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

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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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Michaelangelo

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Beauty and the Beast: Part X


Belle twirled her new gown around, admiring herself in the mirror that Lumière had carted up to the room. It was the most extraordinary garment she had ever seen, let alone worn. Made from the finest yellow silk and inlaid with gold, the gown was probably worth more than what her father made in a year. There were so many layers that she feared she would step on some of the fabric and trip herself. Mme Potts had informed her it was customary for ladies to hold up part of their dress to keep it from impairing their walking as she had laced up the back of her bodice. She had tied it quite tight, and Belle found that it constricted her gut, yet she did not mind for the gown was shoulder-less and the thin layer of fabric wrapped around her arms felt like barely enough to keep her dress up. The last thing she wanted was for her dress to slip down. To go with the gown was a matching pair of gloves, earrings, and shoes. The gloves made her feel incredibly elegant, while the weight of the pure gold earrings was an unusual burden for her. As for the shoes, she wondered how noblewomen walked in these things. She was used to comfortable leather boots, but these shoes pinched her toes and had a heel that made her feel unbalanced. It had taken her an hour of practice to get used to walking in them. After one last twirl, Belle let out a girlish squeal. She felt like a princess.

The offer of a dance had been unexpected by both Belle and the Beast. It was during one of their usual evening meals that he brought up the topic of dancing, mentioning that he had enjoyed it as a teenager. Belle mentioned that her father had taught her to dance, but she feared that she was not as talented as a noble. When he had casually offered to teach her to dance, she accepted without hesitation. It seemed like a fun diversion. The Beast had seemed shocked, as though he had not expected her to accept. Once he realized she truly meant it, excitement had taken over and he had ordered a gown found for her. Belle was thus given the gown she now wore, apparently previously owned by the Beast’s late mother. She knew how much his mother meant to him, and she cherished the gift with all her heart.

A polite knock on the door drew Belle’s attention. She opened it to find Lumière waiting for her just outside, a smile upon his face. He held out his arm, and Belle knew that it was time. There were butterflies in her stomach, and she felt like taking flight due to her giddiness. Taking in a deep breath to regain her composure, she stepped over to the manservant and took his arm. Holding her gown away from her feet, she let Lumière guide her down the stairs towards the entrance hall.

When they reach the stairs down to the entrance hall, Lumière stopped and let go of Belle’s arm. The young woman looked past him and saw the Beast waiting for her at the entrance to the West Wing. She just barely suppressed a gasp. Ever since she had met him, he had always seemed disheveled, his hair a mess and his clothes stained or uncared for. Now he wore the finest suit, one that appeared freshly washed. An azure overcoat with coattails down to the back of his knees covered a tasteful tan vest, accompanied by a lace cravat and elegant white shirt. Knee-length black breeches with white stockings and buckled shoes completed the assemble. The Beast’s hair was pulled back into a ponytail with a little blue bow holding it in place. Despite the sudden care taken for his appearance, the beard still remained. While it remained large and bushy, it was a bit more groomed than usual. Regardless, the Beast had clearly dressed to impress her. A blush crept to her cheeks as she took a few steps to towards him and he did likewise.

“You look beautiful,” the Beast said, not once looking away from her face.

Belle shyly smiled and batted her eyes. She couldn’t supress a tiny smirk as she said, “And you certainly clean up well.”

The Beast gave a toothy grin and gently took her hand. “I suppose I do.”

The two walked step by step down the stairs, Belle holding the folds of her dress out of her way so she wouldn’t trip while the Beast guided her. When they reached the foot of the stairs, Lumière appeared beside them and motioned for them to follow him. Belle nearly tripped at the manservant’s appearance, for she had not seen him pass her on the stairs. She must have been too enraptured by the Beast.

After a short walk, they reached the back of the castle and Lumière pushed open two massive oak doors, revealing an extravagant ballroom. Belle swore she had explored every part of the castle, yet she did not immediately recall this part. It took a moment for her to reconcile it with her memory, for she had glanced in here before, but at the time the massive chandelier above had not been lit and everything had been covered in dust. The servants must have worked tirelessly to clean everything and prepare it for them. She gave a nod of thanks to them as she noticed them standing to the side, Mme Potts holding her son Chip close as he twirled a flute in his hands, Lumière picking up a violin, and Cogsworth sitting at a piano.

They stood in the doorway for the several seconds before Belle took the initiative and guided the Beast to the centre of the ballroom. It was then that she noticed the faint trickles of sweat dripping down his face, the occasional twitch of his lip, and increasing redness spreading across his face. He was just as nervous as she was. Belle found some form of comfort in this. He had always seemed so sure of himself around her and at time she found herself wondering if she truly understood him at all. At least this she could comprehend. Perhaps he was dealing with the same mix of confusing emotions and feelings that she was, wondering the same things she wondered about her host. That brought a coy smile to her face as she took the Beast’s hand and placed it on her waist. He noticeably gulped, and she knew she had read him right. She placed her hand on his shoulder and grasped his free hand. Their eyes met and shared a spark that had been missing up until now. There was something there that wasn’t there before.

Cogsworth played a few notes on the piano, Chip blew an experimental note on his flute, and Lumière raised the end of his violin up to his chin. They slowly started to play, trying to find the right melody and get in sync. It took a few seconds for them to get the knack of it, but eventually they had a soft tune going. Belle did not recognize the song, but it sounded pleasant enough. The Beast tugged on her ever so slightly, guiding her into the first dance manoeuvre. Despite not having danced much in her life, she found herself following with ease and matching her partner’s graceful movement.

