not so much Talleyrand as Machiavelli. Specifically, not just his more famous The Prince but his Discourses:Wow! Henri has truly outplayed them all! Talleyrand is weeping in joy from the grave!
People, often deceived by an illusive good, desire their own ruin, and, unless they are made sensible of the evil of the one and the benefit of the other course by someone in whom they have confidence…”
All who are discontented with their prince are taught, first of all, to measure, and to weigh their strength, and if they find themselves strong enough to disclose their hostility and proclaim open war, then to take that course as at once the nobler and less dangerous; but, if too weak to make open war, then sedulously to court the favour of the prince, using to that end all such methods as they may judge needful, adapting themselves to his pleasures, and showing delight in whatever they see him delight in
The prince who would maintain his credit in his princedom must do likewise; since nothing helps so much to make a prince esteemed as to give signal proofs of his worth, whether by words or by deeds which tend to promote the public good, and show him to be so magnanimous, generous, and just, that he may well pass into a proverb among his subjects
The prince of a city attacked by a conspiracy, if not slain …almost always attains to a greater degree of power, and very often has his good disposition perverted to evil. The proceedings of his enemies give him cause for fear; fear suggests the necessity of providing for his own safety, which involves the injury of others; and hence arise animosities, and not unfrequently his ruin. Thus these conspiracies quickly occasion the destruction of their contrivers, and, in time, inevitably injure their primary object.”
The Florentine Histories: VIII, 1
where Talleyrand writes:"A wise prince must know how to subtly nurture some enmities so that, having overcome them, he draws the greatest praise from them". Machiavelli advises to go as far as undistorted exchanges of information between the powers (he thinks of Charles V).
Arbitration presupposes a quarrel between two powers. Your first care will be to maintain jealousy, bitterness, even to excite some altercation… to finally make your mediation necessary… You have to confuse the people you want to reconcile”
A prince should always seek advice, but only when he wishes and not when others wish. He must discourage everyone from offering advice unless he asks for it. However, he should inquire constantly, and listen patiently about those things of which he inquired…
A prince who is not wise himself will never take good advice, unless by chance he has put all of his affairs in the hands of one very wise person. In this case the prince may be well governed, but it would not be for long, because such a governor would take his position away from him in a short time.
For Orléans, Prussia, Leopold of Belgium and Carlo Alberto:A prince ought to show himself a patron of talent, and to encourage proficiency in every art… He should encourage his citizens to practice their business unhampered and peacefully, in trade and agriculture and in every other profession. No one should be afraid of accumulating possessions for fear these will be taken away from him; nor deterred from opening a business for fear of taxes. The prince should offer rewards to whomever wishes to do these things that improve or honour his city
A prince, therefore, who is attacked by an enemy much more powerful than himself, can make no greater mistake than to refuse to treat, especially when overtures are made to him; for however poor the terms offered may be, they are sure to contain some conditions advantageous for him who accepts them, and which he may construe as a partial success.”
The Discourses: II, 27
A prince should never make an alliance with a more powerful ruler than himself simply for the purpose of attacking another, unless necessity compels him… If your ally conquers, you are in his debt, and princes should avoid as much as possible being in debt to anyone
Wise decision on Henri's part, no sane aristpcratic lady will enter the hot dumpster fire that is france right now.
well that sort of goes hand-in-hand since the only Wittelsbach girl "of age" is Alexandrine of Bavaria, and she later suffered from questionable mental health (believing she had swallowed a piano, the obsession with cleanliness that she would scrub her skin raw, refusal to wear any colour but white etc). True, she probably wasn't quite crazy for coco-puffs like her nephew (Otto, Ludwig II wasn't insane, just...an oddball IMO, but they used Otto's behaviour to justify it), but there's speculation that that was why Drina reached the 1850s without being married or prospectively married to anyone.Sounds like it's time to consider a Wittelsbach match...
 All OTL. Thiers married his mistress' daughter. Then further scandalized the Parisians and the aristocracy by having an affair with his wife's married sister. What his wife thought of the deal is unknown, but even Thiers' brother wrote to him from Pondicherry that it was "disgraceful".Thiers, who had been instrumental in introducing the traitor Deutz into Caroline Ferdinande’s life, now sent a certain General Bugeaud de la Piconnerie to supersede as governor of Blaye the too amiable and too sympathetic Colonel Chousserie. This Bugeaud was, as Thiers well knew, a bitter enemy of all the Bourbons. During their régime, when Colonel of artillery, he had seen his military career come to an inglorious end through his secret activities on behalf of the Orléanist cause. After the revolution of 1830 and on the accession of Louis Philippe, he came back into his own, was promoted to the rank of general, and now was only too ready to take up a position which would give him the opportunity of making himself unpleasant to one of the Bourbon faction. By Bugeaud’s nomination to the governorship of Blaye, Thiers hoped that he had put an efficient spoke in the wheel of Madame’s projects, whatever they were. The general’s eyes, sharpened by hatred, would see all there was to see, and guess what there was not.
TBF, Bugeaud and probably a lot or the Orléans court sees it as a case of "we're on the republic's side" (after all, Nemours, Joinville and Aumale all stood for election (and won) OTL) albeit mostly because a lot of them have been bashing Henri for the last 13 yearsOh, Orleans, just man up and accept reality, France is no longer yours to abuse, now is Henri's for the taking.
I have this idea that with that massacre at Chartres - surprising the men while they were at a church service, slaughtering them in the cathedral - was Henri's "no more mister nice guy" moment (especially since it probably wasn't just soldiers who were killed). But as Ducrot pointed out, they've written the script by portraying him as zealously Catholic, so for him not to avenge it will do more damage to his reputation among the horrified Catholics than it will strike "more" fear into the hearts of non-Catholics like Guizot (a Protestant) or Rothschild (a Jew).And magnificent plays as usual for Henri!
do what? Soldiering?Now that’s how you do it
Not that this will stop our boy.TBF, Bugeaud and probably a lot or the Orléans court sees it as a case of "we're on the republic's side" (after all, Nemours, Joinville and Aumale all stood for election (and won) OTL) albeit mostly because a lot of them have been bashing Henri for the last 13 years
Henri will definitely stand his ground.I have this idea that with that massacre at Chartres - surprising the men while they were at a church service, slaughtering them in the cathedral - was Henri's "no more mister nice guy" moment (especially since it probably wasn't just soldiers who were killed). But as Ducrot pointed out, they've written the script by portraying him as zealously Catholic, so for him not to avenge it will do more damage to his reputation among the horrified Catholics than it will strike "more" fear into the hearts of non-Catholics like Guizot (a Protestant) or Rothschild (a Jew).