A Spanish Problem

Dear Loyally Luaithrend,

We have made every effort to raise our sons properly, that they might pursue the knightly virtues and uphold our proud family name.

Now my second son, who has been intended for the Church, is consorting with Spaniards! He’s been attending balls, carousing in the marketplace, and speaking to scandalous women. I fear that, in spite of our best efforts, he’s become a sodden-witted sheep-biter.

Please help us find a way to guide him into the proper path.

In distress,
Melancholy Mother

Dear Melancholy,

Spaniards are not to be trusted. Under no circumstances should you allow even your second son to consort with such treacherous villeins. While I have in the past recommended the services of the sons of Spain for certain ventures, you can be certain that these have always involved subterfuge and dealings best kept from the light of day. For such is the natural state of the Spaniard. Your sons would benefit from the education to be found at the French or even the English courts. Or perhaps you would care to foster said son at Hapsburg, to cool his seemingly ardent interests as flamed by these Spanish rogues.

I recommend that you send this son to church forthwith to atone for his sins. Consultation with the church fathers may lead to the recommendation of a hair shirt or perhaps even a solid public flogging as penance for his outrageous behavior.

Should these measures not provide you a satisfactory solution to this dilemma, I am happy to provide a letter of introduction to some Northmen with whom I am acquainted…