In response to Princess Julia being forthcoming about her early love,
Well, when I was thirteen, I was in love with my cousin Isabella. She was a rather distant cousin and three years older than I was. I used to worship the ground she walked on. The problem was how to tell her without being laughed at. I thought about what to say for many weeks. Finally, after much agonizing, I had a brilliant idea.
I went to Isabella and said that one day I hoped to be a great knight, fierce at arms and a perfect gentleman with the ladies, so I asked her to teach me how to be charming. We could pretend that I was her suitor. She would rebuff me, as would a real lover, but afterwards she could explain to me what she was really thinking. Isabella explained that the way to a young lady's heart was to go out on a quest and bring back priceless treasures. She also noted that I was quite ignorant about the herbs and wild flowers which grew near the castle. Each day, to test my resolve, she would ask me to bring her a particularly obscure flower or curative plant. If I succeeded, she would allow me a single kiss. If I failed, I suffered the cruelest of punishments - I was barred from her presence for three days.
Unfortunately, I was always occupied learning heraldry or studying horsemanship. To save myself the bother of finding those elusive herbs, I used to employ a stable boy called Anthony. He was a veritable magician at rustling up whatever obscure plants my cousin wanted. Well satisfied, I gave him a farthing every time he helped me.
One day, I came to Anthony earlier than expected and found him laying in the hay with Isabella. They were obviously in love and were joking about the flowers which she should ask me for that day. Knowing how lazy I was, Isabella had thought up her clever plan. She had found a way of giving her lover a little money without offending his dignity.
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