Title: New spring
Description: tag: Alessandra di Marcelli
Francesca de' Medici - April 29, 2010 12:53 AM (GMT)
Francesca moved through the gardens easily, pausing now and then to examine the branches for any signs of buds. In Italy, there would be leaves already, yet here, there was no such thing. She missed olive branches and the purple vineyards that surrounded Florence. She missed the stony ruins of the coliseum and the paved cobblestones of St. Peterís Square. In a land without friends, and with many who may be considered enemies, Francesca sorely missed her uncle Giulio and her father Giovanni. Both had shed tears when she was sent away, and both wrote letters of prodigious eloquence. With a sigh, she walked down the stone road, hands carelessly passing over the branches. Some were still wet, the drips of liquid darkening her brocaded sleeve. She paid little attention to the droplets, however, as her eyes were focused on the people moving in lethargy. It was a lazy day, made more so by the slowly warming weather that came with each spring rain.
In a transitory pause, Francesca bent down to examine the budding flower. The day was young still, and it was long before mass was to resume later on. She had nothing to do but wander around that day, preferring to rest her tumultuous mind away from diplomacy. If anyone wanted to approach her, then they were more than welcome. Francesca didnít ever shut herself off to people, as it would have been exceedingly undiplomatic. She was quite bored, and despite the tired state of her mind, as a result of an injurious lifestyle, she looked for stimulation. Whether it was by wine or conversation, or perhaps a mix of both, Francesca waited for someone to talk.
Then, prolonging the pause, she took a seat by the tree, sitting on a little stone that had been set there for that reason. From far away, a stream of music was playing from a lute, probably for a dining lord or lovesick poet. Francesca listened to the song. It was exceedingly English, without any of the foreign influences that touched the other songs. Although in the Tuscan nights, she had danced to Italian melodies, Francesca relished this opportunity to hear an English song. It was something strange and rare to her. Looking skyward, a robin flitted about on the branch above her. She focused on the strange bird, smiling to herself at the merry movements. It was a wondrous day and she was inclined to enjoy it.
Alessandra Di Marcelli - May 1, 2010 04:16 AM (GMT)
Alessandra was bored. England was monotonous in that each day, the same things happened. She would be awakened by an ugly English maid and served breakfast on a sub-standard gilt tray. Then her favorite Lady-In-Waiting, Antonia, would dress her in one of the dowdy English gowns her father told her she must wear. Alessandra would then wander the castle until noon, when she was promptly served lunch. After lunch, Alessandra had her lessons in Italian Literature and History, English Language, Spanish, English Literature, English Genealogy, English History, Mathematics, and Astronomy. After all that, she dressed for dinner and proceeded to whatever feast or party was happening that night. She would mingle, dance, and be admired by many, then she would return to her chambers to sleep. The next day was always exactly the same, and the next, and the next, and so on and so forth.
Currently, Alessandra was in the most boring and tiresome stage of her repetitive day: the hours between breakfast and lunch. There were no lessons to attend, no banquets to be at, absolutely nothing. So today, instead of sitting quietly in the castle, playing chess with Antonia, Alessandra was outside in the gardens. For once, she was unaccompanied; Antonia had a slight head cold and Alessandra didn't really feel like any other company. That was why she chose to wander in the gardens; they were usually quite empty.
But not today. As Alessandra passed a budding tree, she noticed a young lady about her own age sitting beneath said tree. She looked vaguely familiar, but Alessandra couldn't be sure of where she'd seen the girl, so she said nothing of this. Instead, she examined the girls features more closely, hoping a name would come. The girl had a very pretty face, it was true, but not nearly as beautiful, in Alessandra's opinion, as her own.
Alessandra blinked once, then walked closer to the girl, as she had been standing some distance away. "Hello," She said. Usually, Alessandra would have said, "Hello. I am Princess Alessandra di Marcelli of Italy," and whoever she was addressing would fall to their knees immediately. But there was something about this girl that made Alessandra feel the need to withhold her identity until she knew more.
