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Blackguard

Privy Council
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  1. Blackguard

    A Good Friday Morning Constitutional (April 8)

    "A gift from God surely," the King replied to Anne's pronouncement. "What of poets then that do not rhyme? Are they true poets, or would you judge their work prose instead?" There was little time to reflect on that as Mountjoy had canine capers in mind, A stick was thrown and the massive dog went after it. Some of the spaniels noted the game and went yipping after it, to the chagrin of the royal dog master, who liked to imagine that he had his canine children in some sort of order. Other spaniels went on with their business of clearing a path and sniffing for suspicious scents. Bran came back with the stick, as expected. The King merely watched with a hint of amusement, slowing his step temporarily. It was Ablemarle that spoke up. "That mastiff offers no chance for the King's pets." May kept his silence, knowing better than to say anything that might offend anyone.
  2. Blackguard

    Performance Anxiety | Sunday after dinner

    Esteban was sitting at his desk, correspondence growing on his desk. His cipher book in hand, he was writing a coded message for Madrid. Looking up, he saw Sophia enter. They had been quiet during the meal, so he wondered whether she wished to speak to him about something private or just wanted to be in his company.
  3. Blackguard

    A Good Friday Morning Constitutional (April 8)

    The second limerick was even better than the first, which brought an approving nod from the King. "Duly noted," he offered with a pleasant chuckle. She might be one to keep around his retinue. Although immodest, she fit in well with the oversized egos of a pampered class. "My lady, where do you come by this skill?" the King asked. Ladies had many skills but few were so gifted with poetry. Small wonder that she had met the Merry Gang. Would they be jealous or intrigued by such a creature? The King would learn soon enough, posing awkward questions to Dorset when he saw him next. "Did either of your parents have this talent?"
  4. There was no letter or note attached. Inside the small box wrapped in brown paper was a brown bottle with perhaps eight ounces of liquid therein, with a cork stopper.
  5. Blackguard

    Plots with Pepys | 7th late afternoon

    "Now there is why I content myself with Navy business as opposed to politics. I had not considered that at all," he confessed in a flattering way. "None of the men that have approached me so far are from ... quality families. Most are captains or first mates from higher rated ships that lost their positions to drunkenness and are looking to prove themselves. There are some that are sons and brothers of merchants. One says he's the cousin of the Lord Mayor, and I think he is. I can have the list delivered to you tonight."
  6. Blackguard

    A Good Friday Morning Constitutional (April 8)

    It was harmless and amusing, so the King offered a smile. "Are we to take it that is your own assessment of your choral skills?" It was possible that this was just a popular limerick in that far away land of Jamaica. "If so, would it be wise to be so forthright about it?" he laughed. Perhaps she was a poor singer, as she claimed. In such a case, perhaps if she were drunk, it might be musing to hear how bad she might perform. Surely she could not be so bad as that. "I suppose people should not ask you to sing then," Ablemarle observed aloud without any particular reason to do so other than to not be silent. "Why sing when one can compose poetry so well?" May added, to flatter the Countess further. "Anything else that you should warn us about yourself my lady?" the King inquired with a hint of mischief. What sort of person professed weaknesses so openly unless there was a purpose behind it?
  7. Blackguard

    A Masonic Moon | Thurs Midnight-Fri early AM

    Buckingham assured his nephew that his early arrival had been merely the vanity of prolonging the moment. He was also pleased with the medallions as commemorations of his grandeur. It was a milestone to note. Rupert respected Francis as an experienced man of the sea with measure of success, unlike the so many toadies that frequented the palace. Yet the imposing German had different thoughts about Buckingham and his grand ego. One could admire what he had accomplished surely but the new grandmaster was so convinced of his own cleverness, intellect, and destiny that Cumberland could not help but feel a rivalry. They were not enemies but they kept to their own camps. The rest of the unmasked men were high nobles and men of science, gathered by the tradition, knowledge and mysticism that the Order provided. There were conversations of the uncertain future and the role that the Masons would play in the days to come. A large silver key was pressed into the hand of Buckingham. It unlocked a room of a secret place accessible only by the grandmaster of the Order. The Duke, like an expectant child, grinned at the exclusivity of the opportunity, For the man that had everything, he now held a key that could provide answers he harbored about the history of the Order. He was resolved to open whatever tome or parchment might be sealed away.
  8. Blackguard

    A Good Friday Morning Constitutional (April 8)

    "Here here," May declared as encouragement. The King smiled at the serious Mountjoy's wit. "None would mistake you for our Lord Rochester, and that would be for the best we think." Ablemarle could think of nothing witty and declared "yes, proceed."
  9. Blackguard

    Plots with Pepys | 7th late afternoon

    "Precisely!" Pepys replied enthusiastically. "Sixth rate ships and crippled higher rated vessels could bring us a dozen or more new captains and their gratuities." It seemed an inspired plan to add some meaningful coin. Finding interested parties would not be difficult, but he paused to ask "does his Highness have some favored candidates in mind?" The Admiral would have the right to fill whichever ships and captains first. Those remaining would be left to the Naval Secretary. As he awaited an answer, Samuel looked to refill the wine glass if the lord planned on staying. There might well be another matter Lord Beverley wished to discuss.
  10. Blackguard

