Jane deLacey went along the passage from the Great Hall to her private chamber, her book of Latin grammar under her arm; she was not in a good mood.
Once in her chamber she slammed the door behind her and hurled the book to the floor!
“Fie on’t!” she shouted, “Cursed be the day that ever the Latin tongue was first uttered! And cursed be this day in my life! Never has my Governess used me so shrilly, and all for an idle glance out the window when mine eyes should have been on my studies. The lesson concluded, to my worthy mother did I speed, an I could solace find in her words and looks. But, engrossed in her household duties, she dismissed me without so much as a sidelong glance. It is ever thus with her! Oh, that I could be glad of my family! Father is always at court, attending the Queen, and my brother does sport with me most cruelly when so e’er he is home.”
She sighed, put the book on the table, went to her bed and picked up the doll that was lying on it.
“Thou, Nell,” she said, wistfully, “thou, my poppet, art my sole comfort and bosom companion. Oh, that there were in this household other girls with whom I was allowed to be playfellows.”
She sighed deeply, and hugged Nell to her.
“Oh, that I lived among those who did care for me, and showed me love! Oh, for girls my own age to be friends withal. Oh, that I had a tutor who would make learning the joy it should be!"
She put Nell on the bed.
“The day is warm and fair, and I would walk awhile in the parkland hard by. ‘Twill soothe my spirit and put me in better humour ere I sup. Stay thou there, Nell, and when I return, we shall have a carefree time of it, and brave adventures shall we share, thou and I!”
She turned and left the chamber.