

The richest king of the Orient, sitting on a diamond mine in a palace of gold, could not afford to lay state funds into meaningful social protections against sickness and death of household breadwinners, not while also fighting for Polish honor with sword and rifle and expanding civilization into the darkest corners of Africa and Asia. At least not without exploding the deficit to an ungodly size that would make the Kingdom the subject to the tyranny of London bankers.

We are told that reducing the barriers for forming free associations and appealing to the charitable nature of the wealthy will suffice to finance the betterment of the industrial poor. To this again I say balderdash. Without significant state investment, social reform is a non-starter. To expect taxpaying Frenchmen to out of the goodness of their hearts tithe a hefty sum annually, with the reliability such social reforms would require year to year, is to be utterly naive.

So what if the state does finance these much needed social reforms, and keeps the deficit from consuming the Kingdom by drying up funds for the colonies and seeking peace in foreign affairs? This is the likely consequence of a genuinely reformist Ministry.

Well such a program, combined with the relaxed restrictions on press and franchise the Liberals desire, would ruin the peace of France. Without state funds and state police putting ambitious, restless and seditious men into Algeria and away from Paris; discontent would increase. With the Ministry forced by budgetary concerns to only give toothless diplomatic protest to massacres of Catholics and other French allies in Europe, the...more enthusiastic free associations of working men would set Paris ablaze in their demands that the weak and unpatriotic bourgeoisie traitors and socialist scum resign in shame. With greater autonomy to the provinces, less state overstate of subsidiary councils and a general greater spirit of "decentralization", local officials would seek fast reward by condemning the Ministry and such a multitude of organized parties would form as to overwhelm the Chamber of Deputies in such a way not seen since the colorful displays of the First Republic.

So then, in the interest of public order, another pillar must go into the dustbin along with a robust foreign policy. Unless social reform is to be dropped and replace with a robust foreign policy, the political liberalization sought by the Union would to need to be dropped. A pacifistic, meek France with government spending on social reform would perhaps increase the education and industrial product of this nation. But, even as the army and navy would see their budget cut to keep the deficit small while paying the new pensions and social insurance, the police would if anything need greatly expanded. Militant agitators outraged by lack of French action in face of foreign provocation would have to be put down, as would emboldened socialists, who would only grow in number and political legitimacy in the eyes of the people should their reforms be copied by the upper classes. The free trade, haut socialist pacifist state would rely on an iron fist of censorship and constant police harassment of dissidents to keep order in the streets.

The alternative proposal previously mentioned, a liberal state with a strong military and increased colonies at the cost of any real social reform whatsoever, could very well capture the spirit of the people and distract them from the plight of Parisian poverty. But just as social reform would embolden radical socialists, military adventure only strengthens violent brigandry among those patriots who speak loudest but decline service in the King's army. You know well of whom I speak, without having to speak their name.

Are we left then with no options? Must France remain without glory, without liberty, and without charity to remain fiscally sound and law-abiding?

I say "non".

Fetid sewers, choleric wells, alleys in which light and air cannot penetrate. The poverty of Paris is built into the very streets and mortar of the city itself. But it can be rebuilt, the very city itself can be reformed through sound planning. And the civil engineer's art is also the art of the peacemaker, the protector of law. For he who controls the water and the direction of the sewage controls the world. One by one we can, if we are diligent, drain the cesspools not only of disease but of rebellion as well.

French interests, legitimate grievances with other European powers, are left undefended because no nation can go it alone. Wither our allies? Have we only Britain at our bosom? The fact that we allowed Russia and Prussia to form a coalition of interests together is a massive failure that will take years of planning and diplomatic work to undo. The work of building a European alliance is the work of a generation.

The reduction of tariffs. Why can Britain reduce tariffs? Because they have India. France must go beyond Algeria, redouble its efforts in Indochina and yes expand in Korea and elsewhere as well. French colonies must not only pay for themselves they must provide raw materials cheaply to the factories of France, so we are able to compete in the increasingly free markets of Europe. The endeavor in the Suez is vital to this goal.

