Schloss Neuhaus

Schloss Neuhaus
Seat of the Margrave

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Arrivals and Departures

"Your Grace, His Highness Albrecht von Schwerin, the Margrave of Ober Nord Westfalen."

"Welcome, Your Highness, 'tis a meeting I have long desired."

"Thank you for your welcome, Your Grace, I am only sorry that it has been so long in coming, especially now, that other matters have leapt to my notice."

"Other matters, Your Highness? I do not quite take your meaning."

"Would Your Grace be easier, if perhaps, we spoke in English?"

"That I would, or in Frankish, if Your Highness, prefers..."

"No, Your Grace, Englisch suits me well enough. I have, in my youth, in England spent a great deal of time. I was at your Eton at school, and then to Cambridge, I went."

"Very well, Your Highness... let it be English."

"Yes, indeed, Your Grace. I spoke, a moment ago, of other matters which to my attention have sprung..."

"Ah... yes, 'other matters' - now I understand. Well, I take Your Highness' literal meaning, but I fail to see how these other matters shall impinge on our meeting, still less do I understand Your Highness' regret at... Oh! The fiend seize it! May we not dispense with all this 'Your Grace' and 'Your Highness'? I find it becomes tedious!"

"By all means, let us with the shoes off speak!"

"Shoes... shoes? Oh... no, I rather take it that you mean gloves?"

"Of course! How stupid of me. Yes. Let us with the gloves off, speak."

"Indeed, but d'ye know, that raises a pretty problem... How do we address one another? Normally I would suggest that we use our titles, you would address me as 'Marlborough', and I you, as 'Ober Nord Westfalen', but 'tis a plaguey mouthful!"

"Yes, a trifle cumbersome, it is."

"H'mm... Another acceptable mode of address, would be as it was at school... I could address you as von Schwerin. But... 'tis somewhat curt, more, it would sound as if you were subordinate to me."

"And am I not, Your Grace?"

"No, no, not at all. You have consented to use your army in conjunction with my forces, and so be it that I command the larger portion of our forces, then I must needs take the responsibility for conducting our campaign... but you as a subordinate, no, my dear sir, 'tis not to be thought of."

"I could always the playing field, make level... I could, in turn, you address as Churchill?"

"Ha! Yes, indeed, the very thing! Let be so, then 'tis von Schwerin and Churchill, henceforth. Now, my dear Margrave, you will take wine?"

"I thank you".

"Now, what import have these other matters, that cause you regret?"

"You will, of course, of matters in Slavonia, have heard?"

"I confess to massive ignorance of affairs in that country... Some rumours of disturbance have come to my ears, but little of significance."

"Little of significance? My Lord Duke! The Avtokrator Mikhail is dead and his throne by his second son, Pyotr, is assumed. What of the elder son, Aleksander, is become, remains for the moment a mystery. Pyotr is a madman - he has sovereignty over some of the Kaiser's dominions claimed and threatens war with Skania. This, Churchill, at a time when he already at war with the Sublime Porte is."

"Yes, all very disturbing, but how does that affect us?"

"The western and some of the southern borders of Slavonia with the Kaiserreich march, and His Imperial Majesty an invasion by Slavonia, into the border provinces, fears. In light of these circumstances, the Kaiser, an Imperial Conclave has summonsed. And I, as one of his ... vassals?... must the conclave at Wienburg attend. I needs must tomorrow make my departure if am on time for the conclave to be."

"Yes... I see... the timing is, at the very least unfortunate. I expect, any day now, a reinforcement from the Elector of Pommersche to enter the Dutch service ... and had hoped to concentrate my forces once the Pommerschen contingent had arrived. You must, of course, as a matter of duty attend your Emperor, but what of your troops?"

"My army remains, at your disposal, of course. I the command to General von Willich hand over on my return to my Headquarters. I have an English speaking offizier at Headquarters remains ensured. General von Willich will to co-operate fully with you be ordered. I trust that I will no longer than six or eight weeks for the journey, there and back, and at the conclave be detained."

"Six or eight weeks, hey? Well, needs must, of course, but 'tis as you say, not only deuced inconvenient but also most regretful and most dangerous. D'ye know, von Schwerin, it strikes me that we could see the entire continent go up in flames! I thank God for the English Channel!"

"Indeed, Churchill, indeed."

1 comment:

Frankfurter said...

Sounds like we need a post on Osteriech Uber Alles!