On Tears and Laughter, and Romantic Tales and Wistful Dreams
Anthea is a very willful creature. For the last few days, she has been pestering me, her "patron" as she calls me, to guest post on my blog. I was rather averse to the notion of HER doing such a preposterous thing, because once she starts, it can be hard to shut her up. But I have come to a truce with her. That is, she is only allowed to talk for fifteen minutes, and then she MUST be quiet, or else I will have to forcibly hand-cuff and gag her. That seems to have scarred her alright, but not enough to stop her from the attempt of speaking on my blog....
"The most gracious, esteemed, benevolent and... and... and ... (oh dear, and Valerius did tell me to take heed to my diction if I was to attempt this!) and kind Listeners and Debaters of my noble Patron and her Forum (she calls it a blog), how very flattered I am to be able to share my feelings with you, candidly and from the depth of my heart--something so rare and unappreciated among my large circle of acquaintances who look down their noses on tears and laughter, and romantic tales and wistful dreams. Alas, I cannot let you endure hearing my dismal tale of the life I lead, for it would break your noble hearts, and that would be an insurmountable tragedy! However, I have some business to attend to. It is my most solemn duty to make my presence of use here and be for once the mouth-piece of my patron who has faithfully (if not languorously) been mine these last four years of my life.
She has asked me to inform you that she is currently very much occupied with her studies and a musical examination which she claims to be fast approaching, so she will have very little time for you for a while (oh, Patron, how can you be so very heartless and cruel?!). Besides this, she has not directed me as to what to say here, so I take my liberty here in sharing some interesting little facts about my life in general, and my patron in particular.
You know, she seems especially anxious to help a young client from Britannia by the name of Jane Wilson in what she calls "an editing process", giving very little time to attend to my own problems. To say the least, I am feeling a wee bit jealous of that young Jane for having taken all the attention of the patron. My patron seems now to only deal with me in the recesses of her mind as she keeps claiming she has no time to deal with me or my family seriously at this time. She says, "after exams, schoolwork and such I surely will get to you." Oh how very condescending! Well, if I do nothing else, I plan on displaying my worst face even when she does pay us a visit (whenever that might be!). I will surely stamp my feet and frighten her frightfully so much so that she will not dare abandon us again. Portia, my slave, has ventured to tell me that my patron might not be afraid of us, but rather plan to assassinate us instead. If that be so, I intend to fight her with teeth and nails to stay alive (such is my zest for life). And of course she can't really get rid of us... after all without her clients how will she ever win enough votes or make it to the Senate? I should know, as my father is a Senator himself!
Much as I love my patron she has some great weaknesses which I will not, for the sake of her honour, utter here. But the worst of them is that she mistakenly seems to believe that the principle villain in this tragic story o' my family happens to be my own beloved husband-to-be, Flavius Apicius. Imagine him.... a villain?! Preposterous! How very proud, stubborn and misguided these patrons are sometimes! Oh no, but PLEASE do not tell my patron that I have said that, or she'd try to kill me for sure!! That's the scariest part about our patrons... they seems to have the power to kill us off on the slightest whim, almost like our own Roman gods and goddesses, who punish us with bolts of lighting and strike us dead to the ground for displeasing them. That reminds me, I really must join Mother tonight in offering incense to our household shrine... I do not want to incur their wrath for my hasty, and oh so foolish tongue!
Do you know something, my dear friends? Out of the sad mess of this tale of ours, my dear patron will be obliged to turn out our lives into rainbow and sunshine and let everyone live happily ever after to the end of our days. I will think her a horrid patron if she did otherwise! But to be perfectly candid with you, I cannot as yet see such a jolly ending. My life to say the least is in a rather gloomy state... what with my brother's misfortunes (I shall not mention them on this public forum, for fear of family disgrace), and my best friend deprived of the ones she loves most, and worst of all, my fiance struggling to gain some footing that would make him able to marry me and let us both live in total bliss here ever after. Look, if she decides not to kill every person in her way, I hope I at least will be among those few selected to live... unless of course she decides she has a task for me to do when everyone is dead. Now that will be worse than being stabbed by a dagger or even burned alive... I positively hate doing anything legionary or heroic as it gives me a dreadful headache, like that of a Macedonian slave drum! Now, that would not be nice.
Of course now that you either love me or hate me, I think it is my solemn duty to terminate this speech (and of course I do not want to be gagged by my patron!). I crave forgiveness for any erroneous diction I have uttered before you this day, but I hope you have born it with graceful pleasure as a whole. And I do hope you will miss me just a wee bit from now on, as well as get a vague idea of what my poor patron has to deal with whenever she decides to pay our family a visit. I am sure she gets positively befuddled.
Till the patron of this happy little forum returns,
Anthea Apicius, nee Gallus
To clear out any confusion, Anthea comes from my work in progress, 'The Crown of Life'. I fear I might have slightly over-exaggerated her character here in her 'guest post', but this was a fun little post that I enjoyed writing mainly for the pleasure of it, not that this young Roman girl is always so temperamental or talkative. She is definitely more nervous than usual (due to my earlier gagging threats), and thus she spoke rather laboriously. And if you have read to this end of the post, hurrah for you!