Madame deficit. The guillotine over any state. But, as barriers to trade lower, so do the requirements to be seen as a fiscally sound state in the eyes of the London bankers. This is part of the bourgeoisie excess of the ever-changing British nature, and as Britain changes and becomes more decadent we have the freedom to, while maintaining our Gallic mental discipline, loosen our belts a little.

On liberalization all I have to say is that it is very good that we should have more presses, more associations, more voters and more candidates for elected office. But as we gradually and cautiously engage upon this endeavor let us put to death any notion of decentralization. The moment of increased political diffusion is the most dangerous time to loosen the eyes of the state upon the departments and municipalities of France. Liberty can make a man more rational, more responsible as he rises to the occasion. Decentralization on the other hand offers mere anarchy.

In summation, in the eyes of L'Union and La Presse of which I am a frequent reader, I cannot be called a Liberal. As I run for office, it is with the sound mind and cautious temprament of a conservative man.


- Reuben V. Duval
 

TJDS

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Parisian Workers
Stand up!

Against Misery
«We, the labourless toilers of this earth, demand work! We, the fathers of hungry children, demand bread! We, the husbands of toiling wifes, demand a honest wages! We, the tenants without fireplace or chamberpot, demand homes! We, ouviers parisiens, demand a France without Misery!»

For Bread
«No worker in this realm should be so poor that he will not have a chicken in his pot every Sunday. The Good King Henri promised this to every peasent, we demand this for every worker! No honest workers in the day, should go hungry at night. We advocate for the introduction of law of maximum on bread prices in times of crisis.»

For Work
«Paris has become a Kingdom of Slums. Honest workers live without hearts or chamber pots in dark cellars at extortiant rates. At the same time, our fellow citizens are left without work. Let Paris build! Our toiling brothers will house the nation if they are only given the tools. Arm the worker with his tools and a vision of good homes and they shall build a New Jerusalem! Work for Workers and Homes for Parisians!»

For Liberty

Vote Bonhomme

Published 13th March in Arrondissement XIX, Paris

After Achille Bonhomme announced his intention for running for the Chamber constituency of the working class arrondissements, posters began to appear in Parisian neighbourhoods.
 

Sneakyflaps

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Inside His Serene Highness wished to scream as his eyes followed the race that was unfolding before him. It was one out of many that he had now presided over here in northern France, at his home in Chantilly. It was a recurring wish, to urge his own rider onwards, the great desire that his own horse would carry the day. An equally great wish that his own horse would not make Philippe lose a minor fortune with the bets that had been involved in the affairs of this day. Yet he never allowed himself much more than a small twitch of the lip.

His father, the last Prince of Condé from the legitimate line, before the title had been restored to Philippe by Henri V, had been a man well past his prime by the time that Philippe was born. He was a man of the old school, not least because he had been born in 1756 and was past the age of the 60 by the time that Philippe had been born. The last Condé had spent an endless number of hours tempering with Philippe’s temperament, to ensure that such outbursts would not occur, at least not in public, or a swift and hard blow of the cane was sure to follow.

Not that it was the blow that made the biggest impact when Philippe had been but a child, rather it had been the stubbornness of his father. Regardless of what Philippe thought of which method had been effective, the end result had been the same. He had always been careful to step out of line, at least in public with his emotions. Instead he was now forced to merely clench his fists as his nostrils flared, his heartrate quickening and his pulse spiking as it became ever more apparent that he had just lost on his gamble on this otherwise fine day.

It was such a shame, the day had otherwise been so promising in these Spring months. The sun was shining, the sky was clear of clouds and a warm breeze rolled over all that attended Chantilly on this day. Philippe had been so sure that he could have made a small fortune this day, but alas, such was fate. “Francois has become quite the firebrand.” La Mache remarked as he finally returned to his conversation with Mr. Cortois which had been so wonderfully interrupted by the galloping horses across the racing fields.

