Monday, October 25, 2010

Talleyrand meets Adolphus

Talleyrand departed from Cyrus’s territory and passed unnoticed through Frederick’s territory to finally arrive in Adolphus’ territory. He sent his servant ahead of him to make a secret meeting with Adolphus. Adolphus was receptive to a meeting.

Talleyrand arrives at the appointed time and place. It is dark and he enters a dimly lit tent set up for their purposes. He is alone, but soon Adolphus arrives. Adolphus enters the tent. He gestures to Talleyrand and offers him a seat. Adolphus speaks, “We can speak freely here. Why have you arranged a secret meeting?”

Talleyrand answers slyly, “Why have you admitted me?”

Adolphus replies, “Fair enough. I have read many books about you since Roetomus brought us here. You are a gifted diplomat, and I am interested in your business with me. So why are you here?”

Talleyrand replies more directly now, “I will be honest with you, King. Napoleon exiled me. Another party has employed me. They wish to make a secret alliance with you to isolate and oppose Alexander.” Talleyrand then stops and remains silent. Like a good salesperson, Talleyrand knows that if Adolphus speaks first, then he can gain him. However, if Adolphus does not buy into the arrangement, then Talleyrand’s entire task may fail. Everything hinges on Adolphus now.

Adolphus is no fool. He mirrors Talleyrand. Neither of them move or speak for a great while. Adolphus thinks to himself. This is a decisive moment. Is this a trick conceived by Napoleon and endorsed by Alexander? If so, I could be isolated in the first campaign. I wonder though, if this is not a trick, then who sent him?

Talleyrand sits still. He looks almost lifeless. His soul is twisted and corrupt. His mind is filled with treachery and deceit, but Adoplhus is a man of action as well as intellect and finally he speaks. “Talleyrand, who sent you?”

Talleyrand is confident now. He says, “Cyrus.”

“It makes sense to me. Cyrus wishes to isolate Alexander for the first campaign. Who else knows of your plan?”

“No one. It is essential that the alliance be kept secret from any formal alliance that Cyrus makes.”

Adolphus perceives the intent and voices it, “I see. You wish for me to make an alliance with Alexander, but in secret I will support Cyrus when the time comes. Who else will be involved or will we act alone?”

Talleyrand explains what he thinks will happen, “I think Frederick will ally with Alexander, so that Frederick can deal with Genghis. I also believe that Frederick will try to ally with you to secure his rear. Therefore, the odds are that Alexander will wish to ally with you as well. It seems apparent that you will face Caesar in the first campaign. At least for our purposes, it will appear that way.”

Adolphus smiles and says, “So you want to bring Caesar into out secret alliance.”

“Yes. I hope that we can. If not, then this whole venture may be in vain.”

Adoplhus states, “I’m apprehensive, but I agree. However, if Caesar cannot be brought on board, then Cyrus and I will be in a dangerous situation since our formal alliances may fall apart and leave us exposed on multiple fronts.”

Talleyrand and Adolphus agree to meet again after Talleyrand speaks with Caesar. Afterwards, Talleyrand limps away into the night.


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