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The History of Henry Esmond, Esq. by W. M. Thackeray

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Boston, Estes and Lauriat, Publishers




The writer of a book which copies the manners and language of Queen
Anne's time, must not omit the Dedication to the Patron; and I ask
leave to inscribe this volume to your Lordship, for the sake of the
great kindness and friendship which I owe to you and yours.

My volume will reach you when the Author is on his voyage to a
country where your name is as well known as here. Wherever I am, I
shall gratefully regard you; and shall not be the less welcomed in
America because I am,

Your obliged friend and servant,


LONDON, October 18, 1852.



The estate of Castlewood, in Virginia, which was given to our
ancestors by King Charles the First, as some return for the
sacrifices made in his Majesty's cause by the Esmond family, lies
in Westmoreland county, between the rivers Potomac and
Rappahannock, and was once as great as an English Principality,
though in the early times its revenues were but small. Indeed, for
near eighty years after our forefathers possessed them, our
plantations were in the hands of factors, who enriched themselves
one after another, though a few scores of hogsheads of tobacco were
all the produce that, for long after the Restoration, our family
received from their Virginian estates.

My dear and honored father, Colonel Henry Esmond, whose history,
written by himself, is contained in the accompanying volume, came
to Virginia in the year 1718, built his house of Castlewood, and
here permanently settled. After a long stormy life in England, he
passed the remainder of his many years in peace and honor in this
country; how beloved and respected by all his fellow-citizens, how
inexpressibly dear to his family, I need not say. His whole life
was a benefit to all who were connected with him. He gave the best
example, the best advice, the most bounteous hospitality to his
friends; the tenderest care to his dependants; and bestowed on
those of his immediate family such a blessing of fatherly love and
protection as can never be thought of, by us, at least, without
veneration and thankfulness; and my sons' children, whether
established here in our Republic, or at home in the always beloved
mother country, from which our late quarrel hath separated us, may
surely be proud to be descended from one who in all ways was so
truly noble.

My dear mother died in 1736, soon after our return from England,
whither my parents took me for my education; and where I made the
acquaintance of Mr. Warrington, whom my children never saw. When
it pleased heaven, in the bloom of his youth, and after but a few
months of a most happy union, to remove him from me, I owed my
recovery from the grief which that calamity caused me, mainly to my
dearest father's tenderness, and then to the blessing vouchsafed to
me in the birth of my two beloved boys. I know the fatal
differences which separated them in politics never disunited their
hearts; and as I can love them both, whether wearing the King's
colors or the Republic's, I am sure that they love me and one
another, and him above all, my father and theirs, the dearest
friend of their childhood, the noble gentleman who bred them from
their infancy in the practice and knowledge of Truth, and Love and

My children will never forget the appearance and figure of their
revered grandfather; and I wish I possessed the art of drawing
(which my papa had in perfection), so that I could leave to our
descendants a portrait of one who was so good and so respected. My
father was of a dark complexion, with a very great forehead and
dark hazel eyes, overhung by eyebrows which remained black long
after his hair was white. His nose was aquiline, his smile
extraordinary sweet. How well I remember it, and how little any
description I can write can recall his image! He was of rather low
stature, not being above five feet seven inches in height; he used
to laugh at my sons, whom he called his crutches, and say they were
grown too tall for him to lean upon. But small as he was, he had a
perfect grace and majesty of deportment, such as I have never seen
in this country, except perhaps in our friend Mr. Washington, and
commanded respect wherever he appeared.

In all bodily exercises he excelled, and showed an extraordinary
quickness and agility. Of fencing he was especially fond, and made
my two boys proficient in that art; so much so, that when the
French came to this country with Monsieur Rochambeau, not one of
his officers was superior to my Henry, and he was not the equal of
my poor George, who had taken the King's side in our lamentable but
glorious war of independence.

Neither my father nor my mother ever wore powder in their hair;
both their heads were as white as silver, as I can remember them.
My dear mother possessed to the last an extraordinary brightness
and freshness of complexion; nor would people believe that she did
not wear rouge. At sixty years of age she still looked young, and
was quite agile. It was not until after that dreadful siege of our
house by the Indians, which left me a widow ere I was a mother,
that my dear mother's health broke. She never recovered her terror
and anxiety of those days which ended so fatally for me, then a
bride scarce six months married, and died in my father's arms ere
my own year of widowhood was over.

From that day, until the last of his dear and honored life, it was
my delight and consolation to remain with him as his comforter and
companion; and from those little notes which my mother hath made
here and there in the volume in which my father describes his
adventures in Europe, I can well understand the extreme devotion
with which she regarded him--a devotion so passionate and exclusive
as to prevent her, I think, from loving any other person except
with an inferior regard; her whole thoughts being centred on this
one object of affection and worship. I know that, before her, my
dear father did not show the love which he had for his daughter;
and in her last and most sacred moments, this dear and tender
parent owned to me her repentance that she had not loved me enough:
her jealousy even that my father should give his affection to any
but herself: and in the most fond and beautiful words of affection
and admonition, she bade me never to leave him, and to supply the
place which she was quitting. With a clear conscience, and a heart
inexpressibly thankful, I think I can say that I fulfilled those
dying commands, and that until his last hour my dearest father
never had to complain that his daughter's love and fidelity failed