Francesca de' Medici - May 1, 2010 04:59 AM (GMT)
Francesca was startled out of her reverie by a young girl, her own age in fact, standing in front of her. She was wearing an English gown, and had English mannerisms, so that for a moment, Francesca had imagined her to be English. Then, upon deeper reflection, she recognized the girl's features on some of the people in her father's court. Who were they? She couldn't recall, nor the cities in which they were from but that affirmed her belief that that city was somewhere in Italy, or France. Not English at all then, but continental. Francesca smiled, herself glad that she had not shed the Italian fashion for the English. The high waisted, v-necked clothes of Oriental silk suited her fancy much better than the dowdy English gowns that were either too gaudy or too plain, neither of which was diplomatic to bear.
"Good day," She replied shortly, "I don't believe we have met, yet I recall your features. Forgive me if I might inquire to the city of your birth?" She imagined it to be a city-state in the Italian peninsula. Certainly, not Florence or Rome, and she was too fair to likely be of the Royal House of Naples, perhaps one of the Ducal relatives of Ferrara, or a relation of the fallen Visconti of Milan. Before that was revealed, however, Francesca thought it prudent to withhold the information of her own parentage, that of the Medicis. Certainly the lady would have guessed that Francesca was of Italy.
Mixed were her own features that it would be impossible to discern the house to which she was born. Colonna, Medici, Orsini, Sforza all those great noble and ruling houses had their marking on her and that meant that she could easily hide her own lineage through some careful manipulating. There was little point in that here in England, as there was little need for secrecy. Her name was an advantage here, something to be bartered on the table like a jewel rather than hidden for the sake of secrecy.
Alessandra Di Marcelli - May 2, 2010 12:16 AM (GMT)
Alessandra examined the girl for a moment. The girl hadn't even introduced herself yet, and already she was demanding information from Alessandra. However, Alessandra was not one to hold back information that would entitle her to better treatment, and so she responded, "Good day. I am from the Republic of Venice. My grandfather is the Doge - The Venetian equivalent of a King - of Venice. And yourself?"
Alessandra eyed the girl's garments; her high waisted, V-necked dress was a common Italian fashion, but Alessandra couldn't imagine what another Italian would be doing here. She couldn't be from Venice, as only her father and his entourage were currently in England, and none of them had brought daughters, or even sons, for that matter. Moreover, if this unknown person was a Venetian of any importance, then she would have immediately recognized Alessandra as being a member of the Royal Family. Seventh in line for the throne, in fact. Or course, being seventh in line meant she would never actually end up as Queen, but it still gave her status above the other nobodies at the English Court.
(ooc: crappy post, sorry :P I'm exhausted )
Francesca de' Medici - May 2, 2010 01:33 AM (GMT)
Francesca smiled dazzlingly. Venice then. One of those Oligarchical families that kept the Serenissima. If this was true, then the political alignments would be valuable indeed. The Venetians had never been a friend of the Medicis, preferring the anti-Medicean faction of Florence. Yet, that was not to say a political alliance was not possible. If this Doge, (Francsca could not quite recall his name) was free from the Venetian pressures of foreign policy, then he could become useful. The granddaughter of the Doge. She had heard that some such person was here. However, her father had not told her to make the acquaintance. She did not act on mere whim alone. "Venice! I have heard that it is one of the most beautiful cities." Francesca had never been to Venice herself, the closest she had been was Ravenna, when it was still under Venetian rule, before the sackings happened.
So the lady was of noble blood. Francesca was outranked, but only by a slight margin. Her father was one of the most powerful Cardinals in Italy and Francesca's illegitimacy was ignored at such knowledge. That is why Francesca revealed her name. Whether the Medicis would be recognized or not was her gamble. She would adjust her policies accordingly. "It is a great pleasure, I am Francesca de' Medici, daughter of Cardinal Giovanni." She bowed her head slightly, with respect and smiled.
