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Long May He Reign, Part the Thirty-Seventh: Porphyria's Lover
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2006-06-28 16:32:26 UTC
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Long May He Reign, Part the Thirty-Seventh: Porphyria's Lover

The rain set early in to-night,
The sullen wind was soon awake,
It tore the elm-tops down for spite,
And did its worst to vex the lake:
I listened with heart fit to break.
When glided in Porphyria; straight
She shut the cold out and the storm,
And kneeled and made the cheerless grate
Blaze up, and all the cottage warm;
Which done, she rose, and from her form
Withdrew the dripping cloak and shawl,
And laid her soiled gloves by, untied
Her hat and let the damp hair fall,
And, last, she sat down by my side
And called me. When no voice replied,
She put my arm about her waist,
And made her smooth white shoulder bare.
-Robert Browning

Birmingham, August

The low-lying area known as The Froggery, where George Mayer lived, was
a swampy place that often smelled of brimstone; it contained
Birmingham's Jewry, those Sephards who had fled Iberia for the
Netherlands and thence to Britain, after Cromwell had opened the
Protectorate to them, and those, like George's forebears, who had
come later, after the ascent of the Elector of Hannover, George, to the
Throne of Great Britain. Though his people had been rewarded for their
loyalty against the Jacobite Pretender with the Jew Bill after the
Forty-Five, the Sephards had abjured religion in large numbers, so
their children would not suffer such oaths that were obligatory to the
believing Sons of Abraham.

George had taken that oath when he had joined the Army, though many of
his cousins had felt more than a passing taste for the French Emperor,
who had offered Jews more than the British King.

The Severn Street Synagogue had been opened while he was still a boy.
He had come home from the Great War to be married there, and his
children had had their brises there. The Catholic Emancipation Act had
risen the hopes of British Jewry, like him, who had wished to forgo the
unpleasantness of such oaths without foregoing the faith of their
fathers-to be both a member of the Hebrew nation, and the British
one. Its failure, and the arrival of soldiers were not reassuring to
the Germanic Jews, who had stood fast in their faith as the Sephards
had wavered-George recalled, amusingly, the attempts of Lewis Way and
David Weaver, to bring him to Christianity. [1]

Leaving the Synagogue on the Sabbath was now less an opportunity to
converse freely with his neighbors, than for he and his neighbors to
watch the yeomen militia anxiously. They were rough sons of uncouth
farmers, who, as members of the Established Church, no more sympathized
with Jews than Papists.[2] The violence in Ireland, and the destruction
of Parliament had turned already cold relationships practically Artic
in their nature.

This problem was further agitated that The Froggery, though not an
official ghetto, bordered on the less respectable parts of
town-Jewish money had made The Froggery respectably middle class,
though not fashionable-but their neighbors were ignorant workers, who
had, of late, lost their jobs and gone wanting. The Quakers, in league
with their Jewish counterparts-the Hebrew Philanthropic Society-fed
and clothed those who had gone wanting. Few Christians were pleased to
take Jewish clothes and food, so Jewish goods were often distributed by
the Quakers or the Methodists.

But the Quakers had been arrested for refusing the absurd Loyalty Oath.
Those of the Established Church were glad to see them go, hoping to
fall upon their properties and their businesses, but the Jews knew
better. When the Non-Conformists were being arrested en masse, it was
hardly a good time for the Jews. And their Christian neighbors made
sure that George and his family knew it.

In the early years of Jewish settlement in Birmingham, when George's
father was a child, Christian children of a particular temperament had
often invaded The Froggery to harass its residents-a particularly
vivid incident wherein they had tripped Mrs. Cantas, breaking her
ankle, had prompted George's father to become a Pugilist later in
life, but many Jews knew better than to confront Christian violence
with violence-it would surely bring down an Inquisition, or worse,
their expulsion.

Jews milled about here and there, speaking to their neighbors and
friends in turn, enjoying the company of their co-religionists, under
the watchful eye of the soldiers, who stood both on horseback and on
foot, as if they expected the crowd of Jews to pick their pockets,
circumcise them, and kill their King, whatever the Jews had actually
done for Great Britain.

Beyond the soldiers lay a great mass of unemployed men who had little
to do save wander about the city, having spent pennies on gin, to drown
their disappointment and their hunger, starving their families. They
were unpleasant men, their clothes in ill-repair and their manners of
ill-repute, they often heckled their Jewish neighbors on the Sabbath,
but only with words, which many had long since learned to ignore.

Milling at the edge of the crowd were a half-dozen new arrivals from
Russian Poland, lucky enough to escape through Prussia and Sweden, but
having made themselves paupers in the process of arriving in Great
Britain. Their clothes threadbare and their gloves thin, the women
dressed in last year's worn out fashions. All had the sallow,
hopeless look of those who had escaped the vicious Cossacks and the
Secret Police that the Tsar used to maintain law and
order-occasionally by encouraging a riot or requiring a donation, at
the length of a cavalry saber, from his Jewish community.

