Title: Teardrop on the fire
Description: tag;; Catherine of Aragon
Princess Margaret Tudor - April 13, 2010 06:12 PM (GMT)
It was not every day that Margaret ventured into the base court, but the weather had been foul for the past week, keeping her from doing what she wished out of doors. Staying inside and confined to her quarters was not to her liking. It would please her more to have an arrow in her hands then thread and needle. She did not take the monotony of court life well, though she would rather spend her life stitching in the English court than make the move to Scotland. Who knew what sort of activities were considered civil there? The princess shuddered to think of it. How could Henry banish her to such a place! She had heard the whispers that suggested the marriage between herself and King James would not stop the skirmishes between England and Scotland, and still her stubborn brother insisted on sending her away.
By now she suspected the King was only honoring the contract between the two countries because he wished to make her miserable. Hardly. Margaret made a great show of being anything but depressed. Her short temper and displays of anger were well known at court. At least she would not be remembered as weak when Henry finally did decide to send her away. Although she would admit it to no one, Margaret thought she might fall to her knees and beg that her brother keep her here if he did not relent. With all her heart she wished to stay in England and she knew if her dearest Arthur had been alive and on the throne, he would have kept her with him.
But Arthur was not here, she reminded herself firmly as she swept out of her quarters and into the hall that would lead to the base court. She must provide for herself in a court filled with serpents. But keeping to oneself was lonely and she longed for her eldest brother's company still. Flanked by her ladies, she started down the corridor. It was not long before her party encountered another. Princess Catherine, her brother's widow, approached, and she slowed her own determined footsteps. "Princess Catherine," She said in greeting, inclining her head to the other woman. Margaret knew Catherine had recently arrived at court, but they had not had the opportunity to speak alone. For a moment, she studied the other woman. There was much she wanted to ask about her brother's final days, for she had not been able to be with him. But Catherine had been there. Catherine would know. "It has been long since we last met. How have you been keeping?"
Catherine of Aragon - April 26, 2010 06:49 AM (GMT)
(((Sorry it's taken me so long, I'm swamped with wedding stuff. Holy crud, I'm getting married in less than three weeks. Woah.)))
Catherine had not seen Princess Margaret in a long time. With the rumors that the princess would be sent to Scotland to be married, it seems as if much had developed in the time they had been apart. Catherine was still struck by the sheer magnitude of how much things had changed with people whom she used to know quite well. It saddened her, certainly, but it also gave her resolve to find a place for herself in life. “It has been quite some time, indeed.” Simply seeing Margaret brought back memories of happy times with Arthur. The very sight of his sister made her miss him that much more. Of course, in the early days of her relationship with her husband, Margaret seemed to disapprove of the Spanish Infanta. It wasn’t surprising, of course, considering how close she was to her brother. Over time and mutual loss, however, the two women found themselves learning to tolerate each other. Sadly, though, they had failed to keep in contact when Catherine was in her state of semi-exile in London, and she had lost track of much of Margaret’s goings on.
The one exception was the Scottish marriage rumors. That would be impossible to miss. “I have been keeping quite well, and yourself? I hear that you are to be wed to James of Scotland.” Catherine remembered that her sister-in-law despised the very concept of arranged marriages, and did not have to guess what Margaret thought of her brother’s potential plans. While she had no doubt that Margaret would be able to find a way to find the best in the situation, she also knew that it would take some digging in this case to find anything positive. In a sense, however, Catherine could not help but feel a slight pang of envy. After all, she was still very much alone.
Princess Margaret Tudor - April 27, 2010 01:02 AM (GMT)
::ooc:: Not a problem at all! Weddings must be stressful to plan out. Good luck and the best happiness to you! ::ooc::
Margaret had heard Catherine was in London for one reason or another, and she had been absent from court for quite a while. She could only guess why. If the Spanish princess had loved Arthur as much as his sister had, then she was right to retreat in mourning. Margaret herself might have done the same if court life permitted it. But it did not; for life here was constantly in motion, and one must be awake and out of bed to keep up with it. It did not mean that she had so easily forgotten her brother's death. His memory haunted her at night when she could not sleep. She lay awake into the early hours of the morning thinking of him. Insomnia was not a pleasant friend while the castle was quiet, and Arthur's ghost became her only company. Sometimes she thought herself going mad with grief and worry over Scotland, but she could not share that with anyone for fear that she would be banished from court.
Catherine asked after the rumors of the Scottish marriage, and Margaret's mouth immediately tightened. She didn't want to think about James or Scotland or being sent away from court. "It is true." She admitted, clearly bitter about the situation. "His Majesty has honored the contract his father first instated. When the time is appropriate, I shall travel to Scotland and submit myself to James and his people." She wondered how Catherine had felt traveling to England from Spain by herself. At least she had a kind and wonderful Arthur to come to. The rumors surrounding James were less than favorable. She wanted to ask about Arthur's last days desperately, but asking in the middle of a hall surrounded by their ladies and other members of the court was not appropriate. "Please, come sit with me a moment." She gestured to the rooms she had just left. "I would like to speak at greater length with you."