And it is since I knew him entirely--for during my mother's life he
never quite opened himself to me--since I knew the value and
splendor of that affection which he bestowed upon me, that I have
come to understand and pardon what, I own, used to anger me in my
mother's lifetime, her jealousy respecting her husband's love.
'Twas a gift so precious, that no wonder she who had it was for
keeping it all, and could part with none of it, even to her

Though I never heard my father use a rough word, 'twas extraordinary
with how much awe his people regarded him; and the servants on our
plantation, both those assigned from England and the purchased
negroes, obeyed him with an eagerness such as the most severe
taskmasters round about us could never get from their people. He
was never familiar, though perfectly simple and natural; he was the
same with the meanest man as with the greatest, and as courteous to
a black slave-girl as to the Governor's wife. No one ever thought of
taking a liberty with him (except once a tipsy gentleman from York,
and I am bound to own that my papa never forgave him): he set the
humblest people at once on their ease with him, and brought down the
most arrogant by a grave satiric way, which made persons exceedingly
afraid of him. His courtesy was not put on like a Sunday suit, and
laid by when the company went away; it was always the same; as he
was always dressed the same, whether for a dinner by ourselves or
for a great entertainment. They say he liked to be the first in his
company; but what company was there in which he would not be first?
When I went to Europe for my education, and we passed a winter at
London with my half-brother, my Lord Castlewood and his second lady,
I saw at her Majesty's Court some of the most famous gentlemen of
those days; and I thought to myself none of these are better than my
papa; and the famous Lord Bolingbroke, who came to us from Dawley,
said as much, and that the men of that time were not like those of
his youth:--"Were your father, Madam," he said, "to go into the
woods, the Indians would elect him Sachem;" and his lordship was
pleased to call me Pocahontas.

I did not see our other relative, Bishop Tusher's lady, of whom so
much is said in my papa's memoirs--although my mamma went to visit
her in the country. I have no pride (as I showed by complying with
my mother's request, and marrying a gentleman who was but the
younger son of a Suffolk Baronet), yet I own to A DECENT RESPECT
for my name, and wonder how one who ever bore it, should change it
for that of Mrs. THOMAS TUSHER. I pass over as odious and unworthy
of credit those reports (which I heard in Europe and was then too
young to understand), how this person, having LEFT HER FAMILY and
fled to Paris, out of jealousy of the Pretender betrayed his
secrets to my Lord Stair, King George's Ambassador, and nearly
caused the Prince's death there; how she came to England and
married this Mr. Tusher, and became a great favorite of King George
the Second, by whom Mr. Tusher was made a Dean, and then a Bishop.
I did not see the lady, who chose to remain AT HER PALACE all the
time we were in London; but after visiting her, my poor mamma said
she had lost all her good looks, and warned me not to set too much
store by any such gifts which nature had bestowed upon me. She
grew exceedingly stout; and I remember my brother's wife, Lady
Castlewood, saying--"No wonder she became a favorite, for the King
likes them old and ugly, as his father did before him." On which
papa said--"All women were alike; that there was never one so
beautiful as that one; and that we could forgive her everything but
her beauty." And hereupon my mamma looked vexed, and my Lord
Castlewood began to laugh; and I, of course, being a young
creature, could not understand what was the subject of their

After the circumstances narrated in the third book of these
Memoirs, my father and mother both went abroad, being advised by
their friends to leave the country in consequence of the
transactions which are recounted at the close of the volume of the
Memoirs. But my brother, hearing how the FUTURE BISHOP'S LADY had
quitted Castlewood and joined the Pretender at Paris, pursued him,
and would have killed him, Prince as he was, had not the Prince
managed to make his escape. On his expedition to Scotland directly
after, Castlewood was so enraged against him that he asked leave to
serve as a volunteer, and join the Duke of Argyle's army in
Scotland, which the Pretender never had the courage to face; and
thenceforth my Lord was quite reconciled to the present reigning
family, from whom he hath even received promotion.

Mrs. Tusher was by this time as angry against the Pretender as any
of her relations could be, and used to boast, as I have heard, that
she not only brought back my Lord to the Church of England, but
procured the English peerage for him, which the JUNIOR BRANCH of
our family at present enjoys. She was a great friend of Sir Robert
Walpole, and would not rest until her husband slept at Lambeth, my
papa used laughing to say. However, the Bishop died of apoplexy
suddenly, and his wife erected a great monument over him; and the
pair sleep under that stone, with a canopy of marble clouds and
angels above them--the first Mrs. Tusher lying sixty miles off at

But my papa's genius and education are both greater than any a
woman can be expected to have, and his adventures in Europe far
more exciting than his life in this country, which was passed in
the tranquil offices of love and duty; and I shall say no more by
way of introduction to his Memoirs, nor keep my children from the
perusal of a story which is much more interesting than that of
their affectionate old mother,



November 3, 1778.





