The Extra Girl: For the first heaven and the first earth were passed away.

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Dr. Waterhouse, Apr 19, 2018.

  1. Threadmarks: The Life of the Elector Friedrich IV, Holy Roman Empire, 1549

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Nov 12, 2008
    Werwolf 2.jpg

    Werwolf, by Lucas Cranach the Elder

    "Amok Time" from Outlaw Saxony: New Perspectives on the Sechszentes Jahrhundert Empire by Louis Hadrami

    At Wartburg, Friedrich took several days to reacquaint himself with affairs of state. From there, he had told Charles V he would proceed immediately to Torgau and Wittenberg, where he would meet with the Saxon estates and the Lutheran consistory to secure uniform compliance with the doctrinal requirements of the Augsburg Interim. Instead, he moved to Altenburg, close to the center of his territories. Even before he arrived, a flow of letters began to various other princes of the empire. Their terms, in particular the ones addressed to the Landgrave Philip of Hesse and the Elector of Brandenburg, were urgent. Friedrich stood on no ceremony: "I will come to you now, wherever you are," he wrote to Philip.

    On March 2 and 11 he made ceremonial reentries into Weimar and Gotha, tossing out the Imperial garrisons and immediately beginning work rebuilding the ruined fortifications of both places. His letters to Charles V at this point were reassurances that he was restoring the personal authority that would be necessary to enforce compliance in the difficult matters that lay ahead. From there he ventured north towards Magdeburg. Friedrich even spent a night in the house from which he had been stolen by the knights of Duke Heinrich of Braunschweig, though this time with upwards of a thousand men in his entourage.

    Arriving at Magdeburg, he was informed arrangements had been made ready, and from there proceeded north to Havelberg, in Brandenburg's Mittelmark region. There he met first with the Elector, Joachim II Hector, hoping to strengthen ties with perhaps the most prominent evangelical prince of the empire who had never once since the war began offered assistance.

    Soon afterwards, Duke Erich II of Braunschweig-Lueneburg and Duke Heinrich V of Braunschweig-Wolfenbuettel arrived. Erich had been a Schmalkaldic ally who had refrained from offering support in the campaigns of 1547 and 1548 for fear of the emperor, whereas Heinrich was the Catholic ruler who had provoked Friedrich without response for years before the Spanish War, only to be turned out of his lands completely for his trouble by Friedrich in January 1547. At this point, Joachim II Nestor took the role of mediator among his fellow princes.

    Friedrich's first offer was straightforward: he would cede Braunschweig-Wolfenbuettel straightaway to Heinrich, provided that Heinrich swear not to take up arms against him, and not to prejudice the liberties of the Protestants of those lands that they had hitherto enjoyed under Saxon rule. Heinrich, knowing Friedrich had already made solemn commitments to the emperor to surrender his lands back to him, and not missing the point that for him to accept these conditions would place himself in non-compliance with the Augsburg Interim, was outraged. His position was that he would pay no price to get back what was his, and could not be manipulated into entering a state of rebellion against his emperor.

    Friedrich's next offer was to his old ally, Erich: Erich could receive the lands of Braunschweig-Lueneburg in exchange for an alliance with Saxony separate from, and on terms closer than, even that of the Schmalkaldic League. Each would be obliged to answer to all the other's quarrels, under any circumstances. Thus Erich would get not just the lands of Heinrich, but the means to defend them by having the Saxon army at his disposal.

    This, while Friedrich would get access likewise to the resources of Braunschweig, which he would need badly once Charles realized the game he was playing. And the fact that Charles would seek to sever the Wolfenbuettel lands from Erich to restore them to Heinrich, one of Charles's most fiercely loyal adherents, made the new alliance even sturdier. With Erich absorbing the territories of the other princely state of Braunschweig, his self-interest and Friedrich's would align completely.

    For Heinrich, one of the proudest and most honor-obsessed princes of the Empire, if never the most powerful, the final insult was that the term of the arrangement between Friedrich and Erich would be the length of his own life. Enraged, Heinrich left Havelberg and wrote straight to the emperor, relating to him all the terms of the betrayal of the reformed princes.

    For his part though, Erich had no trouble accepting. Thus Friedrich had both ceded territory but strengthened his hand against the emperor. But he had saved the more knotted, and the more consequential, problem for second. So in May he proceeded to Eichsfeld, in the country Hesse had absorbed since the Spanish War began. There he met with Philip on a camp in the open. On his arrival for once, it was Friedrich who was surprised: Philip had brought with him his son-in-law the Duke Moritz and his ally, the Margrave Albrecht-Alcibiades of Brandenburg-Kulmbach.

    Duke Johann was excluded from this meeting, and Friedrich signaled at the opening he wanted all quarrels resolved, and meant no matter what arrangements were reached, for no man to be able to speak against his honor. What the other parties might have said to this is not recorded. Nonetheless, there as at Havelberg, everyone there had come to strike a deal. Friedrich himself though was in no mood to cede an inch of Saxony itself, and bluntly informed all present he had received a better deal than that himself from the very emperor.

    But Friedrich was willing to commit to was a match between his heir, the Duke Alexander, and the surviving daughter of Duke Moritz, Anna of Saxony. In that way, in the next generation the lands of Saxony would be united, regardless. If for some reason Alexander died, Anna would then marry, at Moritz's election, any one of the sons of Johann. Since Anna was also Philip's granddaughter, he was well-satisfied with this arrangement, but Friedrich struck with him the additional deal that the Elector's young daughter Elisabeth, then 2, would be married to one of Philip's sons by Christine of Saxony, among whom his lands would be eventually divided. There were four such sons, ranging in age at that time from 18 to 3, so which son it would be would be left for later, as Philip's choice.

    The importance of this term for Philip is hard to underestimate: Moritz was without male heirs, Friedrich's male heir was at that moment in the care of his greatest enemy, whom they were presently conspiring against, and the Duke Johann's own claim, and even that of his three fairly robust sons, might not prove too durable given the enmity that seemed to exist now between the Saxon brothers. The future husband of the then-baby princess Elisabeth may yet inherit the whole of Saxony.

    The loyalty of Moritz and Albert Alcibiades were further secured by an enormous stipend. In return, Friedrich would get their military services. However, all future territorial acquisitions by the Protestant league would be set aside for them. In short, rather than expanding Saxony or Hesse further, the evangelical princes would endeavor to get Moritz his own new duchy in Franconia.