Near them were two particularly unpleasant Gentiles, Bill Sikes and
Martin Davies, who had been sneak-thieves and housebreakers for some
time since they had stopped working. Both large, brutish men, they had
once been pugilists, given the lumpen nature of their noses, but had
not found employ as guards or resurrection men, let alone something as
exulted as the Gentile footmen that George employed to work on the
Sabbath for him, in their fashionable coats and high boots, who were
making their way from his carriage to aid his mother, whose arthritic
knees and cataracts hampered her progress.

Though George did not hear the first words exchanged, he heard Bill
Sikes cry out, " 'e picked me pocket!" The crowd stirred, as did
the other indigents lying about in the midday sun. Both began to gather
toward their respective sides, with George and his burly footmen, James
Alton and Jason Tobbit, on either side of his mother.

George, in his fashionable plum waistcoat and top hat stepped forward,
"Sir," he placed one hand upon Bill's clenched fists, which were
aimed upon the face of the shaken, aged peddler from Warsaw. As an
alien, he could be deported. "I assure you that if you are wronged in
this matter, justice will be done."
"O'course the bloody filffy Jew took it, I seen it wiv me own mince
pies" Martin Davies hissed, aiming a fist at George.
"Mind your temper." George said coolly, gripping his cane firmly,
he gestured toward his barrel-chested, ox-shouldered footmen. With
this, he turned to the peddler, and in his measured dialect of German
and Hebrew, he asked the man if he had taken anything.
The peddler, one arm around his wife, her moth-eaten shawl showing much
of her hair, put the other hand over his heart and spoke, "I have
taken nothing from these men." He repeated it, shaking with fear.
George might not be a member of the Council, but he was well-known
throughout the community-this man sold his trinkets and tin pots near
George's jewelry shop frequently.
George turned back to inspect Billy and Martin. "I'm not afraid of
yer, Jew." Martin replied, as if challenged as George looked him
over.
George's eyes narrowed, "You should be."

For a moment, as the crowds gathered, and the soldiers watched, all
things seemed to stop, and hover over George Mayer, his footmen, and
the two ne'r-do-wells.

With almost impossible slowness, Billy moved to strike the peddler's
wife. Though no pugilist himself, George had been gone for a soldier,
and though not a gentlemen, knew how to make use of a sword. And with a
soldier's swiftness, his walking stick cut the air, smashing down
onto Billy Sike's elbow, shattering it.

Martin moved to counter, but George's footmen countered first. James
Alton caught Martin with ease, and made him regret that he had drunk
rotgut before noon.

With a dancer's grace, Jason Tobbit interposed himself between his
master and the would-be villains.

Then, like rats to rotted meat that lay out in the summer sun, their
fellows gathered, and surged toward the Jew that had hit one of their
number. There was a rather high number of veterans among the Jews of
Birmingham, and furthermore Birmingham was famous to any number of
Jewish pugilists, both past and present, including the Hebrew Hammer,
Mordechai Carver, and men whose dealings were less than entirely
honest. Though of course it was the Sabbath, and none wore a sword or
pistols, the advancing mob of unemployed Gentiles was hardly the threat
that required a hangar. English mobs, unlike their Continental
counterparts, quickly assembled and dissolved as quickly.

Or they had, before Parliament had burnt to the ground. June the 23rd
had changed everything-in that noxious midsummer moment, all that was
England was upended. Now, for the second time, those changes would be
acutely felt.

For as much as the jobless, drunk, and hungry cutpurses hated the Jews,
and pummeled Jew and Jewess alike, they had little love for their
fellow countrymen, who wore the uniform, and had shuttered the
soup-kitchens and the charities when they had taken the Quakers away to
Winson Green five weeks ago, and enforced the curfew, emptying the
gin-dens and public houses. And had slaughtered them like field mice
upon St. Peter's Fields. The working man may be slow of mind and dull
of hand, but he had a long memory, most of all those that had done
wrong to him.

As the yeomen came to, sabers drawn, aback their well-fed horses,
compared to the wives and children who coughed blood or whose ribs ran
through-these horses were fat from oats and hay and sugar-one
caught a woman, Bertina Fenns, across the face with his saber. She
fell, bleeding, and the mob, increasingly commingled with the Jews,
turned to the sons of rich farmers, in their fancy uniforms of shining
brass and soft leather.

Men who had worked on making the Iron Bridge before the Joseph Pease
was packed off, old Red Legs who had fought at Waalern and Malaga, as
big and strong as drought horses, encircled a yeomen and frightened the
horse, who bucked, tossing loose his rider, whom they instantly fell
upon. Fritz Macdonough, who had ridden his father's sway-backed mare
before working in the factory, grabbed the saber and climbed atop the
horse, while the dagger and pistols were handed about and loaded. Some
peeled off and smashed their way into Jewish shops, but enough knew
their task, and Marcus rode with the elegance of a sack flour, toward
Gawain Palliser, who was thinking upon the pentacle he wore, given to
him by Sarah Decker of Hautdesert, his fiancé, to remind him, as
Solomon, of his knightly obligations.

Stirred from his reverie, he drew his saber and did charge. As he
struck Marcus', he did not carve his head from his body, with three
strokes or one, but run him, through, and Marcus, the poor farmer's
son, was done.

