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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Syriana

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"That I should ask you to present the suggestions of Ministers, who in their total, would secure the confidence of the Deputies, and allow by some degree until the next election, a standard of stability over the governance of our country."
Modesty forbid that Valence should immediately present a list of ministers, for that would suggest anticipation of his appointment. As such, he begged the King grant him a short respite to consider the matter. Later that day, he penned a memorial to His Majesty:

---

Your Majesty,

Thank you once more for the great responsibility you have chosen to bestow upon me.

In accordance with your request that I should furnish His Majesty with a list of suitable candidates for the Ministry, I have endeavoured to produce this memorial, which I now submit for His Majesty's consideration:

For the office of Minister of Foreign Affairs, I would recommend the candidature of His Serenity, Guillaume Armand Marie Emmanuel de Chalançon, prince et duc de Polignac, whose talents I have already discussed with His Majesty. I believe that his solid temperament, fluency of language and frankly inexhaustible capacity for writing shall serve him well in this portfolio.

For the office of Minister of Finance, I would recommend the candidature of Monsieur Mayer de Rothschild, a gentleman of acquaintance whose grasp of financial affairs is undoubted, and who enjoys an extensive network of contacts in the financial circles of Europe. I believe that he shall be aptly suited for negotiations regarding new commercial agreements and outstanding matters, such as the settlement of civil claims and the restitution of indemnities.

For the office of Minister of the Interior, I would recommend the candidature of Monsieur Henri Jules de Bourbon, who has been a proactive presence in the Chamber of Deputies and demonstrated unreservedly his loyalty to the Royal House by his vociferous opposition to the election of Monsieur Grégoire. Of course, it need not be said that Monsieur de Bourbon may decline any appointment in view of his injuries, from which we pray to God that he shall enjoy a speedy recovery. Should that be so, I would recommend as alternative candidate His Excellency, Arnaud Alexandre Saint-Maurice de Loritz, comte de Berstett et chevalier du Saint-Esprit, who previously occupied said office with considerable energy.

For the office of Minister of Justice, I would recommend the candidature of His Grace, Claude Louis Marie de Beauvilliers, duc de Saint-Aignan, formerly of said office, whose loyalty to His Majesty is unquestioned and whose dedication to upholding the law order and of the realm is demonstrable.

For the office of Minister of War, I would recommend the candidature of His Excellency, General François Paul Bournier, comte de Pontécoulant, of long and decorated service, whose suitability for such a position shall be self-evident.

Of course, the ultimate appointment shall reside with His Majesty, and I shall defer to his considerations on this matter.


I beg to remain your most humble and obedient servant,

Valence
 

MadMartigan

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It was going to be a wedding present, to help climb into the graces of a fellow Brother who, despite differing political convictions, was quite desirable company. When someone stands to gain one of the largest inheritances in France one day, you don't shun their company for disagreeing with your man in the Chamber.

But now? He had no idea what Monsieur Colonel Henri Jules de Bourbon would do with the press. And perhaps not knowing was for the best. He could only wonder what a man in that position might be capable of...


((private: @etranger01 ))

Brother,
It is impossible for anyone who is not in your position to know how you feel right now. I will not pretend to be able to even imagine what it must be like. I will only say that from this day forward I will strive to a better Brother to you, my fraternal comrade whom I have never before exchanged any words.

If it will ease the pain in your heart and your body even the slightest amount, my printing press is yours. My men in Marseilles will await your agents.

- Thibaut Duval
 

99KingHigh

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Modesty forbid that Valence should immediately present a list of ministers, for that would suggest anticipation of his appointment. As such, he begged the King grant him a short respite to consider the matter. Later that day, he penned a memorial to His Majesty:

---

Your Majesty,

Thank you once more for the great responsibility you have chosen to bestow upon me.

In accordance with your request that I should furnish His Majesty with a list of suitable candidates for the Ministry, I have endeavoured to produce this memorial, which I now submit for His Majesty's consideration:

For the office of Minister of Foreign Affairs, I would recommend the candidature of His Serenity, Guillaume Armand Marie Emmanuel de Chalançon, prince et duc de Polignac, whose talents I have already discussed with His Majesty. I believe that his solid temperament, fluency of language and frankly inexhaustible capacity for writing shall serve him well in this portfolio.

For the office of Minister of Finance, I would recommend the candidature of Monsieur Mayer de Rothschild, a gentleman of acquaintance whose grasp of financial affairs is undoubted, and who enjoys an extensive network of contacts in the financial circles of Europe. I believe that he shall be aptly suited for negotiations regarding new commercial agreements and outstanding matters, such as the settlement of civil claims and the restitution of indemnities.

For the office of Minister of the Interior, I would recommend the candidature of Monsieur Henri Jules de Bourbon, who has been a proactive presence in the Chamber of Deputies and demonstrated unreservedly his loyalty to the Royal House by his vociferous opposition to the election of Monsieur Grégoire. Of course, it need not be said that Monsieur de Bourbon may decline any appointment in view of his injuries, from which we pray to God that he shall enjoy a speedy recovery. Should that be so, I would recommend as alternative candidate His Excellency, Arnaud Alexandre Saint-Maurice de Loritz, comte de Berstett et chevalier du Saint-Esprit, who previously occupied said office with considerable energy.

For the office of Minister of Justice, I would recommend the candidature of His Grace, Claude Louis Marie de Beauvilliers, duc de Saint-Aignan, formerly of said office, whose loyalty to His Majesty is unquestioned and whose dedication to upholding the law order and of the realm is demonstrable.

For the office of Minister of War, I would recommend the candidature of His Excellency, General François Paul Bournier, comte de Pontécoulant, of long and decorated service, whose suitability for such a position shall be self-evident.

Of course, the ultimate appointment shall reside with His Majesty, and I shall defer to his considerations on this matter.


I beg to remain your most humble and obedient servant,

Valence
((You can form that government and begin your policy, I'll have the king give suggestions; Magister has been away since Thursday so Valence may have to act (like Talleyrand) as FP and PM, and whether Korona returns his up to him.))
 

Sneakyflaps

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A Meeting with His Majesty (Private - KingHigh)

Condé had not gotten a lot of sleep, that was for sure. He had risen early in the morning as he was to meet the King following the death of Berry. The future of the house was now no more, Angoulême had yet to produce an heir and it looked more and more unlikely. Condé had a fear that the throne would pass to Orleans, not a prospect he was fond of, certainly not after the lengths that their family had gone through, maybe even playing a part in the plot against his son. The Orleans branch had always been the most greedy.

