Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by VVD0D95, Mar 4, 2018.
Sir, yes si
Question for you all, especially those versed in French history, who were prominent devots during this time period and would they realistically stand a chance of gaining influence with Louis XVI?
Maybe Guillaume Dubois, OTL he was Chief Minister of Louis XV, he play a big role during the regency and he was a cardinal.
Okay quality, thanks Do you think Louis XVI will actually implement the system that the devots want or not?
Why would he? Now, he is the king. He will do what is in what he perceives is his insterest. This is as expected of a king. Henry IV converted to get the crown ("Paris is worth a mass"), so as long as the interest of the Devot and of the crown are aligned, he might do some (if not all) of the policy of the Devot.
But if they demand things against what he thinks are his interests, he might try to curb their influence. This is especially true if this TL Louis XVI wants to ruel, instead of OTL Louis XV.
But it's true that I am not a specialist of this period, and of this Louis XVI.
Chapter 156: The New King
His father was dead, as was his grandsire. Two Kings gone within the space of a few months. The death of the Sun King had hit him harder than his father’s death, and in some ways he thought that made sense. He had always been closer to his grandsire than his father, had understood that man more than his father. Had worked with his grandsire more than with his father. But now they were both gone and the position of top authority belonged to him, and him alone. The coronation had taken place a few days ago in Rheims, and now they were back in Versailles, to prepare for the coming year.
Louis took a breath and then began his first council meeting as King. “Gentlemen, we know that times are uncertain. We know that the long reign of our predecessor saw many ups and downs, and we know that things are somewhat uncertain now. However, we do hereby promise before you all now that unlike our much vaunted predecessor, we shall not start a war unless it is to defend France. She is our concern now, not the concerns of other nations. This we swear before God and his only Son.” He crossed himself as did the other council members, he then began properly. “Now, the state of the economy is such that we must consider measures of reducing the burden borne by the peasantry, otherwise they shall revolt. Pontchartrin, tell us where we stand.”
Pontchartrin, was ageing rapidly now before his eyes, and it seemed he was growing slower in his responses. Still he provided some clever words in his response. “Sire, I have spoken with the members of the court, and they have agreed to increase their tax payments by five percent. With each member doing so, this will give the treasury a much needed boost. And enable us to begin considering the works on the roads you were proposing before.”
“Excellent. And what of the merchant classes?” Louis asked. He knew that the merchant classes would be the key to developing France. He suspected as well that a National Bank similar to that in Britannia would be needed, but he said nothing of that now.
“Sire, the merchant classes grumble, but they too are willing to pay out their fair share of the taxation. However, one Guillame de Castillion is demanding an audience with you, as a representative of the Merchant Guild.” Pontchartrin said.
His cousin, the Duke of Orleans spoke then. “Sire you cannot seriously consider entertaining such a request. The Merchant Guild is famous throughout the land for imposing the demands of the Paris mob onto other guilds throughout the land. To meet with him would be to legitimise him.”
Louis ignored his cousin and looked at Pontchartrin. “What is it that this man wishes to discuss?”
“He wishes to discuss what he claims is the unfair treatment of the Parisian merchants in terms of the trade agreement with Britannia.” Pontchartrin said.
“He speaks nonsense, Sire.” Orleans said. “The merchants are all benefitting from trade.”
“What is his specific complaint?” Louis asked.
“That the Parisian merchants are having to artificially price their wares in order to compete with the prices the British merchants set. He argues the problem is worse when they handle Scottish goods.” Pontchartrin said.
Louis considered that and then said. “Very well, tell the gentleman that we shall meet with him.” Pontchartrin nodded and made a note of that. Louis then turned his attention to the matter of war. “Now, we know that the situation in the Empire is most precarious our cousin the Emperor it seems has complained about the uncertainty of the electoral position in Bavaria. Where do we stand with that?”
This time it was Orleans who spoke. “Sire, I have looked into this situation in great detail and have found that King Maximilian is unwilling to take the electoral position away from his family. He wishes for his second son to inherit the position after him. However, Imperial law is such that it must go to the first son unless there is some involvement of the Pope and the Emperor and they reach agreement.”
“And let us guess, there is no agreement there?” Louis ventured.
“Indeed not, Sire. His Holiness wishes for Maximilian’s second son to inherit it, as the boy has displayed some depth of holiness, whilst the Emperor wishes for Maximilian’s brother to be the one granted the position.” Orleans said.
“No doubt so that he can marry his sister off to the man.” Louis quipped, which earned a laugh from his council.
There was a brief pause, and then Dubois, a new man who Louis had known for some time, and had recently invited onto the council spoke. “Sire, if I might?” Louis gestured for the man to continue. “Why not invite the chance to play intermediary? You could suggest that Maximilian’s oldest son remain heir to the Electorate but that his second son could serve as the governor there when they come of age? Right now, Maximilian’s brother is serving as his viceroy, so the boy could be raised by him. It would effectively help change things around.”
Louis thought on this for a moment and then said. “We think that you might just be onto something there, Dubois.” He paused and then added. “We shall task you with looking into this and seeing the legal aspects of it. We know the Emperor will look through the legal avenues to try and undermine this.”
Orleans spoke then. “Why not allow tensions to escalate, Sire? The Emperor wants Bavaria into his own domain, surely if we allow war between Spain and the Emperor we can benefit from it?”
