Sunday, July 04, 2010

Waiting for the pilot

Monte-Cristo, 19th July 1713

The Monte-Cristo Bay calm waters were gently swaying the xebec while, on board the ship, the crew expected the arrival of the pilot who would lead them into the harbour. Standing at the stern castle near the captain, the Marquis of Vilana watched with worried eyes the bright reflections of the city in front of them, which seemed to invite the traveler to an immediate disembarkment, with no delays or prolegomenon. Under the bright sunrays, the city's tight skyline projected before them an image as beautiful as ambiguous -extremely pleasant to occasional visitors but risky, even hazardous for anyone immersing in its more deep and dark waters.

-Have your sailors have been adequately acknowledged? -he asked to the captain, who in turn cunningly smiled: it was more than apparent to him which one was the Marquis' concern.
-Don't worry, Sire. Most of my men have already been here several times. They're aware of "el pa que s'hi dóna" [literally, "what kind of bread it's given there"].
-Hum...

Yes, such was one the Marquis' concerns: the liberal nature of the Monte-Cristan society might be seductive and tempting, a bit too much for many non-cultivated or religion-enslaved foreigners. And he could not risk the unleashing of a diplomatic incident due to a mis-understanding of such liberality by any of the Legacy members; their mission was a too critical one to allow it abruptly going to an end by any silly intemperance.

However, there were many other, even more worrying issues to the Marquis. How would the different contacted powers' agents react to their pleas? What price will it be asked in exchange by each one? Would the Parliament consent? Why of the obstinate silence of King Charles these last weeks? He had been empowered as a plenipotentiary ambassador by the Principality's General Deputation, but such responsibility had already started to be a heavy burden, even before experimenting its real weigth. Of course he was worried and nervous, despite all his long experience in courtly and diplomatic affairs!

And besides, there was the child...

3 comments:

OIIIIIIIO said...

Monte-Criston society is all very much about temptation and liberalisation, the unkind could even say "undirekted", however it is so enlightening.....especially to the superstitious....

...Hermann Geldversteckt
(Direktory appointment to the Presipality of Monte-Cristo, authorization code ID: OI-IOO-OIO)

..............

abdul666 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
abdul666 said...

To Lord Vilana, with our brotherly compliments.

We don't expect any incident between the Galatean sailors and our population: Monte-Cristo is a legend among all sea people of the Western Mediterranean. Actually very few know of its exact location -by policy we prefer to be known by most only as 'that odd free Italian harbor somewhere between Vintimiglia and Genoa', even fewer went here -we actively support the legend that 'reefs grow around Monte-Cristo' and encourage the confusion with the 'doomed' uninhabited (?) volcanic islet of Montecristo. But all know the very painful fate brought by any inappropriate behavior as well as they know the pleasant peculiarities of our customs.

Fortunately the coming of your legacy coincides with our annual festival of Baroque Music, a golden excuse for the most diverse persons to come to Monte-Cristo, and for us to invite influential characters from diverse countries. Just like your legacy, all those invited persons, as well as the representatives of Herrschaden and Beerstein and any other emissaries (Louis-Ferdinand Celine de Saint-Gobain, our Counsellor to the Relations with Resident Foreigners, is very good at spotting the 'secret' ones!) will stay at the Paris H. Palace Hostel, by its very conception propitious to discret / secret meetings. You are certain to meet numerous 'interesting' representatives, some unexpected but all the more useful.

Because of its universally acknowledged neutrality and discretion Monte-Cristos is a popular location for diplomatic meetings -specially the officious ones, or the discret preliminaries to formal ones later held elsewhere. By its fair weather and its relaxed atmosphere the Presipality is a little paradise propitious to quiet conversations and peaceful, unpassionate exchanges: tension, aggressivity soon disappear here.

We are as peaceful as neutral, and thus if our vaunted neutrality now and then suffers a minor breach, it's only in that we are deeply
biased in favor of peace and willing to support any effort bringing back peace or preventing war.
Peaceful we are, but not naive: knowing human nature, we understand peace can be preserved either by honest discussions dispelling misunderstandings or by the deterring nature of a powerful defensive alliance...

Wishing the most satisfying success to your mission, we warmly welcome yourself and your compatriots.

Louys POPP of Monte-Cristo
(Prince Ovationne President par le Peuple)