“My son hopes for promotion more than he wishes for the common good.” Cortois replied, “Nothing brings an officer promotion like war, or so Francois claims. Thought the fright which his mother now holds at the prospect of our only son marching off to war is damn well not worth a promotion against the Prussian.”

“I quite agree, I opposed aggression on behalf of the Poles those many years ago and I do again today.” La Marche commented, “I remember when I was yet young, I studied at a military academy in Austria, about Napoleon’s campaigns. I remember reading about the French soldiers which traveled to Poland. They hated every bit of it. It was cold, without much food and with even less wealth. It may sound grand on paper, in speeches that we are to defend the rights of the Poles… I have several friends akin to your son who believe this to be a good and righteous calling… until such a moment that true war strikes against us. Last time our fair country marches against the Russian, we lost a generation of men, Paris was occupied and the Kingdom cried out from the sufferings which hostiles soldiers imparted upon our land.” The Prince chuckled briefly, “I do not remember it, I was but born… but I remember how my father told me stories of what had happened. He always spoke about how right it was that the Russians had restored the monarchy, a friend of the King. Alas I knew back then that he did not approve of what followed, for he never spoke more than a glance at the occupation that followed by the allies.” La Marche offering a brief smile to his friend, “We must hope that cooler heads prevail.”
 

Vals

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Letter to Amélie La Vallée

My dearest friend

I thank you for the letter as sent to me two weeks past, it warmed my heart to read the words of affection contained therein. It causes me such pain that even after my Mexican adventure we must continue to be apart as we are now, however I cannot see any alternative as my position at the Ministry has thus far kept me immensely preoccupied. Alas I cannot foresee my return to Brittany and your loving embrace as taking place anytime soon in spite of our mutual desire to rekindle this our most blessed marriage.

As to the possibility of you moving to Paris, I simply must forbid it. As it is now I live in relative squalor, my attempts to procure a more spaceous and fitting residence having so far proven unsuccesful. I would not be able to bear the guilt of seeing you reduced to living under such circumstance, furthermore I fear for the harm such a trip might do to your health. I both implore and command that you stay at the estate and ensure the day-to-day running of this our ancestral home. It is my intention to write Joseph and ask of him to put his affairs in Bordeaux on halt in order as to return home so you might enjoy the comfort of having your oldest son near and aiding you for the duration of our seperation.

I shall pray for your good health and hope that we may soon be reunited once more.

Your loving Husband
Jean

P.S.: Together with this letter will arrive a sum of 100 Franc. I ask that you deliver this to M. Delacroix in Saint-Brieuc as part of an initial return on my debt to him.
 

Fingon888

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The Manifesto of the People's Party
Long years have passed since the treason against the Nation was perpetrated by the clique of Monarchist forces bearing the White Flag of the Bourbons and the Haute-Bourgeois Liberalism of the junior house. In this new decade the stability of the false regime remains weak and the people still cry out for the liberty of a democratic republic. The long propaganda and censorship of the Regime has obscured and made difficult the understanding by the people of the positions and desires of their party. Therefore we have seen fit to publish in England and to distribute throughout France the statement of our beliefs, our strategies, and our prescriptions for the National Renewal.

First, it is the position of the people’s party that in France must be inaugurated a democratic republic. The cornerstone of this republic shall be the principle of popular sovereignty which in practical terms means the absolute universal suffrage of all Frenchmen.

Second, it is the position of the people’s party that censorship is an evil perpetrated upon the people by an illegitimate regime which sucks the blood out of the people. Those governments which resort to the heavy tyrannical means of censorship have forfeited the legitimacy of the people.

Third, it is the position of the people’s party that the conditions of working people in both the urban centres and rural villages of France be ameliorated. It is the goal of the Nation and of Louis-Napoleon, the Prince Imperial, to eradicate poverty in perpetuity.

Fourth, it is the position of the people’s party that the class divisions within France be weakened and destroyed. It is a great evil that the regime that governs France now is captured by the aristocracy and the haute bourgeois. Bonapartisme-Republicainisme opposes the divisions and evils created by class conflict and denounce the class war being waged against the workers and peasants of France by the upper classes. We believe in the unity of all Frenchmen and the Rights of Men of all nationalities. The Republic must be a government of France not of one class or another.