It was with this incident, not the fight with the Jews of The Froggery,
that the mob and riot did rise up throughout the city like mushrooms
after a spring rain in Yorkshire. Those yeomen of the militia who had
been sent to keep order could no more hold back the tide of violence
could Canute could hold back the tide.

So up and down the streets and thoroughfares of Birmingham, the
violence spread, through gin-dens and public houses, through alleyways
and worker's hovels, to the gates of the great smoke-blenching
factories, that would not be smashed down-all who could approach were
shot by the guards who kept watch for their masters, rich lords in
country houses. This was all to the pleasure of Jack Wilde, who had
made himself the chief thief-taker of Birmingham, whose forces and
abilities were legion-from whores to actresses and corrupted bankers,
he ran much of Birmingham's crime. It was the arrival of the
soldiers, and their thorough policing of his streets, their bright
lamps that turned dark and dangerous streets into bright safe places at
night, from which nothing could escape their sight-and thus, many of
Jack's better lieutenants lay in Winson Green-not rotting, mind, as
the turnkey had long since entered Gregory's pocket for some few
pounds a month, but nonetheless locked up. Those that were Irish were
bound to be Transported, or peach him to save their own necks from
hanging.

Thus, Gregory's last lieutenant, Arnold Quilt, was turned loose. He
assembled a proper rabble of cutthroats, cutpurses, and their painted
ladies, who brought with them those who were drunk, on gin or on the
power of their mass-funneling them down streets by threat and force,
or by the scent of their cheap perfume.

In the dying rays of the sun, within the sights of Winson Green, Arnold
rose, held up by stevedores who offered off a cut of spices from the
East Indies and of sables from America, and spoke, gesturing toward the
prison, with his good hand, "Take them now, I'm 'ere as I am!" he
bawled, "Pull them close, right, make 'em understand!" he
demonstrated, strangling the invisible man in the air in front of
him-the mob cheered as if it were a Punch and Judy show-"We work
all day in the chuffin' hot sun, so stay wiv me now till the chuffin'
mornin' comes! Come on now, try and understand the bloomin' way
they'll feel wen they're in us hands!" The mob roared its
approval at the thought of getting its hands on these. They held a
motley collection of rusted weapons, those take from the militia, and
those that were makeshift, the table legs and broken chairs taken from
pubs and gin-dens.

The stevedores and pretty whores, as one, trilled to the mob, "Take
them now as the sun descends! They can't 'urt yer now! Because the
night belongs ter us! The night belongs ter us!"
From the bell tower, Jack watched as the crowd surged toward the walls
of the prison, a single tide of Bedlam, trying to tear at the walls and
thick gates of the prison with their bare hands. Cannons boomed out
balls, chain, and shot. The thousand Davids in the street took up the
cobblestones, and threw them, aimed ill and well, at the myriad
Goliaths.

Jack grinned and lit his pipe.

Balmoral

"Not one Princess, but three." Coke murmured to Wellington, "It
might as well be a fairy tale by wossname, from Germany." As he
watched the entry of Princess Caroline of Hesse on the arm of her
dashing brother, the Prince Frederick William, he in full dress
uniform, she in cream-colored silk. The others had arrived before her,
Princess Mary with her

"Grimm." Wellington said, "Ella of the Cinders."

"And our Sussex is by all measures a prince, and quite charming."
Coke replied, a tight-lipped smile on his face, as he watched the Queen
with Henry Temple, the Viscount Palmerston, the dashing young Tory who
had made a name for himself speaking against the Revolutions in Spain
and Portugal, cutting quite a figure in HM Government now that Lord
Londonderry had gone to rest at his country seat.

"When it comes to HM the Queen, she doesn't have 'it,' she has
'those.'" The Lady Jersey sniffed as she edged closer to
Wellington, Caroline Lamb at her side.

Caroline tittered anxiously, and Wellington looked on coldly. "You
would do well, Lady Jersey, to check your tongue at to every ball you
attend."

"And you would do better to check your trousers."[3] Caroline
replied sharply, for her friend. She tittered, anxiously.

Wellington gave both ladies a look that was just warm of death as the
Princess Mary of Saxony, and her escort, her cousin the Prince of
Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, moved closer to the Queen, who now spoke to a
certain officer of the British Army, a Viscount Macfee, who whispered
gently in her ear, the lines of her face drawn taunt as the bow of
Diana, she replied in short, sharp German sentences.

Taking something from her hands, the Viscount bowed and left.

As Caroline and the Lady Jersey arrived, the Queen had turned her
attentions to the Princess Mary, who was rather fat and plain, though
elegantly dressed-the hand of a would-be King of Britain was no small
trifle-and said, "Cousin" in such a tone that the poor Princess
fell instantly under her spell, "I am pleased to see that you are
well, and grateful of the charity of your attendance. I trust that your
parents are well."

The Princess from Saxony, like a bird before an Indian Cobra, merely
nodded. She was, after all, a Catholic girl, and the Queen, in her
serene beauty, was as great as any bishop that the Princess had ever
encountered. She did, however, find her voice, "They are well, and
send their greetings."

