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Francis Kirke

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About Francis Kirke

  • Rank
    Lord Kingston

Character Information

  • Circles
    Libertine
    Military
    Trade
    Political
  • Title
    Baron
  • INTERESTS
    The sea, foreign places, novelty, the sea, water, swordplay, the baton, battle, ship design, the sea, his yacht, foreign produce, sex, the sea, having a good time..........
  • OCCUPATION
    Gentleman of the Bedchamber

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  1. "Throw some of Satan's piss on him, for fuck's sake, I'm not close enough," Francis said, gesturing toward Merriweather. He did not think he needed to explain why. Anyone who had experienced one exile, did not wish to repeat the experience. Not to mention the last republican experiment had resulted in no dancing, no theaters, no games, no Christmastide celebrations, and the list went on and on. "One exile in a lifetime was one more than enough." He gave an appreciate whistle to Dorset's form of democracy, which he could get behind. "I solidly wish to discuss fucking," Francis voted, with a vague lift of his hand. "That is what we are here for...unless this is another clever ruse to distract from the purpose from the underperformers." He made a limp dick motion with his finger.
  2. Francis listened to Mountjoy's story and then replied, "I hope I have not given offense. I surely did not know one of your great ancestors was in such a situation. My apologies." There was a slight blush on his face which was typical for him in such situations. "A king, of course, can writ whatever he likes," he added in jest, but it was a jest that held some truth. The arrival of the Duchess of Richmond meant that Francis never had an opportunity to answer the question about Lord Mountjoy' wife. He was almost happy for it! Speaking about another gentleman's lady wife was difficult terrain. He rose to her arrival and offered one of his (well-tutored by Buckingham) bows. "Are they to Your Grace's taste?" he asked. "A pair put up for the evening's game by my master the King. You should take my seat and play my next hand or all of my hands. Perhaps your luck will be greater than mine and you will be the victor of them this evening and thwart us both."
  3. "Perhaps it is," he replied to Dorset. "Though that would be a poor early showing, and he had seemed up for the task!" It seemed he was the only one who had stuck around over the last few years, so he was hopeful Chatham would prove up to the task. And the knock might suggest Chatham's arrival, and Francis turned to see the earl finally making his appearance. "Chatham, your tardy arrival means you get the honour of chugging a healthy mug of Rochester's ale. The current record is about fifteen seconds to down one. I swear Sedley has a hollow leg!" Francis informed the last of them to arrive with a knowing glance to seated company. "You are seriously behind!" Of course, Francis had not arrived much earlier, and no ales had been chugged that he had seen, but there was no way for Chatham to know that, and he could not really refuse without looking ridiculous.
  4. Francis Kirke

    Lyrical Persuasion | Wednesday, early afternoon

    "Good afternoon," He greeted with a smile. "It is a lovely day, and you are looking well." Having already given Sophia his congratulations, he allowed her to have the Duke's full attention for the moment. Francis had many of the same wonders as the duke to Sophia's prompt pregnancy with a man like Toledo, but he was not as experienced enough a courtier to speculate to the same lengths as Buckingham. In the end, he was content simply to think the child was Toledo's because it was the most sensible thing. "I do not need another bath today, so let us keep the fountain intact," Francis teased. "And my ears as well."
