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Charity Begins at Church 25/12


Blackguard
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The Christmas Ball would start in a few hours but the Queen was not looking forward to it. Never the one to enjoy the dazzle of court and its libertine ways, the Queen agreed to regular appearances as an acknowledgement of duty.

 

It was another duty of court that intrigued her at the moment. She sat by the fire as her closest advisor, Ursula Blount, sat knitting nearby.

 

"I think your Majesty's idea is excellent. Use the holidays to get peoples' minds off war, Catholic plots, and libertine outrages. Your voice calling for charity is one that no one can fail to heed, especially if you follow my advice."

 

"You are the clever one Ursula. Asking courtiers to come forward in church to show their piety and charity shall pressure them to do so in a way that no other approach might. Shall I brandish a white book and seem to be writing names in it and a black book likewise?" she laughed.

 

"No need," Ursula laughed in return. It was good to see Karoline in better spirits and less bothered by the worries that plagued her young mind. "Everyone in church shall be keeping score."

 

"Go then and tell Lucy, Susan and Davina that they shall arrive an hour before service so that they might greet as many lords and ladies as possible arriving, to remind them of Christmas charity and the need to help the poor. Let it be a competition among them, with the winner receiving that amber brooch of mine."

 

"You mean the one you are tired of?" Ursula laughed.

 

"Yes, the Count that gave it to me was a pig. I should have given it away years ago."

 

"It shall be done then. So, they shall tell courtiers that they can go to the front of the church when you call for charity, and light a candle to honor their commitment? Five hundred pounds is it?"

 

"Do you think I could get away with more?"

 

"Possibly, but 500 is no small amount. Perhaps we can concoct something different at New Years Day. The feast may give new opportunities," Ursula offered with a secretive smile.

 

"Indeed."

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