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Re CHAT:The mysterious case of Good King Wenceslas

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  • Melvyn Clarke
    ... next week... ... interesting ... myself? ;-) ... Of course, so-called King Wenceslas was in reality being heavily leaned on by the East Franks (see
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 31, 2000
      --- In Czechlist@egroups.com, "Martin Janda" <martinjanda@v...> wrote:

      > Wow! My family is saved from starvation! I don´t have to work
      next week...


      > As to tax evasion, it ´s an
      > legal paradigma: to evade a tax which I am supposed to pay to
      myself? ;-)
      > >

      Of course, so-called "King" Wenceslas was in reality being heavily
      leaned on by the East Franks (see message #71) and was obliged to
      pay a regular "tax" to the local German protection racketeers. Such a
      tax was quite possibly calculated on the basis of the number of
      peasants on his lands.

      What else could account for the fact that all around the royal
      residence the snow "lay deep and crisp and even", i.e. without a trace
      of the hordes of destitute peasants one would normally expect to see
      clamouring around the palace of a king (AKA prince, duke or count)
      with a troubled liberal conscience? The local peasants doubtless had
      their orders to keep a low profile while the German tax inspectors
      were on the prowl.

      And when a lone peasant does heave into sight, why does Wenceslas go
      to such trouble to take these tax-deductible goods all the way to his
      dwelling? I mean it would have
      been the easiest thing in the world, normally, for the page to call
      out and invite the peasant up to
      the palace for a banquet or two rather than to go trekking a good
      league hence (4.83 km) in rapidly deteriorating weather conditions.

      There are some other things which just do not add up:

      Why did the peasant walk over 4.83 kilometres through one of the most
      densely forested
      areas in Central Europe allegedly in search of wood?

      And why did the "King" carry pine logs? Anybody who knows anything
      about wood would tell you that pine logs splutter and
      spit dreadfully when set alight. Ash and chestnut were traditionally
      used as fuel in Bohemia.

      Now what was inside those "pine logs" and just what was meant by the
      forest "fence"???

      The page-boy claims to know the peasant's permanent place of abode but
      there are in
      fact no historical records of this so-called "St Agnes' fountain".
      Just as well, really, because this and
      the heated sod of the saint's footprints would be clear evidence of
      local geothermal activity
      (making the 'gathering winter fuel' alibi even more dubious) and this
      would doubtless have
      constituted a further taxable supply in the eyes of the German tax
      inspectors had they been sober enough to notice it.

      So what was really going on? It all sounds like one of those lateral
      thinking puzzles, doesn't it?

      Highly suspicious,


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