Oh, centuries and centuries; so long," she said, "that I'm sure I'm dead and buried, and this dear old place is heaven;" which, for reasons he could not define, struck Newland Archer
as an even more disrespectful way of describing New York society.
Then while the deep buzz and hum of talking sounded all around like the noise of the wind in the leafy forest, Queen Eleanor turned to the King, and quoth she, "Thinkest thou that these yeomen so chosen are the very best archers in all merry England?
Yea, truly," said the King, smiling, for he was well pleased with the sport that he had seen; "and I tell thee, that not only are they the best archers in all merry England, but in all the wide world beside.
But what wouldst thou say," quoth Queen Eleanor, "if I were to find three archers to match the best three yeomen of all thy guard?
I would say thou hast done what I could not do," said the King, laughing, "for I tell thee there lives not in all the world three archers to match Tepus and Gilbert and Clifton of Buckinghamshire.
But I will only match them with thy archers providing that thou wilt grant a free pardon to all that may come in my behalf.
And she looked around upon them that stood about; but no one spake or cared to wager upon the Queen's side against such archers as Tepus and Gilbert and Clifton.
Moreover, there are no such archers as His Majesty's in all the world; therefore I would but lose my money.
If I produce five archers who can out-shoot your ten, will you grant my men full grace and amnesty?
Would'st advise me to meet a wager of the King's, that I can produce other archers as good as Tepus and Gilbert and Clifton?
For by my silver mitre, the King's archers are men who have no peers.
Now the ten chosen archers from the King's bands came forth again and took their stand; and with them stood forth the twelve untried men from the open lists.
Then turning to his five victorious archers, who had drawn near, he added, "Ye have heard, my men, how that I have a wager with the Queen upon your prowess.
Another target was now set up, at the same distance as the last, and it was decided that the ten archers should shoot three arrows in turn.
The archers dropped upon one knee as he passed, but he gave them a single baleful look and was gone.