"Is it your hopes, or theirs, that rest on the results of this
match?"

"Mine....and theirs." The Princess could muster no deception before
the Queen. "In truth, I should like to eat roast beef with a British
Duke instead of sauerkraut with some German princeling."

"Mind, you should, that German princelings have a habit of becoming
kings, perhaps more readily than British dukes, who are uncles to the
Prince of Wales, the Duke of York, and the Duke of Kent might be.
Should things become...unfortunate, the Princess Royale may well see
the throne, but to retire to shoot grouse is hardly the best thing for
a woman of your....stature. Having been the wife of an obscure Duke, I
know their fate, and was wise not to share in it."

"You are indeed wise, Your Majesty, but as I danced with the Duke, I
found his grasp firm, his wit quick, and his manner proper. I can see
little reason not to marry him, and rather to return to wither in my
father's castle much as the daughters of King George did here."

At this wavering bit of resistance, the glistening queen was
transformed into a virago, all claws and sharpened teeth. "You should
recall, then, that his brothers did like to flog and to become rapine,
to fire small furry creatures from cannons. They were no more kind
husbands than the people of Glasgow are wealthy. Further, the Duke of
Sussex himself has had, for some years, the misfortune of needing a
feminine touch in his home, though he cannot have it, in actuality,
upon his person. Some time ago, he developed an unpleasant condition
for the time he spent among the Neapolitans."

"It is said that the warm sea air is good for consumptives, but
terrible other parts of the body. One of my father's soldiers spent
time in Savoy after Marengo and he came back with his feet smelling of
sour cheese. It took him some months to dry out. I am quite adept at
herbology, and were I to wed the Duke, I'm sure that I could help him
with his issue."

"It is a disease of a more...intimate nature."

The Princess Mary flushed at the forwardness of the Queen of Great
Britain, "I would help him with such things, as well, if need be. But
I do come from a place where my governess taught me that proper ladies
held their tongues with the affairs of their family with those who were
not."

Turning to her Protestant cousin, she said, "Let us away." And
marched toward the waltz that was already commencing. It should be
remembered that some princesses may be foolish, some beautiful, and
some ugly, though a few come in the shape of cunning or witty, those
who are not the fairest of them all must live life with their common
sense about them.

All the while, the Duke of Sussex found himself hopelessly in love with
Princess Ida of Anhalt-Bernberg, who was tall and well spoken, though
plainly dressed.

The King of England, however, found his gaze falling more approvingly
on the Princess Caroline of Hesse. She understood that her
husband-to-be had curious politics, and quixotic judgment-needing her
guiding, sensible hand, in everything from correspondence to
decoration. And he was most certainly uninterested in the fairer
sex-though the King did not say so, as a matter of course, it was
obvious from his comments. And plain to see on the Duke of Sussex's
face, when he had danced with her-for was she not the most attractive
Princess at the ball?

Karlsruhe

Having landed at Calais, they had been insulted by all manner of checks
and inspections, as if they were common smuggling Jews. The other
holiday-makers had grumbled and complained about it, and Marquis was
glad that his wife, his stepmother, and his various friends of the
female persuasion and their children had arrived through Amsterdam,
where HM the King Willem II was less interested in the contents of
various people's trunks and garters.

Then again, no one had tried to kill King Willem and his whole family.
The rumors that poured forth from France were remarkable not in the way
that they contradicted each other, but in the manner that they
converged-Charles X was a brutal despot, or that he was a man trapped
within the system he had created, an automaton of guards, spies,
counterspies, and secret police-but Uxbridge knew both could well be
true at the same time, whatever other people might say.

That did not mean, however, that the rough hands of the guards were
welcome to his person. He was, after all, a gentleman of breeding. He
knew that his host was, but he did not know who he was meeting there in
Karlsruhe-it surely could not only be HM Viceroy in Hannover-and he
was certain, as was his father, that this was the correct road to take.
However, Augustus was hardly the Papist bastard who'd cast down
English law and harassed parliament and the bench. Nor was the man
he'd come to see the Stadtholder-things had not gotten that far,
yet. His father and Hill were in some separate carriages, hoping this
move now might prevent that move later, if at all. But King Augustus
was popular-he'd saved the Kingdom from the Corsican Ogre and the
Papists both!-but even so, there was something that Uxbridge felt
when Augustus had looked upon him at the coronation feast. It wasn't
pleasure, certainly-nor did Augustus stir him to duty-it bore
striking resemblance to fear. It was as if Augustus was some sort of
ferocious predator, determining which peer to eat first.

Not that there had been any et just yet. There were rumblings, though,
that the more radical Whigs were responsible for all sorts of crimes
against HM, and would one day meet punishment-when the Bills of
Attainder came down, Uxbridge would begin to worry in all ernestness.
Right now, he wondered if Augustus would turn out to be a monstrous
tyrant, or just an earnest king, who wished to restore some power to
the crown, after the Madness of King George, the Regencies, and the
ineptitude of his brother, Billy. There was no doubt that this Caesar
liked for power, and did not lack for those that would see him to
it-but there was no doubt that such accumulation of power, and such
assaults on the various subjects of the Crown would only feed upon
themselves in dark corners, sucking from English Liberties their
lifeblood.