Fifth, it is the position of the people’s party that the French Republic must seek the liberation of all people from tyranny and oppression through peaceful and, if necessary, warlike means. It is the duty of our great nation to serve as the shining light of Europe and the World.

We look with love and hope to the Polish people who struggle under the domination of foreign tyrants. We praise their bravery and look for their victory. But we look with greater sadness at our homeland and see that Frenchmen labor under the domination of domestic tyrants and parasites. The purification of class antagonisms and tyrannical government shall be the process of the National Renewal that will at last raise the spirit of all Frenchmen to their natural and national destiny.

[X] - Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, Prince Imperial
[X] - Le Duc de Morny
[X] - Jerome-Napoleon Bonaparte
[X] - Jean Francois Domadeaux
[X] - Jean-Eloi Charbonneau
[X] - Charles Bouchadon
[X] - Emile Deschamps
 

ThaHoward

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Committe Rue de Lille, Paris.

"(...) and while France move ever closer to this year's election to answer the great questions of our time, and Europe edge ever closer to war or the affirmation of the sovereignty of the Polish people, Monsiuer Baron de Duval, like a simple pamphleteer engage in meaningless polemics. Reading this pamphlet there are indeed many errors, however the greatest affront is that Monsiuer Montvicq appereantly is our leader! While I do not have the honour of being your esteemed gentlemen's presence for too long, I have been here long enough to know that indeed M. Patrice Auberjonois is the founder and indeed this very Committee. No men here can doubt M.Auberjonois tireless and excellent leadership, it is he alone who bear the honor and initiative to establish this fine Committee Or perhaps I have missed something, M.Montvicq,are you here?!" Jérôme chuckled and the other monsiuers were appereantly amused by the latest bizzarre turn of events. Jérôme twirled his mustache, grased his hair backwards and sipped on his cognac as he tried to regain his breath.

"Now now, I do not intend to be prudent, M.Duval and M.Montvicq are both fine monsiuers, which I hold the greatest of respect for. Moving away from this turn of event we have matters of greater importance to attend to", Jérôme said in a tiresome voice. After his bid for election he had spent most of his time and energy, time and energy he would rather spend at home with his wife or his family estate and his mistress the 23 year old Mademoissele Mahaut, shuffling between holding Committee meetings in the absence of Auberjonois, getting the last updates and the every changing Polish question, and holding electoral meetings with sponsors and voters alike. The sheer number of meetings, and traveling around with his cane and prosthesis indeed took its toll on the once energetic man.

"We must continue in the spirit of our founder to create a common platform, to cease being a mere collection of men of similar values, and instead opt to become a true Committee one to find common policies and plan for not merely the days ahead, but the years ahead in policy. Still I believe it is prudent that we, the aspiring and established policians of Paris and Seine cooperate as one association for our elections. I will have a meeting with the majority of shareholders in la Presse along with our editor the most honorable M.Weiss where I will propose, or rather convince them, to endourse all candidates of this Committee and those we believe to hold convictions and beliefs similar to ours. The good people of Paris will know for who to vote for, for who to vote on if they so do wish the social and political reform alike that are needed".

Jérôme took a sip of his glass and to his great horror no substance, but the cold glass touched his lips. The tiresome hours of talking and negotiations, along with a room filled with thick smoke from cigars from Havana that were catching on among the rich, left his lips and throat dry and itching. Jérôme pouted as he realized he had to endure the grueling prospect of yet several other hours of planning, without a full wine to play with his tounge or a cognac to clear his throat.

And indeed the next rounds of negotiations were tiresome, and Jérôme contemplated several times to defenestrate himself to escape the very boredom he faced. Nevertheless it was matter of fact productive rounds of negotations, the remainder of the Committee in Paris, that is those who did not leace for their local Departments following the dissolution of parliament, sat down and devised a common plan. All the candidates of the Committee and whom they deemed sympathetic to their cause were to coordinate their campaign efforts. Single out areas each candidate would focus on. Plan ahead commentaries and chronicles in not only la Presse, but the wider Parisian press as a whole. Each were to endorse eachother and not compete, campaign for eachother and most importantly follow the same set of principles, and electoral platform if you may.

