Saturday, February 23, 2008

M. le Marquis se prépare pour la bataille..

On arrival at the old schloss that was to be our headquarters in the small town of Seligenstadt, I found myself greeted by the very worthy M. Le Chevalier Gaston St. Valery de Brouiller, my adjutant, who had been tasked to see that the defences on the east bank of the Main River were manned and in a state of readiness.

M. le Chevalier was a conscientious and efficient man, and the sword of his family had been in the service of the Bouillon-Cantinats for generations. I much regretted the news of his recent passing. It is said that he had succumbed to a virulent fever whilst on passage to New France, where he was to serve on the staff of the esteemed M. de Montcalm.

After we had exchanged all due pleasantries and felicitations,
he related to me that the men stood ready to perform their duty for Crown and Country, and that should it cost them all their lives, the enemy would find the price of their sacrifice a dear one indeed.

T
his gallant officer then proposed that the moment would soon be on hand when we should ride out and confront the approaching foe (indeed, the sounds of drums and trumpets could be heard in the distance towards Dettingen, even over the din created by the disheartened and leaderless wretches who filled the streets of Seligenstadt.

I replied that we would take our posts in good time, but that I was a loyal Servant of God as well as of our esteemed M. le Roi. Thus in my capacity as Prince Ecclesiastical and Bishop of St. Vignobles, I would first conduct a Mass to pray to the Almighty and to the Holy Mother that the upcoming struggle would be a victorious one-should it so ordained- for our arms, and that the souls of those destined to fall would find Peace, and thereafter sleep secure in the bosom of Abraham.

That, and that the evenings contest of arms would bring Glory and Honour to the House of Bouillon-Cantinat.

In war, one must attend to the nourishment of the soul as well as that of the body. Arrangements were prepared for the former, and thus Mass was to be held in the small, yet rather splendid chapel of the schloss in which we were billeted.

As for more corporeal nourishment, I had first to apply my efforts to a few bottles of a quite memorable Château Margaux '21, along with a most delectable venison brioche that had been prepared by a very able chef on the establishment of the unhappy M. le Duc du Grammont.

The enemy could wait.

The battle should be fought this weekend, God- and the wife- willing!

Photo of an old, "tarted up" Schrieber card castle I bought years ago and which I finally got around to putting together last year.
M. Le Chevalier de Brouiller is greeting the Marquis- this is a Front Rank miniature from my collection. The picture is not satisfactory; my cellphone camera does not handle depth very well. Let's just imagine that M. le Marquis has already been hard at work on that bottle of Château Margaux!

Yesterday I decided to order a selection of those splendid Richard Ansell-designed French infantry from Frank Hammond at
Minden Miniatures. I have been looking at these for a while, and finally took the plunge. They do not look as though they will match with my Front Rank figures, but if kept in separate units they should be fine- a consistent paint job can make a big difference.

I will need to live with a certain difference in sculpting style anyway, once my Dutch War of the Austrian Succession infantry and cavalry arrive from Eureka miniatures later this year. This is going to be a BIG year for my 18th Century collection!

3 comments:

Stokes Schwartz said...

Hi Robert,

I'm enjoying your blog a lot so far. Happy to hear you've got some new figures on the way too.

Best Regards,

Stokes Schwartz

Robert Swan said...

Thanks for the comments! I am certainly enjoying working on it (although it does eat into precious painting time!)

I'm really looking forward to getting those Minden Miniatures- I'm pretty sure they will work their way up to the front of the painting queue.

Bluebear Jeff said...

Me too. I'm enjoying the slightly different approach of the "personal account". Please keep it up.


-- Jeff of Saxe-Bearstein