Queen Ellen's "Dame Capulet Seeketh the Advice of Apothekary Laura Regarding Her Wayward Daughter Juliet"  

AL: Hello, Caller, you are on the air. Now, caller, I see you have not given Mistress Caroline your first name, only your title and last name. You know we cannot use those on the air. It promoteth gossip. What is your first name?

C: You propose to call me by my first name? But no one has done so since the priest at my wedding, and God willing, no one will do so again until that same priest or another buries me. Not even my husband calls me by my Christian name.

AL: Well, I will call you Letty, then. Now Letty, what is your question of good and evil.

C: It is about my daughter, Juliet. She is fourteen and still not married, and I am afraid she is behaving loosely with a lad of the House of (bleeping noise).

AL: No names, please.

C: Well, there is another house that feudeth with us, and yet this brat of mine declares herself in love with one of them. She knows full well that she cannot

marry a man of the house that hath killed some of her kinsmen.

AL: Killed? Lawbreaking? Were drugs involved?

C: No, it were no poisoning, it were a duel.

AL: I am consulting my book of spells. No, it only says that parents must turn their children over to the magistrate if they abuse the poppy or the mandrake. Nothing about duels. But why have you let your daughter loose about the town, to meet with unsuitable young men and spread her legs for them?

C: She is not let loose. She travels with the nurse that has had care of her since she was a baby!

AL: A nurse? You have hired a nurse to care for your daughter rather than caring for her yourself. No wonder she is a strumpet! Do you also hire bawds to consort with your husband?

C: My lady, you forget yourself. No wife would pay for her husband's mistress from her own housekeeping money! He pays for those pleasures himself, and dearly they cost him, too. (Giggles)

AL: So you have hired this nurse while you work outside the home, I suppose.

C: Outside the home? I hardly know what my lady might mean. We have a large estate, plus our town house here in Verona, so of course I must travel back and forth between, and I am quite busy about housewifely matters: I must oversee all the of the work of the cooks, the laundresses, the seamstresses, and the house servants; I am fostering several children of gentle families who are of that awkward age - too young to send off to the crusades, too old for a leading rein (giggles again), I must arrange not only my own daughter's marriage but those of the upper servants as well; I must order all of the household goods that we cannot make on our own estate and check the accounts to see that we are not cheated. I am hardly likely to set up a bakeshop in the village, or an apothekary shop either, let alone have time to attend to my children without the help of nurses.

AL: Now, see here. I am always home when the bunchkin comes home from school!

C: "Bunchkin"? Is this perhaps some familiar that those who deal in herbs are wont to have? A cat perhaps, or a monkey?

AL: The "bunchkin" is my son, Derryck.

C: And he is at school? He plans to take up holy orders?

AL: Hardly (screeching laugh). After all, we are Jewish.

C: Beg pardon, my lady, this device that our alchemist hath set up for us to speak must be bewitched. I thought you said "Jewish."

AL: I did. You see, although my mother was catholic like yourself...

Trails off as a loud scream is heard from Dame Capulet, followed by sound of phone being slammed. This is after all, the Middle Ages, several centuries away from the idea of religious liberty.

Now go take on the Plague.

~Ellen, who is in her own Middle Age

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