Now though, as the Condé’s carriage approached the palace, he was unsure what reception he would receive, and in what mood the King was, but he had to receive the approval for the funeral of Berry, and hopefully just speak with his Majesty as they used to do while in exile. Their relationship had been strained since the confinement of Condé’s father, but perhaps now it was the time to let the wound mend, to come together again as a family and preserve what was rightfully theirs. The Prince stepped out of his carriage and entered the palace as one of the servants went to inform his Majesty of Condé’s arrival.
 

Maxwell500

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(( Private - @Marschalk ))


Grand Maître de l'Ordre de Varennes
Ordre de Louis XVI 'de Saint'

Cher Ami,

It is good to hear from you dearest brother-in-law; I am well, and so is our dearest Charlotte, and of course young Maximilien Antoine. We of course entirely understand your extended absence from us, with government and the righteous cause of the monarchy keeping you most busy.

Of course, dear brother, you are most welcome into the Ordre de Varennes, and I would be most pleased to personally induct you into its ranks.

I am also most intrigued by your suggestion: it is positively wondrous, and I would be most honored if you could aid me in the planning of such an event; preferably a banquet or charity ball of sorts, where we can of course court further individuals into joining the esteemed Ordre.

Bien amicalement,

---

(( Private - @99KingHigh ))


Grand Maître de l'Ordre de Varennes
Ordre de Louis XVI 'de Saint'

Monsieur,

I am most honored, and humbled, by your correspondence: you do me much distinction with your kind words.

Alas, I am also distraught at the thought of the Congregation of Rites denying the truth of the sanctity and martyrdom of His Majesty, Louis XVI. It is indeed a matter that needs to be rectified, one that I shall see to personally; I gladly take your blessing and will depart for Rome posthaste to act as an ambassador on your behalf in defense of our saintly Louis XVI.

It is my solemn pledge that I shall do all within my abilities to see the rightful recognition of his saintly personage.


Bien amicalement,

---

(( Private - @Fingon888 ))


Grand Maître de l'Ordre de Varennes
Ordre de Louis XVI 'de Saint'

Cher Jean-Marie,

I appreciate your blunt talk, friend. Without introducing yourself your credentials already stand as a proud testament to your loyalty to both crown and country, and the Ordre de Varennes would be honored to include you within its ranks. I welcome you gladly.

Further, you would have my blessing to found a subsidiary organization acting with the blessing of myself and the Ordre: to have officers and soldiers of the army joined together in devotion to their sovereign and country is a most spectacular thing. It would be my recommendation you establish it as the Société de Saint Martin de Tours, with yourself as Master of the Society.


Bien amicalement,
 

99KingHigh

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((I'm going to stretch out 1820 a little longer as there's a lot to be done; a flurry of events will be rendered later regarding orders and happenings, etc. I'll try and get something for the organizational stuff today, but I'm traveling to London right now (yeah I pay for the Wifi #dedication) so my schedule is a bit jumbled.))
 

Syriana

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Address to the Chamber of Peers


Most noble lords,

His Majesty has asked me to accept the presidency of his Council of State, and I have accepted. My honour in receiving this appointment is, alas, admixtured with the sad occasion of its making. Our country has suffered a grievous wound. The Duc de Berry, the noble scion of the noblest house, has been taken from us. At this time, the sorrow of France and the Royal House are firmly intertwined. We feel the pain of His Majesty, and of his noble brother, at the loss of so brave and benevolent a prince as this. For this was a man so pure in Christian charity, so utterly devoid of any malice, that his last dying breath should be to pray for the salvation of his assassin.

You shall hear many eulogies regarding the Duc de Berry. For the sake of brevity, I shall not add to them now. But permit this brief expression. I had the pleasure of fighting alongside the Duc de Berry. Though at the time, the cause appeared hopeless, he never wavered in the struggle. Let us honour his example, in our own hearts and our own actions, by never ceasing from perseverance in the pursuit of peace, order and justice.

When His Majesty bestowed this parliament, it was an act of munificence and inclusion. The Chambers are intended to serve as a forum for the civil exchange of opinion regarding the state of affairs. But at times, their proceedings have degenerated into rancour and insult. Moreover, the hostilities incubated within these walls have overleapt their boundaries and spilled into the public discourse. Hatred has begotten violence. Deputies of the Other Place have been attacked, for no reason that can be divined aside from their expressions. Disrespect for the constitutional order is a dangerous disease which must be remedied. For without these pillars of propriety, there would be no peace in France.

My lords, I implore you to lend your support to the new ministry in its mission to restore tranquility to the Kingdom. Though we may differ in our sentiments and persuasions, we are all, at heart, loyal to France and the Royal House. An attack against the institutions of the realm is an attack upon us all. We must ensure that justice is upheld against the Duke's murderers. We must defend the Charter. We must resist violence and subversion wherever it may lurk. Our mandate is great, but our resolve is greater still.


His Excellency, Séverin Maximilien, Marquis de Valence;
President of His Majesty's Council of State
 

Cloud Strife

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The château du Raincy, several weeks after the demise of Berry


The duc de Orléans in the uniform of a Colonel of the Hussars.

The Palais Royal had reopened to commercial business but the private residence of the House of Orléans--the palais Brion--would remain in black for the rest of the year. Louis-Philippe remained greatly concerned over his image in the wake of Berry's demise and the attacks on prominent members of Parisian society. The attack on Monsieur Bourbon and the attack on Lécuyer made a mockery of safety on the King's roads. Any travel done between his properties in the countryside in Paris would necessitate an armed escort for the time being; for his proprieties in Paris, Louis-Philippe, had upped the number of plainclothes agents keeping watch. It was all very expensive and cumbersome but a necessity in such uncertain times as these.

While mourning the memory of Berry, Louis-Philippe and his wife, retired to the château du Raincy. The château was purchased from its original owners by Louis-Philippe I d'Orléans, who had both the garden and interiors upgraded. His heir, Philippe-Égalité, engaged the Scottish gardener Thomas Blaikie to replace the formal gardens with a more natural landscape, one of the first jardins à l'anglaise in France. The park was dotted with numerous follies, including an "old tower", a "farm", a decorative kennel, an hermitage, and the celebrated Maisons Russes, scored to imitate Russian isbas, or log houses.

