Ask Aggie: Triple A Advice from Triple A Jones
Dear Mistress Jones, I am worried. I am but a lesser lady of the court but I somehow have attracted the attention of the King! He keeps sidling up to me and has even pinched me in a place where no man should ever be touching a maiden! I should be flattered, I know, but he has had several wives now, and has even had one of them beheaded! Henry, if I may use his Christian name, is desperate for a male heir. I know I should refuse his overtures, but it is tempting to think that I might be the mother of the future king of England. Should I give in to his advances? I can't help but fear that the child might be yet another girl. Is there any way to ensure the birth of a male child? I can't use my name, it is too risky. Yours Sincerely, Lady-in-Waiting
Dear Lady-in-Waiting, Child! Do not compromise your virtue! Your Henry may be a king, but he sounds like a rambler and a profligate to me. His attentions seem to be easily diverted from one woman to another. I would advise you to petition your guardian for your prompt removal from court, before you are put into an untenable position. Furthermore, there is no certain way to guarantee a male child, nor for that matter, no way to assure that its mother will live though its birth. Even if you did give birth to this Prince, what's to make sure that the child will be legitimate, unless this king marries you, which also doesn't sound too healthy for you. Do you even think he will do such a thing if you succumb to his advances without the ceremonies? Please do be careful!
My Dear Mrs. Jones: I am very worried. I have received a message from my husband that the British are just off the coast. James tells me I must leave the city immediately, but I feel I must wait for his return. I fear not only for my own safety, and that of my husband, but for that of the grand accomplishments we have made in building this capitol city, and most especially for the portraits, books, and records contained within these new buildings. I know that my husband's wishes should be obeyed, and I have filled several carts with the most precious of this country's belongings and papers, but can't I wait for James? Please reply quickly, time is short! Dolley Madison
Dear Dolley, Go! Now! Save what you can, but go! Should you fall into the hands of the British, your husband, and your country would be placed into jeopardy, for you know that your capture would be a bargaining card for your enemies. And don't be worrying about all those books. They can be replaced, and the buildings can be rebuilt. Just get the government papers and your own valuables - that fancy china perhaps - and maybe that portrait of Washington.
The Year of Our Lord 1608, August
Dear Lady, I have recently been seeing broadsheets proclaiming the virtues of the New World, a place called Virginia, to be exact. There is this colony called James Towne which is advertised as a grand place to make one's fortune. I am a blacksmith, but trade has fallen off of late and I am wondering if a journey to this place would be the answer to the problem of supporting my wife and our ten children. I would want to be taking them all with me, of course. Richard Dole
Dear Richard, If I were you, I would wait several years before embarking on this adventure. While there may be opportunities in Virginia for an experienced blacksmith, any new colony is fraught with deprivation and danger and might not be the sort of place you'd want to take your good wife and all those children. Besides, your wife will be lonely without the company of other women, and we all know what an unhappy wife is like! If you absolutely must go, leave the wife and kiddies at home until you have established yourself.
Dear Agatha, We...are...quite...bereft. We...have...been...without...our...wives...for...quite...some...time. Time...moves...very...slowly...for...Ents. We...ponder...every...word...we...utter...after...thinking...for...a...very...long...time. Now...there...is...all...this...commotion...in...our...forest...The...others...are..still...thinking...but...I...decided...to...write...you. I...am...often...accused...of...being...way...too...hasty. More...than...ever...we...would...like...to...go...find...the...Entwives. But...before...we...do...we...feel...that...we...must...help...these...hobbits...as...they...call...themselves. The...evil...wizard...called...Saruman...has...destroyed...so...many...of...us. Do...you...think...that...if...we...can...gather...ourselves...we can...help..in...this...endeavor?...And...do...you...have...any..idea...where..we...might...find...our...wives?...Thank...you. Quickbeam
Dear Quickbeam I have heard that the Entwives made their way east of the Great River, though no one has run into them of late. Since it's been so long since you have had word of your ladies, a little more time taken to help your new friends in their endeavor should not hinder your search, and may, in fact help it, as there would not be so much danger abroad if this evil wizard was subdued. You might very much enjoy taking your revenge on this man, go for it!
Dear Agatha, My father has sent a message informing my mother that a marriage has been arranged for me and that I am to be escorted to a place called Aulis. The groom is to be Achilles, which pleases my mother, but I have to admit that he frightens me. I have heard that he was educated by a Centaur! Can you imagine such a thing? Besides, I did so want to be married from my home, but I don't want to disappoint my father. What shall I do? Iphigenia of Argos
Dear Iphigenia, While arranged marriages are quite the rage for you Greeks, I would advise you to stay at home for this one. Something is not quite right, it's all awfully hasty. Isn't your father and his army headed for battle with Troy? Time enough to marry this Achilles fellow when he returns from battle, if he does. What would you want to be a widow for?
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