She could not make Venice her father's friend, but she could prevent it from becoming her enemy. In her mind, calculations were already starting, the fatal diplomacy moving through veins of her own making. She had to recall the policies Venice had adopted. They had been defeated, she remembered, only a year ago by the Pope's league. Yet, they recaptured Padua easily. They were weak now and could not stir trouble, although any sort of alliance may make them strong again. The Italians needed a strong Venice. "I have heard gossips about the beauty of the most excellent and noble di Marcelli family." Finally, she recalled the current Doge's name. "If your countenance is any indication, then the gossips must be true."
Alessandra Di Marcelli - May 2, 2010 02:30 AM (GMT)
Alessandra frowned slightly when the girl, Francesca, mentioned her name. de' Medici... de' Medici... it sounded familiar but she couldn't quite place it. By the way Francesca held herself, it was evident that she thought much of herself and therefore must be nobility of some sort, but Alessandra had never been one for politics and usually just smiled and nodded when her father spoke of those things. Aha! That was it! This Francesca was the bastard daughter of Cardinal Giovanni, some religious man who's views her grandfather, Vincenzo, thought were ridiculous. Ha! This was one story Alessandra knew fairly well; the girl's mother had died, and Francesca de' Medici had been declared illegitimate, although apparently no one believed that proclamation... oh well. That was of no matter.
So what was she doing in England? Was she with a diplomacy party or an ambassadorial group, like Alessandra herself? But why would anyone want an illegitimate child sent to England? Was her father seeking a husband with a large fortune to improve his own? Or was it something to do with religion... Alessandra hoped not. Although she did not really care about politics or religion, she knew that her grandfather needed to make a powerful alliance with England to keep Venice strong.
"It is a gorgeous city; in my opinion much nicer than Florence or Verona. Personally, I prefer it to Florence and Rome; I found both those cities to be rather dirty and crowded," Alessandra said, wrinkling her nose. Her first - and only - trip to Rome had been a year and a half ago. She hoped to never have to go back. "I am Alessandra Di Marcelli, daughter of Princessa Carlotta Giovanni Di Marcelli and Victor-Emmanuel Di Marcelli, Duke of Savoy. I inherited my looks from my mother's side; it is true that all the Giovanni family members are rather good looking, but it is commonly known that I am one of the most beautiful people in the Venetian Empire," Alessandra smirked. That was indeed a well known fact; something Alessandra greatly prided herself in. She was perfectly happy to brag; she already knew that she outranked Francesca de' Medici here, so there was no need to try to be polite.
Francesca de' Medici - May 2, 2010 03:39 AM (GMT)
The girl obviously was not a politician, that much was clear. Instead, she seemed rather spoiled. Perhaps it was because her position was already set in stone, whereas Francesca must thrive and rise due to her own merit, for her and her family. Her father must become Pope. All their hopes rested on that alone. Yet, the idea that this lady was spoiled made it both harder and easier for Francesca. The lady had no will. If Francesca got Alessandra to do her bidding, then it would be unconsciously so. That would mean that the lady would one day betray her unconsciously. How could she trust anyone without a will?
Flattery seemed to work. It always did on women. She smiled her brightest, letting her friendliness show through her shining eyes. That was the trick she had used, although it was easier wrought on men than women. The Italian attachment to their city was incorrigible and it destroyed all of Francesca's hopes for an unified Italy. However, that mattered not in this situation. It was always fun to stir up some trouble in the depths of Italy. It would easily be used to the Medicean advantage. If she had been insulted by the mention of Florence, her home city, and Rome, the Curia, then she didn't show it. It would be ill-fitting on her part as the consummate diplomat. She had learned the art from her family.