During the French Revolution, the property was confiscated by the government and then passed through a succession of owners, such as Madame Récamier who hosted brilliant fêtes at Le Raincy under the Directoire. Neglected and left in a bad state of disrepair since that period, the original château as designed by Le Vau was demolished and replaced by a conventional neoclassical building in the first decade of the 19th century, at the time of the Empire. Napoleon acquired Le Raincy in 1812, and the Prussian army was quartered there in 1815. Now having been reacquired by Louis-Philippe, the château was remodeled as a rural retreat for the House of Orléans.

From Raincy, Louis-Philippe observed the rise of a new ministry, the partisan bickering over a memorial to Berry in the Chamber, and discussed with his wife, his sister, and close advisers the path forward. The Orléanists were traditionally associated with liberal policies, and liberalism in general, but such sentiments were becoming dangerous to openly voice. The path forward would have to tame the populist currents unleashed by demagogues such as Lécuyer and restore the leadership of French liberalism to respectable, measured voices. Louis-Philippe would increasingly identify himself with the aspirations of the bourgeois businessmen and finances, as well as the developing middle class of France. These were the men of good constitution for whom the greatest aspiration would be to take a seat in the Chamber, and thus attain respectability among their peers and the masses.

He did sense among this constituency the makings of a Christian revival. Outward displays of piety were on the rise. Catholicism was making a strong comeback after the years of the Revolution and the Empire. To capitalize on this, Louis-Philippe began to shine favor on religious societies connected with the middle class and the commoners and reduce his participation in Masonic activities to almost nil. In any case, the duc de Piombino and his lady sister, could remain his representatives in that strata of liberal thought. Indeed, he has begun gently pressing his sister on her opinion of a match with Piombino. He found his perspective on life interesting and service in the Imperial regime useful to gain connections with those who came up under the Emperor.

Then there was the brouhaha over the Condé inheritance. Artois, the future King, would never allow the titles of that house to pass to an illegitimate son but then there remained the question of the wealth that family had accumulated over the years. All of Paris expected a lengthy court battle to press claims but in Monsieur Bourbon, Orléans sensed a potential political partnership, if not ideological alliance. Once the year was over and he had regained his composure over the demise of his relation, and dear friend, he resolved to call on the newly minted minister to gauge the potential for such future cooperation.
 
Last edited:

Mikkel Glahder

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The Need for Strong Leadership, and Lawful Retalition
~ By Bon-Adrien Jeannot de Moncey ~

Murders, assasinations, revolutionary sentiment and crime. The Kingdom of France, blessed by God perhabs, but Satan is possesing many people to do questionable decisions and some even break the laws given by God to Moses. "Thou shalt not kill." The sixth of the Ten Commandments that we mortals are to follow.

Not many nights ago, the Duc de Berry was brutally murdered by what can only be explained as a revolutionary liberal, who share the Robespierrian ideal of killing nobles and other popular figures without trial and without explanation of their crimes. The same which befell Roi Louis XVI, befell the Duc de Berry, but under other circumstances and the brutal execution of the act was different. We live in the Kingdom of France, not the heretical Republic of France led by activist of terror on the smallest suspicion of royalist sympathies in a person. The Duc de Barry was murdered, when he should be honoured by the people of France. And these revolutionary liberals targets all aristocrats, the new and the old, with the same ferocity that only animals would have. But that may indeed be what they are.

There is only one way to stop the attempts at assasinations and the witchunt against the aristocracy and the Royal Family. We have to rule with an iron fist that quell any thoughts of dissent and revolutionary thoughts. Once that the Kingdom of France is secure from destructive revolutionaries, every Frenchman can once more sleep safely, and every woman give birth without worrying about her childs future. It is the only way to safe France and restore her former glory.


Vive le roi et vive la France

 

DensleyBlair

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LE CONSTITUTIONNEL



On Perspective

Or; the Tendancy to Hysteria
exhibited by Frightened Men

One expects a trip to the Opera to bring first tragedy, then farce. One does not expect them in so heightened terms. The tragedy is, of course, evident: Irrespective of one's opinion of the House of Bourbon, the murder of one of its sons in the light of the foyer of the National Theatre cannot be described except in terms of the utmost condemnation. Last Sunday, as Parisian society celebrated the Quinquagesima, we experienced an act of unthinkable atrocity and appalling cowardice. Murder as a tool in the political arsenal remains the preserve of the lowest of the low. To all men of sound disposition, be they of liberal leanings of otherwise, killing of such base motive represents the gravest insult against sober discourse and proper government.

How sordid it is, therefore, that the murder of the Duke of Berry was no singular crime. Attempts against Monsieur de Bourbon and Captain Lécuyer were quick to follow in scandalising Paris. It is as if these scoundrels, in bringing their reprehensible grievances à la voie publique, have resolved to play out an absurd war by proxy—targeting not each other, but doyens of the other's allegiance.

We trust this state of affairs to be an aberration. Men of balanced temperaments maintain faith that natural order will be soon returned to our streets. Men in possession of a memory of greater span than two weeks will recall these bloodthirsty days to be exceptional.

Yet it is alarming to note how eager certain men have been to capitalise on the tragic demise of Berry, taking him like a fresh charger bringing life to a tired-out hobbyhorse. Not twenty-four hours after the Duke had breathed his last, one noted authority, famous for his efforts to bring charity to the poor of France, proposed in the Chamber of Deputies that one million francs be appropriated for no greater worldly purpose than the preservation of the memory of Berry.
One million francs, reader, is a sum of unimaginable exorbitance under any circumstances. My yearly income, beyond comfortable in light of my personal history, is outpaced by this figure more than thirty times over. If the prospect makes me blanch, I cannot imagine how it would be greeted by the many millions in this country who, until only recently existed in the direst poverty. But for the grace of the same gentlemen who now proposes that Berry be commerated with a tomb of filthy lucre, many of these paysans would still suffer intense privation. No matter; I am certain that it would be of great, sustaining comfort to these people to know that the everlasting memory of the Duke is secure.

Next came the exhortations to retaliation, not in kind—for in truth, when a spate targets so varied a demographic as Liberal and Ultra alike, who is to say against whom retaliation must come?—but rather, via the arm of the state. One senses that there exist gentlemen within our society who have been practically salivating at the prospect that one day, one fine day, there may come a time when they have their pretext for repression. These men eye the ranks of their opponents as a leashed hound eyes his prey, knowing that only the slightest shifting of fate sits between it and its destruction.