I. An Account of the Family of Esmond of Castlewood Hall

II. Relates how Francis, Fourth Viscount, arrives at Castlewood

III. Whither, in the time of Thomas, Third Viscount, I had preceded
him as Page to Isabella

IV. I am placed under a Popish Priest and bred to that Religion.--
Viscountess Castlewood

V. My Superiors are engaged in Plots for the Restoration of King
James II

VI. The Issue of the Plots.--The Death of Thomas, Third Viscount of
Castlewood; and the Imprisonment of his Viscountess

VII. I am left at Castlewood an Orphan, and find most kind
Protectors there

VIII. After Good Fortune comes Evil

IX. I have the Small-pox, and prepare to leave Castlewood

X. I go to Cambridge, and do but little Good there

XI. I come home for a Holiday to Castlewood, and find a Skeleton in
the House

XII. My Lord Mohun comes among us for no Good

XIII. My Lord leaves us and his Evil behind him

XIV. We ride after him to London



I. I am in Prison, and Visited, but not Consoled there

II. I come to the End of my Captivity, but not of my Trouble

III. I take the Queen's Pay in Quin's Regiment

IV. Recapitulations

V. I go on the Vigo Bay Expedition, taste Salt Water and smell

VI. The 29th December

VII. I am made Welcome at Walcote

VIII. Family Talk

IX. I make the Campaign of 1704

X. An Old Story about a Fool and a Woman

XI. The famous Mr. Joseph Addison

XII. I get a Company in the Campaign of 1706

XIII. I meet an Old Acquaintance in Flanders, and find my Mother's
Grave and my own Cradle there

XIV. The Campaign of 1707, 1708

XV. General Webb wins the Battle of Wynendael



I. I come to an End of my Battles and Bruises

II. I go Home, and harp on the Old String

III. A Paper out of the "Spectator"

IV. Beatrix's New Suitor

V. Mohun appears for the Last Time in this History

VI. Poor Beatrix

VII. I visit Castlewood once more

VIII. I travel to France and bring Home a Portrait of Rigaud

IX. The Original of the Portrait comes to England

X. We entertain a very Distinguished Guest at Kensington

XI. Our Guest quits us as not being Hospitable enough

XII. A great Scheme, and who Balked it

XIII. August 1st, 1714




The actors in the old tragedies, as we read, piped their iambics to
a tune, speaking from under a mask, and wearing stilts and a great
head-dress. 'Twas thought the dignity of the Tragic Muse required
these appurtenances, and that she was not to move except to a
measure and cadence. So Queen Medea slew her children to a slow
music: and King Agamemnon perished in a dying fall (to use Mr.
Dryden's words): the Chorus standing by in a set attitude, and
rhythmically and decorously bewailing the fates of those great
crowned persons. The Muse of History hath encumbered herself with
ceremony as well as her Sister of the Theatre. She too wears the
mask and the cothurnus, and speaks to measure. She too, in our
age, busies herself with the affairs only of kings; waiting on them
obsequiously and stately, as if she were but a mistress of court
ceremonies, and had nothing to do with the registering of the
affairs of the common people. I have seen in his very old age and
decrepitude the old French King Lewis the Fourteenth, the type and
model of kinghood--who never moved but to measure, who lived and
died according to the laws of his Court-marshal, persisting in
enacting through life the part of Hero; and, divested of poetry,
this was but a little wrinkled old man, pock-marked, and with a
great periwig and red heels to make him look tall--a hero for a
book if you like, or for a brass statue or a painted ceiling, a god
in a Roman shape, but what more than a man for Madame Maintenon, or
the barber who shaved him, or Monsieur Fagon, his surgeon? I
wonder shall History ever pull off her periwig and cease to be
court-ridden? Shall we see something of France and England besides
Versailles and Windsor? I saw Queen Anne at the latter place
tearing down the Park slopes, after her stag-hounds, and driving
her one-horse chaise--a hot, red-faced woman, not in the least
resembling that statue of her which turns its stone back upon St.
Paul's, and faces the coaches struggling up Ludgate Hill. She was
neither better bred nor wiser than you and me, though we knelt to
hand her a letter or a wash-hand basin. Why shall History go on
kneeling to the end of time? I am for having her rise up off her
knees, and take a natural posture: not to be for ever performing
cringes and congees like a court-chamberlain, and shuffling
backwards out of doors in the presence of the sovereign. In a
word, I would have History familiar rather than heroic: and think
that Mr. Hogarth and Mr. Fielding will give our children a much
better idea of the manners of the present age in England, than the
Court Gazette and the newspapers which we get thence.

There was a German officer of Webb's, with whom we used to joke,
and of whom a story (whereof I myself was the author) was got to be
believed in the army, that he was eldest son of the hereditary
Grand Bootjack of the Empire, and the heir to that honor of which
his ancestors had been very proud, having been kicked for twenty
generations by one imperial foot, as they drew the boot from the
other. I have heard that the old Lord Castlewood, of part of whose
family these present volumes are a chronicle, though he came of
quite as good blood as the Stuarts whom he served (and who as
regards mere lineage are no better than a dozen English and
Scottish houses I could name), was prouder of his post about the
Court than of his ancestral honors, and valued his dignity (as Lord
of the Butteries and Groom of the King's Posset) so highly, that he
cheerfully ruined himself for the thankless and thriftless race who
bestowed it. He pawned his plate for King Charles the First,
mortgaged his property for the same cause, and lost the greater
part of it by fines and sequestration: stood a siege of his castle
by Ireton, where his brother Thomas capitulated (afterward making
terms with the Commonwealth, for which the elder brother never
forgave him), and where his second brother Edward, who had embraced
the ecclesiastical profession, was slain on Castlewood Tower, being
engaged there both as preacher and artilleryman. This resolute old
loyalist, who was with the King whilst his house was thus being
battered down, escaped abroad with his only son, then a boy, to
return and take a part in Worcester fight. On that fatal field
Eustace Esmond was killed, and Castlewood fled from it once more
into exile, and henceforward, and after the Restoration, never was
away from the Court of the monarch (for whose return we offer
thanks in the Prayer-Book) who sold his country and who took bribes
of the French king.