Her father was the most decadent of Cardinals, 'twas no secret. He kept a court of merrymakers and threw sumptuous feasts every day. There was no secret of his lavishness and generosity, as a Medici and as a Cardinal. However, he also kept a court of the greatest artists and humanists of the time. Raphael, Michelangelo, Botticelli were all easily found within the delicate gardens of Rome where, far away from crime, discussions went anywhere from Neoplatonism to Dante. "It is widely known in Italy that Florence is famous for its intellect, Milan for its military and of course Venice for its beauty. I had thought they meant architecture. Now I realize that it is for the women" She replied graciously, feeding the ego, "Any place with such wonders interests me. I am eager to know more about La Serenissma." She prodded gently.
Alessandra Di Marcelli - May 2, 2010 04:39 AM (GMT)
Hmmm... this girl's strategy seemed to be flattery. Alessandra may not be the most intelligent girl in the world, but she wasn't stupid and she was very strong willed. After a moment of thought, Alessandra responded to Francesca's comment with a few simple words, "I am unsure as to whether or not that is your concern." Smirking slightly, Alessandra stepped forward once. "Might I inquire as to what you are doing at this moment? Why are you sitting outside by yourself? Do you not have lessons to attend, or is your father to poor to educate you properly?" Alessandra resisted the urge to giggle; that was certainly most inappropriate in the given company. She realized something right after she spoke; Alessandra herself was alone. Hm. Maybe not the best retort. "Before you ask, my favorite Lady-in-waiting had a head cold and I did not feel like the company of one of those dowdy English ladies that were assigned to my service. Of course, they are some of the highest ranking ladies in the land, but they are still English."
Alessandra smoothed her blue skirt, glad that she had picked one of the nicest of her English gowns. Truth be told they were all quite ugly, but there were a select few that were nicer than the rest, and this pale, silvery blue dress was one of them. Currently, she was having another dozen gowns made; the grandest was to be of dark blue velvet with diamonds, pearls, and sapphires sewn all over. The neckline was to be very low, and the gown was to have a matching french hood encrusted with jewels. Alessandra was momentarily lost in thought of her new gowns.
Francesca de' Medici - May 2, 2010 06:03 AM (GMT)
Francesca laughed. She couldn't help it. Her laughter was filled with the absurdity of this position. Admittedly, her grandfather Lorenzo had squandered most of the family fortune, but the Bishoprics held by her father meant that the income of her own family has been leveled. It was quite a short laugh, but pointed and genuine, much better than her usual diplomatic laughter. "You are sharp tongued!" She said, tossing her head back with a wave, letting her brown hair fall past the golden netting to her own hair. She refused to be ruffled. In times like these, Francesca always remembered the words of Plato. Emotion was for the weak, reason for one who wanted to ascend into the true heaven. Humanism had brought out that in her, she was glad it did. "Let me do defend myself. As a widow, wouldst it not be improper for me to continue my education?" She indicated the black bracelet she wore, in remembrance of a husband she never knew. Of course she still continued her education, but in a more liberal way. It was purely by interest now, and for all the practical reasons.
"Come, let us sit. I'm sure you would rather banter than read Byzantine history, or some such nonsense." She said, mirth still clouding her eyes. "I have been far too presumptuous. I only wished to learn more about a place I have never had the pleasure of visiting." Her mind still calculated, but it was by second nature now. She sought no patronage of the House of di Marcelli but only in so far as much that she could if she wanted to. Mutual benefits would entail when her father ascended to the Holy See. The Church, as an instrument of power in the Romagna would, of course, mean that Padua would again be in contestation. She doubted her father held such grandiose plans, that the House of Medici would expand beyond Florence and the Romagna to encompass the Venetian lands, but that was to be seen. In the interest of her own province, Cesena, she had to make sure that she had a place to live and a citadel to defend that was free from the winds that blew the fortunes of her family.