And how crass it is, this avaricious waiting. Their haste betrays their anticipation. No sooner had the black mourning dress been consigned once again to the wardrobe than the pamphlets arrived, the urgency of their anger palpable with each fresh anti-liberal imprecation, calling once and for all for the end to the sort of collective madness that tolerates such atrocity as liberal republicanism.

Alas, blinded by their own fear, seeing enemies under every porte-cochère, these men betray their ignorance. The mood of this madness, is neither liberal nor republican—nor is it royalist, though perhaps one might concede “reactionary”. Further, society, it has been made quite clear during these past weeks, does not grant it tolerance. That certain gentlemen should try to claim such is evidence only that their concerns are perhaps less noble than the proper maintenance of public safety. One senses these men would say “madman liberal” without realising their words to be in the wrong order.

Having struggled so hard since returning to France from less inhospitable foreign reaches to regain for themselves the privilege of an existence untroubled by fear, these men recognise their divinely-ordained safety to be a myth. Therefore they lash out in all directions, frightened above all that they do not know what it is they lash out against, scared that their palliatives of money and portentous words have been robbed of all power.

We take it as self-evident, if we are not being cynical, that the King's ministers will act in their governance from a base more secure than hysteria or fear. We trust that our rulers govern for all, not simply for their own self-preservation. In casting out Decazes, His Majesty seems to have had the inspiration to reach for calmer support to guide his ministry out of these turbulent days. For the good of France, let us hope that the rest of his government abandon their frightened displays of prejudice and follow his example.
 

Eid3r

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(( Private - @etranger01 ))

Letter from the Archbishop of Reims to the Minister of the Interior

Your Excellency,

It is with a heart full of hope for your speedy recovery that I write this letter to you, in order to offer my deepest and most heartfelt condolences at the passing of your wife. Such a tragedy brings unspeakable sorrows to the entire nation.

I certainly assume that the heavy burden cast upon your shoulder was made even worse by the tedious affairs of the State, which must require all your exertion. In a spirit of Christian Brotherhood, I wished to impart upon you several positions which could guide you toward the solid support of the Ultraroyalist wing of the Chamber.

The first of such proposal would have to do with Education Reform, which is a subject very close to my heart. Knowing the most appalling state of our public finances, I fear that any grand plan for our schools will be postponed for years, doing a great disservice to an entire generation. The disintegration of public order lately, which have led to ghastly acts, has certainly highlighted the urgency for the teaching of discipline, order and good morals to our youth. As such, I believe a quick reform to bring back the field of primary education most firmly under the purview of the Church would be beneficial and prove quite inexpensive, given that priest-teachers are already in the pay of the state. A modest adjustment to the stipend provided by the Public Purse would most certainly enable a raise in the quality of the teaching, at a cost far below even the most measured liberal reform proposal.

Secondly, on the subject of electoral reform, I must confide that my fears where certainly proven right by the election of the Abbé Grégoire in the Department of Isère. The requirement to vote in the departmental capital, which is home to the most liberal elements of society and to the bourgeoisie, brings additional hurdle for the small land-owner and the nobility out on their estates, which much suffer through extensive travel to cast their vote, resulting in higher abstention in populations which would be most naturally loyal to the King. The possibility to cast a vote by proxy would prove an effective solution, at no cost to the Crown.

Thirdly, on the issue of the former Church lands, I believe much defamation has been done about my position. It is my strong belief that one should not seek to roll back the clock and return these lands to the clergy. The days of the Church being a major landowner in the realm are revolute. However, given that these lands have always been held in trust by the Church for the use and benefit of the people, I strongly object to them being sold. A much more lucrative usage would be to turn them into agricultural lands, which would increase our food stock, provide tenures, and more employment in the realm, every year, rather than the non-recurring influx of moneys from a sale.

Fourth, regarding the stipend provided to the Church by the State, I believe we must frankly realise that this shall be a permanent fixture of our national life from now on, given that the Clergy now lacks the means to sustain itself as it once did, and no return to such times is expected. The current stipend is too low for the lower echelons of the clergy, stifling the vocations and sending most promising young minds toward other professions, much to the detriment of our religious life. An increase is certainly in order, and should be spread on a period of 10 years, to assuage the burden on the public purse. I also believe that the salaries paid to the bishops and archbishop could be reduce by a small percentage to offset some of the costs.

In closing, I wish to inquire with you about the Deputy of the Seine. I have not found any explanation on how, a former captain and current deputy can afford the luxury of his own Château in the Capital. I certainly hope there is nothing illicit behind this situation and that you shall easily put my mind at rest.

Praying daily for your recovery,

Henri-Charles Victorin du Bourget
Archbishop of Reims
 

Eid3r

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(( @DensleyBlair - Private ))

Letter from the Archbishop of Reims to Monsieur Alexandre Cazal

Monsieur Cazal,

I must certainly confess that your letter was received with a generous dose of surprise, given the most inauspicious time of its arrival. However, the receive such a missive from a famed author such as yourself certainly alludes to my curiosity.

In all honesty, I have avidly read your first novel, Apories, which speak truly to both your mastery of the prose and your power to convey the strongest imagery through your writing. The passing of Prosper’s benefactors was to me a powerful critique of the receding influence of the monarchy and the Church during the revolution Likewise, I read in the prolonged legal battle for the Chevalier’s inheritance a most virulent attack on your part of the immoral society which sprung from the rebellion, where every family members are clawing for some earthly goods over the righteousness of Prosper’s claim. Finally, the active industry of Prosper to prevent the efforts for the reconquest of Saint-Domingue appears out clearly as an indication not to revisit the past of the revolution, which indeed saw the lost of Hispaniola.

As for the subject of your letter, it will be my utmost pleasure to discuss the charitable works of the Most Christian Society of Saint Isidore the Labourer. When next in Paris, feel free to call on me at Hôtel de Neuilly, 4 rue Vaugirard, on any Tuesday night.