((

Skip to 1:00.
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Once the dance had started and the song began to play, Mme Potts cleared her throat and began to sing. Belle couldn’t recognize a word she was saying, for she seemed to be singing in English. The Beast, however, seemed to recognize the words, for he gave his servant a cheeky look. Mme Potts chuckled between verses.

As the dance went on, Belle found herself becoming more and more oblivious to the music. She was drawn into the dance and her entire focus was directed to the Beast. He guided her effortlessly across the ballroom floor, and she found herself growing accustomed to keeping up with his every movements. All the lessons her father had given to her returned at once. Once it was clear she was comfortable with dancing, the Beast held up his arm up and let her twirl underneath, and then extended it to let her lean outwards. When she spun back, he held her close for a second, long enough for her to take in his scent. It was warm and earthy, and she found it comforting.

As the music picked up, the Beast tightened his grip on Belle’s waist and use the momentum as they spun around to lift her from her feet. She couldn’t help but let out a playful squeal as she twirled through the air. He gently let her back down, pulling her back in towards him. Just as she thought he was going to clasp her tight, he swung her around and dipped her towards the floor. She went with it, feeling like an acrobat as her partner kept her in constant motion. It was a thrilling exchange, an experience like no other.

The song was winding down to its end, and as the music slowed the Beast pulled Belle close. She pressed her head against his chest, hearing his heart beat against her cheek, as his arms wrapped around her. Their momentum slowed, and she didn’t even notice that they had stopped dancing. She just looked up at him, only to notice that he had eyes only for her. He smiled down at her with full sincerity, taking in the moment. His eyes were gleaming, and for once in Belle’s life she felt like she was truly wanted by somebody. Belle didn’t want the moment to end.

The music had long since ended and the servants had shuffled out of the ballroom to leave the young couple alone. Neither noticed their absence. They just stood there, rocking slowly on their feet in each other’s embrace as though that was all they needed in the world. The Beast eventually drew Belle towards the outside door, leading her out onto the balcony and into the refreshing night air. The stars were out without a cloud in the sky. They watched the stars twinkle in the distance, a fine ending to their evening.

It seemed like hours before either of them spoke. They seemed comfortable enough holding each other close and admiring the night sky. It was the Beast who first decided to break the silence. “Are you happy here?”

Belle pondered the question for a moment. The castle had been a prison for her at first, but with time she had found joy within its walls. She considered the staff her friends, and she had found herself inexplicably drawn towards the Beast. He showed her affection without lust, respect without judgment, and kindness without expecting anything in return. Here she felt welcome, and more importantly, she felt loved. That sent a tinge of guilt through her. She had not seen or heard from her father in ages, and at times she wondered if she was a terrible daughter for not trying to go back home. He must be worried tremendously about her. Yet part of her wondered why he never returned, even with the threat against her life, or even replied to her letter. Despite the joyous mood of the evening, Belle found her expression growing downcast.

“Yes,” Belle said, “but I miss my father dearly. I fear I have lost him forever.”

The Beast nodded with understanding, placing a hand on her back. “I thought you would say something like that.” He snapped his fingers and Lumière scurried out onto the balcony. He brandished an envelope, handing it over to the Master. The Beast held it in his hand for a moment before offering it to Belle. “This arrived for you this morning.”

Belle gingerly took the letter, her hands shaking. She had not heard from her father in so long. She had sent him a letter a few months ago, but it was not until now that she finally received a reply. The sight of her name written on the envelope in her father’s elegant handwriting brought a tear to her eye. It took a few tries before she successfully opened the letter. She then slowly read the contents, a mixture of terror and sorrow building up inside her the more she read.


My dear Belle,

I cannot begin to express my joy at hearing that you are well. I have spent many a night fearing for your well-being, but knowing now that you have been provided for these many years relieves me of the burden I’ve held for so long. I forgive your host for his transgressions against us, for he has provided you with a life I could never give. That is more than a father could ask for.

I know you too well, and know that you feel guilt at not being with me all these years. I want you to know that I do not blame you for all that has happened. Regardless of what has kept you away, all I have ever wanted for you was to forge a life of your own. Morlaix was never your home and you have never been happy here. Out there in the world is where you belong. If where you find yourself now is the place you feel you belong surrounded by those who care for you, then I am glad that you have at last found happiness. Your happiness is all that I have ever cared about.

I am afraid that I cannot bless you with happy news in return. During your time away, I have found myself beset with problems with my health. In these past few months, I have longed to go find you, but find myself barely able to leave my own bed. I have been living on what funds I had stored away and the kindness of others, but that can only last for so long. As my health declines, I think more of you daily. I would choose to visit you in a second if I could, but I am in no condition to do so. I fear that my time runs short.

I must make a request of you, my beloved daughter. More than anything I wish to see you. I miss your kind face and joyous laughter. It would mean more than anything in the world to see you one last time.

Your father


Belle nearly dropped the letter as she was wracked by a series of short sobs, tears streaming from her eyes. The Beast pulled her close, caressing her comfortingly. When her sobbing had calmed down, he looked her in the eye and asked, “What is wrong?”

“It’s my father,” Belle said, her voice cracking from distress. “He’s sick.”

The Beast watched her for a moment, sharing in her grief with his downcast expression. After a short sigh, he gently grabbed her hand and said, “Then you must go to him.”

Before Belle could respond, the Beast turned to Lumière, who was standing near the balcony door. “Fetch Belle a horse immediately.”