There had, in times past, been powerful kings. He'd read about them
in /Tales from Shakespeare/ but such time was past-a king without a
parliament could easily bring to mind Charles. A king that took upon
His Person the powers of Parliament was likely to see that person
denuded to get those powers back.

There was law and there was order, but that was before the Burning.
With the Houses gone, St. Stephen a bare shell, Parliament moved under
the lock and key of the Army-that was not right proper at all, after
what Cromwell had done fit to the Parliament in his day.

When his carriage had arrived at the castle and he had entered, showing
his engraved invitation, done up in buff, blue, and orange. Led by the
butler to dinning hall, as it was properly of the old castle sort, he
was greeted with a glass of fine wine and many familiar faces, their
wives, and a few of their elder children.

The dinner was brief and bland, being German, but elegant, being
prepared by a French staff. Thus mashed potatoes were whipped into
every conceivable pattern, and the various roast beasts were sculpted
just as expertly. Conversation was amiable, and almost pointedly
casual, among people who frequently saw one another on the country
house circuit, and those who could not quite afford to do so, or did
not frequent that arrangement, for breeding or other reasons. But even
the oddest character, those who could not be placed, knew their
manners, and all basked in the glow of their radiant hosts, the Duke
and Duchess of Cambridge, whose kind hearts and domestic tranquility
were known to all.

Dessert arrived in the form of several castle and ship-shaped cakes,
with various fruit sorbets and Italian ices.

The conclusion of dessert signaled the ladies' retreat to the drawing
room, while the men stayed behind to smoke cigars and drink claret. As
these were handed round, a general silence and expectation settled upon
the hall, and Uxbridge watched as his fellows-Pericles Bond, banker
of Lombard Street, Edward Ferrars, John Willoughby, Charles Darcy,
Edmund Bertram, the Lord Charles Hesse, George Osborne, the Marquess of
Anglesey, William Holmes, the Viscount Hill, and his cousin Harry
Flashman as they settled in. Henry Brougham was cautiously absent, but
nonetheless the Whig "Catholics" were present in a quiet, careful
means.

The Duke of Cambridge stood and raised his glass of claret, "God save
the King, and God Save England!" He roared, to which the collected
company assented, and toasted, thusly, the Duke began his speech,
"These are the times that try men's souls. England, like a babe,
lies in her green cradle open and vulnerable. From without, the threats
of Jacobin Revolution and Papistry. From within, the threats are to
English Liberties, by the very men who claim to protect them in
accumulating in the Crown all the powers of this Earth-this would be
to make the King a God, and to make meaner creatures kings in their own
right.

"Assembling all this power within the Crown would be folly. England
is uniquely free among the nations of the world-her very air
unshackles slaves. In order to see all would be to sculpt a Dark Tower
of Babel, in order to know the business not only of the realm in coin
and justice, but also in the manner of thoughts and souls. To do so
will draw blood from blood, self against self, as dark agents would cut
windows into the souls of men-they have no business there, as does
none but the man himself. Make no mistake, there are blackhearts over
Battersea, and wolves have settled in upon Willoughby Chase. No money,
no lands, no title, and no birth shall hold you from those who crave
all power.

"Birth has appointed my brother, Augustus, King of Great Britain and
Ireland, but birth is not virtue, nor is it God's stamp. It is said,
among the wilder pamphleteers of the age, that the Lion may give birth
to the Ass, and thus, monarchy should be supplanted by republic-but
we were shown republic, it was a republic of fools and lunatics.

"But they have not English Liberty. We seek naught to know the hearts
of men, or to hush up the public houses and coffee shops, the
newspapers and the pulpits. We of England have the Crown, the Lords,
and the Commons-not self against self, but selves together, for the
Commonweal.

"The Parliament building may rest in ashes, but English Liberties are
in the very soil, the very air that the islands are made of. Those
freedoms given to every man and woman born of England cannot be taken
from them by act or decree, as they hold them near as they their blood
and bones.

"These are the times that try men's souls, and mine. For to set
myself against my brother grieves my heart, I love him, blood of my
blood, flesh of my flesh. But there is more to being royal than doing
homage to the crowned head-as Agamemnon and Creon knew full well-of
that same blood, that same flesh I am as my brother the King, and I
know full well my duty to the Commonweal. To bind together all those
within it, and seek not to injure those of it, while maintaining the
peace and tranquility.

"I wear not the Crown, nor do I seek it. But I seek to defend English
Liberties against those that would have them dead and dried, while
calling out in their name, and marching with blade and bayonet in their
defense. Those old country squires that would have had kept James II
never did leave England with that Pretender, but stayed, and have come
to murder our Liberties, with their lean and hungry looks, longing for
power that was never for an Englishman or English King.

"To preserve these English Liberties it is essential that I have men
of action, and he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of
man and woman.

