Fox 7: Dame’s First letter
My dear girl and erstwhile apprentice, I urge you not to regard my tardiness in replying to your first letter as anything but a symptom of the befuddlement that ceaseless politicking and posturing exact on the mind of an old Gal who has gone on too long without the bitter-sweet respite of Eclipse. Believe me when I say I was pleased to receive your correspondence, colored as it was by your unmistakable—if occasionally off-putting—vernacular and idiosyncrasies, and that in the future I will not be so dilatory with my response.
You mention a number of alarming things that need be addressed without delay. First, do not ever, under any circumstance, “sneak” on the Prince, especially if she even remotely deserves the title. Whoever asked you to do this sent you on a fool’s errand, and probably hoped your skullduggery would be discovered and promptly punished. That you escaped immediate retribution that time only reinforces the possibility that this Josephine, vain creature that she seems to be, only troubles herself when transgressions against her authority are public.
But do not misunderstand me: there is nothing contemptible about vanity. Its detractors point it out among the weak, failing to recognize that it is ubiquitous among the mighty. Only the vast, middling wastes are parched of vanity, populated as they are by people just bright enough to survive without it, but too dim to wield it to their own benefit. You, my Euphemie, have your own reservoir of vanity that is more apparent to people than you think it is; thus, kindly desist from disparaging so-called “prissies.” How many souls believed me to be a “prissy” before the scythe of my wrath swung low for them like a sweet chariot for to carry them home? Why, only last week, Gibbering Gibson thought he could lead me by the powdered nose, and for his troubles, I had to spite his face. A propos, need you be reminded that criticisms, protests, and advice should be given in private unless one knows exactly what one is doing, and you, my little Farm Girl, do not? This goes double for the vain and mighty, and triple for Princes.
Beaten by the hound? Begging to be spared? You are industrious in your efforts to become the whipping girl of Carcosa. Was my whipping insufficient? Have you acquired a deviant fondness for the bite of the switch on your back? I could lash you to a red froth when we next meet, but I fear that will only develop your fetishization for punishment further. It does not surprise me that you are experiencing a period of adjustment in an Invictus and Daeva dominated city, nor that you have lapsed back into the vulgar mannerisms and quaint notions of farm politics that are your safety blanket, but at the rate you are going, there is innovative torture in your forecast, with a chance of execution. And no, there is no double jeopardy clause in Carcosa law; of that, I am certain. Stop giving them reasons to flay you. If a flaying is what you really want, do allow me.
I confess, the hints you give me of your fledgling Movement are exciting. How dynamic and envigorating the trials of an Experiment in the embryonic stages, how delicate! Reading your last letter had me reeling with nostalgia for my younger days, when the night was a blank page of carbon paper upon which to etch a structure from basic, pure ideals! Now, concerning this man you call Warrel, have him expulsed from the group at once. One who sells his covenant-mate down the river, especially in such a small group, will only bring ruin. The others you should cleave to closely, and mind what is said about them and done against them, for every ill word or deed you can answer with your own will tip the scales back in your favor, putting you eventually on a more even level with those who assuredly consider you to be a buffoon and, worse, a burden, for your past actions.
But here comes Raj, telling me that I am needed for negotiations, so, with regret, I will end my letter with some quick composition tips. First, “could of” is never, I repeat, never appropriate; only hobos and minorities write in this fashion. The same holds true for “would have”, “should have”, and other modal constructions, and your speech must reflect this rule. Second, you are not permitted to write in unstylistic fragments. I have enclosed a small manual on writing style, one that is long out of print, but possesses a firm, unrepentant and anti-relativist stance grown scarce in this era. Please mind the sections of common errors produced by the uneducated, and the chapter on fragments.
Do try to stay out of trouble, Miss Euphemie, and I will write soon to speak of lessons.
The Dame Victoria