    By this point, it was impossible to hide Friedrich's course of action. No steps had been taken to secure the obedience of the Saxon church to the Augsburg Interim. None of the Saxon garrisons in Magdeburg or Halberstadt had stirred. His letters to Charles were all filled with pleas for patience and ingenious excuses, but meeting with the fraternity of Friedrich's other Protestant enemies in the wilds of Eichsfeld left little real doubt as to his intentions.

    The elector had reinstated Saxony's toleration of papists, and he had ordered the towns of Saxony to end their efforts to seek and root out those who had lingered beyond the deadline the Duke Johann had given them to leave Saxony. However, this had little practical effect given that Johann's policy had been in effect for two years. Worse still, the bitterness stirred up by the continuing war, the predations of the Duke of Alba, and the propaganda use of those atrocities by the Saxon state had long since encouraged the remaining Catholics in the territories held by Saxony to leave. This was even the case in those places, like Magdeburg, that had remained Catholic until Friedrich had annexed them during the war.

    For his part, the Duke of Alba did not tarry long before readying his forces to begin a fresh campaign against Saxony, and he began organizing forces on the Tauber, safely south of the Main River. Friedrich however believed that before the Emperor would march against him, he would make threats with respect to his son first. So Friedrich decided to move first, while these communications were still in transit back and forth. So he began organizing his new alliance at Eisenach into a new army.

    Once they had assembled some 40,000 men, Friedrich and his allies issued the Eisenach Principles. They announced the Emperor had no authority under the constitution of the Empire to impose religious doctrines, neither upon the reformed princes nor the Catholic. Unlike before, when the Schmalkaldic League stood to vindicate Lutheran freedoms against Catholic rule, Eisenach stood for the proposition that Catholic and Lutheran churches alike should not have the emperor deciding the doctrines they follow or teach. Ostensibly, in what was no doubt a perplexing turn for them, the Catholics of the empire now confronted the claim that the Lutherans were defending them against their own emperor.

    Though no Catholic princes embraced the new League of Eisenach, the new formulation made for great difficulties on the side of those rulers who both called themselves Catholic and were having a hard time reconciling themselves to the doctrinal oddities the Augsburg Interim were enforcing upon them. They may not hate the Augsburg Principles as much as the Lutherans did, but no one among the Catholics was eager to sanction married priests and the other innovations the Interim would permit Lutheran churches to keep.

    However, the theological debate was now quite beside the point, because Friedrich chose not to wait for the Emperor to answer the Eisenach Principles. Instead, this new League made straight for the Duke of Alba. Word from his scouts informed Alba of the army's movement, but Friedrich, Philip and Moritz had crossed the Werra and entered Henneberg before the Imperial Army could organize itself to march. Alba badly wanted to get north of the Main River to try to shield the lands of the friendly ecclesiastical princes from the depredations of the powerful League of Eisenach force, and so began his march with a force of 25,000. The duke of Bavaria this time declined to participate.

    At Lauringen, near Schweinfurt, the two armies met. Moritz's familiarity with Spanish tactics and the sheer numbers the evangelical princes had mustered proved decisive. The Imperial Army was sent reeling with 8,000 casualties, while the Eisenachers suffered only 6,000 in their much larger force. Crossing the Main at Schweinfurt, Friedrich declined to pursue Alba, fearing the Spanish might try to spring a trap in a false retreat. Instead the League of Eisenach marched east to Bamberg, which it occupied, and the territories of which, Friedrich made a present to Moritz, with the promise of those of Wurzburg to follow.

    So far away did their former quarrels seem, that when Johann joined the army in Bamberg with fresh supplies and reports from Saxony, Friedrich met him at Moritz's side: "Well, what have you to say to our other brother?"
    Last edited: May 23, 2018
  2. Unknown Member

    Jan 31, 2004
    Corpus Christi, TX
    You're missing the rest of the paragraph, @Dr. Waterhouse...
  3. Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Nov 12, 2008
    My apologies! I wanted to finish that long post and had plans scheduled, so I couldn't give it the usual proofreading. Going to go back and clean up some stuff now. No substantive changes, just minor edits.

    BTW: it's a minor detail, but notice if you will the Saxon coat of arms in the upper left-hand corner of the print. Crossed swords denote role of the Ernestine Wettin electors as archmarshals of the empire, the tilted coronet against the stripes, Saxony. Can't begin to guess the political significance.
  4. Neptune IN BAD TASTE

    May 29, 2014
    ...Krista's the sort of girl who puts in zero effort in her classes and ends up with a $10k-per-month job, isn't she?
    Dr. Waterhouse likes this.
  5. Threadmarks: Supplemental on Civics, Germany, Contemporary

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Nov 12, 2008
    Spass mit Geographie!

    Miss Jodorowsky's Class - 8th Level

    1. What currency does Germany use today?

    (A) Mark
    (B) Guilder
    (C) Thaler
    (D) Krone

    2. In recent polls, what characteristic do other Europeans find most annoying about Germans?

    (A) Litigiousness
    (B) Impiety
    (C) Greed
    (D) National self-regard

    3. What is the German head of government called?

    (A) Kanzler
    (B) Praesident
    (C) Premierminister
    (D) Vertreter

    4. What limitation on the right to vote is still the law in Germany?

    (A) German-language literacy tests
    (B) Membership in a reformed, or evangelical, church
    (C) A poll tax
    (D) Exclusion of convicted felons
    Last edited: May 24, 2018
  6. Threadmarks: The Life of Elector Friedrich IV, Holy Roman Empire, 1549

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Nov 12, 2008
    Wheelock Axe.jpg

    Some people do their best thinking on the facility. Others, in their cars. Still others, in crowded cafes. But Friedrich IV, Elector of Saxony, always seemed to do his best thinking careening through the German countryside pursued by an imperial army funded by loot from the despoiled empires of the New World. Which was a good thing for him, given that in the late summer and autumn of 1549 he was doing a lot of that.

    This…is Resignations, our continuing privatcast look at all the great quitters of history, and the story of how they all came to make the decision to walk away from it all.

