Dear Loyally Luaithrand,
I simply do not know what to do about my daughter. I am at my wits end and I do beseech you give me good counsel.
We recently presented our daughter at court. We have managed to secure her a place with Her Royal Highness’s retinue which is a very good placement indeed. However, she is far too interested in the young men at court and this can only lead to ruin. Yet how, as good and true supporters of the Crown, can we refuse to send her? I fear I have failed as a mother. How can I impress upon her the behavior her father
and I expect from her at court?
I eagerly await your advice,
— A Mortified Mother
Your pain, dear woman, is obvious. You have tried with all good intentions to raise your daughter to act the proper lady, well-suited to a station at court. You dream of her making a good match with a noble family, and yet there are…obstacles…put in her way.
I fear that our noble sovereigns are too fond of Spaniards, and THIS is the source of your troubles!! Indeed, I myself received a wood carving from one of these rogues which seemed to indicate his utter disdain of my disdain for himself and his fellows. The image he sent was accompanied by words to the effect of “Those who are Less Than Enamored of Me are Destined to Wallow in a World Made Less Without Me,” or something like that. I really do not know what to make of his arrogance, but I fear that he and his fellows may be the young men who are leading your good daughter to ruin!!
I am not certain what sort of terrible advice Sir Phillip might be giving to your daughter when out of earshot of reasonable and upstanding folk, but you can be certain that he has not a thimble full of sense when it comes to the instruction of young ladies. Alas, so long as our sovereigns remain enamored of these Spanish ruffians, I fear that refusing to send your daughter back to court on their account would only serve to lower you in Her Highness’ eyes. I suggest that you send a nurse along with her, the uglier and more toad-like the better, and instruct this good woman to stick to your daughter’s side at ALL times. That should set the lads fleeing and allow your daughter to perform her duties without undue distraction.
Just be certain the nurse is a woman who you can trust implicitly. I have known certain nurses to be bribed by their mistresses while away from the care of mother and father, only to find that their charges have gotten themselves inextricably involved in intrigues beyond their capacity…of course, this generally happens in Verona…