Lumière clacked his heels together as though he was in the military. He practically flew down the stairs to the castle grounds as he rushed off to the stables. As they waited, the Beast held Belle close, rubbing her back and offering words of comfort.

It did not take long for Lumière to return with a horse, fitted with a saddle and ready to ride. The Beast guided Belle down the stairs and helped her up into the saddle. She had to adjust the flowing gown just so she could sit properly. As she tested the reins in her hands, she looked over at the Beast. They shared a forlorn look, one filled with great sadness, for they both knew there was the chance she would never return. Belle was uncertain, after all, if she could ever be around him again and not feel the overwhelming guilt that came with knowing how poorly her father had fared without her. Knowing how much letting her go meant, Belle gave a sad smile to the Beast and said, “Thank you.”

The Beast nodded his head and Belle hesitated only a moment before snapping the reins. The horse neighed loudly and galloped off towards the castle gates, beginning the long journey to Morlaix. Belle’s attention was fully riveted on the road. If she had dared to look back and listen to her host’s farewell, she might have been surprised by what she heard. Instead the Beast was forced to stand there alone, watching Belle ride off into the distance as he opened his heart to no one in particular.

“I love you.”
 

ThaHoward

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((Private letter to @Cloud Strife ))

Your Royal Highness,

The loss of the Ultras may lead to a renewed faith to the left. However I dread that the Left may be just as fractured by factionalism. And that the left may be pulled to the extremes by radical liberals who advocate Republicanism or Democratism.

To achieve a middle road, between an republic, which will only bring instability, and a Democracy which will only bring chaos. As such I believe you should take much more formal leadership among the liberals. Not to crown yourself as king, but to guide them. To steer them away from extremism and to keep them together from fracturing. To take them way from camps, to unite moderate Ultras, Doctrinaires and moderate Independent Liberals as Orléanists. So that French Liberalism will not be tempted by Republicans and Democrats and steer us into despair, while under your guidance we secure our political freedoms.

As such I have a request to make. I can hold a banquet for some sort of charity before I move out of Paris. For the banquet I will invite several moderate figures and liberals. In such a way you can connect with them and bring your leadership and enlightened visisions upon them and unite French Liberalism under moderation and a united bloc. Me personally will not partake in the discussions or mention politics at all. I will merely function as the banquet holder and focus on raising money and of course to make sure you can get a network around you of men who in other instances are not under your influence.

Please let me know what you wish, and I will do as you command.

Your obiedient servant,

Lothaire Lécuyer.
 

Cloud Strife

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((Private letter to @Cloud Strife ))

Your Royal Highness,

The loss of the Ultras may lead to a renewed faith to the left. However I dread that the Left may be just as fractured by factionalism. And that the left may be pulled to the extremes by radical liberals who advocate Republicanism or Democratism.

To achieve a middle road, between an republic, which will only bring instability, and a Democracy which will only bring chaos. As such I believe you should take much more formal leadership among the liberals. Not to crown yourself as king, but to guide them. To steer them away from extremism and to keep them together from fracturing. To take them way from camps, to unite moderate Ultras, Doctrinaires and moderate Independent Liberals as Orléanists. So that French Liberalism will not be tempted by Republicans and Democrats and steer us into despair, while under your guidance we secure our political freedoms.

As such I have a request to make. I can hold a banquet for some sort of charity before I move out of Paris. For the banquet I will invite several moderate figures and liberals. In such a way you can connect with them and bring your leadership and enlightened visisions upon them and unite French Liberalism under moderation and a united bloc. Me personally will not partake in the discussions or mention politics at all. I will merely function as the banquet holder and focus on raising money and of course to make sure you can get a network around you of men who in other instances are not under your influence.

Please let me know what you wish, and I will do as you command.

Your obiedient servant,

Lothaire Lécuyer.

Dear Captain,

Let me first apologize for being unable to visit you in your duty station in the far West, events of state precluded my travels outside of Paris for some months.

You carry with you the weight of ex-Imperial opinion and for the sake of national reconciliation I would be willing to call upon your Parisian residence to meet those men honest in their devotion to the Charter. In return I merely ask that you be willing to stand again as a deputy for the Seine. While I can understand your hesitance there is a higher duty to France that men such as yourself must fulfill in these times. If it is a matter of finances I am sure your family can be well provided for. If the reluctance stems from the current atmosphere of our body politic, you can rest assured that provided you and your faction are willing to work with me, I will see to it that previous indiscretions that you may or may not have committed are smoothed over.

I am convinced my cousin, the King, is most desirous of a working government. We must set the King's mind at ease that the Left and current Opposition supports the continuance of the House of Bourbon upon the French throne. Should his Christian Majesty have on hand the advice of ministers who can rely upon he confidence of the legislature I am sure our Liege will be more amenable to the cause of progress. There are those whose zeal for reform gets the better of them and I hope these well-intentioned men can be convinced of the need to chose their battles wisely.

I shall send my men to work with you on arranging this banquet to ensure that no bad eggs show up to spoil such an occasion.

With my regards,
M. Orléans
 

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LA GAZETTE DE FRANCE

TO MAKE THE BANNER FLUTTER: A QUEST TO REANIMATE ULTRAROYALISM​

FOR a few years I thought that would not be in the mood to write on political matters. For not so long ago my friend, a young officer and Peer, a father of a small child, has been treacherously killed by thugs hired by a person who has before been continuously dishonoring his family. He was lured to a distant place under the pretext of an affair of honor – and then cowardly and lowly murdered. And the most astounding fact that the scoundrel that committed such a breach of trust has born the noble name of the Count of Saint-Germaine. Was such a debasement of tradition and noblesse oblige possible under the so-called Ancien Regime? Of course not. Same as in the Middle Ages even robbers on the road sincerely believed in God and his retribution, before the Revolution even the most roguish person, if he considered himself a gentleman, would have not fallen so low.