    So, we left Friedrich and his friends, old and new, in possession of the prince-bishopric of Bamberg. With the bishop, the wily and formidable Weigand of Redwitz, having fled into Bavaria, Friedrich, with Philip of Hesse and Albrecht Alcibiades of Brandenburg-Kulmbach, had named Duke Moritz administrator of the territory. Now Moritz was already a duke, just of a territory now occcupied by someone else. He was a duke ruling Bamberg though, and a duke in Bamberg for the moment, and I guess the guys just thought no matter what the emperor, the diet and the imperial courts said, with enough time it would all just sort of get squished together until he was Moritz, Duke of Bamberg. But not yet.

    His defeat at Lauringen had left Alba with only 16,000 soldiers, whereas the League of Eisenach force was now twice as large, with around 33,000. Alba had hoped to play on the arrogance of the Protestant generals and lure them into a pursuit so that he could then catch them in a surprise and administer to Friedrich his own Kreuzberg. So he retreated west. But Friedrich was not such an easy mark in a trap he had laid so many times himself, and instead he had gone the other way, into Bamberg.

    If the Eisenachers faced a problem, it was that once again their success had shifted the pendulum. Fearing the domination of the newly enlarged club of evangelical outlaw princes, other powers would now enter the picture. Foremost among these was Bavaria. Duke Wilhelm disdained Charles V, was as opposed to the idea of untrammeled Habsburg domination of the empire as much as Friedrich was, and had been glad to keep his armies at home when he thought the campaign for the year was going to be about administering a final coup de grace to the powers committed to resisting the emperor.

    However, Wilhelm's calculation was completely different now: Bavaria was the largest Catholic principality in the empire outside the Habsburg dominions, and a 30,000+ Protestant army was on his northern border looking to cobble together new territories for previously dispossessed members of the Protestant nobility. In short, Charles or the Duke of Alba did not even have to ask before Wilhelm committed an army of 8,000 immediately to the Imperial cause, with the specific brief to drive the League of Eisenach out of Bamberg.

    Heeding Wilhelm's call, more particularly wanting no less than Wilhelm did to stop the Eisenachers before they marched into Bavaria, Alba agreed to join the Bavarians at Nuernberg, which lay between Bamberg and Bavaria on the Pegnitz River.

    Not wanting to menace the free city of Nuernberg, Friedrich and his somewhat rowdy war council decided instead they would intercept Alba on his way. Also not wanting to lose the initiative, the Protestant force struck south into Ansbach, moving as fast as they could. However, it was now the Duke of Alba's turn to show he would not be drawn into a battle on inconvenient terms. He evaded the army of the League of Eisenach by turning further south. With none of the company really one for half-measures, the League Army gave pursuit.

    At which point, the trap was sprung. Just a different trap than the ones the Evangelical princes had seen. The Bavarians who were in Nuernberg, instead of passively waiting for the larger, more potent force of the Duke of Alba, now marched north into Bamberg, almost completely unimpeded.

    Moreover, Ferdinand had finally enforced sufficient order in Bohemia to risk sending his army outside its borders. At the start of the campaign season his intended target was Saxony, which he would enter from the east through the wilds of Lusatia. However, the imminent danger faced by the vital ecclesiastical principalities of Franconia rendered that plan obsolete. Instead, Ferdinand ordered his army to march west into Bamberg, burning and looting as much of Albrecht-Alcibiades' country of Brandenburg-Kulmbach as possible on the way.

    Normally, this sort of behavior would apply pressure on a prince to desist his policy of aggressive war-making and consider the welfare of his people. But this is Albrecht Alcibiades here, what were they thinking?

    Regardless, by the time word of all this reached the Eisenacher army, Bamberg had been completely recovered. At this point the League became badly divided: Friedrich and Johann were anxious by the presence of the two Catholic armies that lay between them and home, and realized full well that while they were fruitlessly chasing the Duke of Alba into the Alps those armies could march north into Saxony. Meanwhile, Philip, Moritz and Albrecht would have been happy to chase the Duke of Alba all the way to Sicily.

    In the end though, Saxon silver (and their English stipend) was paying the soldiers, and paying Moritz and Albrecht for that matter, so Friedrich and Johann won out, albeit contingent on the promise that the army would recover Bamberg for its new duke. Friedrich at this point probably would have promised the other princes anything, so long as it got him as quickly as possible to the north bank of the Main River before the Bavarians and Bohemians could either once again invade the Vogtland or trap him in a box.

    Thus Friedrich's army turned north, and now like a mouse suddenly chasing the cat, Alba began shadowing the Saxon army, just out of range of being forced into battle with his numerically inferior force. Several times Friedrich stopped his flight north and tried to force a confrontation. The two armies came very close to a reckoning this way at Bad Windsheim. Instead, the duke just kept following, and evading.

    As the League Army retreated north back into the lands of Bamberg, the scouts returned disturbing news: the Bavarians and Bohemians, rather than making for Saxony as Friedrich had feared, were instead advancing south to meet them. Friedrich badly wanted to fight them sequentially and so make use of the League army's numerical advantage against any one of them. But Alba had proved himself unavailing. Thus he sped his army on to meet the two oncoming foes, until at Frensdorf they met on August 27. By this point the League could command 30,000 men, against the Bohemian and Bavarian combined force of 16,000.

    The Bohemian Catholics badly wanted to take revenge for the destruction of the hussars in the Battle of the Snows, and the Saxons were still experiencing great difficulty trying to fill the gap left by the absence of distance weapons in their tactical repertoire. In the end, the Evangelical princes' effort to clear their path back to Bamberg was defeated, but they were able to withdraw in good order. The combined forces of the Bavarians and Bohemians however were now reduced to 10,000, with a good 5,000 dead on the field. The Eisenach force had lost 7,000, but still had 21,000 ready for battle.

    At this point, Fredrich and Philip came to an agreement with Wilhelm of Bavaria. They would concede Bamberg and not oppose the restoration of Weigand of Redwitz to his bishopric if the Bavarian army would decline to menace them further. Wilhelm enthusiastically agreed. This accomplished, the League proceeded to Stassfurt, where a frantic effort to ford making use of a boat bridge began.

    Now once again the Imperial army sprung its trap. Forces from upriver launched a tenacious attack on the boats, making for close quarters combat as the League Army was trying to effectuate its escape. Then the Duke of Alba and the Bohemian force both launched attacks on the League Army while it was gathered on the south bank of the Main. There was something like parity, with their combined 23,000 against the Saxons' 20,000. Friedrich had never distinguished himself with battlefield bravery in the way his Albertine cousin Moritz had, but he had been given command of the rear that day, which actually faced the strongest assaults.