  5. "Yes, changing my surname would be a possibility, and could be done by one mechanism or another, true," Francis replied, arranging his cards. "And I would be honoured to carry my grandfather's name, but as it stands now to do so would be unfair and detrimental, perhaps, to Sir George. It is his name and family now, and whilst he might happily share it with me, my outranking of him would mean I would usurp him in its use, in a way. It is not right for me to steal that from him. It is not how we are. He shared everything with me for much of his life, and that one thing is his alone. He was gracious of his sister receiving a peerage in a peculiar way before him, in her maiden name, and my raising...so I would not deign to even suggest it." He heaved a sigh as Blount won another hand and then chuckled. "It is good I am not vain about my card playing acumen or luck, my lord, but I do think I am too vain to take a lady's family name." He considered this a bit deeper and then said with a grin, "Yes, I am entirely too vain for that." He could, of course, not say that it would wound him in a soulful way to continue a line that belonged to his true father and name it something different as well. If there was lauding to be done for the proliferation of a noble family, it would go to Francis Villiers or to no one, and the current Francis did not think anything could change his mind about that. Anything else seemed false to a memory of a man many people had loved. Then laughing at the thought of German sex-talk , Francis nodded. "I do not think many gentlemen got far with using Latin or Greek in such a way," he said, cheekily. "But I know swears in several languages. One for each port I've ever arrived into, at the very least! My German is pretty mediocre. Neither Lady Toledo nor Lady Dorothea succeeded in improving it over much in everyday conversation." He had said plenty of comical and nonsense things in his time with them, he was sure. His eyes turned to the pistols and nodded. It would seem that it likely Lord Mountjoy would be victorious at the end of their watch. "Alas, I cannot claim such lofty company in my fold!" He tittered
  6. "Remarkable for the shock of it, perhaps! Shall that be your reason for losing, Sedley? The ladies were too busy being shocked by your plainness draped in finery?" Francis knew that they were all aware of who Rowley was, but for some reason it seemed more apropos to include the alter-ego in the fun of the discussion. "Pah, you are far too intelligent to think if I owed Chatham a favor, my way of repaying it would be to lie about the King," Francis said with an amused huff. "Now I know you are desperate to rid some of the steep competition to put forth that idea!" At least Dorset complimented their joint beauty. "Must be our shared relation. And of you all, I thought you, cousin, would have enough vanity to stand on merit and prowess alone, but I suppose you have spent much of your time courting..." He tried not to titter with amusement. Merriweather made himself an easy target for everyone, so truly Francis felt no need to sally forth there, yet. Francis sat, leaning against the side of the chair loosely, "And if it's as shit as you say, whyever would I want to help drink it?"
  7. Francis nodded to the greetings, returning them in kind. He then laughed at Rochester and said, "Well, the King is certainly not under my coat!" He grinned and said, "You lot have sneaked him away far more often than I have." His Majesty, though, knew his friends oh so very well, and it made Kingston far more amused than Merriweather's comment merited. He could barely choke off his laugh long enough to reply. "What I know of His Majesty is that some gent called Rowley told him that you lot were threatened both by youth and beauty and wished to delay this reckoning. I shall leave you to decide which of us is which." Chatham, with one eye, could hardly be 'beauty' but he trusted one of them to put forth that case anyway. Francis always had a habit of poking fun at his own feminine prettiness before anyone else could think he was bothered by it. In truth, Chatham was probably not very much younger than most of them, and Francis just looked like the youngest member of any party despite being nearly thirty years of age. "His Majesty then advised you would go through any method possible to rid yourself of the best competition to save your coin." He made a circle indicating them all with his hand. "I am forewarned, then, gentlemen that you are not allowed to alter the rules and exclude Chatham. You're just afraid he's getting a last minute fuck in, and none of you thought of that!"
  8. Lord Mountjoy had very logical thinking, especially for one who was born into his place of nobility and had enjoyed it for some time. Francis, however, was in no normal situation. There was a long moment where he hummed in consideration. It could have been of his cards or over what he was to reply of carrying on the family name. "I think, there upon, you have hit the point squarely and solidly. I actually do not wish to pass on the Kirke name to any children, for as you feel of your uncle, I feel of Charles Kirke, and nothing of his name aided me in the very least in life or at court when I arrived. If anything, it made things considerably harder." Though his words bore a hatred in the cut, in a way dissimilar from Francis' usual bright manner of speaking, his face was impassive. "I would not wish anything of what could come of my blood or life to ever aggrandize his name, and certainly not for all posterity." For some reason, clearly, His Majesty agreed, for as Francis had earlier told Mountjoy, she was given her title in her maiden name. As the subject changed, Francis chuckled quietly and said, "And what manner of French are we speaking about?" He grinned, "His Grace will be chuffed to be yet known for such." With a slyness of smiled he added in very pretty French, "I speak both versions like a native speaker too." He had, after all, been born in France, so he had learned French alongside English and had spent much of his childhood in exile speaking a lot of French. His accent was better in French than his well-traveled English allowed. "Languages are useful when one's life has been spent at sea, and in Italy where I spent much of my sea-faring, the vast majority of curious tomes are in Latin, and certainly not French or English." The impact of which was that he read old or scholarly things, for most other things could be had in a language easier than Latin in many places. "Ours would have as well." Then he added, "My first year, my Latin was a little rough in all honesty." He explained with a soft gesture of hand, "The years of exile made for many years of catch up to where we should have been." As to his appointment, Francis said, "His Majesty encourages my intellectual endeavors. A shared interest of novel things. So though I did not ask for it, there was purpose in its gift, other than it having been His Grace's. I think the King finds my bookish side amusing, honestly, for it being unexpected." There were many things about their king himself that were unexpected, for any who knew how much time the man spent in his closet and what was in there, truly realized that a large part of their Merry Monarch was closeted away scientific tinkerer. It had been the first place Francis had a private audience with the King. "I say to your potential posting, that it would put us in competition if I am yet in my position then!" he kept his amusement down to a little rumble in his chest, not wishing to disrupt the sanctity of where they were or forget their duty in being there. In truth, he could converse and be vigilant. "But I do not shirk from competition, even when I am in my grey hairs." As to their discourse and attentions keeping the happiness of the royal couple, Francis had a feeling that His Majesty might have foreseen that all along. He was a monarch who wished his problems taken care of before inconveniencing him after all. "Of course." The King trusted the two of them with this duty and that was in agreement with keeping the royal marriage without unnecessary dramatics. His Majesty did not like tears and unhappy ladies and preferred to avoid those states. (OOC - that was a long one! I left out the last bit at the end since Francis zapped him with not wanting to carry on the name at all at the beginning in answer to another question.)