Avec vous dans la Foy,

Henri-Charles Victorin du Bourget
Archbishop of Reims

 

Michaelangelo

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Beauty and the Beast: Part II


Lightning flashed in the distance, followed by the load boom of thunder. Belle pulled the hood of her cloak down in front of her, trying to keep the pouring rain from blowing in her face. Her father had a hand held above his eyes and was squinting, trying to make out the road ahead through the sheet of rain blowing around them. They could barely see a hundred metres in front of them. Belle supressed a shiver as the wind picked up, blowing her cloak around her. She adjusted so that she was sitting on her cloak to keep it from whipping around, but that left her sitting on damp fabric.

“Where is that inn,” Maurice mumbled to himself, barely audible over the sounds of the raging storm. “I was certain there was one around here last time I came this way.”

“Maybe there’s a road sign that will point us in the right direction,” Belle said, although she knew there was likely little truth to come of her statement. She hadn’t seen a single sign for the past hour. She had also noticed that the condition of the road had only worsened the farther they travelled. At first the road had been fairly well-maintained, covered in wheel ruts but relatively smooth. Now the road was a giant patch of holes with foot-tall grass encroaching from the sides. It seemed as though no one had travelled this way in months or had not bothered to keep the road in good repair. She suspected they had taken a wrong turn after the storm had set in, but she didn’t want to say anything. Her father would know what he was doing.

The cart bounced up and down as it drove through another patch of holes, and Belle found her teeth chattering both from the motion and the cold. She saw a particularly large hole, one her father missed in his attempt to see beyond the sheet of rain, and had to grab onto her seat as they dipped into it. She was glad she did as a loud crack split the air and the cart tilted to one side. Her father nearly tumbled from his seat and she only managed to keep from falling over by tightening her grip on the seat. The horse let out a distressed neigh as it found the cart unwilling to follow, forcing it to come to a stop. Her father cursed under his breath and jumped from his seat to examine the damage. Belle soon followed.

Soon as she drew close enough to see through the rain, Belle knew that the front axle was broken. The wood had snapped and splintered, and the left wheel had fallen right off. They didn’t have the tools or material to repair it, and neither were strong enough anyway to do it in the pouring rain without help. Maurice tried to lift the wheel back up and nearly threw out his back. Letting out a sigh of resignation, he walked over to the horse and unbridled him. “It looks like we have no choice but to abandon the cart for now until we can get some supplies to fix it. Philippe should be able to carry us both for a few more kilometres.”

A faint flicker of light in the distance caught Belle’s attention. She watched it closely, noting how it flickered. The light of a fire, most likely. Pointing towards it, she said, “Father, what about that light over there? There might be someone who can help.”

Maurice squinted to see through the rain and nodded his head as he spotted the light. “You may be right. Let’s go see if they can help us.”

The two set off towards the light, with Maurice leading Philippe beside him. They found themselves passing through a steel gate, swinging back and forth in the wind. A cobblestone courtyard greeted them, empty except for an moss-covered fountain and a large rosebush. As they entered the courtyard, the rain calmed down enough to get a full look at the sight before them. A large manor, an ancient building that resembled the castles of old, stood before them. The stone walls were well worn and the roof seemed to be missing patches. Half the windows were missing glass or shutters. An ornate wooden door stood at the top of a curved staircase, worn down by the weather and looking as though someone had chipped away at it. Her father tied Philippe to a stair banister to keep him from wandering off and then approached the rose bush.

“It’s amazing how a marvelous flower like this can bloom in such an inhospitable place,” Maurice said, delicately touching a blood red petal of one of the roses. A pleasant floral scent wafted from the bush, making Belle feel calm. She had always loved the scent of roses. It reminded her of her mother, although she was uncertain why.

Smiling up at his daughter through the rain, Maurice said, “Would you like a rose for the trip home? I know you always like me to bring you a rose when I go out on my travels.”

The rose bush was practically overflowing with fresh blooms, so one missing would likely not be noticed. “If you insist, Father.” Belle’s father plucked a rose loose and stuck it in his belt for now.

They ascended the steps and Maurice reached for a rusty doorknocker. He gave the door three sharp raps. They heard not a sound from within, but the door creaked open after the last knock. “Hello, is anyone there?” Maurice said through the open door, glancing within. When no one answered, he stuck his head inside. “Our cart broke down on the road and we were hoping someone could help us. If you could help us fix our cart or give us a place to stay the night, we’d be ever so grateful.”

A minute passed and no answer was forthcoming. Maurice pushed the door open a tad more and stepped inside. Belle reluctantly followed. There was a sense of foreboding in the air she couldn’t quite explain. “Father, I think we should go back to the cart.”

“Nonsense,” Maurice said. “We just need to find the master of the house.”

Belle’s father took her hand and guided her into the manor. The entrance hall was vast, filled with numerous doors leading to other parts of the castle and lined by a balcony overhead. A marble staircase led to the second floor. It would have been a grand sight if not for the state of disrepair. Furniture was strewn about and tattered tapestries hung on the wall. The fine rug they walked on was nearly threadbare and had holes in it. It felt colder inside than outside, although at least here they were sheltered from the rain.

Maurice led her towards another room, one where the glow of firelight could be seen. There was no one inside, but a warm fire burned in a grand fireplace. A cozy-looking armchair sat near the fire, lined in velvet with engraved wooden armrests. They scurried over to the fire, basking in the welcome warmth of the flames. Perhaps they could at least dry off before venturing back into the storm if their unknown host did not appear.

As the two warmed their hands by the fire, the only warning Belle had that someone had entered the room they were in was an almost feral-like growl. Her and her father spun around, expecting to see a wild animal but instead came face to face with a grizzly young man. He wore the raiment of a noble, but they were torn and ripped in places. Long brown hair flowed down from his head, mixing with a bushy beard that took up most of his face. He glared at them with piercing blue eyes, seeming almost as deadly as the sword at his waist. “What are you doing in my home?”

Maurice stepped in front of his daughter, trembling slightly. “We did not mean to intrude. Our cart broke down just outside your manor and we saw your fire. We were hoping there was someone here who could assist us or give us shelter for the night. We’d be ever so grateful if you could help us.”

“You trespass on my lands and then make demands of me,” the beastly man said with a grimace. “Begone from this place before I lose my patience.”

Belle’s father stuttered, trying to find the words he needed. Before he could, the young nobleman spotted the rose Maurice had tucked into his belt for later. “You dare steal from me!” His hand snatched the rose from Maurice’s belt. When Belle’s father went to snatch it back as a reflex, the noble’s other hand whipped forward and grabbed him by the wrist. “In olden days, they would have your hand for such thievery.”

