The Advice Column of His Lordship the Duke of Lustonshire

By O. Ryan '23

Note: All serf’s writings transcribed by members of the manor’s monastery

Dearest His Lordship,

My son hath declared a want for a lyfe of troubadouring. Mine ears have this night his lute-playeing heard, and my fatherly love and affecsion can hardly endure the brackish sound. Might His Lordship advise me in dissuading him of this dream-born mission?


Cringeing by the Creek

To Cringeing by the Creek,

Thy query is a sinful waste of presious parchment. Dost the peasantry any intelligense possess? Thou shalt forse thy spawn to enter the Church, as is the obvious remedy to thy problem. Many a young man troubadours out of natural youthful exsitement for the fairer kind, and a monk lyfe is fillt with more exsitement than the boy will ever be in need of. Quoth the poet: “The peasant boy who sought to troubadour / Groans sweetest songes behynde the Abbey door.” By the tyme of harvest, his mouth will have found a newer instrument to make synge.

With shaking head and rolling eyes,

His Lordship the Duke of Lustonshire

Dearest His Lordship,

My husband hath not much tyme left, and methinks that his old standing (he is twenty-three years on this earth come harvest) is only worsening his ague. Would His Lordship be so generous as to send the royal apothecary to help my husband?


Worried in the Wood

To Worried in the Wood,

His Lordship the Duke of Lustonshire knoweth well of what thee speak. His Lordship hath taken note of how Garthel, the royal hunting dog, hath been himself in a slothful state. Many of His Lordship’s advisers have put forth the theory that this might itself be the ague. Even jades of thy standing may have borne witness to the grief that His Lordship hath been tasked with carrying. Natheless, hereupon the healing of Garthel, His Lordship shall send the royal apothecary to tend to thy husband.

With prayers for the truely afflicted and aimed flatulense toward the false,

His Lordship the Duke of Lustonishire

Dearest His Lordship,

Wandring gangs of barbarians have been attacking me and stealing barley. I knowe I am but a baseborn, peccant serf and that my lyfe is worth nothing, but howe can I save my crops so that His Lordship may prosper?


Sleepless in Serfdom

To Sleepless in Serfdom,

Thoughe His Lordship the Duke of Lustonshire sympathises with thy trouble, it is clear from thy words that thou art of Irish blood, and it is offisial Lordship polisey to ignore thy pleas. Furthermore, His Lordship reminds thee to remember thine own condision when affixing the label of “barbarian” onto others. Bethink oneself of the adage that one shouldst not hurl stones in thatched-roof houses.

With minimal respect and earned vitriol,

His Lordship the Duke of Lustonshire

Dearest His Lordship,

My wife is ill, and I heard from an olde fishwife in the village who has since passed (she was fifteen) that His Lordship had promised to send the royal apothecary to cleanse her husband. Might His Lordship be so giving as to do the same for my wife?


Prayeing in the Pasture

To Prayeing in the Pasture

Thou speaketh sooth that His Lordship promised to send the royal apothecary to heal a peasant strumpet’s husband, but she and her husband proved too impasient and expyred ere the royal apothecary arrived. His Lordship will do the same for thee, if thou will be more pasient and wait for the royal apothecary to complete his treatment of thy Lord, as His Lordship has not been sleeping well since Concubines 2 and 4 passed on. As soon as the royal apothecary finds medically suitabel replasements, he will heal your wife. If thou cannot await his arrival, may thy death be longe and may thy corse be ugly.

With watering mouth and chafing groin,

His Lordship the Duke of Lustonshire

Dearest His Lordship,

A traveler hath made known his desyre for my hand, but my heart is aflame for my brother. To which suitor must I give my love?


Lusting in Lustonshire

To Lusting in Lustonshire,

Hast thou abandoned the lawes put forth by His Lordship? In what disgusting land dost thou believe thyself to reside? This place is Lustonshire, and though His Lordship hath no extended knowledge of the lawes of otherwhere, His Lordship thinks thou art paying undue attention to the rulings of other dukes. Fie on thee! Hearken to His Lordship’s words when it is stated clearley that the brother hath first rights to his sister, as is natural and good under God. To act otherwise is to trespass into the realm of grievous sin.

With wagging finger and holy rage,

His Lordship the Duke of Lustonshire

Dearest His Lordship,

I write this afeared of punishment, but I must make known to His Lordship that due to the speed of the mail service at this point in English history, many of the writings which consern those dying of saturnism, flux, or ague are sent more than a twelvemonth ere they reach His Lordship. The responses from the castle are oft reseived after the afflicted have perished, or cannot be desyphered due to the widespread illiteracy that is characteristic of this tyme period. Might His Lordship consider stationing an apothecary in the village, so that His Lordship’s future interseshions be not too late?


Moaning in the Manor

To Moaning in the Manor,

Thou speaketh contumely, without regard to His Lordship’s quality! Thine execution in the inner chamber of the castle shall follow the arrival of His Lordship’s response. The Court eagerley awaits thy death that, based on estimates of His Lordship’s chief advisers, will come in eight months tyme, depending on the condision of the roads.

With sharpened sword and readied fists,

His Lordship the Duke of Lustonshire

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