Alessandra Di Marcelli - May 2, 2010 11:59 PM (GMT)
A widow? Alessandra wasn't sure how she could have forgotten that this girl was - or, at least, had been - married. Maybe it had just never come up in front of her. "Forgive me," She said. "I did not know of the death or your husband. Although I did not realize that a widow must discontinue her education. Does your father not want you educated in ways of the world, or is he of the mind that illegitimate children do not need to be taught the fundamentals?" Alessandra smirked slightly out of habit, then controlled her expression. There was no need for this stranger to develop an opinion of her. Of course, she had already picked up on one of Alessandra's most prominent traits.
"You should visit some time. Venice is a truly beautiful place; we have much of the best architecture in the world. Of course, I am sure you know that," Alessandra was bored now; it must be near lunch, which would provide the perfect opportunity to get away from this strange girl. But apparently Francesca was in the mood to talk. "I would prefer not to; I do not want to dirty my dress, and I would hate to intrude upon your time any longer."
Francesca de' Medici - May 3, 2010 12:46 AM (GMT)
Francesca smiled graciously, "I knew not my husband, nor indeed of the five boys I was betrothed to in my early days. Such is life isn't it?" She laughed again, thinking of the portraits of the pasty young men she had been shown, each in quick succession, while she hung onto Uncle Giulio, giggling at the grandiose poses of each one, more shallow than the next. She really had little thought for marriage in those days, far too busy sneaking into her father's dinner parties, spying on men like Bembo and Accolti as they debated Latin phrases, absorbing like a sponge the various points of information they had spoken of.
"Alas, my formal education has ended, but I'm quite devoted still to my tutor. Father has sent me here for to use my education practically. I am the Medicean representative in England." It was a source of controversy, sending a woman here. Yet, the state of affairs in Rome meant that she could not stay, at least not until her father had found another bachelor who valued money over life, crazy enough to marry into the House of Medici. "You must not think that I am illegitimate. The late Pope, His Holiness Alexander Vi, has made it quite clear that I am the daughter of Contessina Colonna and her husband, Filippo Sforza." She was referring to the Papal Bull that was published in the second year of her life, one that justified her birth.
"Nonsense, then. I would be much obliged." The church bells at the Royal Chapel tolled the time, signifying that all would stop their work for lunch. "Well, there it is. Now, time for lunch. I shall not intrude upon your time any longer." She did a slight curtsy, out of respect, and turned to walk.
Alessandra Di Marcelli - May 6, 2010 04:34 PM (GMT)
"I knew not my husband, nor indeed of the five boys I was betrothed to in my early days. Such is life isn't it?"
"True. I was betrothed twice; once at age two, once at seven. But my father ended both betrothals because he felt that I could do much better. That is why I was brought to England, to find a suitable match," Alessandra paused; that was probably more than Francesca needed to know. "Are you really the Medicean Representative? I did not know that girls could hold positions such as that." She frowned. It was unnatural that a woman should represent her family in a foreign country; what kind of savages were these Medicis?
As the clock struck noon, Alessandra sighed internally. Time for the midday meal. Usually the food was quite substandard, but having abstained from Breakfast this morning, Alessandra was ravenous. Francesca seemed anxious to get away as well, so Alessandra figured she would drag out annoying this girl until lessons began.
She walked a little faster than necessary to catch up, her full skirt rustling as she moved. She slowed down when she was right behind Francesca, then moved to her right side. "Where will you be dining?" She inquired. "I usually take my midday meal in my chamber, then commence my lessons." She assumed Francesca would eat with the rest of the palace. Her status was likely not high enough to request a meal in her room. But if that was the case, Alessandra considered joining her. Eating by herself with the maids watching was dreadfully dull.