    The soundness of the bridge was almost impossible to maintain over the course of the battle, as boat after boat came at it while the Saxon, Hessian, Braunschweigian and other forces moved across. Moritz acquitted himself splendidly, waiting for the Bohemian hussars to be fully engaged before charging at them from the side with pikes. Friedrich for his part waited too long to make use of the boat bridge, and was trapped with the last 600 Saxon infantry on the south side of the Main.

    He knew the consequences of capture by the armies of Charles V a second time, and certainly knew better than to risk the mercies of the Duke of Alba. His soldiers captured him a boat from the enemy, and placed him in it. As he was being rowed across, he could see the last of his Saxons being cut down, them giving their lives for his to delay the armies of the duke.

    At the close of the battle, fully 8,000 of the Eisenach forces lay dead, along with 10,000 of the Bohemians and the Duke of Alba's armies. At Schweinfurt and points west, writers reported the Main River ran red with blood.

    North of the Main it was a mere day's march to the Coburg Veste. Unfortunately for the evangelical princes though, now Alba sensed he had the advantage just as deftly as he had understood he lacked it earlier. Knowing the armies of the League were too spent to offer immediate resistance, he built a new boat bridge from the same vessels that had destroyed the previous one, and moved his army across.

    The armies of the league were in Saxon territory, and the princes secure behind the walls of the Coburg Veste, by the time Alba completed his crossing unimpeded. He was requesting from Charles the heavy artillery necessary to bring down the Veste's walls, and kill or capture "all the devils at once."

    It was at this point diplomacy intervened: the Dukes of Bavaria and Cleves and the Elector Palatine called for an indefinite truce between the parties, on the simple terms that no one side would offer hostile force against the other, that everyone would be secure in the lands they held at that time, and that no terms of worship would be enforced on any prince by any outside force. In the event either side broke the truce, the three princes sponsoring the truce would intervene on the side of the other. Alba counseled that he was but "a siege and a scaffold" away from giving Charles everything he wanted, and to treat the proposed truce as just further treason.

    But even the resources of the emperor were not inexhaustible, the war had been going on for years with very little to show for it, and if Charles had heard anything about this war from his heralds before, it was "this time, we have them just where we want them!" Moreover, Charles and his counselors believed that the unwieldy coalition of Friedrich, and Johann, and Philip, and Moritz, and Albrecht, and Erich, would inevitably collapse into infighting, and that it would be best to wait for it to do so than to batter them while they presented a united front. In fact, if the reports from Stassfurt was true, Friedrich and Moritz were behaving with trust and even gallantry towards each other. It was not that either had forgotten their history, or the messy business of kept and unkept promises that knitted their destinies together. It was that they had now marched and fought together, and were bound by all that meant. And for Charles, watching it all from Speier, that would just never do.

    So, Charles was the first to accept the proposed truce. When the imperial heralds reached Coburg October 19, Friedrich assumed they were delivering the ultimatums now so familiar he could recite them from memory. Then they were heard, and the assembled understood that what was being offered was at least a temporary peace, and at that a peace on terms by which Saxony and Hesse could keep their conquests, everyone could keep their religion, and best of all, everyone could keep their heads out of reach of the Duke of Alba.

    Friedrich, Erich and Philip almost tripped over themselves in their rush to accept the terms. Moritz and Albrecht were by this point nothing if not realists, and understood continuing the campaign as it stood at that point would likely win them little more than an opportunity to find out for themselves just how forgiving a person the Duke of Alba was. However, there was a wide gulf in how the various princes understood the truce, and this would come back to haunt them later: Friedrich, Philip and Erich would have been happy to let things stand as they did at that moment from then to literal judgment day, whereas Moritz and Albrecht understood it as a short term breather to enable them all to collect more soldiers, weapons, and most importantly, money from Friedrich's English relatives to continue the fight.

    One can actually imagine, as the various rulers were filing out of Coburg to their respective courts, lean, dirty and exhausted, Moritz chasing after them excitedly: "But guys? I'm still the Duke of Bamberg, right, guys?"
    Last edited: May 25, 2018
  7. Threadmarks: Supplemental on Civics, Germany, Contemporary

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Nov 12, 2008
    Quiz Answers

    Miss Jodorowsky's Class - 8th Level

    1. What currency does Germany use today?

    Given the historical importance of the Saxon and Bohemian mints to the history of early modern Germany, it is not surprising that the thaler is the German currency. It is a national symbol somewhat like the pound.

    2. In recent polls, what characteristic do other Europeans find most annoying about Germans?

    The culture of the early modern German towns was acquisitive, competitive and somewhat envious. For these reasons, when the borders between princely states became less important and the administration of justice became more regular and neutral under the New Realm, citizens raced to use the courts as a means of private warfare, both in suits for damages and to bring private criminal prosecutions, which the German people regard as a beloved and indispensable feature of their legal system.

    Over the years, various reforms have been tried, including loser-pays laws and vigorous enforcement of laws against malicious prosecutions and frivolous lawsuits. However, Germany's courts still see much higher traffic per capita than England, France or Austria.

    3. What is the German head of government called?

    Of course, the German head of state is the emperor or empress, or kaiser or kaiserin. Formerly, the kaiser or kaiserin would name a chancellor, or kanzler. However, over the long, somewhat torturous evolution of German constitutional democracy, it was believed that chancellors, even if their appointment by the emperor or empress was reduced to a fiction and they were in fact installed by a process of election, were inappropriate. Chancellors have as their client, to whom they are answerable, a monarch or similar figure. In Germany, it was believed the Realm Estates and ultimately through them the people should be the client. For that purpose, the chancellor is today essentially the appointed handler of the emperor or empress's affairs. Given that his is a fundamentally intra-household role, approval of a chancellor's appointment is not even required by the estates. In a popular German skit comedy imagebox show of the 1950's, the chancellor was depicted as a glorified gift shop manager, laboring away in obscurity beneath the proud portraits of his predecessors, occasionally called upon to unclog facilities in the palace.