Sadly enough, it is a symbol of our decadent times. A son of an aristocrat, himself bearing a noble name, turned into a cad, a radical liberal, a Mason and a killer. We have managed to fend dangers to the Throne represented by the Bonapartist swords and republican guns – but our society has, at the same time, fallen into a combination of impudence and disobedience (from the Left) and moral apathy and indifference (from the more rightist elements). We have made a mistake of estinguishing the fires that have been burning in the stoves of Ultraroyalism since 1815. And only the stoves that do have a heat can cook an appetizing meal.

When we came tnto power during the last years of the reign of Louis the Desired, we have brought a flurry of ideas and proposals, brought a program, the might of ideology that made the first Sully Ministry a true assistant of the Crown. However, later the ideas were replaced solely by good intentions, These good intentions have received the vast confidence of the nation – however, did not find a practical execution.

The problem is that was once was a holy quest has turned into a bureaucratic maze, the problem is that many have learned to take power for granted, started to see it as a happy bliss. Due to the lack of intercommunication, there was no longer unity and understanding of what are we defending and championing. Many of the formulas important to all of us were construed and misconstrued by different parts of the Ultraroyalistm movement as they wished.

During the last years of the reign of the blessed King, Louis XVIII, the time of military glory and internal peace, under solid and principled Ultraroyalist governance, have come to France. We do need to restore these principles and return to our roots, reaccertain who we are.

In 1815 there was, in essence, no circumvents and impatients, no mathematical royalists and no edges. We all were Ultraroyalist and we were united by one aim – to restore justice and order in the Kingdom that was plagued by many illnesses left by the revolution. We did have many opponents and many difficulties – we should remember the hurtful regicides issue, the compensation issue, the education issue. However, we have overcome all of these, as Saint George would defeat a dragon – to be wounded by what? Our own strifes and haphazard procedures?

It is time for us to return to whom we are, it is time for us to become a lantern instead of a spark. The King gives us His trust and expects our service – how can we fail Him? How can we let our personal ambitions and misunderstandings stand in the way of the interests of the Cross and Crown?

We should once again see our mission not as something singular, but as quest. And winning this election should be a quest for us as well. But what quest should it be?

A QUEST FOR UNITY – we must overcome factionalism and understand that there is more to unite us than divide. Do not all of us stand for the supremacy of the royal prerogative, for the defense of the Holy Faith, for stable social order, for rejection of the revolutionary dogmas? We should seek compromise in matters that separate us – for otherwise these that are completely alien to the conservative ideal would triumph.

A QUEST FOR CONSENSUS - during the later years one of the greatest flaws of the government was lack of consultation and coordination within its ranks. The purviews of the Ministers of State were often ignored by their colleagues, there was no discussion of the bills proposed within the Council, there was no systematic work with the majority in the Chamber. Now we should return to the good principles set during the Valence Ministry and the first Sully Ministry – these of consultation, discussion and collective elaboration regarding the most major measures.

A QUEST FOR STABILITY - we must understand and take it as the main principle that the stability of the Monarchy, the safety of the Throne and position and prerogative of His Most Christian Majesty should be our main goal. As the Ultraroyalists, we have a duty to make sure that the royalty is not endangered – and this aim should be put above any of our partisan wishes. We should, before taking any measure, first of all, weight the risks that it contains for the Monarchy, its power and importance – and only then take it.

A QUEST FOR PRINCIPLES – while our opponents may roam in the realm of falsehoods and speculations, while they may use false flags of liberalism in order to weaken the Crown and the Church, we must be consistent in our convictions. We, the pure royalists, should take a steady stand in the defense of the Crown, Fatherland, Faith and the French people – but, at the same time, behave in a honest way, not clinging to power for the sake of power, not supporing the measures we do not find appropriate, not making deals that would damage the Monarchy in the long run. Morality is the basis of our movement – and should stay so.

Should we reach the aim of this quest, France will get what it needs – a stable and able royalist governance and the problems of the past would be long gone.

- SAINT-AIGNAN
 
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ThaHoward

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Your Royal Highness,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your obedient servant,
Chef de bataillon Lothaire Lécuyer.
 
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Eid3r

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Armentières, (Département du Nord)
Estate of the Marquise of Armentières


At the launch of the elections, Amélie was away from the capital, visiting her estates in the north of the realm. The ignominious end of the Sully ministry was too much to bear, for she harboured the sympathy of her social class toward the poor Duke, whose lack of political acumen had brought the ship of the State into treacherous waters, without any wind, oars or rudder. Enjoying the fresh air of the country, away from the terrible stench of Paris – a dreadful perfume of human feces with effluves of rot and sweat - and of its constant social obligations, the Marquise was looking forward to spend some time with her daughter in her ancestral home.

As her carriage turned on the small road leading to the manor, a long stretch bordered on each side by tall and massive oaks, she was greeted by the intendant, which was seeing to the everyday needs of the household and the property. As he lifted his hat in salutations, she smiled widely before entreating him: “My dear Martin! I feel it has been ages since we last met. How are the children?”