What spectacle is more august than that of a great king in exile?
Who is more worthy of respect than a brave man in misfortune? Mr.
Addison has painted such a figure in his noble piece of Cato. But
suppose fugitive Cato fuddling himself at a tavern with a wench on
each knee, a dozen faithful and tipsy companions of defeat, and a
landlord calling out for his bill; and the dignity of misfortune is
straightway lost. The Historical Muse turns away shamefaced from
the vulgar scene, and closes the door--on which the exile's unpaid
drink is scored up--upon him and his pots and his pipes, and the
tavern-chorus which he and his friends are singing. Such a man as
Charles should have had an Ostade or Mieris to paint him. Your
Knellers and Le Bruns only deal in clumsy and impossible allegories:
and it hath always seemed to me blasphemy to claim Olympus for
such a wine-drabbled divinity as that.

About the King's follower, the Viscount Castlewood--orphan of his
son, ruined by his fidelity, bearing many wounds and marks of
bravery, old and in exile--his kinsmen I suppose should be silent;
nor if this patriarch fell down in his cups, call fie upon him, and
fetch passers-by to laugh at his red face and white hairs. What!
does a stream rush out of a mountain free and pure, to roll through
fair pastures, to feed and throw out bright tributaries, and to end
in a village gutter? Lives that have noble commencements have
often no better endings; it is not without a kind of awe and
reverence that an observer should speculate upon such careers as he
traces the course of them. I have seen too much of success in life
to take off my hat and huzzah to it as it passes in its gilt coach:
and would do my little part with my neighbors on foot, that they
should not gape with too much wonder, nor applaud too loudly. Is
it the Lord Mayor going in state to mince-pies and the Mansion
House? Is it poor Jack of Newgate's procession, with the sheriff
and javelin-men, conducting him on his last journey to Tyburn? I
look into my heart and think that I sin as good as my Lord Mayor,
and know I am as bad as Tyburn Jack. Give me a chain and red gown
and a pudding before me, and I could play the part of Alderman very
well, and sentence Jack after dinner. Starve me, keep me from
books and honest people, educate me to love dice, gin, and
pleasure, and put me on Hounslow Heath, with a purse before me, and
I will take it. "And I shall be deservedly hanged," say you,
wishing to put an end to this prosing. I don't say No. I can't
but accept the world as I find it, including a rope's end, as long
as it is in fashion.



When Francis, fourth Viscount Castlewood, came to his title, and
presently after to take possession of his house of Castlewood,
county Hants, in the year 1691, almost the only tenant of the place
besides the domestics was a lad of twelve years of age, of whom no
one seemed to take any note until my Lady Viscountess lighted upon
him, going over the house with the housekeeper on the day of her
arrival. The boy was in the room known as the Book-room, or Yellow
Gallery, where the portraits of the family used to hang, that fine
piece among others of Sir Antonio Van Dyck of George, second
Viscount, and that by Mr. Dobson of my lord the third Viscount,
just deceased, which it seems his lady and widow did not think fit
to carry away, when she sent for and carried off to her house at
Chelsey, near to London, the picture of herself by Sir Peter Lely,
in which her ladyship was represented as a huntress of Diana's

The new and fair lady of Castlewood found the sad, lonely, little
occupant of this gallery busy over his great book, which he laid
down when he was aware that a stranger was at hand. And, knowing
who that person must be, the lad stood up and bowed before her,
performing a shy obeisance to the mistress of his house.

She stretched out her hand--indeed when was it that that hand would
not stretch out to do an act of kindness, or to protect grief and
ill-fortune? "And this is our kinsman," she said "and what is your
name, kinsman?"

"My name is Henry Esmond," said the lad, looking up at her in a
sort of delight and wonder, for she had come upon him as a Dea
certe, and appeared the most charming object he had ever looked on.
Her golden hair was shining in the gold of the sun; her complexion
was of a dazzling bloom; her lips smiling, and her eyes beaming
with a kindness which made Harry Esmond's heart to beat with

"His name is Henry Esmond, sure enough, my lady," says Mrs.
Worksop, the housekeeper (an old tyrant whom Henry Esmond plagued
more than he hated), and the old gentlewoman looked significantly
towards the late lord's picture, as it now is in the family, noble
and severe-looking, with his hand on his sword, and his order on
his cloak, which he had from the Emperor during the war on the
Danube against the Turk.

Seeing the great and undeniable likeness between this portrait and
the lad, the new Viscountess, who had still hold of the boy's hand
as she looked at the picture, blushed and dropped the hand quickly,
and walked down the gallery, followed by Mrs. Worksop.

When the lady came back, Harry Esmond stood exactly in the same
spot, and with his hand as it had fallen when he dropped it on his
black coat.