  9. Francis had not managed much sleep the last few days, but he could hardly not show up; and it was not his vanity that dictated it so, but rather that he was in on a ruse to please His Majesty. His own vanity might have survived being out-fucked and losing some coin! But he was on a mission for the King, as amusing a mission as it was. The blond usually traveled with a flask, but after Rochester's fun at Brighton, Francis was certain not to forget it. He had also brought a small bag of things to smoke should the company be up to it. And thusly, he arrived on horseback, back to his old neighborhood. He had lived, for a time, next to the now imprisoned Williamson, so he was familiar with the area. He found Rochester's abode in little time and considered, as he dismounted, whether or not Audley was already there. He walked up the house and waited to be admitted.
  10. Francis was not an easy gentleman to offend unless one was attempting it purposefully. There were some who saw offense around every corner, but Francis had a good enough conceit of himself to not feel belittled by being offered well-meaning advise. "Ah but one would need a marriage first, in order to need worry over children," he pointed out suavely, with a lifted finger, for he had just said he was not looking to marry. "I am excessively fond of pork pies, but only earlier the day when they are first out," he replied, with a grin. Francis agreed about the Duke of York, as he had alluded to earlier. King-making was a hobby of those sorts of republicans who had martyred the last king and plunged them all into more than a decade of darkness. It made sense then that such a thing appealed more to the Dutch than to the French. "I would not expect to hear anything different from two ardent royalists at cards." His eyed his next hand for a moment. "And the Duke of York has always been generous towards me, though many find him difficult." He could not particularly expound upon that for the largest generosity had been when York had been made privy to his secret along with the King and Buckingham which had been astoundingly surprising. "Of course," Francis replied, with a soft gesture of the hand for Mountjoy to continue with his question. He snorted when Mountjoy felt the need to explain his Latin. "Did you Oxfordians not have rules about speaking only in language of learning during academic hours? And a good portion of my modest library is in Latin." More seriously, he said, "His Majesty also trusts that I shall preclude the royal eye from wandering there and if need be remind him of his desire to leave the Queen's ladies to Her Majesty, so there is little problem in promising that I will do so here again." As to the rest of it, he added, "Are you suggesting that perhaps I should not advertise that I do not wish to marry, for it is better for the gallery to think me interested of my own accord than perusing for my master, the King?" Francis had never considered such a thing, but gossip was inventive and needed little truth to fuel it. As one of the King's gentlemen, he was well-aware that his actions with the fairer sex had more weight and meaning than the usual meaning, but as he had spent much of his time with Dorothea (who was nothing of the King's type), he had not contemplated what Mountjoy was expressing as a concern.
