Just a bit of fiction I came up with around midnight of last night. It's very reminiscent of a few...erm...complications I discovered that come with wearing a farthingale. I hope you find this humorous.
“Anne Elizabeth Hawkyns!” Anne cringed at the sound of her father’s voice above her. She dropped her skirts and turned demurely on the stairs, looking at her father. Captain Sir John Hawkyns was leaning against the railing of the stair landing, a slightly bemused expression on his face.
“Aye, father?” Anne blinked innocently. Anyone else wouldn't have been able to tell that she had been climbing the stairs with her skirts hiked up nearly to her knees. Hawkyns’ was not to be fooled by his daughter’s charade. Anne was having a bit of a hard time adjusting to her new life as a privileged daughter of a knight. The cumbersome weight of her skirts made her feel both beautiful and restricted. Only a few days ago Anne had tried moving over a bench (something she would have easily jumped over in her lad’s clothing) and had to get help when her farthingale trapped her in place. Even the clothing she had worn growing up was much simpler than the finery Hawkyns had procured for her. The clothing was sometimes the least of Anne’s troubles.
“Ladies don’t bring their skirts up so high when ascending the stairs.” Hawkyns admonished with a grin. Anne knew that he was being lenient. “Where is Elizabeth?” She couldn’t go anywhere without an escort now, where as a lad she had been able to come and go as she pleased. Anne looked down the stairs and failed to see the other red haired girl that had been behind her only moments before. Elizabeth Cecil, the daughter of Lord Burghley, had befriended Anne within minutes of being introduced. Elizabeth, while studious and much better bred than Anne, had her own streak of mischief and fire in her.
“She was just behind me.” Anne replied loudly, hoping that her friend was within earshot.
“I’m here!” Elizabeth’s voice came through the door as she pushed the heavy oak. “They didn’t catch us! I had to see if one of my father’s spies was…” She looked up and spotted Hawkyns, and Anne’s warning facial expression. “Good day Captain.” Elizabeth smoothly floated up the stairs, hardly raising her skirt. Anne let out a long sigh. Why did Elizabeth have to be so good at all of these feminine things?
“I thought my daughter had lost you, Lady Elizabeth.” Hawkyns observed after reverencing. “What sort of mischief are you two young ladies getting in to?”
“All sorts.” Elizabeth laughed. “But aren’t you a pair of my father’s eyes and ears as well?” Anne bit her lip to conceal her laughter. Even laughing was painful in these corsets and bodices. Of course Hawkyns was a spy, he’d been a double agent as well.
“I had thought you to be a positive influence on my daughter.” Hawkyns chuckled. Anne felt light headed and leaned against the rail of the stair, frowning. “Are you all right, Anne?”
“It’s this damn dress.” Anne muttered, earning a stern look from her father. “You never said anything about my language when I was the ship’s boy!” Anne pressed her side as the lightheadedness passed.
“I’ll take her to sit down for a while.” Elizabeth led Anne up the stairs towards Elizabeth’s rooms in Lord Burghley’s estate.
Almost out of earshot of Hawkyns, Anne turned to Elizabeth and with complete seriousness uttered, “I want my trousers back.” Hawkyn’s laughter at Anne’s words could be heard throughout the house.