    Instead, German democracy evolved the role of the Vertreter. Elected by the Estates meeting as a general body, the initial job of the Vertreter, following the end of the Estates' limitation to a purely consultative role, was to inform the elector of a refusal. He was chosen from the third Estate, and usually among the lowest born of that body, because it was thought best that he be personally and dynastically disposable. Simultaneously with the creation of the post, the custom began of the hosenanschaffung. The idea was that Vertreter would need attire to appear at court, and could not be expected to afford it himself. To this day, though obviously ceremonial attire is not involved, the Realm Estates buys one new suit of clothes for a newly elected Vertreter.

    4. What limitation on the right to vote is still the law in Germany?

    When the Elector Alexander, faced with crisis, chose to institute his elections to the third body of the Saxon Estates, he understood enough of the history of the practice in England that he knew he might be disappointed if he relied only on the resulting body, once it was seated, to satisfy his fiscal needs. So he instituted a tax as part of the elections themselves, not just to winnow down the electorate to an elite, but to provide him the money needed. This led to the evolution of the German franchise as a cherished mark of class distinction and eventually, a more general legal entitlement. To this day, if you're standing in a market or on a street corner and see a German citizen arguing with a policeman, you're very likely to hear at some point or other, "I paid my vote!"

    As one might expect, no statute in Germany has been so frequently contested, amended, or litigated as the tax. Thus over the centuries, "voting about voting" has become a byword for German fractiousness. Presently, the tax is statutorily limited to no more than two hours' wages at the minimum rate permissible by law. Parties are permitted to cover the tax for their members. Given pervasive campaign finance and media regulation otherwise, the perceived inequalities that result from such practices have become a locus for political agitation in recent years.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
  8. Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Nov 12, 2008
    Also, yes, I know we are leaning hard into the German neologisms to explain the alt-present political structure. Anyone with either a better understanding or a better intuitive sense of German who wants to point out what's awkward or simply what doesn't work, is most welcome.
  9. Unknown Member

    Jan 31, 2004
    Corpus Christi, TX
    TTL's podcasts are funny and world-building at the same time...

    Waiting for more...
  10. Threadmarks: The Life of Elizabeth of England, 1549

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Nov 12, 2008
    Antonis Mor.jpg

    Magdalen, Viscountess Montague, in the Manner of Antonis Mors, as Elizabeth Tudor, Electress of Saxony, late in life

    "De Profundis" from Elizabeth of England, Mother of Two Dynasties (1912) by George Jane

    It was All-Saint's Day, 1549. Elector and duke were keeping themselves at Weimar, their chief preoccupation ascertaining through allies, spies and scouts that the truce lately negotiated with the Emperor Charles V held, and that they were not forthwith going to be staring down the pikes of yet another fresh army sent against them. Friedrich IV had just set himself to work on the accumulated cares of domain, property and family that had festered through years of war, captivity and more war.

    A particular aggravator of the elector's troubles were the many differences of opinion with his brother, and the difficulty of his restoration to authority after a period in which said brother executed ultimate power unchecked.

    But then on that day word arrived which forced a reshuffling of priorities, and sent both brothers, forgetful of what had previously been their respective resentments against the other, speeding east towards Torgau.

    For in the castle of Schloss Hartenfels their mother, the Electress Elizabeth, lay dying. The leech who had put his name to the document proclaimed the inevitable could not be deferred much longer.

    Even at the time, of course, the illness of Elizabeth Tudor these past two years had attracted the attention of the pessimistic, the morbid and the paranoid. Not a few Catholic writers even during the span of her life attributed her decline to slow poison. Certainly, her compact frame bore no signs of the overindulgence that robbed her brother Henry and her elder sister Margaret of their health. Nor were her symptoms at all like that of her younger sister Mary when she succumbed to cancer. Instead, as best the physics could discover, at risk of dire cliche, she suffered an illness of the heart, magnified by what the men of a later age might call nervous exhaustion.

    The distress and sadness in which the elector's mother had lived for so long was magnified in her last days by her efforts to persuade the officers of court to permit her a priest to hear confession and administer the rites of her faith. This inspired less the monolithic and cruel disapproval that is frequently imagined as spirited debate, confusion and to some extent practical difficulty. Until very recently the loyalists to the papal court in Saxony had been hunted. Inquiries from the electoral court seeking after a papist priest in the country nearby Torgau could be only too easily misunderstood, or distrusted.

    For whatever reason, the electress's fervent wish to be properly shriven before her death was not to be. She died November 6, her last hours not spent in the peacefulness of an awareness of her approaching rest, but terror at the consequences to her soul of a death outside the rites of her church. Even at the time, the pathetic spectacle appeared to shock the conscience of many. Of course, the reformist divines of the Leucorea offered that the true tragedy of the electress's end was not that her spiritual last wishes went unsatisfied, but rather that she had obstinately persisted in a superstition that held her soul hostage to the accidents of an empty rite.

    The Elector Friedrich was spending the night in Leipzig when word arrived his mother had died. In a life given to every manner of reversal, and much violence and uncertainty, the degree to which he was overcome shocked the traveling court. He had not seen her for almost three years, since he first departed their happy Christmas right after Kreuzberg. It was a full day before he left the castle, and for a while it was considered that he be born to Torgau by closed coach.

    Finally arriving on November 10, Friedrich found the funerary plans unsatisfactory in their brevity and simplicity. Moreover, discovering the whole distressing matter of the priest, he was outraged. He resolved not to bury his mother but by the rites she would have preferred. This necessitated further complication, and it was not until November 21 that a simple parish priest from over the Bohemian frontier arrived in Torgau on a grain barge, permitting them to conduct the service.

    Word of the death of the last living child of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York was received with great sadness, just not in the land that had previously been her home, which she had visited only once since her marriage, which had experienced great changes in the interim, and where she was recalled as a relic of a bygone age. Instead, full official mourning far beyond her rank were decreed in the courts of France, Spain, and the papacy itself. Today a tourist may chance upon a memorial to her in a corner of St. Vitus's Cathedral in Prague. Given the subsequent history, it might be surprising to find that it was put there by none of her descendants. Instead the bronze image was cast during the reign of, and at the request of, the Habsburg king, and her son's arch-nemesis, Ferdinand I.

    The Electress Elizabeth's death, like much of her life, was wrapped in the consequence of the religious divisions of the age. It is only with great difficulty that we can recall how little she could have imagined this would be the case in the world that life began.