Naturally this platform was greatly inspired by the declaration of Union Liberal, however it was also of a distinct progressive variant. Indeed under the leadership of Auberjonois the Committee had made a draft for a declaration of their own, but fate would have it otherwise - and indeed perhaps for the better. They agreed to adhere to the platform of the Union Liberale, however they also looked toward their own principles and agenda and agreed that for this election they would focus on several issues, including the Polish question and the ministry's eventual handling of the situation - or the lack thereof.

Jérôme stood up, almost tripping over due to the hours of immobility, cleared his throat, but could not utter a word. Several times he cleared his throat and excused it as a mere cough and utered "we may conclude that in the following election, we who are members of this Committee in Paris, and perhaps members of the wider Union Liberale if they so wish so, will cooperate and abide by the following goals:

To support the free operation of the press, the ability to assemble publicly, and all other authorities upon which a just community is premised. To expand the franchise to better promote a condition of public tranquility and national prosperity. To create a national economy that is rational, vibrant, and functions on behalf of the national interest.

This my honored messiuers and monsiuers is in not only the spirit of our dear Auberjonois, it is indeed his own words as penned before in this Committee, these are the issues we in Paris will focus on. And I am all but certain other members of this Committee whereever they are in France will follow similar principles in their elections", Jérôme said. After the conclusion of the negotiations and final planning of the election itself the monsiuers could again have a seat and under more casual circumstances, that fit for a gentleman's club. The champagne was popped in celebration and the meeting went on in a different direction.

"His most Potent Polignac visisted me the other day, he had quite the tale!" Jérôme exclaimed, and saw mixed emotion among the gathering monsiuers. Most were simply excited or curious to what he was to say, others were half asleep and clearly could not tolerate any more talk, some however, those who remembered 1830 and the years before looked on in shock, one even spat on the floor when he uttered the name. "Now now, we had a bussiness meeting, and while I do not agree with most of his policies, certainly not His Most Serene and Potent Higness's father, I can vouch for his character. But you see, this Polignac was in Egypt to build this canal, minding his own bussiness and there all out of sudden this crocodile apperead, with razorsharp teeth at the size of bayonets, gnarling and his mouth wide open! (...)"



 

Andre Massena

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THE LOUISIANA ADVENTURE
by Louis Napoleon Bonaparte
Edited by Jean Francois Domadeaux​

Volume I


We arrived in New Orleans a paltry band of seven exiles on the Fourth of April in the year 1859. These names would soon be inscribed in the history books for the deeds they would accomplish: besides myself there was Napoleon-Jerome Bonaparte, Jean Francois Domadeaux, Jean-Eloi Charbonneau, Charles Bouchardon, Ernest Arrighi de Casanova, and Jules Valles. At the time of our arrival, our cause seemed quixotic, even hopeless, to the leading dignitaries of the city of New Orleans. But such was the zeal of our conviction, the moral strength of our principles, and the power of the name BONAPARTE, that we gathered hundreds of good men and women to our cause.

This cause was no trifle. We were not merely seeking to draw new lines on a map or fatten the purse of a Parisian banker- we were fighting to forever end the system of human bondage. For too long, slavery had choked the progress of human civilization, immiserating countless generations and sullying the moral deeds of societies that had tolerated its abuses. Rome, the greatest civilization of them all, had been brought down by her reliance on the exploitation of others; the Turks, they who had marched to the gates of Vienna, have never recovered from their reliance on stolen peoples and have been threatening to stumble into oblivion; even the great Emperor was felled by his misguided quest to restore discipline to the immiserated peoples of Haiti who had just achieved their freedom after having been misled by the grubby merchants who stood to profit from a successful adventure in Haiti. America, that young land of promise and freedom, seemed doomed to corruption and decay thanks to the sway the slaveholding classes held in her Congress. So powerful were they that they wished to wage a global war to conquer the New World in order to expand their perverted system. We could not allow this to happen.

