Archie Gives Advice!
by Liv

*****************
Letters to Archie

Dear Archie

Lately I've been feeling uncertain about my future in the navy. Don't
get me wrong, I've had a whale of a time sailing the seven seas over
the past six years. But recently, we was trapped in Spain for quite a
bit, then caught in the middle of a Frenchie war. I'm a seaman, not a
fighter! And all these killings are starting to freak me out. Should
I just toss it in and head West for the Indies?

Oldroyd

 

 

Archie's reply:

I know what you must be going through; it's one thing to die in
someone else's war. But my advice to you is this: keep your head or
you will lose it! Do what you can to serve your duty to your country,
your king, but try and stay behind the scenes. Don't give the enemy
an easy target. As for the West Indies, it's not always plain sailing
with clear blue skies and waters too; often one can get struck down
by yellow fever or typhoid. It's better if you stay with the navy and
just hope for the best. Good man.

 

 

Dear Archie

I have a story of personal tragedy that is bound to make you weep:
recently I lost my sweetheart to a French Republican bullet. She,
herself, was a French Republican, but she was willing to let me
rescue her from her war-torn country. I promised her that I would
protect her out of harm's way in this regard I failed her
completely. Not a day goes by where I don't wonder things could have
been different if only I had been more prudent I knew the enemy
were upon us and yet I led her straight into the jaws of death. What
can I do to relieve my grief?

Horatio

 

 

Archie's reply:

It's no good, Horatio, she's gone. Death is a fact of life, even
though some of us may die in more tragic circumstances than others.
By the sounds of it you felt very attached to this woman but how
much did you really know about her? Were you two simply a pair of
star-crossed lovers caught against the backdrop of war between the
Republicans and Monarchists? That's not to say your love for her was
not genuine, but that long-term she may not have necessarily been the
one for you. Many people will come and go in your life, but the
important thing is not to dwell over your guilt for too long.
Otherwise you'll get too caught up in your own misery to share your
good qualities with others. Focus on what you are and what you can
deliver not on what you failed to achieve.

 

 

Dear Archie

I have a midshipman in my command who consistently surpasses my
expectations. Trouble is, he is so keen on going above and beyond the
normal call of duty that he wants to be so punctilious as to honour
his prison parole in Spain. He has also given his word to the Dons
that his men will return with him. I've already informed him that his
word is not binding of theirs and that they may choose to stay behind
with their comrades if they so wish. But if they choose to go with
him, I'll be made to look a fool. How do I moderate the behaviour of
a man who always does what is right even when he's wrong?

Captain E. Pellew

 

 

Archie's reply:

If this midshipman has given his word, then that should hold good
enough for his men as well. The test of loyalty will be a reflection
of your midshipman's leadership skills not yours. If his men accept
that he speaks for all of them, then I'd say you've got a very
special midshipman on your hands. Rather than stifle it, it's
important to nurture and encourage behaviour that goes above
the "normal call of duty", as that kind of strength can lead to many
great things. He may even be a Captain one day, so teach him all you
can while you're still his commanding officer.

Dear Archie,I have a problem. It hurts to sit down. Captain Sawyer
has had my backside flogged rawer than Mr. Hobbs' tongue. I've
ruined two pair of trousers already. But this is not my real
problem, I don't notice it really, because I'm in worse trouble. Dr.
Clive has been giving me this stuff to dull the pain, and it really
works, I swear, but I sort of see funny at times and things just
aren't right. It feels really good and nice, though, and I'll be
sorry when I have to stop taking it. But should I stop now? I think
I may have forgotten something horrid that I did, it's so hard to
remember. Other than that, I've been doing well. For the first time
ever since I came aboard, I am satisfying myself, and Dr. Clive says
that's the most important thing. Is he right?

Mr. Wellard

 

Archie's response:

Sometimes you have face reality as it is, no matter how painful that
may be. This Sawyer sounds like he has it in for you, but regardless
of how intimidating he is, you have to be a man and confront the
problem head on. It's too easy nowadays just to get a prescription
for something we hope will take our mind off the pain and short
term you may be relishing the escapist effects, but long term it will
do you damage. When you can't remember something significant you did
you know you are in trouble hence you take more of the stuff to
calm your anxiety and before you know it you're trapped in a
vicious circle. You're far too young to become forgetful; at your age
you need quick wits and a clear head to have any chance of an
auspicious future. So ditch the quick fix, take the bull by the
horns, and answer with conviction any accusations that are laid
against you.

 

 

Dear Archie, I have several problems which I should like to address
to your attention, including a dreadful aversion to turnips caused by
an early childhood trauma; a terrible fear of water (rather
embarrassing for an officer in his majesty's Navy, I do admit...)
which has recently been made worse by two unnamed officers forcing me
to jump from a cliff; and finding myself the victim of some degree of
resentment among certain A&E viewers... But I shall not trouble you
with those for the moment...At present, my greatest issue is one of
terrible, weighty guilt, for I fear I have failed a new friend by not
firing soon enough at a certain Spanish captain, thus causing this
friend grave injury. Some people are very angry at me for this, but
honestly, I did the best I could, considering I was half-unconscious
from pain myself at the time. Nonetheless, my self-recrimination
remains. How can I make everyone understand that I am just as torn
up over what happened to this friend as they are, and how can I stop
myself feeling this way and get on with my life?

Lt. W. Bush

 

Archie's response:

You have to open up the same way you did just now. I don't mean
literally with your guts hanging out exposing your wounds, but by
admitting your sorrow to others. Men are by nature passive creatures
who are conditioned to remain stoic in the face of death, but
unfortunately women interpret that as arrogance and need reassurance
that WE DO CARE, or at least, that we are vulnerable enough to be
torn by it. Admitting you don't like turnips and hate the water is a
great start it gives you vulnerability and a personality. How about
disclosing a tendency to panic in an undignified way at the worst
possible moment? Or starving yourself until you need to be nursed
back to health? Or running onto the battlefield to save a friend
before they get caught in an explosion? Once you have established
yourself as a vulnerable, illness-prone person, you can resume acting
tough, as people will call you a Crumpet whose developed his
backbone, as opposed to being regarded as a bigger bastard than his
Captain.

**************

Note: this page will be updated as Archie receives and answers more letters. :-)