Her heart melted, I suppose (indeed she hath since owned as much),
at the notion that she should do anything unkind to any mortal,
great or small; for, when she returned, she had sent away the
housekeeper upon an errand by the door at the farther end of the
gallery; and, coming back to the lad, with a look of infinite pity
and tenderness in her eyes, she took his hand again, placing her
other fair hand on his head, and saying some words to him, which
were so kind, and said in a voice so sweet, that the boy, who had
never looked upon so much beauty before, felt as if the touch of a
superior being or angel smote him down to the ground, and kissed
the fair protecting hand as he knelt on one knee. To the very last
hour of his life, Esmond remembered the lady as she then spoke and
looked, the rings on her fair hands, the very scent of her robe,
the beam of her eyes lighting up with surprise and kindness, her
lips blooming in a smile, the sun making a golden halo round her

As the boy was yet in this attitude of humility, enters behind him
a portly gentleman, with a little girl of four years old in his
hand. The gentleman burst into a great laugh at the lady and her
adorer, with his little queer figure, his sallow face, and long
black hair. The lady blushed, and seemed to deprecate his ridicule
by a look of appeal to her husband, for it was my Lord Viscount who
now arrived, and whom the lad knew, having once before seen him in
the late lord's lifetime.

"So this is the little priest" says my lord, looking down at the
lad; "welcome, kinsman."

"He is saying his prayers to mamma," says the little girl, who came
up to her papa's knees; and my lord burst out into another great
laugh at this, and kinsman Henry looked very silly. He invented a
half-dozen of speeches in reply, but 'twas months afterwards when
he thought of this adventure: as it was, he had never a word in

"Le pauvre enfant, il n'a que nous," says the lady, looking to her
lord; and the boy, who understood her, though doubtless she thought
otherwise, thanked her with all his heart for her kind speech.

"And he shan't want for friends here," says my lord in a kind
voice, "shall he, little Trix?"

The little girl, whose name was Beatrix, and whom her papa called
by this diminutive, looked at Henry Esmond solemnly, with a pair of
large eyes, and then a smile shone over her face, which was as
beautiful as that of a cherub, and she came up and put out a little
hand to him. A keen and delightful pang of gratitude, happiness,
affection, filled the orphan child's heart, as he received from the
protectors, whom heaven had sent to him, these touching words and
tokens of friendliness and kindness. But an hour since, he had
felt quite alone in the world: when he heard the great peal of
bells from Castlewood church ringing that morning to welcome the
arrival of the new lord and lady, it had rung only terror and
anxiety to him, for he knew not how the new owner would deal with
him; and those to whom he formerly looked for protection were
forgotten or dead. Pride and doubt too had kept him within-doors,
when the Vicar and the people of the village, and the servants of
the house, had gone out to welcome my Lord Castlewood--for Henry
Esmond was no servant, though a dependant; no relative, though he
bore the name and inherited the blood of the house; and in the
midst of the noise and acclamations attending the arrival of the
new lord (for whom, you may be sure, a feast was got ready, and
guns were fired, and tenants and domestics huzzahed when his
carriage approached and rolled into the court-yard of the hall), no
one ever took any notice of young Henry Esmond, who sat unobserved
and alone in the Book-room, until the afternoon of that day, when
his new friends found him.

When my lord and lady were going away thence, the little girl,
still holding her kinsman by the hand, bade him to come too. "Thou
wilt always forsake an old friend for a new one, Trix," says her
father to her good-naturedly; and went into the gallery, giving an
arm to his lady. They passed thence through the music-gallery,
long since dismantled, and Queen Elizabeth's Rooms, in the clock-
tower, and out into the terrace, where was a fine prospect of
sunset and the great darkling woods with a cloud of rooks
returning; and the plain and river with Castlewood village beyond,
and purple hills beautiful to look at--and the little heir of
Castlewood, a child of two years old, was already here on the
terrace in his nurse's arms, from whom he ran across the grass
instantly he perceived his mother, and came to her.

"If thou canst not be happy here," says my lord, looking round at
the scene, "thou art hard to please, Rachel."

"I am happy where you are," she said, "but we were happiest of all
at Walcote Forest." Then my lord began to describe what was before
them to his wife, and what indeed little Harry knew better than he--
viz., the history of the house: how by yonder gate the page ran
away with the heiress of Castlewood, by which the estate came into
the present family; how the Roundheads attacked the clock-tower,
which my lord's father was slain in defending. "I was but two
years old then," says he, "but take forty-six from ninety, and how
old shall I be, kinsman Harry?"

"Thirty," says his wife, with a laugh.

"A great deal too old for you, Rachel," answers my lord, looking
fondly down at her. Indeed she seemed to be a girl, and was at
that time scarce twenty years old.

"You know, Frank, I will do anything to please you," says she, "and
I promise you I will grow older every day."

"You mustn't call papa, Frank; you must call papa my lord now,"
says Miss Beatrix, with a toss of her little head; at which the
mother smiled, and the good-natured father laughed, and the little
trotting boy laughed, not knowing why--but because he was happy, no
doubt--as every one seemed to be there. How those trivial
incidents and words, the landscape and sunshine, and the group of
people smiling and talking, remain fixed on the memory!

As the sun was setting, the little heir was sent in the arms of his
nurse to bed, whither he went howling; but little Trix was promised
to sit to supper that night--"and you will come too, kinsman, won't
you?" she said.