“Monsieur, I meant no offence,” Maurice said. “We’ll be on our way and leave you in peace.”

“No,” the beastly man said, wrenching Maurice’s arm and forcing him to his knees. “You trespass and then steal from me, and thus you must be punished. You are to be my prisoner for as long as I see fit.”

“You cannot do this,” Belle’s father pleaded. “This is not lawful. This is not just. I shall return the rose, but please just let my daughter and I go. We meant you no harm.”

“Lawful? Just?” the noble said, almost laughing with each word, the rose falling forgotten from his hand. “Was it lawful when hordes of peasants raped and pillaged my father’s lands, raided this castle, and then murdered him within these walls, all in the name of some ridiculous revolutionary principles? Was it just when I returned after all these years only to find my lands and wealth stolen and those in power uncaring of my plight? There is no law or justice in this world other than that which we make for ourselves.”

Belle, who had stood back in shock the entire time, finally regained her senses enough to intervene. She threw herself at the man, trying to tear her father from his grasp. He pushed her aside with a brush of his shoulder. “You have trespassed as well and should be punished.”

Tears were forming in the corner of Maurice’s eyes. “No, please, let her go. She is still a girl. I stole the rose, not her. Just let her go.”

The man looked back and forth between them, scowling at them both. “True, you are more to blame, but she has trespassed as well.”

Belle could not bear to lose her father like this. She felt so powerless, at the mercy of this madman. She tried to lunge at him to get her father free, but he held her back with a single hand. Seeing the fear in her father’s eyes, she knew what she had to do. She stopped struggling and said, “Take me as your prisoner and let him go. He picked the rose for me and I was the one that said we should come here looking for help. Let him go and I’ll stay in his place.”

Hearing her words, Maurice tried pull her away from the man, but the noble kept a tight grip on both of them. “No, Belle, don’t do this.”

“I can’t let him hurt you, Father,” Belle said. She looked up at the beastly man, letting his piercing blue eyes boar into her. “Please, let him go, I beg of you.”

The nobleman’s expression relaxed. “You would willingly take his place?”

Belle’s eyes were watering, but she would not let this man see her cry. “I’d do anything for him.”

The beastly noble let out a grunt and said, “Then it is done. You shall serve as my prisoner for your father’s crimes.”

“No, you cannot do this!” Maurice said as the noble grabbed him by the collar and dragged him to the door. With a single heave, he tossed Belle’s father out into the rain.

“Do not come back or you might never see your daughter again,” the noble said with deathly seriousness. Maurice struggled to rise to his feet and get back to the door, but the man slammed it in his face. Belle’s father banged on the door for a minute, but the sound died down as he realized he would not be let back in.

As silence returned, the noble sped towards Belle and grabbed her by the wrist. She gasped and tried to break free, but his grip was like iron. He tugged her along behind him, guiding her up the stairs. She nearly tripped a few times, but a hard tug on her arm kept her going. She supressed a whimper as she started to realize the direness of her situation. What did this man intend to do with her? She had only thought of her father’s fate back downstairs, but now she had to think of her own. Did he intend to take her honour? Men had directed lewd gazes her way over the years, so she knew she had been the object of desire for many. She prayed this man did not intend to abuse her that way.

They eventually reached a wooden door at the far end of the castle at the top of one of the castle’s few towers. The noble swung it open and tossed her through the doorway. She stumbled and fell against a plump bed. She spun around, only to see her captor glaring at her from the doorway. “These are to be your quarters. You are not to leave them without my permission. Are we clear?”

Belle said nothing, glaring at him in defiance. He did not step further into the room, and she was grateful for that.

“Are we clear?” he said again.

Belle didn’t answer this time either. With a scowl, the nobleman slammed the door and she heard the click of a lock. His footsteps echoed off into the distance. She waited a few minutes, expecting him to return, but he never did. She was alone, all alone. She sat down on the edge of the bed, letting all her pent-up emotions out at once, and cried.
 

Cloud Strife

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Palais-Royal, Paris

Ferdinand-Philippe and his Mother.

It was the great desire of Louis-Philippe for all his children to have the benefits of formal education. Influenced by the ideals of the Enlightenment, Orléans wished his children to receive a liberal education, without reference to rank or status. After years of tutelage under his personal direction--indeed, Louis-Philippe had served as a teacher to earn a living while in exile--his eldest son Ferdinand-Philippe, the duc de Chartres, was now ready to take repertory classes under the guidance of the best educators in the land. Orléans had personally chosen the Collège Henri-IV to enroll his son and heir in, and procured the expertise of a certain Monsieur de Boismilon to provide direction for Chartres and his fellow students.

The public school was located in the former royal Abbey of St Genevieve, in the heart of the Latin Quarter on the left bank of the river Seine. Rich in history, architecture and culture, the Latin Quarter contains France's oldest and the most prestigious educational establishments; the École Normale Supérieure, the Sorbonne, the Collège de France and the Lycée Louis-le-Grand. The abbey was first established in 506 and it flourished as a consequence of royal patronage, becoming an integral part of the Sorbonne and housing a great library. The abbey was suppressed during the French Revolution, and in October 1796 the site became the first of many public schools in France. The Collège's name has changed several times since its inception, moving from École Centrale du Panthéon (1794–1804), Lycée Napoléon (1804–1815), and now the Collège Henri IV (1815–1848).

Attending a collège is the first step in a pupil's path of secondary education and after completion of various requirements, the young Chartres would attend the École polytechnique to finish his studies. In 1794, the École centrale des travaux publics was founded by Lazare Carnot and Gaspard Monge, during the French Revolution, at the time of the National Convention. It was renamed the École polytechnique one year later. In 1805, the Bonaparte moved the École tn Montagne Sainte-Geneviève, the Latin Quarter and established its status as a military academy, as well as gifting the institution its motto; "Pour la Patrie, les Sciences et la Gloire," or "For the Nation, science and glory." The school had a Liberal tinge; in 1814, students took part in the fights to defend and protect Paris from the Sixth Coalition against Napoleon.

The École polytechnique's focus of study was on military arts and engineering. and was a destination school for many members of the rising middle class and new elite to school their children to become France's future leaders and bureaucrats. Many of these families were the same ones Orléans wished to cultivate and better that their future heirs gained experience around his future heir. It also helped that Chartres took after his father in pursuit of the humanities and sciences, this greatly pleased Louis-Philippe who wished to repeat the same course of upbringing with his other sons and provide his daughters with the necessary tutors to bring their education up to the same level. Orléans' wife, Marie-Amélie of the Bourbon-Siciles, was due to her conservative nature skeptical of the value of such education being, in her mind, "imposed" on her children.