  11. Francis contemplated the other man's property strategy for both the profit and poetics of it. He was uncertain that making a place that was something of his own would give him a great attachment, but he supposed that would be true if he were in Mountjoy's situation. As he had discussed with Nicci earlier, he now felt that his attachment was much more related to the relationships housed in the place. A childhood of exile had given Francis perspectives that were not among those with whom he now shared space. "I suppose each peer curates an estate to pass on to his heir, but I would think one also must put one's mark upon what is passed on. I, for one, would not wish my mark to be yew trees," he added, with a chuckle. "But no matter what I might have, Lord Mountjoy, I doubt it shall ever be so old as to have worried about Richard III's sleeping habits." The bright rumble of his chuckle came softly again, "I think I shall leave the house-building to His Grace. I do not think even his generosity extends that far, but he might let me turn my sights to something...smaller." Or perhaps Francis just did not have large enough aspirations or simply could not get passed feelings of taking advantage, for after offering him Helmsley, the Duke might not have seen Francis wanting to spearhead building a duke-glorifying palace as in any way problematic! Francis had not internalized the grandeur. He allowed the emotion-laden topic of grandfather father-figures to pass, but he nodded his sentiment being the same. Francis had never known Charles Kirke beyond a handful of times their paths had crossed, and there had been nothing fatherly about it. Unsurprisingly. "Enough time spent around His Majesty simply makes it obvious that those in such positions may play an important role to State but not particularly one which His Majesty enjoys. If I had great ability in one of those areas, perhaps it would be worth navigating, but I am content with understanding and performing my current role well." He grinned and said, "I have long legs and rise with sea hours, so I am a preferred walking companion, and while I have far less reach than His Majesty, I am tall enough provide a stimulating sparring partner at rapier. And you here see my other skill, and I am not talking about cards, clearly." Which was that he was useful with the ladies. "Coin, I understand," he said, "I can agree with you that those who bring His Majesty coin enjoy his favor. Your own accomplishments speak to that in a grand way and are rightly deserved." Which was to say that even Francis understood that not all those that enjoyed royal favor brought much of anything to the table by which to be deserving. And he, himself, did not wish to be combined in with that lot. Nor did he see himself being awarded any grand titles. Not after His Majesty had just given his mother a title and accelerated him by Writ. It was difficult for him to think passed his current good fortune, even after the letter that had been found by his father to his mother. Francis said quietly, "I do not think that is the only reason, but if one wished to threaten not just His Majesty and the Queen but also ensure the Duke of York would never be accepted afterward, one might go about that in such a way. And with the Dutch being implicated in the plot, there is true concern that while fantastical in scope may be what is going on. If you wish any intricate understandings, my lord, I am not the one to provide answers. I only know that it seems Danby was prematurely making plans with courtiers foreign and domestic for what was to happen should anything befall the King in a desire to prepare to bypass the Duke of York against His Majesty's wishes. When Danby was caught moving counter to His Majesty's desire for religious toleration and had his monumental fall, a hornet's nest of intrigue was stirred up to a decapitating degree." And those who might be implicated in that sort of treason oft had little to lose.
  12. Francis might not yet be a political aficionado, for even Buckingham could only do so much in a year's time, but what he was skillful at understanding was entertainment and business; that was to say that the particulars of enhancing a forest which enhanced the land, which generally enhanced the employment and bustle of the entire locale, which was all rolled up in an entertaining sport provided more than a bit of studious interest for Kingston. "Perhaps I have spent too much of my time contemplating food forests rather than hunting forests," he considered aloud. "But the land in Kingston is not truly large enough, unless one wanted to hawk, and my estate in Staffordshire is too far to provide all the advantages of enhancement." Then, Francis considered, "I would wager His Grace has land of size far closer that he would be open to me turning my mind toward enhancing for posterity and his grandeur, though, especially as he enjoys all such outdoor sports and already spreads himself thin in his own pursuits." Buckingham offered quite a lot visibly to Francis, and all of what Francis felt he offered in his return was one skill Buckingham had never actively pursued: being very good with coin and growing it. And Buckingham had learned one thing about Francis when Francis had turned down being given the Duke's Helmsley; Francis was not about to steal from him when he would not accept that as a gift free and clear! "I would be honoured to be invited," he replied to the suggestion. "If you ever have taste for the salt air, I would be pleased to offer a day on my yacht or even one of my larger ships when they are a port." Then he added, "It is about time for another yacht race, I think, once all this