Harry Esmond blushed: "I--I have supper with Mrs. Worksop," says

"D--n it," says my lord, "thou shalt sup with us, Harry, to-night!
Shan't refuse a lady, shall he, Trix?"--and they all wondered at
Harry's performance as a trencher-man, in which character the poor
boy acquitted himself very remarkably; for the truth is he had had
no dinner, nobody thinking of him in the bustle which the house was
in, during the preparations antecedent to the new lord's arrival.

"No dinner! poor dear child!" says my lady, heaping up his plate
with meat, and my lord, filling a bumper for him, bade him call a
health; on which Master Harry, crying "The King," tossed off the
wine. My lord was ready to drink that, and most other toasts:
indeed only too ready. He would not hear of Doctor Tusher (the
Vicar of Castlewood, who came to supper) going away when the
sweetmeats were brought: he had not had a chaplain long enough, he
said, to be tired of him: so his reverence kept my lord company for
some hours over a pipe and a punch-bowl; and went away home with
rather a reeling gait, and declaring a dozen of times, that his
lordship's affability surpassed every kindness he had ever had from
his lordship's gracious family.

As for young Esmond, when he got to his little chamber, it was with
a heart full of surprise and gratitude towards the new friends whom
this happy day had brought him. He was up and watching long before
the house was astir, longing to see that fair lady and her
children--that kind protector and patron: and only fearful lest
their welcome of the past night should in any way be withdrawn or
altered. But presently little Beatrix came out into the garden,
and her mother followed, who greeted Harry as kindly as before. He
told her at greater length the histories of the house (which he had
been taught in the old lord's time), and to which she listened with
great interest; and then he told her, with respect to the night
before, that he understood French, and thanked her for her

"Do you?" says she, with a blush; "then, sir, you shall teach me
and Beatrix." And she asked him many more questions regarding
himself, which had best be told more fully and explicitly than in
those brief replies which the lad made to his mistress's questions.



'Tis known that the name of Esmond and the estate of Castlewood,
com. Hants, came into possession of the present family through
Dorothea, daughter and heiress of Edward, Earl and Marquis Esmond,
and Lord of Castlewood, which lady married, 23 Eliz., Henry Poyns,
gent.; the said Henry being then a page in the household of her
father. Francis, son and heir of the above Henry and Dorothea, who
took the maternal name which the family hath borne subsequently,
was made Knight and Baronet by King James the First; and being of a
military disposition, remained long in Germany with the Elector-
Palatine, in whose service Sir Francis incurred both expense and
danger, lending large sums of money to that unfortunate Prince; and
receiving many wounds in the battles against the Imperialists, in
which Sir Francis engaged.

On his return home Sir Francis was rewarded for his services and
many sacrifices, by his late Majesty James the First, who
graciously conferred upon this tried servant the post of Warden of
the Butteries and Groom of the King's Posset, which high and
confidential office he filled in that king's and his unhappy
successor's reign.

His age, and many wounds and infirmities, obliged Sir Francis to
perform much of his duty by deputy: and his son, Sir George Esmond,
knight and banneret, first as his father's lieutenant, and
afterwards as inheritor of his father's title and dignity,
performed this office during almost the whole of the reign of King
Charles the First, and his two sons who succeeded him.

Sir George Esmond married, rather beneath the rank that a person of
his name and honor might aspire to, the daughter of Thos. Topham,
of the city of London, alderman and goldsmith, who, taking the
Parliamentary side in the troubles then commencing, disappointed
Sir George of the property which he expected at the demise of his
father-in-law, who devised his money to his second daughter,
Barbara, a spinster.

Sir George Esmond, on his part, was conspicuous for his attachment
and loyalty to the Royal cause and person: and the King being at
Oxford in 1642, Sir George, with the consent of his father, then
very aged and infirm, and residing at his house of Castlewood,
melted the whole of the family plate for his Majesty's service.

For this, and other sacrifices and merits, his Majesty, by patent
under the Privy Seal, dated Oxford, Jan., 1643, was pleased to
advance Sir Francis Esmond to the dignity of Viscount Castlewood,
of Shandon, in Ireland: and the Viscount's estate being much
impoverished by loans to the King, which in those troublesome times
his Majesty could not repay, a grant of land in the plantations of
Virginia was given to the Lord Viscount.; part of which land is in
possession of descendants of his family to the present day.

The first Viscount Castlewood died full of years, and within a few
months after he had been advanced to his honors. He was succeeded
by his eldest son, the before-named George; and left issue besides,
Thomas, a colonel in the King's army, who afterwards joined the
Usurper's Government; and Francis, in holy orders, who was slain
whilst defending the House of Castlewood against the Parliament,
anno 1647.

George Lord Castlewood (the second Viscount), of King Charles the
First's time, had no male issue save his one son, Eustace Esmond,
who was killed, with half of the Castlewood men beside him, at
Worcester fight. The lands about Castlewood were sold and
apportioned to the Commonwealth men; Castlewood being concerned in
almost all of the plots against the Protector, after the death of
the King, and up to King Charles the Second's restoration. My lord
followed that king's Court about in its exile, having ruined
himself in its service. He had but one daughter, who was of no
great comfort to her father; for misfortune had not taught those
exiles sobriety of life; and it is said that the Duke of York and
his brother the King both quarrelled about Isabel Esmond. She was
maid of honor to the Queen Henrietta Maria; she early joined the
Roman Church; her father, a weak man, following her not long after
at Breda.