"That we might move, I shall open a club in London-under my aegis I
wish all those who do not wish to know the business of other men's
souls, but wish to solemnly defend English Liberties against all that
might take it, I shall give you a house and a home, in which to gather
beyond prying eyes and disloyal hearts. I give you your own club, the
Diogenes Club."

The dining hall was instantly filled with a great bedlam, as the men of
all stripes rose to their feet.

[1] Lewis Way, encouraged by the conversions of Sephardic Jews founded
the London Society for the Promotion of Christianity Among the Jews in
1809. Mr. Weaver is, of course, a converted Iberian Jew of a noted
London merchant family, who had lived in Dukes Place, and served with
George during the Great War.

[2] The mass conversions of Sephardic Jews in the 18th century by
non-Conformists, combined with the Jewish Pugilists, made them more
inclined to be sympathetic to Britain's Jewry than Britain's
Established Church. In addition, various Non-Conformists, like their
Dutch Reform counterparts, imagined a "special relationship"
between their sect and the Jews, or the Jews and the Second Coming, and
were therefore inclined less to view them as Christ-killers than as
misguided children.

[3] Wellington, then merely Arthur Wellesley, was turned away at the
door to Almanack's for wearing the wrong cut of pants. At that time,
and even through its decline in the 1820's, Lady Jersey was part of
the ladies Kabal that controlled invitations as well as determined
dress.
k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
2006-06-29 19:31:12 UTC
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Post by L***@gmail.com
Long May He Reign, Part the Thirty-Seventh: Porphyria's Lover
Nice, I like the references to "The Wolves of Willoughby Chase"
and "Black Hearts in Battersea", good alternate history novels
for those not familiar with them. I thought though that "mince
pies" was cockney not Brumagen slang. Also Jonathan Wild's
lieutenant was Quilt Arnold not Arnold Quilt and I am not sure
that Birmingham was big enough to support someone with Wild's
ambition and the dates seem wrong.

Ken Young
L***@gmail.com
2006-06-30 00:26:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
Nice, I like the references to "The Wolves of Willoughby Chase"
and "Black Hearts in Battersea", good alternate history novels
for those not familiar with them.
Thanks--I felt that the call to action required a bit of an AH homage,
as it were.
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
I thought though that "mince
pies" was cockney not Brumagen slang. Also Jonathan Wild's
lieutenant was Quilt Arnold not Arnold Quilt and I am not sure
that Birmingham was big enough to support someone with Wild's
ambition and the dates seem wrong.
This is where I'm at a disadvantage.

I'm attending the American University of Cairo for the summer, and my
source material is all behind.

Some of the scenes that I pre-planned, I have notes for.

The Birmingham scene was preplanned, insomuch as the riot. Other than
that, I had to rely on whatever I could throw together wrt dialogue,
hence "mince pies" for eyes, among other things.

Jonathan Wild and Quilt Arnold are indeed anarchonized here. Their OTL
counterparts would be from 18th century London. I reappropriated the
names and changed them a bit, and redirected them to Birmingham to
explain the attack on the prison. Because mobs, occassionally, need a
little direction.

While I know that proto-industrial Birmingham is not the place to
support a large organized crime syndicate, the idea fit as I wrote it,
which makes this whole thing rather dodgy as a premise, I know. If I'd
had resources, I'd probably have done something else.

Cheers

L
Syd Webb
2006-07-01 02:54:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by L***@gmail.com
Long May He Reign, Part the Thirty-Seventh: Porphyria's Lover
Porphria? In an ATL where a principle character is a Hannoverian king,
that’s not good. (But we already knew that, did we not, fellow Schlueusner
fans?)

[snip a rich, descriptive piece of scene setting]
Post by L***@gmail.com
Near them were two particularly unpleasant Gentiles, Bill Sikes and
Martin Davies, who had been sneak-thieves and housebreakers for some
time since they had stopped working.
Foreign to the historians of OTL and yet I feel as if I already know them.
Well, Bill, anyway.

[snip another fight scene. Why always with the violence?]
Post by L***@gmail.com
Then, like rats to rotted meat that lay out in the summer sun, their
fellows gathered, and surged toward the Jew that had hit one of their
number. There was a rather high number of veterans among the Jews of
Birmingham, and furthermore Birmingham was famous to any number of
Jewish pugilists, both past and present, including the Hebrew Hammer,
Mordechai Carver,
Wiki is our friend. Or not, in this case. Well I never.

[snip]
Post by L***@gmail.com
Stirred from his reverie, he drew his saber and did charge. As he
struck Marcus', he did not carve his head from his body, with three
strokes or one, but run him, through, and Marcus, the poor farmer's
son, was done.
It was with this incident, not the fight with the Jews of The Froggery,
that the mob and riot did rise up throughout the city like mushrooms
after a spring rain in Yorkshire.
I’m intrigued by the use of the word ‘did’ in this passage, especially ‘did
rise up’ and not ‘rose up’. Is there a particular literary effect being
striven for of which I am unaware?