(Sorry it took me so long to reply. Exams :P )
Francesca de' Medici - May 7, 2010 02:03 AM (GMT)
"No doubt the English are far more suiting to your status than the Italians." Francesca commented, smiling slightly. Bearing the typical Florentine superiority, she thought any other nation both culturally and intellectually below those of her native Tuscany. Francesca had always known she would marry into one of the Royal houses of Italy. Indeed, each house that she was aligned with had to serve some political influence, one that would benefit the House of Medici easily. She remembered, reading her illustrious grandfather's words set down painstakingly by the great Angelo Poliziano, that he had three sons; a dumb one (her late uncle Piero), a smart one (her father), and a sweet one (her uncle Giuliano). She was proud to be of the man who was deemed by the one they called Il Magnifico as the most intelligent of his sons. With a sweep of her light silk skirts, she took a couple of steps before she heard the girl's next few words.
The Venetian conceit so evident in the girl's voice almost made Francesca laugh.. The girl must have taken History, or even read Dante and Petrarch. Francesca herself was proud of the Florentine heritage. As the culture centre of Europe, the City of the Baptist was filed, from the time of Dante and Giotto, with genius of various respects, culminating in the golden age of Francesca's grandfather, Lorenzo de' Medici, before Savonarola chased all the artists of acclaim to Rome, now under the patronage of Cardinal Giovanni de' Medici. Of course it was unconventional for the Medicis to have a female representative, but it was the political way, a way to operate off the main stage. A woman penetrated the inner sanctuary whereas a man was caught up in appearances. A woman was subtle whereas a man would be seen as a way to undermine the authority of Pope Julius II. Francesca understood that, but she didn't voice such sentiments out loud. Instead, she only replied with "Florence educates their women in the same manner as their men, being of course the centre of learning in Europe. Humanism is rampant in Florence, as dogmatic piety is in Rome. I was raised in the Florentine fashion. As the only child of the patriarch, my father has placed special trust in my abilities."
Eloquent words matched eloquent manner as Francesca looked towards the ringing tower. "I am on my way to the chapel. I wanted to speak to the young deacon that has taken apprenticeship there." To spy was the better word. The young man could make an interesting archbishop, if he could only tell Francesca the secrets of the clergy in England. "I too begin some lessons with my tutor," Francesca had planned on lunching with the deacon that day, letting him dine on the sumptuous, rather gluttonous tables of the House of Medici but had not settled on the plans. If she had to skip another lesson with her tutor, the humanist professor from Pisa, then she feared her father's admonishing letter, or Uncle Giulio's chastising hand.
((Forgive the suckiness of the post. SO tired xP))
Alessandra Di Marcelli - May 8, 2010 03:16 AM (GMT)
No doubt the English are far more suiting to your status than the Italians.
"Apparently so. Coming to England was not my idea at all, but that of my Grandfather. He wishes to spread his grandchildren out amongst the countries of the world. Only one of my siblings was married to a Venetian. My sister is now a Polish Princess; my brother Vincenzo a Spanish Duke. Of course, I have deduced that my Grandfather was simply making all of those matches to increase his power. And the same is being done with myself, although her quite obviously has a much higher title in mind for me," Alessandra kept her expression blank; she knew all this well, but sometimes she wished that she hadn't needed to actually be in England for her father to find an appropriate match. She missed Venice something dreadful.
I am on my way to the chapel. I wanted to speak to the young deacon that has taken apprenticeship there.
Upon hearing those words, Alessandra sighed dramatically. "That is a shame," She began. "I usually dine by myself and it would have been wonderful to have company for once. Oh well." She looked up at the clock. "I suppose I must be going. Hopefully my Lady In Waiting is feeling well enough to keep me company, although I rather doubt that. She was a horrible shade of gray this morning."
(No worries. This one's pretty bad too; it's midnight and I'm EXHAUSTED)
Francesca de' Medici - May 10, 2010 12:44 AM (GMT)
Francesca smiled at the notion. How interesting it was. The Doge was invading all the leading countries not by arms but by the bedroom. She had to smile at it It was so particularly political. It reminded her of the marriage between Madonna Lucrezia and Alfonso of Ferrara. Francesca - consciously nor not- was irrevocably political herself, so much so that the femininity within her was often clouded by the masculine aspect of reason. It wasn't because she was taught the niceties on the subject from her earliest days but because of her poison cunning, her skilled argument and strong dialectic. "The House of Tudor does have very few males, does it not?" The King had no heir. It was rumoured already that the Queen gave birth to a dead male and probably would not conceive.
