Disappointed Damsel

Milady Luaithrend the Loyal,

I humbly write to you today to ask your kind assistance with one of my ladies-in-waiting. She is a lovely woman, cheerful and helpful, and a boon companion. Still, she dresses quite scandalously. Just this morning she went to market without a veil! I also heard a mean spirited rumor that she displayed her ankles at a ball last weekend, but I cannot believe that of her.

I am unsure what to do. I desire her companionship, but allowing loose behavior affects my reputation as a good Christian woman and a lady of the realm.

In doubt,
Disappointed Damsel

Dear Disappointed,

Have you spoken to this “lady” about her shortcomings in matters of attire? Indeed, ladies-in-waiting are expected to dress according to their station at all times, and to uphold the honor and dignity of your house. I cannot imagine that you would allow such behavior to take place in your presence, therefore you must take pains to ensure that this particular lady is never far from your side. Your example must guide her. You must show her that veils are indeed the most fashionable accessory available to the gentler sex–at least, that is, when bycockets are not to be had. Model for her the demure behavior that you expect from your ladies. And never allow her to converse with Spaniards! They have been known to tempt even the most chaste of women to revealing inappropriate secrets, which may indeed have been what occurred at that unfortunate ball.

If she persists in her habit, I suggest that you confine her to your manor. At least she will only be scandalizing the stable boys while there, rather than ruining your good name.