    The first record of her personality in history was her pristine recital of a passage from The Aeneid to a personage no less than Erasmus on his celebrated visit to the Tudor nursery. She believed for a long while she would be married to the duke d'Angouleme, heir to her father's rival Louis XII.

    And if she had died the moment Luther nailed his celebrated bulletin to the door of Wittenberg's castle church, she would have been remembered for the consequences of her generosity to German belles lettres, and the only controversy in which she had involved herself was her insistence on introducing to the courts of Wittenberg and Torgau the attitude toward the education of princesses she had herself received from figures no less respected than that Erasmus, and her dear friend friend and frequent correspondent, Thomas More.
    Last edited: May 27, 2018
  11. Threadmarks: The Life of Elector Friedrich IV, Holy Roman Empire, 1549-50

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Nov 12, 2008

    Antonis Mor, a Saxon and a Spaniard Playing Chess

    "Tied to the Wheel" from Outlaw Saxony: New Perspectives on the Sechszentes Jahrhundert Empire by Louis Hadrami

    The autumn and winter of 1549 gave the Elector Friedrich a necessary opportunity to transact pressing business. First, and in some ways most pressing, was the organization of his new territories. Friedrich's intent from the first had been subsuming the feudal estates of all the acquired territories into that of Ernestine Saxony. This, as he was quickly informed, would not be satisfactory to those smaller territories--the Leitzkaus, the Juterbogs, the Erfurts--who did not want their institutions subsumed into those of larger polities, which, Friedrich was informed, were, though they were never more than a good day's walk away, and frequently no more distantly related than second cousins, as alien to their concerns and traditions as the Great Turk himself.

    There were also legal difficulties to this course of action. Rescinding the Partition of Leipzig was one thing. Saxony had been one principality before, had been made two as a convenience of inheritance, and now by a different convenience was one again. But absborbing into Saxony the various and scattered lands of the bishopric of Magdeburg, when that annexation was recognized by no institution of the actual empire, was another. And more knotted still was the problem of places like Goslar, an imperial city with nothing less than a dilapidated palace of the Holy Roman Emperor at its heart. Declaring oneself the protector of that city's religious liberty and accepting in return a modest tax was one thing. Violating its ancient emperor-granted freedoms was quite another, a novation that would alienate from Saxony even its most passionately evangelical allies among the other free and imperial cities.

    At length, Friedrich decided on a compromise. Ernestine and Albertine Saxony would be merged in all aspects of their government, and scattered small territories like Wurzenerland, Merseberg and Zeitz would be appended to it for ease of administration. However, Erfurt, Goslar, Halberstadt, and most important of all, proud Magdeburg and its dominions, would continue on as states to themselves, with the Elector of Saxony now holding the new and somewhat spurious-sounding title, to be passed along with his electoral dignity by primogeniture, of prince-defender.

    For the most part, the various constituencies of the lands Friedrich ruled were happy with this arrangement. The person less happy with it was Duke Johann, who was deeply frustrated that all Friedrich's promises with respect to an inherited Duchy of Lower Saxony in his and his children's line were now set aside without even so much as an explanation. Johann already felt poorly treated following the deal Friedrich reached with Philip that would, in the event the arranged match between Friedrich's son Alexander and Duke Moritz's daughter Anna failed, permit Moritz to simply shift the match to any one of Johann's sons Moritz chose. This was necessary to insure that no matter what happened to Alexander, now in the Emperor Charles's custody, Moritz's one living child would be wife to the Ernestine heir and the two branches of the Wettins be united.

    However, from Johann's perspective, the arrangement was disastrous. His remark about Anna on the occasion of the grand dynastic bargain, that she brought a "peasant's dowry, but without the peasant's useful skills", had stung her grandfather Philip of Hesse and father Moritz, who were in earshot when he said it. Johann's personal wealth and lands within Saxony were sizable enough that prior to Friedrich's return he had entered into negotiations for a wife for his eldest son with the king of Denmark. Not a usurped beggar former king, like Dorothea's father, but an actual reigning king. Now all these plans were deferred indefinitely to accommodate Moritz and Anna, the last Albertines, merely to solidify the legal title to that which the Ernestine Wettins held by conquest already.

    Of course Johann's situation was still far from unenviable. And if Alexander died, or got turned Roman Catholic, which was in the eyes of Lutheran Wittenberg at this time much the same thing, Johann and his sons were ready to assume the reins of power. The only question then would be as to the Elector's daughter Elizabeth, and Johann felt the tidy solution to this would also be a marriage between her to one of his sons, which of course would abrogate the other match arranged in the field in Eichsfeld in the summer of 1549.

    Now, as to the Elector, he was now just as he had always been never one to let a settled contract preclude him from seeking out a better one on terms contradictory to the first. So starting in December 1549 the flow of letters started to England. It was as if the mania that a generation before had possessed his mother with respect to the Princess Mary had been merely passed along at her death. Without the first thought to any commitment made to Moritz or Philip of Hesse, Friedrich offered his Elisabeth, then a tender three years of age, as wife to the young king. And in the alternate, Friedrich advised that the Duke Alexander's captivity in the Netherlands was a paltry concern, shortly to be remedied, and that he would be a fine husband to the Lady Elizabeth, illegitimate elder sister to the king.

    Friedrich by this point in his career had become a close student of English politics, and was mystified when his efforts were rebuffed. Assuming he failed because he had failed to pay sufficient deference to the Seymours, he poured flattery on them and sent lavish gifts, including some effects of his mother that had once belonged at the court of Henry VII. Still, no result. Then he tried again, proposing baldly to make payments of 50,000 guilders each to the Lord Protector Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset, and Thomas Seymour, Baron Sudeley, who had legal custody of the Lady Elizabeth, on the occasions of the sealing of a proxy match, her arrival at the court of Saxony, and her giving birth to a live heir to the Duke Alexander.

    The rejection of this last extraordinary proposal led him to communicate directly to his sister Katarina, now Katherine, Duchess of Suffolk. Her replies were little more than opaque misdirection as to what the state of affairs was with respect to the Lady Elizabeth and the Seymours, combined with irritation that Friedrich was, rather than acting to strengthen her and her husband's hand, instead complicating it by trying to inject Alexander and perhaps some prospective future heir of his and Elizabeth's into the question of the English succession.

