Monday 17 September 2007

A Ducal Day

In the quiet ecclesiastical setting pictured left Duchess Liv again lights candles for the safe return and happiness of her daughter Alisona.
She has been made aware, by sources wise and reliable, that her daughter boarded a vessel in the company of another. Destination is unknown.
As the bell tinkles softly for the start of Mass , Liv joins her husband in the Ducal Chapel. His thoughts, unbeknown to her, are with Alisona too.
After Mass the Ducal couple leave to a flurry of petitions. The Duke touches an invalid whose family still believe in the healing power of a true born Duke. Time will tell if health returns.
Afternoon sees the couple strolling in the garden admiring the Barlotti beans as they ripen to mottled red and white.
The couple are sought by the Ducal Jagare meister ( a hereditary office passed from father to son since the 15th century) about the forthcoming Autumn Boar hunt where the young sons of the Herrengard will be put through their paces. The Duke confirms his desire to attend and the Duchess assures that she and the ladies of the court shall await the return at the end of events. She will present the hat feathers to the most accomplished hunter that day.


  1. Another nice, quiet 18th century day . . . once again you add a nice touch to our mainly martial posts. Keep it up.

    -- Jeff

  2. To Our Cousin the Duke of Tradgarland
    On this Holly Sunday blessed by Sainte Edith

    Our Dear Cousin,

    prompted by an understandable, if somehow childish, sentiment of rivalry, Tradgarlander engineers –specially some shipbuilders– tend to disparage the achievements of their Monte-Cristan colleagues: this We cannot let pass uncommented.

    Monte-Cristan inventions *work*: We are not a crook; still –from Me to You– your scientists are right on a point. Monte-Cristan inventions are functional, but totally ineffective. When I have given You the Humanitary & Enlightened Reason of our Practice, You for sure will see their Wisdom and join Our Side.

    War is a cruel, bloody, inhuman affair; yet in Our time it is usually wagged in as a civilized, decent way as possible. One’s opponent and his soldiery are not enemies, but fair adversaries at worst. Battlefield manoeuvres are done like pieces of a ballet or chess movements. Gallantry is honored, profesional soldiers see the soldiers they fight as confreres in a difficult, harsh, hazardous, meritorious trade. Prisoners, specially if wounded, are well treated (as well as one’s own wounded, for what it is worth). Winning generals offer honorable surrender instead of carrying on a pointless massacre, loosing ones agree to surrendering rather than keeping their brave men slaughtered without hope of success. Even the civilians are treated as well as possible (except during sieges, of course). Actually our wars are as chivalrous as in the tales of chivalry –and for sure more than they were in real knightly times: to the point they are sometimes called the ‘Lace Wars’.

    Our time has pushed the Cruelty of War down to its Nadir, but this blessed achievement is fragile, more brittle than glass. Any alteration of the current Way of War would break this precious meta-equilibrium, Inhumanity, Bloodthirst and Madness are on the lookout for any changing of our Lace Wars, to rule again on the Fields of Mars. On that is precisely why, Dear Cousin, We auction –and hopefully will collect insanely high bids for– inefficient ‘advanced’ devices of warfare. The most bellicose Rulers will waste fortunes on useless Toys for Kings, all other will learn and everybody will keep to the current Ways of War.

    As for the teachings of the Frundsberg Kreigsacademie, not only We do not fear them, on the opposite We welcome their advertisement. Based on past, if recent, experience they will not introduce any novelty: quite on the contrary they will discourage any innovation that would make them obsolete.

    But, Our Dear Cousin, there is a far more fearsome prospect as to changing drastically the current Mode of Warfare, and one We cannot repulse by loudly praising (h)armless toys: the crazy idea of general conscription, of compulsory military service; the instauration of a ‘general / popular’ war, the total mobilization of a whole country. Every man between 16 and 50 pressed into military service, the wives, daughters and even mothers working in the fields and weapons manufactures, perhaps even armed for Home Defense. The only way for such a wholly enlisted country & population to merely survive will be to constantly conquer & plunder new territories. Worse, there is only one single way to keep all these men, unwillingly dragged from their homes, disciplined and willing; to keep all these gren recruits in a fighting mood facing the fear, the shock of casualties, the screamings of dismembered friends: that is to have them burning with hate, with fanaticism. Then honor, gallantry & respect will disappear from the battlefield, wanton bloodshed will be cultivated, wounded slaughtered, prisoners massacred. Even the civilians will be seen as horrendeous, abhuman critters, and such a ‘popular’ drafted army will swarm down on the innocent population as all the Plagues of Egypt together. And the worst will be still to come: no decent, civilized professional army will stand the assault of immense, maddened hordes, so every country will have to follow the insane example or die. And that, Dear Cousin, will be the End of Civilization as we know it.

    To prevent such Apocalypse, We could only resort to the preventive assassination of any ruler just beginning to toy with such insane ideas. Assasination is the only weapon of tiny, weak, disarmed, innocuous Monte-Cristo, and thus (owing to the force of pragamatic realism –and how deeply all we Monte-Cristans regret it) our Agencies had to become *extremely* proficient in its practice.

    And, Our Dear Cousin, the Good of Humanity would –regretfully– compel Us to commit the Assassination of any Ruler unwise enough to try & modify the Practice of Warfare, would it be Land or Naval.

    Accept, Our Dear Cousin, Our fraternal warning embrace.

    Louys of Monte-Cristo