The plump men blushed with pride. “Very well, Madame. Jean is attending the parish school and Élise is showing quite some talent at knitting, I believe she will make a very good seamstress.” They exchanged news for a good ten minutes, until the coach pulled in front of the estate. Eyeing a new warehouse built not too far from the manor, she questioned the intendant with a glance, to which he quickly answered. “Our new barn, Madame, made to accommodate the needs of the Marquis.” She smiled softly at the admission. “You mean that Henri has again ran out of space to house his precious gun racks? I would have thought some of them would have made excellent firewood last winter, especially the monstrous horror he had carted away from the Italian Alps.”

The employee smiled back in a rather polite way, declining to get drawn into the intricacies of his Lord and Lady’s marriage, but retorting with the shared pride he had in common with the Marquis over the engines of war stored. “Madame is certainly referring to the Piedmontese gun carriage. It is a quite unique piece indeed due to the admirable ease of its working.” Amélie frowned back, her face shaping in a “moue” which was both mildly childish and playful. “You can count on the Italian’s laziness to find a comfortable way to bring cannons to a battle. Anyway, while I do not share in the Marquis appreciation for such things, I do not mind him indulging in his passion.”

She entered the manor, being immediately greeted by this familiar old scent of baked bread, for the servants were at work in the kitchen that morning, mixed with some effluves of mahogany and rosewood from the extensive paneling adorning the walls. Charlotte was quickly brought to her room, for the poor soul was beyond tired and in great need of a rest. The Marquise then elected to spend time in the study, glancing quickly at the books of the estate, which was flourishing, thanks to the careful administration of her husband, and quite frankly, to her insistence, several years past, in modernising quite strongly the ways in which culture was selected and done in the fields.

An hour later, a gentle knock on the door woke her up from her reverie, for her mind had wandered from the accounts to some memory of old. It was Martin, yet again, bearing some news. “Madame will want to be informed that the King has just called for an election. It is said that the Sully Ministry is in utter ruins. Some says the man is quite finished.” She raised her head, quite perplexed. “The Duke of Sully is a crafty and resourceful man, you should never count him out. There will be a great battle for the soul of the realm, I am afraid, and in such a contest, there can be only one master. Martin, would you be so kind as to find me the results of last election for Nord? I believe a copy of the returns had been sent here several months ago.

The intendant opened a small armoire, filled to the brim with papers. In this seemingly unorganized chaos, emerged some form of order, when he proudly pulled the aforementioned results. Amélie poured over them with her usual légèreté, before frowning. “That will not do. Armentières voted 55% for the Ultraroyalist candidates.” Martin approached the desk, glancing at the numbers. “Well, it was your late father’s wish that we ... hum ... stimulate the inclinations of the eligible voters in such a way.” A small spark of malice crossed the noblewoman’s eyes, a small rictus forming on her lips. “Then I believe a reconsideration of such inclinations is in order, would not you say, my dear Martin?” The man nodded, before answering: “We shall proceed with the usual care and efficiency, my lady.”

She gazed at the results for a longer moment. Obviously, the returns from Armentières had not detracted Victor Durand from a comfortable victory, thanks to a strong support in Lille, chef-lieu of the department. However, she knew that this time around, his victory would need to be neat, clear-cut and without any appeal, with the largest majority possible. She was well intent to mobilise her assets to provide him that safety.
 

Marschalk

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LA GAZETTE DE FRANCE​

THE FOURTH ESTATE: THOSE WHO CRITICIZE​

DURING the Middle Ages the society was practically divided into three distinctive groups - the Oratores: "those who pray" (the Clergy), the Bellatores: "those who fight" (the Knights) and Laboratores: "those who work" (the Common People).

Now, in our liberals, we see a new and distinctive class, the Critiqueurs - ones whose only business is criticizing and opposing these in the Government that do all of the stated above.

If we are to look at the history of the Restoration France, we can see no liberal government that enjoyed success or even relative longevity. We saw the inactivity of Dhuzoine, the self-destruction of Decazes, the ministers changing every few monthes, we saw political assasinations, conspiracies and rebellions, we saw the total lack of stability – this is what are our memories of our era of the Liberal Governance.

These who now avidly criticize the second Sully Ministry, forget one basic truth – only these who do nothing do not make mistakes. Sitting in their cushy chairs, they forget that everything erected and done in the Restoration France was in fact done by the rightist hands, during the Ultraroyalist-dominated de Valence Ministry and the first Sully Ministry. It was under the governance of the Ultraroyalists that the war in Spain was won, it was the Ultaroyalist government that drafted the main laws of the Restoration France, it was the Ultaroyalist government who had the courage to tackle such a problematic issues as the compensation of emigres and the relationships with the Holy Roman Catholic Church in the fields of education, it were the Ultraroyalists who were for years improving the infrastructure of the land. The Ultraroyalists were working – while the leftists were criticizing.

The emphasis of this distribution of labor was the manifesto the Critiquers produced during the last elections. It was in fact simply a desire to repeal everything done by Ultraroyalist with the addition of certain policies passed by the Liberal ministers in the more or less distant past, such as Durandism (related a gentleman who was briefly a Minister of Interior during the times of Dhuzoine and had to resign after an unlucky tackling of the famine) and Rotschildism (the economic measures, some of which which met opposition even in the liberal circles associated with Palais-Royals and have led to the fall of the Valence Ministry).

It is always easy to reject and denounce, winning laurels of the press that is ever hungry for attention. However, would such negative approaches build a basis of the solid government of France? I think not. It has been so that it was the Ultraroyalist party that produced, so to say, workers, not speakers, while their opponents mainly excelled in the area of opposition.

