dimecres, 19 d’octubre de 2011

A most fortuitous messenger...

Dresden 21 May 1696
"Sire, Master Patkul has arrived with news from Warsaw. "
"Bring him in quickly"

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Johann Patkul, nobleman  and agitator for Livonian freedom from Sweden, had authored the alliance of Russia Saxony and Denmark against Sweden's Baltic posessions.
He had come directly from Warsaw where his mission was to convince (better said bribe") Polish szlachta to vote for his patron Augustus II of Saxony.
"Your Majesty, the throne of Poland is yours! I have just returned from a meeting with the last of the great magnate families of the Commonwealth. After breaking news of  the "incestuous" situation of the Prince of Conti they were most outraged. The letters of credit provided by Berend Lehmann helped immensily in demonstrating your Majesty's...ehm, generosity.
We have obtained the support of the Szlachta Magnates. They have convened again in the Middle of June for the last and final vote."

"Most Excellent my dear Paktul, I could be more pleased. Mr Behrend has been keeping me informed of the prodigious cost we have been running. I shall order the Master of Ceremonies to be ready to leave as soon as we receive news of the result."
" Sire, the Poles love a bold king, who takes charge. They are a volatile people, and need a strong hand to guide them. I suggest to leave as soon as possible and be there when the results are given, to accept the crown, or if necessary take it!!"
"You are a rascal Patkul, but I like the way you think! Besides we cannot afford to have somebody else win the crown now. Have a rest.  We will get the troops together and shall set of forthwith!! "

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Meanwhile in a Palace in Poland.
"And you are sure they will not find out who fooled them?"
"Sire, The letters of credit he used are not forged, just that the account they were drawing on is of long defunct. Shall we say,  Monsieur Paktul Polish is most abysmal."
"And where are the funds now?"
"In a safe place, Sire."
"You play a dangerous game." said the prince with a smile.
"The games worth playing are all dangerous" replied the banker, "but I admit even I could not have thought of or executed such an ingenious scheme without the most skillful help of Mademoiselle de Granville."

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