Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Il più bel nome

Barcelona, 20th March 1713

My Ever Dear eldest brother Hermann:

Wish you and all family are pretty well and in good health, here at Vienna. Long time has passed away since our latest missives, and over time a number of matters have changed. And unfortunately, I must tell you that not all changes have been for good.

As you most surely already know, Her Majesty Empress Elisabeth Christine embarked yesterday from Barcelona, where she has been reigning with incomparable wisdom and prudence all these years since the proclamation of Her August husband Charles, God bless Him, as Holy Roman Emperor. Her assistance to Court in Vienna had been claimed for as necessary, it was said; and so have understood the loyal people of this country –or I should better say that they all have committed themselves to believe so, despite the ominous portents abounding everywhere.

A countless multitude of all kinds and condition crowded yesterday at the port of the Catalan Capital City to farewell Her Majesty, accompanying the Honourable Authorities in their collective tribute to their revered Queen and Lady. It was a most moving event, for the naïve spontaneity of the people shrank the heart of us all. Lord Guido von Starhemberg, who will remain as Royal Lieutenant of the Principality on Their Majesties Behalf, kept a supposedly distracted air all the time while, behind him, Count Wallis showed an air of anger and deep disgust, albeit managed to hide it in a pretty dignity.

At a given moment, an improvised chorus was formed among a small circle of Barcelonese ladies, who started singing the main aria of Il più bel nome opera -that precise piece in which il tenore expounds to be, in the land where Ebro river lies, a Goddess more sublime than all those at the Eliseus Fields, whose name is Elisa. We all remembered this opera to have been composed to celebrate Her Nuptials to Charles and was first played at the Barcelona Exchange Palace, as a wedding gift to the Royal Couple from Their Catalan subjects. When Her Majesty heard the beats of that lyrics, She had to turn Her face towards the ships, to avoid being watched the tears in Her August eyes. She knew, we all knew, they wouldn't meet again their beloved Kings & Caesars -but they didn't. Not yet.

You ever loving brother Friedrich Leibnitz, junior officer and standard bearer in the Kayserliche Wallis Infanterie-Regiment.


Bluebear Jeff said...

*sigh* . . . so sad. Final partings are so sad.

-- Jeff

Soldadets said...

*snort* You're right, Sir. I can't avoid... *snort* *snifff* ...feeling sooooo sensible! (when younger, I loved roleplaying, he)