When people write obituaries, or letters to The Times, they come over all archaic. When did you last fight in a joust or meet a thrall?
boon companion: drinking buddy
burgeoning: it means “flowering”, not “expanding”
clamour for reform: call
come to heel
garlanded for awarded honours
girding: preparing (It's short for "gird up your loins", from the Bible.)
harbour (v): plays host to
ill-gotten gains: illegal profits
in thrall to: enslaved by
joust: duel (a few centuries nearer our own time)
lest: in case
lot: fate, situation ( bewailing her lot)
pay heed: pay attention
pique the curiosity: arouse
pocket handkerchief sized: When did you last hear someone say "pocket handkerchief" – or see anyone using a handkerchief?
rollicking, rambunctious, rumbustious, ruckus, romp: Why use these antique pseudo-rural words, and why do they all begin with R?
save the day (jousting? medieval war?)
smacks of: sounds like
take X to task
very: the same, the actual, actually etc