Catherine of Aragon - May 8, 2010 07:07 AM (GMT)
Catherine felt both sympathy and jealousy toward Princess Margaret. In a way, she would have wished to remain in court following her husband’s death. Yes, her mourning was deep, and the wounds still had not fully healed. However, it would have been very nice to have some measure of distraction from her sorrows, instead of living in a virtual prison in London, where she could do nothing but think of what she had lost. It must have been hard for Margaret to go about her daily life as if she had not lost so wonderful a brother, Catherine reasoned. Even so, it must have been a blessing to have all of the hustle and bustle of court to distract her from her grief.
Catherine could see her sister-in-law’s bitterness to her impending nuptials. “I’m sorry to hear that,” Catherine said, meaning it sincerely. She and Margaret had never been the best of friends, certainly, but she would miss Arthur’s sister were she to leave for Scotland. It was even worse to know that was doing so at least somewhat against her will. While leaving Spain had been hard, she had found comfort with Arthur. She had also been raised with expectation that she would be Queen of England, so it had not come as a surprise when the time had come to actually make the trip. In fact, compared to what her mother had faced in life, it seemed tame and easy by comparison. At least Catherine hadn’t had to face an army of Moors.
Catherine was a little taken aback by Margaret’s request to talk to her alone. With all of the intrigue at court lately, as well as Margaret’s upcoming departure for Scotland, Catherine was prepared for just about anything. Yes, they were practically family, at least in the legal sense, but they still had never spent a great deal of time together, at least not alone. “Yes, certainly.” Catherine found herself agreeing easily, partly out of desire to provide comfort for the Princess, but also partly out of profound curiosity. She followed Margaret into the adjacent rooms with a sense of foreboding.
Princess Margaret Tudor - May 16, 2010 11:15 AM (GMT)
Catherine's expression of sympathy to her upcoming marriage was wholly unexpected but more welcome than the other woman would ever know. Usually people told her it was the duty of any princess to marry to a country in order to bring peace between the two, but Margaret desperately wished someone would see that Scotland was not worth marrying into. The Scots would not stop their attacks on the English border, even if she was their queen - she was certain of it. But either the men of the privy council and the king believed otherwise or they simply did not care, for the marriage still stood strong and she still fought against it. She felt as though she would fight all the way to the altar and continue afterward, despite every good Catholic woman's desire to be a faithful servant to her husband. She was fairly certain the Bible had not meant to include Scots in its description of husbands and took it upon herself to interpret that particular piece of holy word as she so chose.
But her sister-in-law would know what it was like to travel from her own court to that of someone else's, and she wanted to get the other woman's perspective on things, in addition to speaking with her on the subject of Arthur. At least Catherine had had Arthur to marry instead of James. Margaret hadn't met James yet, but she felt sure that he was some horrible, barbaric man to be ruling over such a people. He was not bound to be handsome at any rate, for she had never heard of a handsome Scot and was quite convinced that such a thing didn't exist. Arthur had been the most handsome prince in all of Christendom. At least he had found happiness with the woman before her before his death. When Catherine agreed to come sit with her in her private apartments, the ghost of a rare smile crossed Margaret's lips before she and the Spanish princesa moved into the rooms. Margaret gestured for her sister-in-law to sit, and she had her attendants pour each woman a drink before she waved them all away, for a conversation such as this was not one she wished anyone else to hear.
It was not as though they were about to exchange great secrets of state, but Margaret would rather not make it known to the entire court that she still grieved for her lost brother. It would be unbecoming to her current reputation, and it was a matter of great personal importance for the English princess. But she did not know how to bring up what she was really feeling with Catherine, so she decided to start with the matter of leaving her home court, perhaps forever. "Obviously you have heard of my betrothal to the king of the Scots." She began, all the while wondering if this was a good idea. Princess Catherine had never been anything but kind to anyone as far as she was aware, but that still didn't mean she wasn't about to be laughed at. "It is... intimidating to travel such a long distance to a strange court, is it not? You must have felt the same when you first came here from Spain." Spain was even farther from England than England was from Scotland, but it was still a different country with different beliefs and customs. "Was it very difficult to adjust to life here?" That was one thing that she wondered - would she take on the barbaric qualities of a Scot if she was among them for too long? How unfortunate it would be to lose her English sense of propriety.
Catherine of Aragon - May 21, 2010 07:25 PM (GMT)
Catherine silently vowed to keep the English princess in her prayers. Arranged marriage could be frightening, but sometimes the fulfillment of a promise made by family could be more pleasant than expected, and Catherine prayed that Margaret would be blessed in such a fashion. After all, Catherine herself had once been afraid of meeting her own future husband. In the end, though, she had found much happiness with Arthur, Prince of Whales. Even after losing him so tragically, she still would not trade those few months of happiness in order to have been spared the great heartbreak that followed. As Catherine seated herself and accepted a drink from a servant, she prayed silently for her sister-in-law.