    Friedrich's preoccupation with the English question originated in more than idle dynastic ambition. Since 1542 the English court's stipend to Saxony had accounted for between one-third and one-half of Saxony's military spending, depending on the year. Under no circumstances could Friedrich have fielded effective armies against Charles V without that flow of money. There were no more certain ways of securing it indefinitely than uniting the realms in a conjugal, and perhaps ultimately personal, union.

    In early 1550, Friedrich revisited the matter of integrating his portfolio of realms. This time it was in the matter of trade. He decreed the abolition of all internal tolls, included those that had previously been granted by the concessions of the emperors, the prior electors and dukes of Saxony, bishops of Magdeburg, and other princes. Tolls facing outward were to be maintained, but no longer could traffic between say, Erfurt and Wittenberg, or Halberstadt and Plauen, be forced to submit payments to any authorities, knights or jumped-up brigands on the way. Owners of improvements like bridges could submit claims for a one time payment or for continuing fees for upkeep to the elector's treasury. But they could not impede merchants with charges for their travel.

    Friedrich believed this would help integrate his various lands and incentivize internal trade. It created some resistance, but generally the centers of commerce approved, and the burghers of Magdeburg a gave him a generous one-time gratuity to the elector in recognition of his kindness towards them.

    Only gradually as the campaign season of 1550 arrived, and there were no immediate demands from the imperial court for the elector to present himself in person, and no columns of smoke on the horizon, did the Ernestine House of Wettin realize that, quite unexpectedly, the truce would hold for at least a year. Friedrich at length relaxed into a different mode of governance than he had employed previously, given that the whole period of his time in the electoral dignity before the Spanish War began had been caught in the preparations for the eventualities that would become it. So Friedrich began studying the model of the schools founded by Moritz in Albertine Saxony as part of his Neue Landesordenung before he was pushed aside, visiting Meissen, Grimma and Schulpforta.

    Friedrich was just beginning to contemplate how the model developed by Moritz could be expanded, when word came of a seemingly unrelated event. The Genoese admiral Andrea Dorea was engaged in the perennial Mediterranean struggle against piracy when he occupied the town of Mahdiya, on the African coast, and under the protection of the Ottoman Sultan.

    Immediately, the Saxon elector understood the significance. Charles had been able to wield his power impressively in Germany the past five years because he had been in the rare circumstances of not fighting either France or the Ottoman Empire. Instead, the decline and death of Francois I, and the ordering of the affairs of his young successor, Henri II, had given him a respite in one contest, and a cessation of hostilities in the other had been purchased at the cost of a peace on humiliating terms with the Ottomans. Charles had submitted to it in the belief that it was necessary to secure the Lutheran rebels, and in the expectation that with the religious unity of the Holy Roman Empire restored, he could lead a proper crusade that would avenge all his former embarrassments in the East. Such confident expectations must now have tasted as bitter as ashes in his mouth.

    For these long years, the gears of European great power politics had been stuck, as France acclimated to its new regime, the Ottomans remained appeased, and the only limits to what Charles could do in Germany were, effectively, the Germans. But all that would change. The Ottomans had been provoked, and France's new king had bound himself to the Ottomans by a new treaty continuing the old policy of his father. Friedrich knew it, Philip knew it, and in the isolated castle of Schloss Moritzburg, given the former duke of Saxony to reside and hunt for as long as he wished in relative luxury, Moritz knew it.

    The only question was, what they would make of the opportunity.
    Last edited: May 28, 2018
  12. Unknown Member

    Jan 31, 2004
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Good update; BTW, congrats at reaching over 50,000 total words (your word count is actually over 51,000 so far), and waiting for more...
    Dr. Waterhouse likes this.
  13. Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Nov 12, 2008
    So glad you're enjoying it. By the way the next installment is going to be a new Resignations Privatcast. And it's going to be a doozy.
  14. Unknown Member

    Jan 31, 2004
    Corpus Christi, TX
    That's good; I always find those updates funny and informative...
  15. Threadmarks: Supplemental on Fashion, Central Europe, 20th Century

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Nov 12, 2008

    Next issue is Demonition's annual retrospective. For Summer 2007 we look back at Halbgottlich, the great rebellion-pivot of the Mit-Mit.*

    Has there ever been a time to be alive like Central Europe in the middle of the twentieth century? The transformative cultural daring of a society setting aside the failed dreams of colonialism and the rusted ideological prison of intra-species hierarchy knew virtually no bounds. In this era of technological confidence, the need to re-imagine humankind as a space-faring people on a cosmic stage found expression in Halbgottlich.

    In Halbgottlich, human beings are the central figures in a new shared mythology of the human, glorying in exploration, discovery and the cleansing power of creation itself. In its most literal expression, it is a subculture of self-described human demigods who dress and act appropriate to the kind of creature they want human-kind to become. Pioneered by Vienna's legendary fashion designer Jakob Kurtzberg and his great acolyte, the artist Archangela Warhola, Halbgottlich were a driving force in the cultural scene worldwide for several decades, as cultural variants and responses proliferated, all of them cataloged in the legendary international journal, True-Believer.

    Costumes by Jack Kirby (born Jacob Kurtzberg) for a college production of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, as The Summer 1946 Jakob Kurtzberg Pret-a-porter Collection.
    Jack Kirby 5.jpg Jack Kirby 6.jpg Jack Kirby 7.jpg
    Jack Kirby 1.jpg

    *Mitte Europa-Mitte des zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts
    Last edited: May 28, 2018
  16. Threadmarks: The Life of Elector Friedrich IV, Holy Roman Empire, 1550-1

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Nov 12, 2008
    Chat_chambord-étang_062006.JPG [​IMG]
    Chateau Chambord, original photo by Patrick Clenet, used by a creative commons license

    "One Last Job" from Outlaw Saxony: New Perspectives on the Sechszentes Jahrhundert Empire by Louis Hadrami

    Through late 1550 and early 1551, Friedrich recommitted himself to his educational efforts. As he explained in a speech to the Leucorea on the anniversary of the birthday of Martin Luther on November 10, the restoration of the scriptural text to its appropriate place in the Christian religion, and the substitution of the individual and interior relationship to the divine for the communal and public rite, necessitated that a truly Christian country be a literate one, as well. To that end, the parish priests of the Lutheran Church would each and every one be required to accredit the ability of every child in their church to read Luther's translation of the scripture and understand it. If because of the size of the church the burden was too great, the church could apply to the electoral treasury for a stipend with which to hire a full-time schoolmaster.