On the death of Eustace Esmond at Worcester, Thomas Esmond, nephew
to my Lord Castlewood, and then a stripling, became heir to the
title. His father had taken the Parliament side in the quarrels,
and so had been estranged from the chief of his house; and my Lord
Castlewood was at first so much enraged to think that his title
(albeit little more than an empty one now) should pass to a
rascally Roundhead, that he would have married again, and indeed
proposed to do so to a vintner's daughter at Bruges, to whom his
lordship owed a score for lodging when the King was there, but for
fear of the laughter of the Court, and the anger of his daughter,
of whom he stood in awe; for she was in temper as imperious and
violent as my lord, who was much enfeebled by wounds and drinking,
was weak.

Lord Castlewood would have had a match between his daughter Isabel
and her cousin, the son of that Francis Esmond who was killed at
Castlewood siege. And the lady, it was said, took a fancy to the
young man, who was her junior by several years (which circumstance
she did not consider to be a fault in him); but having paid his
court, and being admitted to the intimacy of the house, he suddenly
flung up his suit, when it seemed to be pretty prosperous, without
giving a pretext for his behavior. His friends rallied him at what
they laughingly chose to call his infidelity; Jack Churchill, Frank
Esmond's lieutenant in the Royal Regiment of Foot-guards, getting
the company which Esmond vacated, when he left the Court and went
to Tangier in a rage at discovering that his promotion depended on
the complaisance of his elderly affianced bride. He and Churchill,
who had been condiscipuli at St. Paul's School, had words about
this matter; and Frank Esmond said to him with an oath, "Jack, your
sister may be so-and-so, but by Jove my wife shan't!" and swords
were drawn, and blood drawn too, until friends separated them on
this quarrel. Few men were so jealous about the point of honor in
those days; and gentlemen of good birth and lineage thought a royal
blot was an ornament to their family coat. Frank Esmond retired in
the sulks, first to Tangier, whence he returned after two years'
service, settling on a small property he had of his mother, near to
Winchester, and became a country gentleman, and kept a pack of
beagles, and never came to Court again in King Charles's time. But
his uncle Castlewood was never reconciled to him; nor, for some
time afterwards, his cousin whom he had refused.

By places, pensions, bounties from France, and gifts from the King,
whilst his daughter was in favor, Lord Castlewood, who had spent in
the Royal service his youth and fortune, did not retrieve the
latter quite, and never cared to visit Castlewood, or repair it,
since the death of his son, but managed to keep a good house, and
figure at Court, and to save a considerable sum of ready money.

And now, his heir and nephew, Thomas Esmond, began to bid for his
uncle's favor. Thomas had served with the Emperor, and with the
Dutch, when King Charles was compelled to lend troops to the
States; and against them, when his Majesty made an alliance with
the French King. In these campaigns Thomas Esmond was more
remarked for duelling, brawling, vice, and play, than for any
conspicuous gallantry in the field, and came back to England, like
many another English gentleman who has travelled, with a character
by no means improved by his foreign experience. He had dissipated
his small paternal inheritance of a younger brother's portion, and,
as truth must be told, was no better than a hanger-on of
ordinaries, and a brawler about Alsatia and the Friars, when he
bethought him of a means of mending his fortune.

His cousin was now of more than middle age, and had nobody's word
but her own for the beauty which she said she once possessed. She
was lean, and yellow, and long in the tooth; all the red and white
in all the toy-shops in London could not make a beauty of her--Mr.
Killigrew called her the Sybil, the death's-head put up at the
King's feast as a memento mori, &c.--in fine, a woman who might be
easy of conquest, but whom only a very bold man would think of
conquering. This bold man was Thomas Esmond. He had a fancy to my
Lord Castlewood's savings, the amount of which rumor had very much
exaggerated. Madame Isabel was said to have Royal jewels of great
value; whereas poor Tom Esmond's last coat but one was in pawn.

My lord had at this time a fine house in Lincoln's-Inn-Fields, nigh
to the Duke's Theatre and the Portugal ambassador's chapel. Tom
Esmond, who had frequented the one as long as he had money to spend
among the actresses, now came to the church as assiduously. He
looked so lean and shabby, that he passed without difficulty for a
repentant sinner; and so, becoming converted, you may be sure took
his uncle's priest for a director.

This charitable father reconciled him with the old lord, his uncle,
who a short time before would not speak to him, as Tom passed under
my lord's coach window, his lordship going in state to his place at
Court, while his nephew slunk by with his battered hat and feather,
and the point of his rapier sticking out of the scabbard--to his
twopenny ordinary in Bell Yard.

Thomas Esmond, after this reconciliation with his uncle, very soon
began to grow sleek, and to show signs of the benefits of good
living and clean linen. He fasted rigorously twice a week, to be
sure; but he made amends on the other days: and, to show how great
his appetite was, Mr. Wycherley said, he ended by swallowing that
fly-blown rank old morsel his cousin. There were endless jokes and
lampoons about this marriage at Court: but Tom rode thither in his
uncle's coach now, called him father, and having won could afford
to laugh. This marriage took place very shortly before King
Charles died: whom the Viscount of Castlewood speedily followed.