Once the servants left and Margaret revealed her purpose in speaking with her, Catherine felt grief for the Englishwoman even more acutely. “I have heard of your betrothal, and I have also heard that you are less than pleased with this match. My heart is troubled for you, and I will keep you in my prayers.” Catherine paused. “I know you think of the Scots as barbarians and you fear living among them. I know also that you have most likely not met your future husband. Both are good reasons for fear. However, you also do not know for certain that your life will be one of misery. Yes, there is a chance that your husband will be horrible to you, or that Scotland will never be as a home to you. Do not forget that there is also a chance that you will find love and kindness with your husband, or that your heart may come to love the land and people of Scotland.”
Catherine smiled at the memory of her own fear filled journey to England. “England sounded so very foreign indeed. Once I arrived, though, I found that so many of the people here are kind and welcoming. Yes, the fashions are different, and the merriment more wild, but in the end I found much happiness, at least for the short time my marriage lasted. The real difficulties began when I was widowed and cast aside, but that is a different matter, which I hope you will be spared. That was the difficult adjustment. Remember to take English ladies with you, women whom you trust and who can care for you and remind you of home. Also know that everyone expects you to feel foreign there, and no one will think badly of you if you make a few small mistakes. The way to the people’s hearts is to always be kind and gracious, and to laugh off any of the small misunderstandings that you will have to face. Do not seem fearful of them, or that you look down upon them.”
Princess Margaret Tudor - May 23, 2010 12:28 AM (GMT)
The Spanish princess was far more kinder than Margaret could have ever hoped to be. She too had known a great loss and there had been no one to comfort her, but she had not lashed out at everyone around her. She had come to England obediently and now she was a welcome member of the court. But Margaret had become bitter after Arthur had died and given a show of hating nearly everyone around her. She still continued to fight Henry's decision to send her to England. What sort of princess did that make her? A very bad one, she supposed. Catherine always made her wish she was a better person. There was no one as perfect as her sister-in-law. Margaret would not have approved of anyone for Arthur, but even she would begrudgingly concede the match was as close to perfect as one could hope for it to be. Arthur had really seemed to love the Spanish princess, and Margaret could see why.
"There is not a kinder princess in all of Christendom, Your Highness," She said with an attempt at a smile. "I am grateful for your prayers. Many members of the court do not think I should be so upset over the prospects of my marriage, but they are not the ones who will be sent away." Her tone turned dry, reflecting her feelings for the members of court who thought that way. The muscles in her jaw tensed only slightly when Catherine mentioned her being afraid of the Scots and of James, but it was the truth and she could not deny it. Her Tudor pride wondered how many other people knew that she feared for her own safety the day she stepped foot into Scotland. "I am not afraid," She said in defense. "You have heard the rumors of what the Scots are like, Princess Catherine. No one would willingly leave somewhere like England to live with them." The truth was, she was very afraid, but she hid the fear as best she could. Even as she denied her feelings, she listened closely to Catherine's words.
Her eyes clouded slightly as Catherine mentioned her widowhood. It was so very difficult to think of Arthur, even now. She gave a short nod at the advice that was offered. English ladies she trusted. Be kind and gracious. Do not seem afraid or condescending. All of it would be very difficult. She wondered how Catherine had viewed the English before she settled in their court. "I will give your words thought." Margaret took a sip of her wine in an attempt to keep herself composed. "I do not think I have the patience required to deal with people like them. They will be barbaric." Eager to move off the subject momentarily, she turned the conversation back to Catherine. "How do you find the English court now? I am glad you have come out of your retreat, though I understand why you were away. If there is anything I can do to ease your stay in England, bring it to my attention." Something in Catherine's words had inspired Margaret to come to one conclusion: if Arthur's widow was not being cared for by anyone else, she must be the one to take the younger woman under her wing. She would not let her dear brother's wife be abandoned again.
Catherine of Aragon - May 31, 2010 07:20 AM (GMT)
Catherine smiled warmly. She was falling short of comforting her sister-in-law, but she did not know what else to say. “I do not know how they could not feel sorrow for you. You are leaving the only home you have ever known, for a place about which you have heard unfortunate tales. I do not blame you for your fears, I only wish that they are proven wrong upon your arrival in Scotland.” Catherine knew, based on what Margaret was telling her, that it was unlikely that these fears would be the result of false rumors, but she knew that her sister-in-law would benefit from departing with some degree of hope as she left England. “As you say, it is easy for others to make light of your situation, for they do not have to live it.”
Catherine reflected on her current life in England. Things had improved somewhat. She was now at court full time, and she held out some hope of finding a suitor. Yes, it had been hard to see her dreams of a life with Henry fall flat, but she was starting to find solace in the thought that it might not have been the Lord’s plan for her to be the Queen of England. That role, after all, was filled, and it did her no good to dwell on its loss. “I am finding England quite pleasant of late. I have not yet found a viable suitor, however, and I do feel a call to matrimony and motherhood, but that is nothing that I can change in an instant. Perhaps it will happen for me one day. Nevertheless, I will accept the Lord’s will for my life.”