Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Sangfroid Saga

Without much ado, let us return to another instalment of the memoirs of His Grace, Louis-Baptiste Sardanapalus Bouillon-Cantinat, 10th Marquis de Sangfroid, Comte de Roué. Chevalier of the Order of the Golden Stirrup, and Hereditary Prince Ecclesiastical of the Bishopric of St. Vignobles.

"As the years march inexorably forward, and the frailty of the body weighs upon mere mortals as does a stout anchor restrain a great ship of the line in the strongest gale, what greater pleasure can advancing years hold than enjoying a bottle of fine claret, a game of chance with with elegant and witty company, and the sun shining warmly down upon our cherished coterie as we take our ease in the chateau gardens, accompanied by the gentle sounds of the mighty Rhine as it flows by the splendid lands of St. Vignobles?

Such was the contentment that I felt this warm and languid afternoon, that I am again tempted to take up the quill and, should it be the will of the Almighty, continue my account of those tumultuous yet glorious days. Days that saw our beloved monarch in his youth, ably assisted at the helm of state and war by such celebrated luminaries as the M. de Saxe. And, if I may say it, by a host of loyal subjects such as myself, eager and willing to give all for the Duty and Honour of France.

Amongst my cherished guests this day was that most worthy gentleman, M'Lord Henry Fetlock-Nosebridle, Lord Withers. Always fond of a generous meal and fine wine- and a daunting opponent at vingt-et-un- he is currently given to some degree of stoutness and is afflicted with gout. Yet in his youth he had the physick of an Apollo, and was one of the most celebrated horsemen in Europe.

While fate ordained that we were to serve our respective masters on opposite sides of the bloody meadows of war, he always behaved with great courage and with the honour and dignity due to a man of high station. We have always remained firm friends, despite having crossed swords on a number of occassions in the battles that ebbed and flowed over the unfortunate Flanders plain.

Having paid me the felicitations due to my astute choice of wine with which to accompany our dish of braised pheasant and aubergines, he happened to remark on the fine quality of the porcelain from which we were dining, and enquired as to its provenance.

"Ah," said I; "For that we have to thank my old rival and implacable foe; a man who coveted the fertile lands of St. Vignobles relentlessly, a ruthless and determined fellow who gave me reason for much apprehension concerning the future and security of my house. Of course, I refer to none other than Hertog Karel-Willem van Tippelkranken, the Stadtholder of Nassau-Knijperbrug."

My old companion and I settled into our armchairs, and I called for brandies and clay pipes as I began to relate my tale..."


Frankfurter said...

Quite interesting stuff.
Have you posted your site on the Yahoo group for K.K.?
I probably didn't go far enough to see photos of your battles ... which would have been nice to see in a larger scale ...

Robert said...

How exciting can pictures of unpainted miniatures be? : (

While I have been painting some 18th Century minis, i do not have all that many- the battles I have fought have through necessity had a fair amount of naked lead and proxied figures. This should change over time- I'm working on a unit of Swiss right now- and then when I can hold my head up high I will take (carefully staged!) photos.

I still need to do the write-up for the Seligenstadt battle, but as a scenario it needed a lot of tweaking.

Bluebear Jeff said...


I certainly appreciate the 'atmosphere' which you create in this post . . . it is delightfully Eighteenth Century.

Thank you.

-- Jeff

Robert said...

Thanks, Jeff, I really appreciate the comment.

It is fun to do, and I like to turn my hand at a bit of long-winded language! I live in Japan as you know, and while my wife's English is really quite good, most of my time I have to keep my language simple and straightforward.

This blog is a good opportunity for me to indulge in a bit of creative pomposity and long-windedness!

And the nobility of Europe in the Eighteenth Century were indeed a very literate bunch (for the most part, that is...).