Friday, March 02, 2012

Troubled

Madrid, 30th October 1713

--No, for sake of God! --King Philip V violently exclaimed--. I shall disband not even one of our regiments in Flanders! We need them all here, in Spain. Now!

--But Your Majesty, there are no news from last year's Treasure Fleet yet, and State coffers are completely empty. The Nation is exhausted, Your Majesty. We can no longer keep over one hundred foot regiments and several dozens of horse squadrons, there is no money to pay for so huge an Army!

Impatient, the King cut off his counselor's speech with an imperious gesture --No more arguing. If necessary, taxes shall be increased in Aragon and Valencia once again. And I want to hear not even a single objection --he threateningly raised a finger toward his counselors--. Aragon and Valencia sided to Catalan betrayal, and they must pay for it. They shall pay for the army we had to raise against them!

Discretely standing at a corner, Marie-Anne de la Trémoille, princesse des Ursins, watched in silence King Philip's boos to his counselors and shook head with concern --but she wisely kept her mouth shut up.

She knew him well enough. From an early age, King Philip fell periodically in acute stages of deep melancholy and apathy, from whose only two things could get him out: frantic sex or total war. His transitions from one stage to another were usually abrupt, explosive and uncontrolled. So King Philip was a chronic depressive, and a sex addict too. But since the recent decease of His spouse Queen Maria Luisa, he had been left only the other way out: war. At all costs.

Such His obsession was proving to be risky and harmful, not only to Him but to the whole Nation as well. Not to say about herself: pressure from Paris for a peace with the Catalans had been ceaselessly increasing in the last months --and had become nearly excruciating after the Vendôme affair had been unveiled. Besides, a handful of envious Castilian aristocrats had been lately weaving a dense net around the Princesse, blaming her for Vendôme's murdering. Her unlimited power and influence over the King and Court so far risked fading away --and she urgently needed to reverse it, or at least to delay it just long enough to have ready a safe way out... Such as the Principality in Flanders she had been pledged by the Imperials in exchange for peace, for instance.

Ironically enough, she thought, King Philip's war provisions weren't that bad at all and, thanks to these, the definite subjection of Catalonia was far from unlikely at a not so long term. This way, if finally prevailing He would become deprived in turn of His only current psychological way out: making war.

She ought to hurry up, then. First of all, to find a new wife for the King and last but not least, persuading Him to accept a peace with those irritantingly stubborn Catalans.

But, how?

2 comments:

Rittmeister Krefeld said...

I hope she is not scheming on marrying princess Elisenda to Philip in return for peace!

Soldadets said...

AGH...!

Oh why did you suggest such an obnoxious idea!!?? (...storyboard writer's mind has got irreversibly nfected!! Lord, now I cannot get it out from my head!)

[Don't panic Lluis, let's sit and think a bit. There must be another different schema on the Princesse des Ursins mind. Sure, for sure. But which one? Glups...]

Another cunning idea might be that of persuading King Philip to obediently accept all of King Louis agreements with the Catalans, and afterwards submitting his own candidate to Princess of Catalonia. Madame de la Trémoille, of course.