business is over; perhaps the thrill of a water chase?" There was always room for spectators aboard, after all. "I grew up on such stories as well," Francis revealed. "Perhaps it is inappropriate candor, but it warms me to hear it. I find people do not oft speak of the dead, likely because emotional displays are a societal faux pas, but I miss him greatly. I am not ashamed to admit. I would not have had this life without him." It was hard to continue in such a way without one of said emotional displays, for while gifted with youthful looks most Villiers were known for very deep emotions. In fact, the major court descriptors of many of his family members bore that judgement, so it was no secret. So, Francis attended his cards, taking only one. It seemed as if he would win this hand unless Blount had extraordinary luck on his draw. Francis snorted with amusement as Mountjoy informed him that lack of knowledge was no barrier. "Perhaps it is a sense of self-preservation, but accepting such positions while simultaneously being a person of my already generous positions while clearly knowing very little usually does nothing other than get one labeled an upstart," he also said candidly and with much self-awareness. "Which makes many enemies. And I should woe any position which necessarily must bring His Majesty bad news frequently, especially about coin, for those are never popular personages with the King. Thus, I fear, there are no grand aspirations in the near future." By Francis' estimation, he had already achieved grand aspirations and was content. Beyond content in most ways. Greed and over-reaching was the stereotypical way of bastards, but it was simply not how Francis was made. Though now, it seemed, it was because he actually was not one that he was built with more nobility of character. "And no, His Majesty shan't let me wander the seas, true. But whether I had a position in the admiralty or not, my ships would still fight as they do now and did in the last war, because all that I have is at the disposal of His Majesty." He then chuckled. "That is originally why I came to court in the first place; I lost two ships in the last war and wished to recoup some of those losses beyond the baronetcy I had been given, for that hardly feeds the families of my crew, dead or alive." He smiled and said, "I have done far beyond what I had thought possible, so perhaps that is why I seem to lack further inspiration." As to the plot, Francis nodded. He knew a bit more than that and some of it he was at liberty to reveal to Mountjoy. "I think, my lord, that is the point or part of it; that this plot is also meant to reignite suspicion and action against English Catholics and against the French, for such things always weaken us from stronger interference in continental affairs. Since Her Majesty has progressed so far into pregnancy, the fever over Papists has quelled considerably and that does not suit many foreign parties...and domestic ones too, it seems."
  13. "You must be an impressive figure at the hunt with such a collection of game," Francis complimented. "Do I gather correctly that it is a passion of yours? You have thought on this with great detail. I confess, captaining a ship at sea does not oft allow the liberties of land-hobbies, though I partake here and there and was educated and experienced in such before choosing a life where the game more oft swims!" Francis' hand offered some hope, though he could have little idea that Mountjoy had a poor hand. The marquess was skillful in attempting to cover it. But Francis had failed enough at the point, he pursued his hopeful hand more ardently than he might usually, not wishing to lose another. His head tilted keenly as Mountjoy described a moose. Having not been so far to the north, he had never seen such a thing. "I have never laid eyes on such a beast myself, and wonder if that might be one of the tall tales men tell of their impressive doings, where everything gets larger and more fierce? Although, if it were true, I can imagine it could be done. I have arranged transport of horses on my ships previously, I bought one for the duke for a birthday, so large animals are little problem, but horses are tame. A moose would be expensive and very difficult I should think." Francis let out a snort of amusement at Mountjoy's proclamation of kinship and subsequent caveat. He tittered, "My lord, if one had to be responsible for the debts of any Villiers cousin, one would be broke rather quickly!" For the family was prolific in terms of cousins. "Legge cousins too, now that I think on it." The Colonel had more than a handful of still living siblings and even an aunt or two, so there were a number of cousins out there as well. "And you are very generous. Of course, I offer the same in return." Though his holdings were likely far less luxuriant by comparison. "I would not mind a position with the Admiralty, though I do not like to infringe upon Sir George. He has done far more than I to be worthy of such things. Besides, I am my own little admiral of sorts, for I do hold a Letter of Marque and have a few ships, so at war in command of my little flotilla, I am rather an admiral," he joked. "I am not yet much in full understanding of politics to be on the Board of Trade, but perhaps one day." He smiled and said honestly, "I have done well enough leaving it up to my master the King and His Grace, so I think keeping my own head from the mix not remiss as a stratagem if you are looking for one. He gave a nod as Mountjoy excused himself to do his business. Francis did not even think to cheat at their game whilst he was gone, instead he looked about the room but saw nothing amiss.