    Simultaneously, he organized schools in the houses of former monastic orders at Zwickau (which would have 50 places for students), Torgau (60) and Leipzig (also 60). The value of these foundations were widely recognized, and were highly popular with the commons. Unfortunately Friedrich hit a wrong note when he moved to found his fourth school, in Wittenberg. This would be the largest, with some 70 places, and would be to a greater extent self-supporting because it would have abundant outbuildings to keep farm animals, which could be raised and sold to offset the cost of running the school. The problem was that currently the Black Cloisters of Wittenberg, the obvious site for the school, was occupied by Luther's widow, Katharina von Bora, several of the younger of their children, and some orphans they had adopted in their latter years. The former monastery had been deeded to Luther by Friedrich's uncle, Friedrich the Wise, in 1524, when the Augustinians were run out. Luther had then left it to Katharina in his will, but Saxon courts had found that will to be ineffective. Friedrich believed that twenty-six years' free occupancy of a residence bigger than some of his castles had been quite generous, that the Luther family was too small to make proper use of it anyway, and that Katharina should be honored by the appropriation of the Cloisters for a purpose which the great man would surely approve, and which would honor his name forever. For her part, Katharina von Bora disagreed, and stayed, and her cause quickly became popular with Luther's former colleagues.

    The possibility that the Elector was motivated by some perceived slights by Katharina von Bora against his mother during the early years of the Lutheran Reformation cannot be discounted.

    Nonetheless, in spring 1551 the matter was resolved when he awarded the widow a lifetime pension in exchange for her quitting the residence. That should not imply Katharina von Bora accepted his offer and left voluntarily, however. Instead she was bodily removed, and the pension given her, in that order. The medieval cloister's use as a school continues to this day, and it is widely regarded as the flagship institution of the German public education system.

    Funding for these combined efforts, in some ways a serious drain on the treasury at a time when the external security of the electorate could not be taken for granted, was supplemented by newfound economies in the electoral household. His mother's stipend now had no use, her significant estate was now his (the Duke Johann and Duchess of Suffolk having been disinherited), Alexander's captivity in the Netherlands meant at least that Charles V was paying his upkeep, and he had little compunction about keeping Dorothea in creature comforts given the present state of their relationship. Even Duke Johann (the king, as Friedrich bitterly referred to him, referencing his wealth and lands) was approached for contributions, to his deep chagrin.

    By now, war between France and the Empire had once again been fully joined. The apparent victory of Saxony and her allies had restored color to the cheeks of the Empire's Lutheran princes, and flush with courage, and no-small self-interest, Prussia, Mecklenburg, and Kustrin were now rushing to strengthen their ties with their more militant brethren. Secret negotiations had begun at Darmstadt, before reconvening in France at the Chateau de Chambord, with the French on one side, and Friedrich IV of Saxony, Philip of Hesse, Albert Alcibiades of Brandenburg-Kulmbach and the landless Duke Maurice, included now mostly as a courtesy, on the other, over the terms of a potential alliance. The sides were deadlocked on the matter of territorial annexations by France from the lands of the empire, which Friedrich had resolved to oppose. Because of the unique fears connected to his attachment to any conspiracy against the emperor, he was represented in the negotiations by the aging Chancellor Brueck.

    For his part, Charles V was also deeply involved in settling the succession of his various realms. Moreover, he was once again in a pitched feud with the papacy in addition to his other enemies. Part of the price of papal military assistance and the organization of the Council of Trent in 1545 had been his concession of the Duchy of Parma to the papacy, where it could be an appointive boon which each pope could give to his respective male relatives for family prestige and a source of always-necessary military power. Charles, having realized he had gotten very little for his trouble in the way of a final victory in Germany, now wanted it back, and the papacy was not in a position to withhold it from him.

    Of course the papal relative to which Parma had been entrusted by the previous Bishop of Rome, Ottavio Farnese, thought differently. He appealed to the French for assistance. The involvement of the French required Charles use the Imperial Army, which in turn necessitated that Charles travel to Italy. This he was not of a mind to do, given the provisional nature of the German peace, but it could not be avoided. He was preparing his army to forcibly recover Parma when the parties gathered at Chambord realized they could postpone action no more.

    Philip of Hesse, Albert-Alcibiades of Brandenburg-Kulmbach, Albert of Prussia, and Moritz all circumvented Friedrich, and broke the common promise they had made at the start of the negotiations that all would choose to accept or decline the alliance with France together. Instead, now Hesse, Brandenburg-Kulmbach, Mecklenburg and Prussia all signed a treaty with the French receiving a rich subsidy from them in return for their making immediate war against the Emperor while he was isolated from his Burgundian domains. One of the terms of the treaty was that France would receive outright the imperial cities of Toul, Metz and Verdun. Friedrich had instructed Brueck under no circumstances to accept an alliance on such terms, as he believed it would be seen as politically unacceptable to prejudice the wider empire for the benefit of Saxony.

    This was understood by the French and the exasperated Protestant princes gathered at Chambord as a cynical negotiating tactic. Thus Henri II put his signature to a letter, also endorsed by Philip, Albert-Alcibiades, Albert of Prussia, and what must have been a quite truculent Moritz: if he joined the alliance negotiated at Chambord forthwith, Friedrich would be the default choice to be emperor of the Holy Roman Empire following the permanent eviction and defeat of Charles, making use of whatever legal fictions would be necessary to dispense with the constitution as established by the Golden Bull of 1358.

    As Brueck began the long winter-time journey back to Saxony, how his hand must have trembled, just to hold it.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2018
  17. Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Nov 12, 2008
    Sorry. Next one, I promise. I needed one additional set-up post.
  18. Unknown Member

    Jan 31, 2004
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Waiting for more...
  19. Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Nov 12, 2008
    Sorry. Real world responsibilities have intervened for the past few days. But trust that writing this is more fun than what I've been doing, so I'm in a rush to get back to it.
  20. B_Munro Member

    May 28, 2004
    Man, the Protestant Princes are playing with dynamite here, I think.
    Dr. Waterhouse likes this.