I said to myself that that cruelest fate of any—to be made ridiculous in the eyes of love—was come to me, and love henceforth was over and gone. And thinking so, those grinning and jibing faces multiplied, and the air rang with laughter, and I trow I was in a high fever all night.
The sports and races of Royal Oak Day were to be held on the “New Field” (so called), adjoining the plantation of Barry Upper Branch. The stocks had been moved from their usual station to this place to remind the people in the midst of their gayety that the displeasure of the King was a thing to be dreaded, and that they were not their own masters, even when they made merry.
On the morning of that day came my brother John’s man-servant to shave and dress me, and the physician to attend to my wounds. It was a marvel that I was able to undergo the ordeal, and indeed, my brother had striven hard to urge my wounds as a reason for my being released. But such a naturally strong constitution had I, or else so faithfully had the physician tended me, with such copious lettings of blood and purges, that except for an exceeding weakness, I was quite myself. Still I wondered, after I had been shaven and put into my clothes, which hung somewhat loosely upon me, as I sat on a bench by the window, however I was to reach the New Field.
It was a hot and close day, with all the heaviness of sweetness of the spring settling upon the earth, and my knees had knocked together when my brother’s man-servant and the physician, one on each side of me, led me from the bed to the bench.
So very weak was I that morning, after my feverish night, that, although the physician had let a little more blood to counteract it, I verily seemed almost to forget the stocks and what I was to undergo of disgrace and ignominy, being principally glad that the window was to the west, and that burning sun which had so fretted me, shut out.