After this period of organization that saw our numbers swell, our eclectic band of French exiles, Mexican republicans, and American abolitionists set out to prove ourselves worthy of our great mission. We boarded a ship from New Orleans and sailed up the great Mississippi into the wilds of Louisiana in the sweltering heat of summer in the American south. Outside the major cities of New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana is still as wild as those days when the French first arrived. The countryside is inundated with enormous swamps that must resemble the landscapes that the ancient dinosaurs roamed, filled with strange vegetation and exotic creatures such as the alligator. These swamplands are almost impossible to navigate except for those locals who have been navigating these waters since their French ancestors first arrived in the territory; from these hardy souls we received assistance and were able to move undetected, safe from the prying eyes of our foes. Those foes were the landed elite of Louisiana who, much like their brethren across the American South, had exploited the land and people, black and white alike, to enrich themselves. Our new allies felt no warmth for these oppressors and were so driven by desperation and poverty that they were willing to overlook our “queer” foreign ways and hostility to the black race that had been drilled into them by the plantation elites in order to divide the poor white from the black slave. Thanks to their ingenuity, we were able to approach our first target unseen- the famous Oak Alley Plantation owned by the Roman clan.

We approached the plantation quietly in the dead of the night. As we reached the gates of the great estate, the plantation dogs barked and alerted their masters to the disturbance. Our band sprung into action and split along pre-arranged lines with each group fulfilling a particular task. I was to perform the most pivotal task: the liberation of the slaves. As our group approached the slave cabin we heard shots in the distance. The battle had begun and our time was limited. I could not fail.

The slaves had already awakened when we entered their cabin. What a pitiful and confused mass they were! But I sensed strength and resolve. All they needed was a hand to guide them. “I am Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, nephew of the great Emperor,” I announced to them. “I have come to deliver you from chains. But you must grasp your freedom with your own hands.” The slaves were at first confused. Some of the more timid souls sensed a trap. But as the sounds of the battle increased, more of them began to realize that this was no trick. I then unfurled the eagle banner: the universal symbol of victory that every man and woman could recognize around the world. A black man named Darius rose and was the first to join us. “I will fight for my freedom,” he announced. With those words he was no longer a slave but a free man. The rest of the enslaved blacks at the plantation would follow and break their chains...
 
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Korona

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Comment nous progressons
Par le paysan

Slack-jawed and aimless, we wander from one task to the next.

"For the King!", we yell, as the very man we idolize spits on us in disgust and contempt.

"For the Church!", we yell, as the Church we patronize keeps us from thinking freely.

Slack-jawed and aimless, we wander from one task to the next.

Woe on us, if we let ourselves betrayed and deceived so. As reaction pulls the silk blindfold over eyes, we foolishly laugh and carouse like children as it slits democracy's throat.

The bourgeoisie is all-encompassing, they encroach upon every parcel and meter of free land in the world, greedy to own, exploit, and ruin freedom.

How then, are we to move forward from the treason of the bourgeoisie and undo the desecration of democracy and France?

It is simple, terror and violence are the only languages that the bourgeoisie understand, and we must respond in same if we are to liberate France.

I speak of revolution, workers. Revolution!

Arms and organization, community and labor, these are the pillars upon we must build our revolution.

Those who wield iron, have bread. Those who organize their peers, see victory. Those who forge a community, overwhelm the bourgeoisie. Those who work, build the will to win.

But!

Workers, do not be amused by the dalliances of the rich. The shows, the colors, and lights are meant to distract the worker from the task at hand.

Cast shame upon those who fall into the net of the bourgeoisie! They are traitors, and have abandoned their peers for the hope of hedonistic pleasures that are reserved for the degenerate few.

Turn your eyes to the struggle, the fight in which we find ourselves in, and commit yourself to it wholeheartedly, without a second question. If your motives are pure, if your heart is right, France will see a new dawn yet.