Francesca looked towards the sun, her eyes squinting slightly in judgment of the sun's position. Sometimes, she wondered if in Italy, they had looked up at the sun the same time she did and smiled at it, as she did. It made her feel closer to her father, to Uncle Giulio and of course, her beautiful painter Raphael. Then, she looked back at Alessandra, making a mental note to write her father of the meeting. He would want to know about Venice, especially when there were at least two Venetian cardinals to be represented at the next conclave, which, God willing, would happen sooner rather than later. Anything that happened when the Pope was in England would be important to Francesca. and the Medici cause.
When told about Alessandra's waiting woman, Francesca made the typical words. "I hope she does feel better. I would ask you to dine with the deacon but for fear that it would bore you so. Religion is seldom a topic befitting for good company. Aristotle is by far a better dinner guest than any cardinal, wouldn't you agree?" Her words, borderline heretical, were filled with the humour of Renaissance humanism.
Alessandra Di Marcelli - May 19, 2010 11:24 PM (GMT)
The House of Tudor does have very few males, does it not?
"Indeed. One sometimes wonders... but I should probably not say. I would not want to put myself in jeopardy. Or yourself, of course" Alessandra suppressed a smirk. She had been about to say "One sometimes wonders if the Tudors are able to bear males at all without some assistance from undesirable methods", but, of course, that would probably qualify as treason, and Alessandra rather liked her head where it was now; attached to the rest of her body. The suppressed smirk had been for the last line of her sentence. As if she cared anything for this Medici girl. Her father always said that the Medicis would end badly, so it was best not to become acquainted with one.
However, Alessandra was quite lonely, and even if her only option of company was a Medici, then she would have to accept that for the time being.
"I hope she does feel better. I would ask you to dine with the deacon but for fear that it would bore you so. Religion is seldom a topic befitting for good company. Aristotle is by far a better dinner guest than any cardinal, wouldn't you agree?
"I must confess that I am not one for philosophical discussions. I find them frightfully dull. How is one supposed to remember everything? It is all very confusing. However, I should like to dine with you some time. You, admittedly, are one of the more engaging ladies I have met here in England, even if you are a Medici." Alessandra smiled slightly, then continued. "And it would be a great relief to speak Italian again, even if only for an hour. My father insists on English whenever I am in his presence, and unfortunately the language is becoming to be overused by myself."
Francesca de' Medici - May 28, 2010 04:07 AM (GMT)
Francesca shook her head, indicating her diplomatic immunity. She was too political to even hint at such a subject, her father depending on the goodwill of the English King to send his army to back the Sforzas of Milano. A secretive smile played at Francesca's lip as she sank into a curtsy again, eyes downcast, a hint of a glimmer in them, representing her amusement at such a game. She was playing a game, she formulated all of life's meetings as a game, and it was a happy fact that she was completely competitive, rather far too competitive for her own good. Her playfulness often resulted in more serious consequences, and whether good or bad this time, it remained to be seen. The rise and fall of the wave of politics would be great indeed, especially when such high stakes were being played, tossed around the card table of the Italian Peninsula. Francesca revelled in such chaos, levelling her playing field cunning, while acting with all the glamour of youth.
"I disagree with you there, Lady Alessandra. I believe it is only with philosophy that we may emulate, and indeed one day surpass, the greatness of antiquity." She echoed the thoughts of the humanists, those men that gathered in Rome for want of patronage and intellectual discussion. A woman who loved philosophy was a woman with thoughts of her own. That was something that many frowned upon, but none spoke out on it. She loved Plato and Aristotle, despite the obvious prejudice in the writings. It was hard for Francesca to understand how someone could not enjoy philosophical works.
