The Birth of Mischief Author:Rafael Sabatini 'Charles Stuart-Dene, Marquess of Alverley, looked at humanity, and wondered why it was.' And, with this first sentence, the reader is off into another world. A world of love and adventure in the company of this slightly cynical, always impertubable, very British, and completely bold young man. — Alverley stands quietly observing a little... more » scene in a petty German court. He is in the Porcelain Gallery with the local royal family. There are many of these tiny kingdoms—full of intrigue and cruelty, music, heavy food, spartan virtues (and evils). The Crown Prince Fritz is completing the playing of his own composition. The curtain is already going up on a sinister prelude to the march of Prussian power.