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 .