One could also ask – whether the Left can give His Most Christian Majesty guarantees regarding experience in public offices and general loyalty to the Monarchy? Regarding the first, we see very few figures with considerable administrative feats from among the Left. Should then the country be truly led by an assembly of writers, merchants or socialites with no understanding of practical governance, with no lifetime of public service?

Regarding the loyalty to the dynasty, while there are, of course, completely loyal moderate liberals, we have seen the Left overall showing quite different tendencies. For did not the Left, during the reign of King Louis XVIII, oppose even the expulsion of regicides like Gregoire and enemies of the monarchy like Manuel, seeing any attempt to defend the honor of Bourbons as a personal insult to the liberal idea? Did not the Left demonstrate continuous support to the cause of the Spanish radicals, holding their King hostage, and oppose the war against them? Did not the Leftist press, while mercifully granted the right to write whatever they want by our King Charles X, demonstrate a maturity of a spoiled child, starting a campaign of slander aimed not only at the Faith and Government, but at the King himself? Why, as an example, we could point at one of such Leftist journals, "The Globe", that has advocated abolition of royal prerogative and called the Frenchmen who, during the dark years of Revolution, did not bow down before the radical regime have left its borders, traitors. And one must remember that among these who have left were two Kings – the late, Louis XVIII, and the reigning, Charles X.

Therefore, while the Left claims to be the "most loyal opposition", as the Brits call it, I believe that at the moment only the last word in this phrase has been truly proved by the actions of the Left. And France does not need a government and legislature of Critiquers – but a government and legislature of experienced and laborous men, which would now equal a prudent royalist government and Chamber.

- B. de S.A.
 
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Eid3r

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Silence! The Duke of Saint-Aignan desires complete acquiescence to his policies

There is but a certain irony in witnessing the good Duke of Saint-Aignan, father of modern censorship, taking to the papers to denounce those who dare to raise the voice against the most ineffective policies of the Ministry he is reluctantly part in, if we dare to interpret his almost chronic inability of coming out in support of governmental legislation in times of need.

It appears that hubris has taken hold of the mind of the good Duke, who now sees in reasonable critique of less than successful decisions almost a form of sedition which needs to be quashed, if not by his words, the first words we do here in a long time coming from a figure of the Sully circle, then by the most abrupt return of the censorship. One can only imagine how the members of this disgruntled ministry, refusing to ascribe their unpopularity to their own actions, put pressure on our good king to reinstate a most somber apparatus for the oppression of the minds that he had parted with, to his acclaim, at the advent of his reign.

When one takes a closer look to the history of Restoration France, as the good Duke enjoin us to do, we dare to see a fuller and larger portrait than the narrow view presented by the defenders of the Ministry. While it undeniable that the general prosperity of the realm was restored by the most visionary character of the Durand reforms, whose effects and benefits are still being felt many years after their introduction, we are forced to acknowledge a powerful effort by the most reactionary members of the following governments to assault the very mind and liberties of the French people.

This two-pronged offensive against conscience was done, first, by constructing a most obscure and repressive system of censorship, for which we owe the good Duke of Saint-Aignan, its principal architect. But more perversely, under the sustained efforts of the Metropolitan Archbishop of Reims, the subordination of young minds to the wishes of a waning Ministry was effected by the complete saccage and perversion of the educational reform which had been promoted by the efficient action of the Marquis d’Armentières. Under the guise of educating the sons and daughters of France, the Sully ministry renounced to equip them with the necessary skills to push the Kingdom further toward progress and modernity. Quite au contraire, these gentlemen, of which the Duke of Saint-Aignan was a most willing part, elected to instruct our youth in the attitudes of the past, somewhat denying the forward motion of history and progress.

But if we are to judge the current government on the basis proposed by the good Duke of Saint-Aignan, we will most certainly judge it on the actions rather than the paroles, given the general silence in which this Ministry operated for the past years while plunging us in a renewed deficit. And those actions, speaks volume in defining the general distrust in which the Ultraroyalistes hold the good people of France, a distrust recently exemplified by the unnecessary and damaging disbanding of the Paris National Guard. The King and the people deserve much better than the reactionary politics of a Ministry who is deemed contemporary to Richelieu and Mazarin. It is time to make way for the action, industry and ideas of a new generation of leaders, incarnation of the renewed hopes and aspiration of the population and of its love for His Majesty.

- A modern royalist

 

Eid3r

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Town of Armentières, Département du Nord

There was much activity in the small town of Armentières following the call for the elections. The town square, normally a quaint and tranquil place, was abuzz with the electioneering on this otherwise habitual market day. The young marquise was going from stand to stand, discussing with the merchants as well as looking for certain provision she desired of the freshest quality. As she was looking carrots and leeks for a potage she had in mind to cook herself, the silly affair, she discussed with the good maraîcher.

“Monsieur Dutoît, it appears that the harvest is quite good this year again.”
“Not bad at all, Madame, not bad at all.”
“Allons, my dear Dutoît, you know you can call me Amélie. I am still the same young girl which use to steal apples from your stand”
“Indeed you are, Madame Amélie.”
“How is your family? Jacinthe must be what, eight or nine at this point?”
“Nine indeed, Madame. And of the most decisive character, if I might say. To a fault sometimes.”
“A rebellious young child, how could I ever relate to that?”
“Mind you, Lady Amélie, that the school has got to her head. She came back one day saying that she wanted to become a nun, because selling provisions is sinful.”
“One has to wonder indeed what is being taught in those schools.”