  14. "I have an estate in Staffordshire that I never see, and my lady mother has the house in Kingston," Francis revealed easily enough as he examined his cards and considered his hand. "I am sure my elder family felt such a way, having experienced an estate and the responsibility of its tenant before exile, but I did not know such a thing personally until I was of eleven years. Then off to school." "I can say that I well understand the weight of being responsible for the lives of many dozens of families of those who have served on my ships. My decisions made from leagues away on paper have consequences for many, positive and negative, who are risking their lives." Mountjoy easily took him in the cards department on that hand. Nothing could be done for it. He chuckled. Talk of humility made him blush some in his youthful way, despite being no youth at all. "If I were such a man and the title had been long-standing, my lord, I would agree with you, for you yourself have proven such a thing honorable and acceptable. Mine is glaringly new and not even given to me but to my lady mother. I assure you it is not humility when I say that the lady is too far above me, nor is it some fear of being labeled an over-reaching upstart, but it is simple truth. Were I her brother, I would not consider myself. My thoughts on the lady have little place in the entire matter, but my thought is that she could do far better than I, and I would not wish to keep her from it." The game continued on as they chatted. "And no, there are no shepardesses n my closet," he added with a lopsided grin. "But, no, I do not wish to marry any time soon, though I shall be of thirty years before another year passes." He tucked a curly blond lock back behind his shoulder, but it slid back up against the side of his face a few beats later when he glanced at the cards. "When I first arrived my situation was very different and my desires very simply, but that changed exceedingly quickly. I never foresaw either His Majesty or His Grace having much interest in me, so I am content to let my course be steered for me as now," he confessed candidly. "There are many things I need learn before I chart my own course." "Ah, yes, the Kirke name. More that I had to work to disassociate myself from a very bad reputation attached to being a Kirke, but it is less a sea anchor when you are called instead by your title, so I supposed His Grace had already done a considerable job in separating me from it. My lady mother goes by her maiden name; it was so named by His Majesty on her Letters Patent when he gave her Kingston, so it was - in effect - scrubbed out entirely for her." His Majesty had a habit of doing as he pleased in such matters...he had also purposefully "ignored" Mall remarrying so that she remained a royal duchess. His royal master had a soft spot for women. Francis raised a brow as Mountjoy expounded upon his relatives and their interrelations with ease. He had thought he had previously told Lord Mountjoy that Colonel Legge was his grandfather, who had raised him. He could not help the amused snort that exited. "Sir George and I were raised together our whole lives, he is my lady mother's younger brother, but we are very close in age so are more brothers ourselves. Our other brother is my business partner. We all did our first service in the second war together on our cousin's ship too." They had shared exile, schooling, university, and their early naval service together. "I do not know the other two well, if at all. I have come across Lord Beverley in my conversations with his master the Prince." He chuckled some. "Are you certain you wish sibling rivalry on your ride, my lord?" Being that Mountjoy had spoken on Heneage Finch being like a brother before, he assumed the other man knew precisely the sort of hijinks to men could get up to who were that close. (OOC - I tried to get most everything in here in response. I hope I didn't miss anything!)
  15. Francis chuckled at Nicci's words. Little did he know that he was truly fortunate to have gotten Sophia settled when he did. It was probably better that he did not know he current exploits and what that might mean of her child. "She had been terrified of water," he said. "She would have gotten here, but it would have been highly unpleasant for all the rest of us!" He could jest about it now that it was over and the lady in question not there to hear him. Laughing at her joke, Francis nodded, "Leaving chapel early is always His Grace's goal if possible." He continued chuckling. Buckingham was far from devout. He did what he must and made enough appearances to not be branded an atheist or against the state religion, but he was habitually sacrilegious. "I will head down to meet him," Francis said, reaching for her hand with the intent to give it a kiss before he left. Buckingham had just entered the foyer and was walking in, shedding layers like a snake, when Francis came to the bottom of the stairs. The duke informed him that the Queen had retired early, the King along with, and that Francis was likely going to mount vigil in the Queen's apartments for the foreseeable future. With the utmost of seriousness, Buckingham said to him, "Now is one of those times, Francis, where you do not hesitate to use the King's words if it is required. I know you think that lofty, but that is a duty of your position." Francis could tell the duke would rather it not come to that. He knew Francis well enough to know that using the King's authority seemed far beyond him. It was advise he would heed if need be, just like he had heeded the duke's word to be true to his ability when he had sparred rapiers with the King. Francis had not grown up with the necessary egotistical vanity!
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