    A Good Friday Morning Constitutional (April 8)

    May was content to play his role, which was never to overstage the King. He was reluctant to be the lead actor, preferring instead to support. As for Barbados, it was a sight the King would never see. A monarch could not make such a voyage. Being King offered great freedom while, at the same time, great restraint. Other than the Three Kingdoms and the capitals of the Continent, he was not likely to ever explore exotic places. "It sounds delightful," the King responded. "We should never wish to hear a pirate sing, methinks," he continued with a smile. Now Anne was offering another bawdy rhyme. He had guessed incorrectly that she would take the challenge of rhyming Swansea. "Well, if none of the gentlemen present object, you have our invitation." It would be interesting to note how vulgar the offered language might be.
  11. Blackguard

    Plots with Pepys | 7th late afternoon

    "Oh I am certain there is no shortage of demand," Pepys was quick to clarify. "I too receive such correspondence." "We shall put it to the test then. Perhaps we might also consider elevating the importance of some small coastal defense vessels. For example, we have six four gun ketch-rigged vessels , and other sixth-rate vessels. Perhaps there might be interest in those too?"
  12. Blackguard

    A Good Friday Morning Constitutional (April 8)

    It was indeed a test. The King had expected Anne to arrive with an arsenal of prose to praise him. May had praised her as clever; that she had bested Dorset. No one bested Dorset unless he wished it so, the King determined. It would be best to put her to a more challenging test because Dorset would compose a limerick in a minute or so, without the benefit of many drafts. As for the bawdy, the King was concerned about appearances, even though he was widely known as the Merry Monarch. One must wear a serious mask at times. This was especially true when making an acquaintance. The Countess had presumed that he wanted something merry in the morning. It was best to meet presumption with the unexpected. No king wished to be predictable. The lady composed three limericks and tied them together, unified with praise of May. The Privy Purse did, in fact, blush. "Bravo my lady. Well composed. Our Privy Purse is a remarkable man surely. However, his stature is otherwise small so We worry that, if his head is too large that it will cause him to fall over." It was a friendly jest to one of his intimates. "I hardly recognize the man she describes," May declared in humility. "However, I now know someone who might be willing to pen a letter of reference for me ... other than Your Majesty of course." The King smiled and turned his attention back to Anne. "Dorset must wonder why his ears are ringing so early in the morning.," he jested. "You should be glad that we did not ask you to compose a limerick about the city of Swansea, a much more difficult word to rhyme," he offered.
  13. Blackguard

    Plots with Pepys | 7th late afternoon

    Despite the excuse for untidiness, Pepys tarried to straighten two stacks of papers on his desk before pouring wine for his guest. His attention shifted to the purpose of Beverley's visit. Finances was an ever present concern to the Navy. There was never enough coin. The idea was floated about selling commissions for crippled vessels. "An excellent idea milord," Samuel was quick to compliment. The idea likely originated with Prince Rupert which meant it was brilliant unless otherwise proven. "yet, we would be limited to wealthy applicants, as they would need the coin to purchase the commission and repair the ship." It would likely mean it would be the sons of wealthy merchants and nobility. "No harm in trying. We can find the least able and hope the war ends just as the ship is at full strength." He gave a chuckle.
  14. Blackguard

    A Good Friday Morning Constitutional (April 8)

    "Our Archbishop would not look kindly on the pagan Dane traditions of our ancestors Lord Mountjoy," the King offered in humorous retort. "Though the image is stirring." Though one might question the veracity of Lady Cambray, the King was not of a mind to do so. "Barbados is a land of wonder or so we are told. It is odd to find aristocracy so far afield." She offered a limerick with a Hobson's choice. "A bawdy rhyme is more for 1 am than 5 am we think. Our modesty prevents us for soliciting a rhyme about our royal person, so we would appreciate a rhyme about your companion Bab. Our privy purse is a man like no other, surely providing sufficient clay to construct suitable?" May shook his head, knowing the King was toying with him for introducing Anne.
  15. Blackguard

    Plots with Pepys | 7th late afternoon

    Pepys has a small army of clerks at his disposal. It was a senior one that greeted Rupert's aide. "Good afternoon milord." Upon hearing that he wished to see Pepys, the man asked indulgence and absented himself to learn whether his employer was available. The answer was obvious. One was always available to the High Admiral and his aide. "Right this way," the clerk offered as he led Robert back to the wood paneled office occupied by Samuel Pepys. "My lord welcome," the short man offered as he took to his feet from behind ledgers and papers that overtook his desktop. "Please pardon the mess. If I had known you would be avisiting, this unsightly mess would have been rectified. How might I serve you? Some wine perhaps?"
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