The Orléans compound at the Palais-Royal was regarded as the center of Parisian high society; whereas the royal court was found by the aristocracy as too stuffy, being organized according to revived ancien regime protocol. For her part the Duchess of Orléans was weary of entertaining the "new rich" and had essentially conceded her role as hostess to Louis-Philippe's sister, Adélaïde. Sister-in-law and sister were especially close owing to their time spent in exile. Adélaïde was firm, intellectual, and frank, and she was a leading force in the family councils of the Orléans. Being brought up a liberal, she supported the idea of a constitutional monarchy and a representative government. She was not on good terms with the reigning Bourbon family; because of their reactionary ideas, and also because the hostility shown by the toward the Orléans line by many who had not forgiven or forgotten the deeds of Philippe-Égalité.

With politics becoming a dangerous topic to pronounce on in the days after the assassination of Berry, Adélaïde shifted her attention and worked slowly to bring her sister-in-law behind the idea of giving her children a modern education. She would brag about Ferdinand-Philippe's exceptional progress and the example he was setting for his "lessers." Marie-Amélie enjoyed such praise and warm words and by the end of the year had removed of her remaining opposition to Louis-Philippe's ambitious education plans for children.
 

99KingHigh

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The Affairs of Europe (I)
January - July, 1820



Por Liberal, by Francisco de Goya
Five years after the ratification of the Treaty of Paris and two years after its re-affirmation at the Congress of Aix-la-Chappelle, the first challenges of popular insurrection was presented the incumbent order. With the exception of the difficulties that had apprehended France as a consequence of the treaty encumbrances, Europe had remained placid, enjoying the pellucid hegemony of continental aristocracy and royalism. Every sovereign country on the continent was governed by a faction of reactionary or conservative proclivities; in France, the liberal experiment had been prematurely concluded; in Prussia, King Fredrich-Wilhelm III had backtracked on promises to provide a constitutional monarchy; in Austria-Hungary, Metternich and his colleagues were the undisputed masters of Emperor Francis; in Germany, the German Confederation enshrined the princely sovereignty of several dozen states; in Italy, the Hapsburgs had made themselves the sentinels of absolutism; in Spain, King Ferdinand acted the "prison warden" of his country; in Great Britain, Lord Liverpool had restored the gold standard and defended the Corn Laws; in Russia, the once confident liberal Tsar Alexander was converted to arch-conservatism after revolutionary conspiracies were revealed against his crown.


King Ferdinand VII of Spain, who had spent the Peninsular War in France, refused to accept the Spanish Constitution of 1812 (otherwise known as the "Call of Cadiz" or the "Pepa") that the liberals of the Cortes of Cadiz had promulgated in the name of national sovereignty, foreseeing the return of the king whom the liberals considered legitimate. Restored to the throne upon the expulsion of Joseph Bonaparte, the king presided over an army brimming with liberals, which Ferdinand had attempted to persecute in the aftermath of the restoration. The king had also restored the Jesuits upon his return; now the Society had become identified with repression and absolutism among popular society.


Return of King Ferdinand VII in 1814.

On January 10th, 1820, Colonel Rafael del Riego, the commander of the troops at Las Cabezas de San Juan in Seville, and supported by General Antonio Quiroga y Hermida, proclaimed the Constitution of 1812. The conspirators had missed the departure of the expeditionary body led by Conde de la Bisbal, who had embarked five days prior to South America with a large military force in order to quell the independence movements. [1] Those marked in the second-wave for departure then refused to embark, and marched on San Fernando with the assistance of the liberal mutineers. Thereafter the army proceeded as far as Bienvenida and prepared for an attack on Madrid.


King Ferdinand VII the Desired (or, to his foes, "the Felon King")

By the beginning of March, royalist troops had begin to disperse, and liberal insurrections had broke out in Galicia, spreading throughout the country in what had developed into a popular revolution. Valence's attempt at an an accord with the Spanish collapsed by the events in the country; soon the insurrection emerged in Madrid, and by the 7th of Madrid, Ferdinand VIII was surrounded in the Royal Palace. Faced with no alternative, Ferdinand swore an oath to uphold the popular will, and signed the Constitution of Cadiz three days later, prefaced with the famous phrase; Marchemos francamente, y yo el primero, por la senda constitucional [Let us march frankly, and I leading, by the constitutional path.] The king was made, in everything but name, a prisoner of the state, but his own signature ratified the legitimacy of the regime.


The Success of the new Regime.


--
In the former Kingdom of Sicily, which had been integrated under the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies in 1816, the unification tendency had stirred the creation of a local protest movement composed of separatist liberal barons and discontented working classes. On June 15th, 1820, the separatists rioted, and stormed the arsenal of Palermo, where 14,000 rifles were housed. Led by Giuseppe Alliata, principe di Villafranca, duca di Salaparuta, the separatists formed a provisional government, and appointed Prince Paterno Castello to preside over the new Sicilian Parliament. Eight days later, the Sicilian government sent a delegation to Naples to demand the restoration of the Kingdom of Sicily and the Constitution of 1812.


King Ferdinand I of Two Sicilies

The agitation in Sicily and the success of the constitutionals in Spain soon inspired revolutionary activity in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, organized in the vanguard by the Carbonari and the Masonic lodges. In Naples, the conspiracy, which was intended not to depose the king, but to request the establishment of the constitutional monarchy, was set in motion; Michele Morelli, the head of the Carbonari of Nola, elected to engage the conspiracy, led by the brothers Florestan and Gugliemo Peppe, the magistrates Giustino Fortunato, and the write Domenico Oliva. The combined conspiracy was joined by the idealist anarchists lieutenant Giueseppe Silvati and Father Luigi Michini, a priest from Nola.