[snip]
Post by L***@gmail.com
In the dying rays of the sun, within the sights of Winson Green, Arnold
rose, held up by stevedores who offered off a cut of spices from the
East Indies and of sables from America, and spoke, gesturing toward the
prison, with his good hand, "Take them now, I'm 'ere as I am!" he
bawled, "Pull them close, right, make 'em understand!" he
demonstrated, strangling the invisible man in the air in front of
him-the mob cheered as if it were a Punch and Judy show-"We work
all day in the chuffin' hot sun, so stay wiv me now till the chuffin'
mornin' comes! Come on now, try and understand the bloomin' way
they'll feel wen they're in us hands!"
[snip]
Post by L***@gmail.com
The stevedores and pretty whores, as one, trilled to the mob, "Take
them now as the sun descends! They can't 'urt yer now! Because the
night belongs ter us! The night belongs ter us!"
I prefer the Patti Smith version of _Because the Night_ to that of Bruce
Springsteen but I suspect it all depends on which one one heard first.
Post by L***@gmail.com
The mob roared its
approval
_Moi, aussi._

[big snip]
Post by L***@gmail.com
The Duke of Cambridge stood and raised his glass of claret, "God save
the King, and God Save England!" He roared, to which the collected
company assented, and toasted, thusly, the Duke began his speech,
"These are the times that try men's souls.
Now why would the Duke quote Thomas Paine? Is he doing it unconsciously?
Post by L***@gmail.com
Make no mistake, there are blackhearts over
Battersea, and wolves have settled in upon Willoughby Chase.
Nice Joan Aitken reference.

And a wonderful, thunderous, rollicking episode. What thinks the rest of
s.h.w-i?

- Syd
--
"I can't help sharing my thoughts with you, simply because that is the
best way to make them clear to myself."
- Dietrich Bonhöffer, letter of 5 May 1944
L***@gmail.com
2006-07-01 07:26:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Syd Webb
Post by L***@gmail.com
Long May He Reign, Part the Thirty-Seventh: Porphyria's Lover
Porphria? In an ATL where a principle character is a Hannoverian king,
that's not good. (But we already knew that, did we not, fellow Schlueusner
fans?)
Quite. You should google the rest of that poem. It's....better than "My
Last Duchess"
Post by Syd Webb
[snip a rich, descriptive piece of scene setting]
Thanks, Syd. The idea comes from David Liss.
Post by Syd Webb
Post by L***@gmail.com
Near them were two particularly unpleasant Gentiles, Bill Sikes and
Martin Davies, who had been sneak-thieves and housebreakers for some
time since they had stopped working.
Foreign to the historians of OTL and yet I feel as if I already know them.
Well, Bill, anyway.
Oh, well, they derive one way or the other from other characters.
Post by Syd Webb
[snip another fight scene. Why always with the violence?]
Well, imagine that Birmingham is one large Janga tower. Removing the
Quakers to prison made the Janga tower ever so unstable.
Post by Syd Webb
Post by L***@gmail.com
Then, like rats to rotted meat that lay out in the summer sun, their
fellows gathered, and surged toward the Jew that had hit one of their
number. There was a rather high number of veterans among the Jews of
Birmingham, and furthermore Birmingham was famous to any number of
Jewish pugilists, both past and present, including the Hebrew Hammer,
Mordechai Carver,
Wiki is our friend. Or not, in this case. Well I never.
Oh, you mean this? http://imdb.com/title/tt0317640/

What can I say, I go for broke--including the Chaucer at the end of
this set piece.
Post by Syd Webb
[snip]
Post by L***@gmail.com
Stirred from his reverie, he drew his saber and did charge. As he
struck Marcus', he did not carve his head from his body, with three
strokes or one, but run him, through, and Marcus, the poor farmer's
son, was done.
It was with this incident, not the fight with the Jews of The Froggery,
that the mob and riot did rise up throughout the city like mushrooms
after a spring rain in Yorkshire.
I'm intrigued by the use of the word 'did' in this passage, especially 'did
rise up' and not 'rose up'. Is there a particular literary effect being
striven for of which I am unaware?
Not in particular, Syd. Just the way the words ended up coming together
in this particular omnibus episode, of great glorious length.

Or rather, it comes from another Englishman's book--"The Night Watch"
Post by Syd Webb
[snip]
Post by L***@gmail.com
In the dying rays of the sun, within the sights of Winson Green, Arnold
rose, held up by stevedores who offered off a cut of spices from the
East Indies and of sables from America, and spoke, gesturing toward the
prison, with his good hand, "Take them now, I'm 'ere as I am!" he
bawled, "Pull them close, right, make 'em understand!" he
demonstrated, strangling the invisible man in the air in front of
him-the mob cheered as if it were a Punch and Judy show-"We work
all day in the chuffin' hot sun, so stay wiv me now till the chuffin'
mornin' comes! Come on now, try and understand the bloomin' way
they'll feel wen they're in us hands!"
[snip]
Post by L***@gmail.com
The stevedores and pretty whores, as one, trilled to the mob, "Take
them now as the sun descends! They can't 'urt yer now! Because the
night belongs ter us! The night belongs ter us!"
I prefer the Patti Smith version of _Because the Night_ to that of Bruce
Springsteen but I suspect it all depends on which one one heard first.
Well, I prefer the 10,000 Maniacs cover, but only because my
Springsteen copy sounds like something done out of the bottom of a
garbage can.

