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A Hogmanay story.

Palazzo Muti, Rome, 31st January, 1786.

In his rare lucid periods, his thoughts turned back on his life, it had begun with such promise, the grandson of a King, the son of a self styled one and the great grandson of a Prince of Poland. Blessed by a Pope and baptized by a Bishop. In fact the very house he lay in was given to his father by a Pope. In the early years he was sure that his parents had loved him but had later realized that their show of affection for him had been based largely on their own needs rather than his. The father‘s, because the child was the sole son and heir to the royal line, and the mother‘s, merely to compensate for her husbands neglect.

His mother had entered a convent when he was five years old and had remained there for two years. On her return she was stranger to him, often ill & consumed by an all consuming hate for her husband. He had watched her deteriorate over the years as her many depressions haunted her, had endured seeing her body waste away through starvation as she fought against the imaginary demons that plagued her view of her own hated body. She had died, at the age of thirty three, skeletal and deluded.
His father had thwarted him at every turn for his own religious and political ends, wooing the hated French who had treated the son with such duplicity after the failure in Scotland.

Scotland, a place also of thrown away opportunities and the source of his later addiction to alcohol, he had consumed a bottle a Brandy a day as he had sought warmth and solace on the snow covered islands of the west after the great debacle on the mainland. Even the semblance of romance he found with Clementina Walkinshaw during his visit to Glasgow was destroyed by his failures, which found vent in the beatings administered to her during his many drunken rages in later years, so much so, that that she took their child and fled. He came to despise her for that act, his daughter Charlotte was perhaps the only person that he had ever truly loved.

His later marriage to Louisa, had also ended in ignominy, boredom with his self obsession and paranoia had chased her to seek adventure in the arms of younger, more attentive men, rumour had it that she had taken a Pope to her breast.

In the end, he had eventually found some comfort in the fact that his daughter had returned and cared for him until this, the hour of his death.

Palazzo Muti, Rome, 31st December, 1720.

The pain, at times, seemed too much to bear. Her thighs and the bedclothes beneath them were sodden with a combination of sweat and urine. She thought the child would never seek release; it was as if it desired to stay hidden from the world in the warmth and security of her womb. She had such hopes for this, her first child. She would love him and keep him close, all the days of her life. He would grow proud and strong, the opposite of her cold, aloof, pig of a husband.

Her life had been a series of hopes and disappointments, born and raised within the confines of the Polish royal household she had grown used to her every wish being granted. This had radically changed with her betrothal to James. Journeying to meet him she had been imprisoned during the long winter months of 1718-19 by the Austrians at the behest of George I, the English king. She remembered the thrill of her escape, disguised as a maid, she had fled to meet her future husband (whom she had never met) the rightful king of Scotland. She recalled too, the intense discomfort of the Brenner Pass, covered as it was in snow and ice. On reaching her destination in Bologna, she had found her paramour gone to Spain in the hope of raising an army to gain his much coveted throne. She suffered the indignity of a marriage by proxy and it was some six month before she achieved the satisfaction of a wedding at which her husband was actually present. That happiness did not last long, James was twelve years older than her and his dour and pragmatic approach to life had left her hopes of a romantic union in ruins.

She had determined to put all disappointments behind her, this child would be her salvation, she would nurture him, protect him from the machinations of his father and eventually she would see him gain his rightful inheritance, the kingdom of the Scots.

Palazzo Muti, Rome, 2007.


Ah um noo in wan fuggin affy huff........................ Sad
Fey Hag

Heidy wrote:
Ah um noo in wan fuggin affy huff........................ Sad

Noo Noo calm doon Heidy ; wur no haen the war uv ra posers


Luiks like Neils goat a bee in his bunnit.............
Fey Hag

Lang as u'ts no in his Breeks.

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