She purchased some provisions and move to another stand, where she glanced for a long moment at various ribbons on sale. While it was nothing to rival with the fashion of Paris, she was always enticed by the simplicity of the rural look. She quickly paid for several of them, as she heard some public speaking taking place around a nearby platform.

“And mind you, good people of Armentières, that only the Ultraroyalists, under the wise and careful leadership of the Duke of Sully, can keep the realm prosperous! Do not listen to the honeyed words of the liberals, and those who call themselves liberal royalists. They are deviants, all of them!” bellowed a plump candidate.

His speech was tacitly approved by the curé, who was standing in the crowd, nodding at every words and whose reaction was closely followed by many. The candidate then proceeded: “And we have finally righted one of the most horrible wrong, done to the émigrés, by compensating them for their properties lost several years ago.”

The marquise, annoyed by such nonsense, decided to shout a comment. “Almost forty years ago, to be rather exact, Monsieur. I look around here and I see but only some grey hair who might remember these days with accuracy. Wouldn’t you think that all these millions of franks could have made a greater difference if invested in our economy?”

The candidate, directly facing the sun, could not discern the identity of his questioner. The simple fact that the voice was feminine was irking him. “Well, young girl, I assume that a feeble and fairer mind such as yours might not understand the importance of righting past wrongs. But isn’t it said that who pays his debts is getting richer? You should ponder that rather than utter sottises!”

“You will excuse my lack of acumen in these matters, for other than lining the pockets of friends of the current ministry, who indeed suffered a terrible wrong some four decades ago, I still fail to understand how these sums have benefited the general population, whose hard labor these taxes are levied from. I assume it must be because of my ... feeble and fairer mind.”

As a cloud passed over the sun, the candidate was finally able to see clearly, and promptly understood his mistake. While he tried as well as he could to amend his conduct, the word was spreading like wildfire: He had publicly insulted the Marquise.
 

Fingon888

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La Gazette de France
For reprinting in L'Elan and La Journal de Normandie

A Portrait of a Modern Royalist

By now we are all familiar with the incessant articles from the so-called Modern Royalists based in that vile newspaper Le Diocletian. Upon examination of the principles of these "loyal moderates" we find them to be none other than Parliamentarians of the most pernicious kind. You will not find a Cromwell in their company, no man so bold to cry for the death of the King or Liberty. Rather, the Modern Royalist is a marriage of King William and Queen Mary, usurpers of the commonweal and backed by shadowy Protestant elements. It is on good authority that the Modern Royalists are backed by the Masonic lodges and the Duke of Orleans, the dastardly conspirator who is fathered by the regicide Duke. The victory of the Modern Royalists will mean rule by a merchant elite and a Parliament of fools. They will consign the Holy Mother Church to the role of a pauper and plaything. May God grant victory to the true servants of the Pope and His Most Christian Majesty.

- A Counter-Revolutionary
 

DensleyBlair

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LE CONSTITUTIONNEL

A Comment on Political Affairs

Alexandre Cazal

The guiding belief of the gentleman who comprise our current ministry is that, As it has been, so must it always be. To this Panglossian affirmation is added, Thus as it has never been, so may it never be.

In this phrasing, we hear exposed the desperate hypocrisy of certain elements of the Ultra-royalist tendency. Reduced as they are to meet this coming election supine, lying on a bed of scandal and waste, these men have fallen back further still onto that one principle which, in these dire hours, might give them hope yet: the eternal flame that noblesse privilège. Formed in the minds of these gentlemen is the unshakeable certainty that they must govern. Thus we are obligated to give no resistance, accepting instead that they may.

Here lies the deepest hypocrisy. Opposition elements have never governed, and where they have, only badly. The inverse treatment is afforded the King's party, who, having governed copiously, are judged singularly to have done so well. We ask not, of course, who does the judging.

Therefore, no man who has never sat with the King as his minister may do so in the future. This presents a fine paradox, worthy of the Ancients whom our gentleman ministers so admire. Are we to assume that these gentleman, however, exist separate to its conditions? Perhaps an obsequious devotion to the institution of the Crown exempts one from this logical constraint? How the Duc de Saint-Aignan and the Duc de Broglie are different, I know not—only one may govern, and one may not. Evidently, it is not enough that one be of noble stock. There exists some ultramundane, external factor that assists in the cultivation of an Elect, who are permitted to govern for having shown their intentions and their convictions to be pure. (Only a scoundrel would here make historical allusions.)

It is unimaginable that the opposition might ever possess the steel, the nous to govern well. No, it has spent far too long decamped in the comfort of the Palais-Royal. It has grown soft, effete and long in the tooth. It cannot possibly manage the reins of government, having only observed and critiqued—an insult, we now learn. That it is far easier to observe and critique from within Paris than, say, from Austrian exile has apparently not occurred to these gentlemen.

Thus, it is clear that we can do nothing but genuflect in favour of the current ministry, who have after all done so much ill only because they have had so great an opportunity.
 

99KingHigh

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CHAMBRE DES PAIRS



 

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Le Globe

On the "fourth estate".

When one are to read the comments made by Saint-Aignan one are baffled by his historical revision. First he seem to lay the responsibility of the success of the Bourbon Restoration solely on the shoulders of the Ultraroyalists. Indeed the Ultras have played an integral part in the time following the fall of Napoleon, but he is openly ignoring the fact that every government up to the Council led by President Sully have been Council's of centrism and bi-partisanship - if one can use such terms. The analysis fall on itself as it disregard the 13 past years and make it look like the last three years were the only years during this restoration. This is simple a historical inaccuracy and need no furhter comment.

