Saturday, December 13, 2008

Lettres de Cachet

Herr Stechung, after transacting his activities at the Bains-Thermes and the Presipapal Bank, proceeded that afternoon by caleche to the bureaux of Louis-Ferdinand Celine de Saint-Gobain, Counsellor to the Relations with Resident Foreigners, to obtain an audience to present his credentials as Consul-General for the Pfalzgraftum of Waldreck.

Obtaining entrance after a mere two hour's intermission in the lobby of the bureaux, Herr Stechung was then escorted into the office of M. de Saint-Gobain, and, navigating the formalised exchange of documents with a bourgeois punctilio, received his credentials from M. de Saint-Gobain and, as his first offical act, presented de Saint-Gobain with a lettre de cachet sealed with the Black Lion of Waldreck.

Opening the document in Stechung's presence, M. de Saint-Gobain read the following:

From Baron Maximilian-Joseph de Montglace, Chancellor to his durchlaucht eminence, the Pfalzgraf von Waldreck,

to his eminence Louis-Ferdinand Celine de Saint-Gobain, Counsellor to the Relations with Resident Foreigners:

In view of the phenomenal reception accorded the President-elected Prince of Monte-Cristo's exposition of his laudable patronage of the Oriental Arts, the Pfalzgraf von Waldreck is pleased to offer his excellency an addition to his most admirable collection of rare illuminations from the fabled collection of Ulrich Fugger, recently brought to light in the course of cateloguing the estates of the Herrenschaft von Dolmen recently returned to the rightful possession of his durchlaucht eminence.

In addition to the fabulous collection Herr Fugger donated to the Bibliotheka Palatina, he also maintained a private reserve collection of volumes of especial significance. Among this occult collection was found to be a first edition of Arentino and Raimondi's I Modi, in pristine condition. The Pfalzgraf, certain that his excellency of Monte Cristo would best appreciate and contextualise this find, would like to offer the volume in gift to his excellency, in token of the esteem in which he holds his excellency, and also in appreciation of the amity and profit of the relationship which has grown between their two peoples.

His durchlaucht eminence would be pleased very much to present the volume to his excellency in the course of his imminent Grand Tour of the Cote d'Azur with his new bride to be undertaken as soon as possible after the octave of Twelfth Night. His durchlaucht eminence also eagerly anticipates the opening of the Carnevale Season in Monte Cristo about that time, and invites the counsel of his excellency as to the rites and ceremonies of that festive occasion best suited to introduce his new bride to the particular satisfactions of the Monte Cristan observances.

Veuillez agréer, mon tres puissant monsieur, l'assurance de mes sentiments le plus distingués,

Votre serviteur,

Maximilian-Joseph, Baron de Montglace

1 comment:

abdul666 said...

A rare and precious gift indeed, for sure to be greatly appreciated and likely to cause an *overt* very positive reaction.

But*all* in Monte-Cristo –the culture, the mentality, worldview, beliefs, practices and customs of the population; the feelings toward foreigners of commoners and officials alike; the records of the Casino and Presipapal Bank; the activities of the ‘Academie des Science’ and ‘College d’Heraldique’ (e.g. recently in Scandalusia and Beerstein, respectively); the real employers and agendas of Monte-Cristan 'free lancers' abroad; the military capacity; the Presipapal agencies; the missions in the Indian Ocean and Australia; the guidelines, true motivations and realities of diplomacy…- *all* is structured like an *ONION*. To reach the heart of it one has to dig through layer after layer, each more… pungent… than the previous one.
Most of the (few) foreigners aware of this reality tend to turn paranoid. Yet in a few cases a lengthy, if secret, experience of positive collaboration led to trust, and for instance the Secret du Roy at Versailles and the young couple ruling Braun-Zolms feel quite at ease and confident in their relations with the Presipapal Palace.