I think hawking is the nearest thing to flying in this world.
I was a lonely child though there were children in plenty on our land. But my nurse forbade me to play with them. She guarded my dignity; more than my mother, indeed, who being so great a lady took dignity for granted.
But in any case there was little time for them to play. There was work for even the smallest upon our land; some of our peasants had run away, tempted by ever-rising wages. Wages fixed by law were certainly low; but, like many another ruined in the French wars, we had no money to pay a penny more than the law laid down. All over the country men were running away from their masters and the land lost as many laborers as by the Black Death itself.
I think hawking is the nearest thing to flying in this world. There you sit high up and poised light as air, the horse swift beneath you. You unhood your bird, let the jesses go and watch your falcon, its bells a-jingle, like some wild spirit take the air … and your own spirit goes with it.
Nobody seemed to know where the King was. He was at Windsor choosing new furnishings for the little Queen's rooms; he was hunting at Eltham; he was at Leeds Castle; he was at Havering. He was here, he was there, restless as quicksilver. Certainly I never set eyes on him. I was disappointed. And yet I was relieved, too. It was common talk that the King's moods shifted this way and that you never knew what to expect.
Why think of anything at all but the pretty, gentle child sitting high upon the white horse!
So women holding up their children to see her pass cried blessings on her head, the easy blessings of a crowd, that may turn at any moment to curses. And there were wenches in plenty, who, seeing the little Queen in cloth of gold and the King at her side, handsome Richard, wished themselves, no doubt, in her place.
When she saw the children jumping first upon one bare foot and then upon the other, she envied them and wished that she, too, could run barefooted for a little while.
For a little while. She was a royal child. She knew that golden shoes pinch and there is no escaping them.