Nonetheless, I felt that this was an appropriate nod to China Mieville,
who is another major influence upon this part of the TL.
Post by Syd Webb
Post by L***@gmail.com
The mob roared its
approval
_Moi, aussi._
[big snip]
Ah, well, no love for my fairytale admist the flames and anarchy? I did
have to trim it, so this didn't end up an absurd length.

I would have thought Dorothy Parker would have approved.
Post by Syd Webb
Post by L***@gmail.com
The Duke of Cambridge stood and raised his glass of claret, "God save
the King, and God Save England!" He roared, to which the collected
company assented, and toasted, thusly, the Duke began his speech,
"These are the times that try men's souls.
Now why would the Duke quote Thomas Paine? Is he doing it unconsciously?
The latter. I wanted a framing device. It was originally going to be
parts of Richard II, Henry IV, and Richard III.

But circumstances as they are, I left my copies in America.
Post by Syd Webb
Post by L***@gmail.com
Make no mistake, there are blackhearts over
Battersea, and wolves have settled in upon Willoughby Chase.
Nice Joan Aitken reference.
Well, I had to have at least one meta-nod to her, I felt, given that
this is an English AH.

Nothing for you to say, Syd, about the cast I've assembled to save fair
England's green valleys and sweet liberties?
Post by Syd Webb
And a wonderful, thunderous, rollicking episode. What thinks the rest of
s.h.w-i?
Thanks Syd, I always try to go for broke. And I do wish to hear more
from my readers and thinkers.

Cheers

L
Syd Webb
2006-07-04 07:29:28 UTC
Permalink
[snip]
Post by L***@gmail.com
Post by Syd Webb
Wiki is our friend. Or not, in this case. Well I never.
Oh, you mean this? http://imdb.com/title/tt0317640/
Yes. I'd actually read
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hebrew_Hammer
but the effect is the same.

Nevetheless, I like the fact that 'Judas Maccabeus' can be translated as
'Hebrew Hammer'.

[snip _inter alia_ 10,000 Maniacs]
Post by L***@gmail.com
Nothing for you to say, Syd, about the cast I've assembled to save
fair England's green valleys and sweet liberties?
To (mis)quote one of your minor characters, "I don't know about their
enemies, but bigod they scare _me_!"

- Syd
--
"Disco for me is a lofty metaphysical mode that induces contemplation."
- Camille Paglia
L***@gmail.com
2006-07-04 09:17:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Syd Webb
[snip]
Post by L***@gmail.com
Post by Syd Webb
Wiki is our friend. Or not, in this case. Well I never.
Oh, you mean this? http://imdb.com/title/tt0317640/
Yes. I'd actually read
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hebrew_Hammer
but the effect is the same.
Quite, and verily.

Most of the fun of LMHR, aside from advancing the plot is the easter
eggs.
Post by Syd Webb
Nevetheless, I like the fact that 'Judas Maccabeus' can be translated as
'Hebrew Hammer'.
I thought you'd enjoy that, Rev. Webb.
Post by Syd Webb
[snip _inter alia_ 10,000 Maniacs]
Yeah, I know. I was pushing my luck there.
Post by Syd Webb
Post by L***@gmail.com
Nothing for you to say, Syd, about the cast I've assembled to save
fair England's green valleys and sweet liberties?
To (mis)quote one of your minor characters, "I don't know about their
enemies, but bigod they scare _me_!"
More on them next episode. I'm working on a way to spell K-A-B-A-L with
their names. Or someone's.

But there is hope, I suppose, that England's King should be toppled by
some loose assemblage of country squires, hard-drinking soldiers, and
various important...forebears, shall we say.

Cheers

L

L***@gmail.com
2006-07-02 21:39:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Syd Webb
Post by L***@gmail.com
Long May He Reign, Part the Thirty-Seventh: Porphyria's Lover
Porphria? In an ATL where a principle character is a Hannoverian king,
that's not good. (But we already knew that, did we not, fellow Schlueusner
fans?)
Oh, God, I have fans?!?

Count yourself and be named, especially if there's a production of,
say, hats or T-Shirts, or whatever.

Because it's S-c-h-l-e-u-s-e-n-e-r, not S-c-h-l-U-e-U-S-N-e-r.

As Chuckles Brown would say, Good Grief. Uncle Syd.
Post by Syd Webb
Post by L***@gmail.com
The mob roared its approval
_Moi, aussi._
Uncle Syd, for those of my readers uncouth, you mean the following,
yeah?

"I need to know you
even as I never know my self
that phantom ache
of amputated innocence
You,
the stirrings of a curtain, dust
settling on sepia cukoo clocks
covers obscuring
Perhaps one day you will become
a benign sentence
an agency
through which to be."
Post by Syd Webb
[big snip]
Nice Joan Aitken reference.
And a wonderful, thunderous, rollicking episode. What thinks the rest of
s.h.w-i?
[Sigh]

The rest of SHWI, well. It's not what it used to be.

People, make some noise.

Cheers

L
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