Sunday, 17 May 2009

The Grand Unveiling

The Court outside the Town House
The Dowager Duchess

Brown Stikk, The Chamberlain

The Very Grand Duchess

An Old Retainer

Mr. S.B.J.Vauban

Great Aunt Lucy

The Russian Ambassador

And Finally

The Grand-Duke Himself

As promised, Thanks Allan.

An intercepted message.

It has been a busy day for the Duke, Starting with his poseing,( again) for his court picture, for a long while he has managed to avoid all appointments made for sittings by the Duchess, but today failed. His likeness has now been captured in oils by the renowned artist Pierre Kodak.
and an official viewing has been promised for this very evening.
Barely had he risen, when a member of the household approached with a waterlogged package, found on the body of a Courier from Els to the Monrovians.
It is believed that the man met his death at the infamous Risenbach falls, high in the high hills to the North.
Retiring to his chamber, he opened the blood and water soaked package and studied the contents.
It was obviously a government document, written in bureaucratese, and much was illegible.
With the aid of a glass,he copied out the documents for study by his advisors.
Although fragmentary, some phrases could be clearly read.

" Whilst at first glance, this may appear to be a parodoxical dichotomy, the reality is far more complex"
" This term may not be used in future as it has been discovered that 4% of the population can no longer be considered a minority"
" I`m not here to work, I`m in charge."
"Can you not accept that your use of the word Americanism, might be taken as being rude and disrespectful"

Clearly in code:
He must pass it over to the experts, that little band known as " The Followers"

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

The Duke was in his Counting House.

The Grand -duke sits with his head in his hands,

The cause of his distress;

The price of brushes, more than 2 ducats apiece.

The costs of civil improvements, clothing for the Duchess, subsidies for University students, upkeep of the Ducal carriage combine to make his treasury resemble that of Grand-mere Hubbard.

How is he to pay the commissioning agents to increase his field army, clothe them, provide horse and Baggage, fortifications, Cannon, a new palace?

Time perhaps to look at the taxation system;

For many years it has been the custom to receive half of all taxes due in the form of labour or services.

The people of the towns and countryside, whatever their rank, serve their nation for one day a week, building and maintaining roads and bridges, forts and palaces. Or serving where their expertise is most needed. The cash paid, less costs of collection are thus available to purchase the raw materials, and services of experts like Monsieur Vaubum, or Leonardo the Handyman.

A simple system, half the cash collected, requiring half the costs of collection.

So labour is no problem,

many of the neccessary materials lie within his realm,

but money, aye that is a problem.

Sipping at a glass of Amber nectar, gives him pause,

The entire population is known for its inventiveness in turning fruit and vegetable into liquor, (in the widest possible sense at least.)

If control could be established, many a neighbouring state could enjoy(well endure)

Noverrian brews and vintages, Barges could travel continent wide, bringing much needed revenues to his coffers.

Then troops could be raised to circumvent the machinations of Els, Monrovia and others.

Then too could he afford paint, yeah and brushes too.

He steps outside, turns and admires the newly decorated facade of La Bete Noir.

Bon nuit mes amis, he calls to the world .