On the night of the 1st of July, 1820, during the feast of St. Teobaldo, the patron saint of the Carbonari, Morelli and Silvatti commenced the conspiracy, and inspired the desertion of 130 men and 20 officers. But soon afterwards, Minichini clashed with Morelli; the former wanted to proceed with a large attempt on the countryside to have farmers and commoners to join the conspiracy; the latter wanted to focus directly on Avellino and capture the city. Minichini left the squadron in order to follow with his plan, but returned soon after with little success. Contrarily, Morelli, supported by his troops, marched on Avellino without encountering the acclaim for revolution he had anticipated. Before the night concluded, he pivoted to Monteforte, where the defectors were received far more enthusiastically. Morelli and Silvati Minichini returned to Avellino the next day, where he was greeted by city authorities, and reassured the local administrators that he had no intention of overthrowing the monarchy, proclaiming the establishment of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies on the new Spanish model. Afterwards, Morelli symbolically passed power to Colonel de Concillj, the Chief of Staff of General Pepe. The gesture of submission to the military hierarchy disappointed Minichini, who returned to Nola to incite a popular uprising.

On July 5th, Morelli came to Salerno, but the uprising seemed doomed, as General Gugilelmo Pepe had collected military units for a repression; the repression was delayed by insurrection in Naples, which forced King Ferdinand I to grant a constitution and prepare elections for the next month.

[1] Alt History Alert: There is now a very large Spanish army heading towards South America.
 

99KingHigh

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99KingHigh

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A Meeting with His Majesty (Private - KingHigh)

Condé had not gotten a lot of sleep, that was for sure. He had risen early in the morning as he was to meet the King following the death of Berry. The future of the house was now no more, Angoulême had yet to produce an heir and it looked more and more unlikely. Condé had a fear that the throne would pass to Orleans, not a prospect he was fond of, certainly not after the lengths that their family had gone through, maybe even playing a part in the plot against his son. The Orleans branch had always been the most greedy.

Now though, as the Condé’s carriage approached the palace, he was unsure what reception he would receive, and in what mood the King was, but he had to receive the approval for the funeral of Berry, and hopefully just speak with his Majesty as they used to do while in exile. Their relationship had been strained since the confinement of Condé’s father, but perhaps now it was the time to let the wound mend, to come together again as a family and preserve what was rightfully theirs. The Prince stepped out of his carriage and entered the palace as one of the servants went to inform his Majesty of Condé’s arrival.

The servants escorted Condé through the Tuileries, but the Prince found himself in full-stride, familiar with the labryinthe of the Palace. Condé was brought before the office of the King, and was proceeded inside with a brief declaration, and the customary deferments.

The King, although donned in his usual blue overcoat, was still evidently worn by the grief of his newphew's death, but nonetheless beckoned his princely cousin to make his business known.

 

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To Francois Paul Bournier, Count of Pontecoulant ((PRIVATE - @Korona; dated February 11, 1820))

My lord,

In light of my appointment to the King's ministry and the limitations imposed by my injuries, I can no longer retain my commission in His Majesty's army. As such, I hereby tender my resignation and return my commission. It was an honor and a privilege to serve His Majesty as an officer, and I hope to continue that service in the ministry, though I may not be worthy of it. It is my hope, if you will it, that I may be allowed to retain a commission in the reserves so that, when I am recovered and should the need arise, I may yet be of further service to France and the King.

Do not hesitate to call upon me if I may be of assistance.

Your obedient servant,
Henri Jules de Bourbon
Colonel, Army of the North-East
 

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To the Chamber of Peers
The events unfolding in the Kingdom of Spain have been most worrisome. Liberal revolutionaries have taken His Royal Majesty, the King of Spain, hostage and have set about implementing radical revolutionary policies in said country. At gunpoint, they forced the King of Spain to sign a document removing his God-given powers and destroying all aspects of tradition in Spain. Yet, the greatest threat the rebellion in Spain has procured is that it is starting other rebellions in Europe. The Kingdom of the Two-Sicilies has already been claimed as the first victim of Spain's revolution, with liberals taking heed of the success of their partners in Spain and forcing their sovereign to adopt radical and revolutionary policies. How many more Kingdoms will suffer because of what is happening in Spain? How long before the Republicans still lingering in France obtain optimism from watching our neighbors south of the Pyrenees and proceed to try their hand at revolution in this Kingdom?

What is happening in Spain must be stopped, my fellow Peers. We cannot allow the revolution in Spain to spread into France, and we cannot allow His Royal Majesty Ferdinand VII to suffer as a prisoner of revolutionary conspiracy. I thereby petition His Royal Majesty, the King of France, to militarily intervene in Spain to defeat the radicals holding the Kingdom hostage and to restore Ferdinand VII to his righteous throne. I beg the Royal Family to hear my plea, for the sake of the Bourbon family members residing on the thrones of Spain and Sicily, to act against the Spanish threat and to defeat the revolutionaries that plague our neighboring kingdom. This revolution must end, for the sake of France and for the sake of Europe.

-Nathanaël Barrande, Comte de L'Isle Jourdain
 

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The servants escorted Condé through the Tuileries, but the Prince found himself in full-stride, familiar with the labryinthe of the Palace. Condé was brought before the office of the King, and was proceeded inside with a brief declaration, and the customary deferments.

The King, although donned in his usual blue overcoat, was still evidently worn by the grief of his newphew's death, but nonetheless beckoned his princely cousin to make his business known.

Condé kept a straight face; neither smiling, frowning or giving any emotion as he took a step forward. “I wish to offer my condolences again, Sire. It saddens me that this tragedy is to be the main topic between us, it’s never a pleasant thing.” The Prince said before he sat down opposite of the King. “I have prepared the funeral arrangements for the Prince. I have arranged that his body is to be brought to the Notre-Dame Cathedral this coming Thursday at nine, Monsieur and Louis along with the rest of the family and you, sire, will be given time to say your private goodbyes before he is moved.
He will be drawn through Paris on a horse carriage. Regiments from the Royal and National Guard shall march after the coffin and the régiment de Monsieur shall ride before it. At the Cathedral his body will lay in state until Sunday, where the people of France can come and pay their respects. Standing vigil over him with six hour interval will be soldiers from the previous mentioned regiments. I would also have Monsieur, Louis, myself and Philippe stand vigil over him during the first of these, if they are willing of course and it is not too much for them.
Sunday morning the Prince will be moved to the Basilique royale de Saint-Denis where his funeral will take place. I have also issued a week of public morning, and the coming Sunday of his funeral, a mass and prayer for his soul will be said in all churches of France. I will also make arrangement to have bread given out by the monks and nuns of France in his memory, as well as speak with the Archbishop of Reims regarding the commission of a statue to the Prince.”