their lives beneath the fiery heart of Stannis and his

time:2023-12-06 12:57:23source:Song and dance networkauthor:year

Howbeit, it was in a way prison courteous; she was still served with observance, and bowed before, and called my lady and queen, and so forth: also she might go from chamber to hall and chapel, to and fro, yet scarce alone; and into the garden she might go, yet not for the more part unaccompanied; and even at whiles she went out a-gates, but then ever with folk on the right hand and the left. Forsooth, whiles and again, within the next two years of her abode at Greenharbour, out of gates she went and alone; but that was as the prisoner who strives to be free (although she had, forsooth, no thought or hope of escape), and as the prisoner brought back was she chastised when she came within gates again.

their lives beneath the fiery heart of Stannis and his

Everywhere, to be short, within and about the Castle of Greenharbour, did Goldilind meet the will and the tyranny of the little sleek widow, Dame Elinor, to whom both carle and quean in that corner of the world were but as servants and slaves to do her will; and the said Elinor, who at first was but spiteful in word and look toward her lady, waxed worse as time wore and as the blossom of the King's daughter's womanhood began to unfold, till at last the she-jailer had scarce feasted any day when she had not in some wise grieved and tormented her prisoner; and whatever she did, none had might to say her nay.

their lives beneath the fiery heart of Stannis and his

But Goldilind took all with a high heart, and her courage grew with her years, nor would she bow the head before any grief, but took to her whatsoever solace might come to her; as the pleasure of the sun and the wind, and the beholding of the greenery of the wood, and the fowl and the beasts playing, which oft she saw afar, and whiles anear, though whiles, forsooth, she saw nought of it all, whereas she was shut up betwixt four walls, and that not of her chamber, but of some bare and foul prison of the Castle, which, with other griefs, must she needs thole under the name and guise of penance.

their lives beneath the fiery heart of Stannis and his

However, she waxed so exceeding fair and sweet and lovely, that the loveliness of her pierced to the hearts of many of her jailers, so that some of them, and specially of the squires and men-at-arms, would do her some easement which they might do unrebuked, or not sorely rebuked; as bringing her flowers in the spring, or whiles a singing-bird or a squirrel; and an old man there was of the men-at-arms, who would ask leave, and get it at whiles, to come to her in her chamber, or the garden? and tell her minstrel tales and the like for her joyance. Sooth to say, even the pinched heart of the old Burgreve was somewhat touched by her; and he alone had any might to stand between her and Dame Elinor; so that but for him it had gone much harder with her than it did.

For the rest, none entered the Castle from the world without, nay not so much as a travelling monk, or a friar on his wanderings, save and except some messenger of Earl Geoffrey who had errand with Dame Elinor or the Burgreve.

So wore the days and the seasons, till it was now more than four years since she had left Leashowe, and her eighteenth summer was beginning.

But now the tale leaves telling of Goldilind, and goes back to the matters of Oakenrealm, and therein to what has to do with King Christopher and Rolf the Marshal.


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