Saint-Aignan also claim that only Ultraroyalists were in support of the intervention in Spain and they alone led to the victory in the war. Let us remind Saint-Aignan that it were the Royal Army who led the French nation to victory and restored the rightful ruler of Spain. Furthermore there were Ultraroyalists who were opposed to the intervention, and members of the opposition who were in favor of it. Not to speak of that the Armed Forces of France is not an institution whose member's are clones of eachother. To say that the Ultraroyalists alone led the French Armed Forces to victory is not true.

Then there's the claim that this paper have called for the abolition of the royal prerogative. How? It were the opinion of one journalist that the Council of the King should reflect the membership of the Parliament, in order for it to be harmony between the Council and the Parliament to not go into yet another Council like the one of Sully. Even then it was argued the King were to have the final word, in other words the King would be free to accept or reject any proposition. Now this position are defended by royalists and liberals alike, but it is of now not a prevelant issue among the Deputies nor Peers.

Most interesting, however, is the branding of all who raise critique the government as a fourth estate. A people of it's own. And all of those are appereantly liberals and want to undo all that have been done. Again looking at history that is simply not true. Many of the reforms implemented by e.g M.Rotschild were undone by the Ultras and liberal and moderte Ministers implemented many reforms and have surprisingly undone very few reforms - since that is the claim of Saint-Aignan.

And of course this fourth estate find it's membershp among ALL estates and even more ironic if we are to look at the composition of the Chamber of Deputies during the Sully Government we can clearly see that the Ultraroyalists had a supermajority. Considering most of the laws proposed by the Sully government were indeed rejected, or moderated, by the Chamber of Deputies we must draw the conclusion that the majority of the Deputies are radical-Liberals! As only the members of the fourth estate possess the ability to critizise, only they possess a free will (that God have granted all humans) and only they are Liberals - and the freedom of thought are guaranteed by the Charter. Yet the Sully government failed to muster most of it's own Ultras to support their policies. Have the majority of Ultras all out of sudden become Liberals and members of this fictional estate? Doubtful.

But perhaps these attacks are an attack on the freedom of thought? As highligthed before have not the Charter guaranteed this? Have not God granted us the ability to think for ourselves? Have the majority of Ultras become Liberals overnight? And what if the next Council would be one of moderate (or perhaps even for the sake of the argument rabid and radical Liberals) Ministers? Would the Ultras then be allowed, by the logic of Saint-Aignan, to critisize this government or would they then become members of this fourth estate and Liberals? One can wonder what Saint-Aignan truly meant, as the author can't see the logic behind this fourth estate.
 

ThaHoward

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((Private letter to @DensleyBlair ))

M.Cazal,

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

Kind regards,
Chef de bataillon Lothaire Lécuyer.
 

Eid3r

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Eid3r

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Marschalk

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Letter from the Duchess of Saint-Aignan to the Marquise de Armentieres ((@Eid3r - Private))
Dearest Amelie,

I am glad to hear from you and thank you for your most kind considerations. But do not worry – my husband is surely of not a weak variety and is used to the agitation of the public debates and the wild claims of the gazetteers.

Please, do ensure dear Henri that my husband is in quite a calm state of mind. I do hope that he has slept well since that sad affair and has ate well - as you know, for a thin red-eyed politician It may be hard to gain the confidence of the public. Appearances mean much these days – we, women, know that, do we not?

However, I must agree that affairs of the state сurrently seem to occupy the mind of my husband almost exclusively – would you believe that the mishaps of the Sully Ministry have caused him more сoncern than the night when he was nearly killed by the thugs hired by Saint-Germaine?

My husband and I would gladly dine with you and the good Marquis at the time of convenience. I do hope, though, that the men would not discuss politics – during the last years I have discovered that such talks do not correspond very well with the taste of oysters or the flavor of the sauces.

Anyhow, how are you faring, my dear? I do hope that the household and your social duties still leave you enough personal time for such leisures as reading and meeting good friends.

Yours faithfully,

Anne de Beauvilliers de Saint-Aignan
 

ThaHoward

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A pamphlet started to circulate in the many salons and coffehouses of Paris. It were named "the Four Estates".

It contained four pages:

The first page contained a drawing of clergymen of all classes. From assistant priests to Arch-bishop to monks. They were all sketched as devout followers of God and men of wisdom. Below the picture it were stated the first estate dedicated their lives to the stability and moral integrity of France and to the honor of God.

The second page held a drawing of a majestic duke in the middle, flanked by nobles in the finest garments and traditional knights in medieval armor. Under the sketch it were written they were men of great virtue and honor, protecting the Kingdom and ruling it under the Grace of God.

The third picture contained the third estate. In it were all sorts of people ranging from wealthy merchants, to uppity lawyers, struggling workers and deformed peasants. The texts said the following:
"The laborers of the realm".

The fourth and final page had a sketch of the insides of the Palais Bourbon and all the seats were filled. If one paid close attention one could see representatives of all the estates and all of the major circulations were seen in the hands or seats of the various people. The text read as follows the Fourth Estate is all those who disagreed with the Sully government. That is the majority of France, the majority of all the traditional estates, the majority of the Deputies, the majority of the academia".
 

MadMartigan

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Even when exiled from the Chamber of Deputies, Duval continues work on the Intelligencer...

((major update of articles and civil societies up to page 91, in the index in my sig))
 

ThaHoward

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((Private letter to @MadMartigan ))

Dear friend,

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

Yours,
Lothaire.