“Not without the cost of more French lives, and we do not want that.” Louis said firmly. “Dubois, do as we have asked you.”
“Yes, Sire.” Dubois replied.
Chapter 157: Landing Blows
The gout was getting worse. The doctors said that it would soon make its way up and across her body. Anne hated having to use that damned chair, but she had to in the end. It was the only way she could get around. It humiliated her though and made her feel like some sort of cripple. The sort she had once pitied before. Anne hated feeling pitied. Though the courtiers hid it, she knew they felt it, she could see it in their eyes. She cleared her throat.
“The Countess of Manchester and her husband are fighting again, Your Majesty.” Abigail said. Anne could not help closing her eyes briefly at the sound of the woman’s voice. Once that voice had brought her joy, but now it brought only pain. That voice had forced her son out of the palace and to Hampton. She missed her son.
“Why?” Anne asked. “What do they fight about?” She liked the Manchesters, they were some of the few decent people left to her.
“It seems the Earl walked in on the Countess sleeping with the Duchess of Lennox. He has grown outraged by that, and demanded to know why he was not invited.” Abigail tittered behind her hands.
Anne looked at the woman and felt nothing but contempt for her. Considering the things, they had done together, she did not understand the tittering. She looked around and saw why. Abigail was trying to play them. “We see. And what action has the Earl taken?”
“He has decided to engage in an act with the Duchess and his wife. He wishes to know the pleasure of two women at once. He has even invited the Duke to look on as this happens.” Abigail whispered, acting as though she could not believe such scandalous behaviour when Anne knew damned well that the woman had done worse things.
Anne sighed. “We see. Well we shall not get involved in the private business of the Earl and his wife.”
“But madam, surely you must?!” Abigail asked.
“Must?” Anne asked, looking right at the woman. “Mrs Masham, you forget yourself. We are the Queen; we must not do anything we do not wish to do. If the Earl of Manchester wishes to bed another man’s wife and that man is happy with it, who are we to get involved?”
“You are the moral centre of the realm, Madame!” Abigail protested. “Surely if you do not intervene that will only invite more moral decay?!”
Anne looked at the woman and replied as calmly as she could. “We are not God almighty that we shall dictate to others just what they can and cannot do. So long as no party is hurt by this, let them engage in whatever foolishness they want.”
“But Madame!” Abigail protested.
Anne ignored the woman and turned to the Duchess of Somerset. “Elizabeth, you met with our son and daughter by marriage. Tell us how they are doing?”
Before Elizabeth could answer, Abigail interjected. “Majesty, surely you do not wish to hear about a traitor and his whore of a wife?!”
Anne looked at the woman and heard some of her other ladies’ gasp. “We shall ignore that slight, for now.” She turned to look at Elizabeth and asked. “Elizabeth, please continue.”
“They are well, Your Majesty. Your son, His Royal Highness asks after your wellbeing and says he is well. Furthermore, Her Royal Highness wished for me to tell Your Majesty that she appreciated the gifts you left for the children.” Elizabeth said.
“Good, we are glad.” Anne said. She wanted to ask whether her son had said anything about a return to court, but she knew her son. He was much too like her for him to ever consider giving up something without a fight. She sighed and then said. “We do miss them. The children’s voices brought much life to the hallways of court.” Court was now just filled with stuffy men and women who she hated. Her daughter Sophie did not always venture to spend time with her and George was now spending more time in Plymouth with the Navy.
“Summon them back then.” Abigail demanded. “They should never have been allowed to leave.”
Anne looked at the woman and said. “Remember, Abigail, you are not one to command us. We are there to command you.”
“Then act as if you are the Queen, not some wilting wallflower. Command your son and his whore of a wife to return.” Abigail snarled.
Anne lost her patience then. She slapped Abigail and said. “We will not be told what to do by some dockside whore’s whelp. You are nothing, but what we wish you to be. And you shall not insult your future King and Queen like that.”
“They are not made for the throne. Better to place your other son William on the throne.” Abigail retorted.
Anne slapped her again and screamed. “Out. Get out. And never return.” She watched the woman curtsey and then straighten and leave, and she slumped down in her chair. She looked at Elizabeth. “Tell the guards to keep an eye on her. And find something to use.”
“Yes Madame.” Elizabeth said, moving to the doors. Anne had learned from her time with Sarah, she would not be blackmailed again.
Anne has freed herself of Abigail at last... Yet I can't help but feel sorry for her. Abigail's conduct must have cut deep.
Oh very deep, let's just say Anne might want to put Abigail on trial
Seems Abigail just doesn't know when to shut up.
This chapter were balm to my soul.
That’s the problem with any favorite it seems, they get too comfortable and forget their place. Regardless what Anne does, Abigail will not be forgotten by her son when he ascends.
Yes, Mashed Potatoes, go on and call the Prince and Princess of Wales a traitor and a whore, surely that will go well.
Is beheading still a thing in england at this time?
Can Marsham become a head shorter?
I mean she’s not committed any crime other than bad mouth the prince of wales.
She called him a traitor to the queen's face and many other? I think that will land her in boiling water alone?
Hot water certainly, though Sarah Churchill insulted the Queen numerous times, and never got more than a slap on the wrists. Though, Anne might take exception here as her son has been insulted. And she is a protective mother.
Well, if not the scaffold, then atleast strip her of all titles and fortune, so that she can live in a hut and eat rabbits in misery?
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