Thursday, June 25, 2009
Head of the Family
The rules have been changing here in Paris. We’ve been on the brink of bankruptcy, the whole country, just take a look at our shoes. The fourteenth King Louis has a new Minister of Finance, Jean Baptiste Colbert. People who hope say things might be turning around. People with brains know the king puts every cent into war, no way the country can prosper. I do give Colbert credit for trying. Everybody calls him a cold fish, actually they call him Le Nord, because he’s cold as the ice that forms there. He’s trying to keep the Dutch out of power here in France. I heard he passed the Mercantilist policy, which means an infrastructure for the country and an end to the purchase of Venetian glass in favor of local glass. I never touched such glass, I wouldn’t want to. My brother has a glass eye, about as much glass as I’ll ever need to see.
According to Colbert, he’ll be strongly regulating guilds now. I heard he’s passed an edict that if three people complain about a merchant’s cloth the merchant will be tied to a pole with it. I can’t complain about my cloth, it’s all I’ve got and as you see it has served me well. Fact is, no one will listen to me complain even if I do. I’ll end up like one of these birds. There are nine dead ones in this painting and only two or three walking around, our fates are not so different. I don’t mean to say I’m close to de-feathered. I’m not. Hell, I’ve still got my teeth, unlike my old lady.
We’ve got the conjunctivitis, all of us but the youngest boy. Pink eye is itchy and makes us look sad, but we’re not. We’re jolly most of the time. I'm happy that our youngest is hanging in there and my older son is worth his salt. If things get much worse I’ll send the boys to the ship yards. Word is they’re building more of the hundred ton merchant ships. There will be twice as many by the end of the century. That means close to 700 ships at sea that size. My lord, we’ll go into boat building and forget all about birds.