"It would be a great pleasure to dine with you as well." She lowered her head in a bow, ignoring with magnanimity the blatant insult to her name. The merchant house, Francesca had always had to swallow that association with the name, the idea that the Medicis only rose on account of their legendary wealth, rather than a feat on the battlefield. "I agree, I don't find English at all a becoming language. Indeed, I would rather converse in the Italian vernacular, for such great poetry has evolved from it. Shall we arrange a time for such an occasion to for talk in the native tongue of Italy?" She asked, gracious and subtle in her words, chosen carefully with seemingly no effort whatsoever.
Alessandra Di Marcelli - May 29, 2010 04:18 AM (GMT)
"I disagree with you there, Lady Alessandra. I believe it is only with philosophy that we may emulate, and indeed one day surpass, the greatness of antiquity."
Alessandra frowned slightly, offended by this comment. "Actually, it is Princessa. I am surprised you did not know that. My father shall be the Doge of Venice., when my dearest grandfather passes on. God forbid that should happen soon, though," She added devoutly, as she had been taught to. The people of Venice love my Grandfather. As they should."
Alessandra shook her perfect blond curls over her shoulder. It was beginning to get quite warm. She wished that her father did not like her hair best down; he always insisted upon Alessandra looking like perfection, and given that he liked her hair flowing around her shoulder, that was how she was forced to wear it. Even in the intense summer heat of Italy. But on that note, her father was departing in two days to pick up a shipment of seventy bolts of fabric from Venice as a gift to King Henry VIII in celebration of his new daughter. After much conversation, Alessandra had managed to convince him that she would be better off staying where she was than damaging her health with travel. Alessandra had always been considered delicate by her mother, even if she was anything but. And her father always wanted to keep her looking her very best, and sickness would damage her looks, so he had finally agreed to let her stay, as long as she stayed with Antonia at all times.
"As for dining together, would you like do have your midday meal in my chambers in three days from now? My father will be gone, and Antonia has never minded the company I keep, as long as it is somewhat sophisticated. And I do so long to be able to have a proper conversation in Italian. So many at this court who claim they are fluent are simply painful to listen to, when they attempt to speak Italian."
(Sorry that was kind of hard to understand. It's past mid night right now :P )
Francesca de' Medici - June 6, 2010 10:43 PM (GMT)
Francesca smiled again, cautious, calm and sweet. The Princess Alessandra was a beautiful young girl, and she would have set hearts a flutter when in Venice. Here, though, the English seemed to caught up in their powerplay to have any fun. Beauty was only seen as a means, not an end to itself. Everything was so calculated, and while the Italians were the most brilliant at diplomacy, at the end of the day, one could always find an Italy singing bawdy songs and playing the lute, dancing at the foot of the Appenines. She found that culture to be much more to her playful tastes, and was glad to see another Italian simply for the culture that came along with it. Despite the divisions of Italy and the rather snobbish attitude the Venetians adopted when associating with the rest of the Peninsula, there was something distinctly Italian about all involved, cut into little pieces but threaded together by the common memory of the Great Rome.
"That would be perfect." Francesca agreed, thinking in her head of her schedule. "I look forward to it." She drew herself down to a small curtsy, before rising up again with a brilliant smile. "Alas, the Italian vernacular, I believe, is the most graceful, and of course its grace can only be kept by those who know the language proficiently." Like many of the Florentines, despite knowing Latin, Francesca preferred to hear poetry in the vernacular. Bruni's defense of the language was the most apt, indeed, it was what had persuaded the Pope too to listen to Italian verse.
Then, despite the different styles of Italian, Venetian and Florentine, Francesca could understand the Venetian tongue. It was strange to her, almost foreign, each region of Italy split by dialects, but Francesca had always been open to Roman Italian as well, which helped her cement her understanding of the various Italian tongues.
((Xd Sorry bout the lady part. Historically, Venice was a Republic, so I always mistake it for FKAC))