Continuities » Silmaril » a comfortable inheritance
Sep 23, 2017 3:36 AM
so there was a discussion on tumblr about whether you could get a maitimo to own slaves
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When Amait was six she tried to talk her great-grandmother into releasing their slaves. Her great-grandmother pulled her up on her lap and bounced her and shook her head. "Then we would be poor and no one would take us seriously," she said. 'You'll understand when you're older."

When Amait was seven she sat down with the household accounts and tried to figure out a way for them to afford all the manumissions. With enough generous leaning on 'and my mother can invent things and sell them for a lot of money' it wasn't impossible. She took this to her great-grandmother, who tapped her knee (Amait sat) and looked and said that Amait was very clever and very optimistic but would leave no money for her little brothers and sisters not to go to bed hungry.

When Amait was eleven she took another, more pragmatic shot at the household accounts. It couldn't really be done. She read for a while about ways to reorganize a plantation to make it more profitable and then decided that was the entirely wrong track and then moped for two weeks. Her great-grandmother was annoyed with her.

 

She grew up. She stopped being annoying.

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(She grew up. She ran away from home and started smuggling people out.)

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Amait is her great-grandmother's proxy in the Civic Council. Amait's great-grandmother owns a hundred and seventy-seven people, which entitles her proxy to eight votes. If she bought three more it would be nine votes, and that extra vote might make a difference, but Amait has not mentioned this to her great-grandmother. Obviously.

(It'd be one thing if the extra slaves would be purchased in service of the swing vote on abolition. But she's nowhere near achieving that, ten or twelve years off in the best of circumstances. They'd be a potential swing vote on aqueducts and covered sewers and literacy programs and foreign trade. Worthy causes, but - well.)

She plans to abolish slavery before her children are old enough to ask their great-grandmother about it.

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One of the house slaves goes to her office and waits at the door for acknowledgment.

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She learned all their names and then mostly stayed away. It's - psychologically easier. They don't usually bring messages, either - "yes, Almye?"

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"It's your great-grandmother, Mistress." They usually call her ma'am. "Her girl found her passed on this morning."

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" - send my grandmother my condolences, and tell her I'll be back - end of the week, can't miss this vote -"

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"Yes Mistress."

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"Do you need anything while you're here -"

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Blink. "I've checked in with the overseer, Mistress."

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"Thank you. You can go."

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She goes.

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Amait's grandmother could maybe with a concerted assault be persuaded to let them all go. Amait ignores this. At least until the end of the week. There's a vote. 

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"And it'd have to be quite the concerted assault, aren't she and your mother estranged presently?"

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"Last I heard she had written my mother out of her will and my mother had told her that she didn't have parents anyway and would not dream of being associated with the -"

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"Sinkholes of worthless idiocy which my grandmother produced by her second husband."

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"Sounds like your mother. Okay. Do we in fact need her to convince your grandmother to let them go -"

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"I don't know. Maybe. Probably. It's a hard sell - we'd be poor and powerless -"

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"So reassure her that she's going to be comfortable anyway, yeah, and maybe even that we can afford paid help - can we -"

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"I don't know."

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"You must've seen this coming - if not now, next couple years -"

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"Honestly I haven't really been thinking, uh, ahead. I guess I should have been. It's - when it happened it was going to either mean I continue doing politics or all the politics immediately ceases to be relevant and I go be a commoner, so - might as well plan as if it won't happen. What else would I have done, taken up a trade so I have something to occupy myself afterwards -"

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"A week sooner'll make a big difference to them - nearly two hundred, a week sooner is - years of peoples' lives -"

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"I know that."

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"How do we convince your grandmother."

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