The issue of this marriage was one son, whom the parents watched
with an intense eagerness and care; but who, in spite of nurses and
physicians, had only a brief existence. His tainted blood did not
run very long in his poor feeble little body. Symptoms of evil
broke out early on him; and, part from flattery, part superstition,
nothing would satisfy my lord and lady, especially the latter, but
having the poor little cripple touched by his Majesty at his
church. They were ready to cry out miracle at first (the doctors
and quack-salvers being constantly in attendance on the child, and
experimenting on his poor little body with every conceivable
nostrum) but though there seemed, from some reason, a notable
amelioration in the infant's health after his Majesty touched him,
in a few weeks afterward the poor thing died--causing the
lampooners of the Court to say, that the King, in expelling evil
out of the infant of Tom Esmond and Isabella his wife, expelled the
life out of it, which was nothing but corruption.

The mother's natural pang at losing this poor little child must
have been increased when she thought of her rival Frank Esmond's
wife, who was a favorite of the whole Court, where my poor Lady
Castlewood was neglected, and who had one child, a daughter,
flourishing and beautiful, and was about to become a mother once

The Court, as I have heard, only laughed the more because the poor
lady, who had pretty well passed the age when ladies are accustomed
to have children, nevertheless determined not to give hope up, and
even when she came to live at Castlewood, was constantly sending
over to Hexton for the doctor, and announcing to her friends the
arrival of an heir. This absurdity of hers was one amongst many
others which the wags used to play upon. Indeed, to the last days
of her life, my Lady Viscountess had the comfort of fancying
herself beautiful, and persisted in blooming up to the very midst
of winter, painting roses on her cheeks long after their natural
season, and attiring herself like summer though her head was
covered with snow.

Gentlemen who were about the Court of King Charles, and King James,
have told the present writer a number of stories about this queer
old lady, with which it's not necessary that posterity should be
entertained. She is said to have had great powers of invective
and, if she fought with all her rivals in King James's favor, 'tis
certain she must have had a vast number of quarrels on her hands.
She was a woman of an intrepid spirit, and, it appears, pursued and
rather fatigued his Majesty with her rights and her wrongs. Some
say that the cause of her leaving Court was jealousy of Frank
Esmond's wife: others, that she was forced to retreat after a great
battle which took place at Whitehall, between her ladyship and Lady
Dorchester, Tom Killigrew's daughter, whom the King delighted to
honor, and in which that ill-favored Esther got the better of our
elderly Vashti. But her ladyship, for her part, always averred
that it was her husband's quarrel, and not her own, which
occasioned the banishment of the two into the country; and the
cruel ingratitude of the Sovereign in giving away, out of the
family, that place of Warden of the Butteries and Groom of the
King's Posset, which the two last Lords Castlewood had held so
honorably, and which was now conferred upon a fellow of yesterday,
and a hanger-on of that odious Dorchester creature, my Lord
Bergamot;* "I never," said my lady, could have come to see his
Majesty's posset carried by any other hand than an Esmond. I
should have dashed the salver out of Lord Bergamot's hand, had I
met him." And those who knew her ladyship are aware that she was a
person quite capable of performing this feat, had she not wisely
kept out of the way.

* Lionel Tipton, created Baron Bergamot, ann. 1686, Gentleman Usher
of the Back Stairs, and afterwards appointed Warden of the
Butteries and Groom of the King's Posset (on the decease of George,
second Viscount Castlewood), accompanied his Majesty to St.
Germain's, where he died without issue. No Groom of the Posset was
appointed by the Prince of Orange, nor hath there been such an
officer in any succeeding reign.

Holding the purse-strings in her own control, to which, indeed, she
liked to bring most persons who came near her, Lady Castlewood
could command her husband's obedience, and so broke up her
establishment at London; she had removed from Lincoln's-Inn-Fields
to Chelsey, to a pretty new house she bought there; and brought her
establishment, her maids, lap-dogs, and gentlewomen, her priest,
and his lordship her husband, to Castlewood Hall, that she had
never seen since she quitted it as a child with her father during
the troubles of King Charles the First's reign. The walls were
still open in the old house as they had been left by the shot of
the Commonwealthmen. A part of the mansion was restored and
furbished up with the plate, hangings, and furniture brought from
the house in London. My lady meant to have a triumphal entry into
Castlewood village, and expected the people to cheer as she drove
over the Green in her great coach, my lord beside her, her
gentlewomen, lap-dogs, and cockatoos on the opposite seat, six
horses to her carriage, and servants armed and mounted following it
and preceding it. But 'twas in the height of the No-Popery cry;
the folks in the village and the neighboring town were scared by
the sight of her ladyship's painted face and eyelids, as she bobbed
her head out of the coach window, meaning, no doubt, to be very
gracious; and one old woman said, "Lady Isabel! lord-a-mercy, it's
Lady Jezebel!" a name by which the enemies of the right honorable
Viscountess were afterwards in the habit of designating her. The
country was then in a great No-Popery fervor; her ladyship's known
conversion, and her husband's, the priest in her train, and the
service performed at the chapel of Castlewood (though the chapel
had been built for that worship before any other was heard of in
the country, and though the service was performed in the most quiet
manner), got her no favor at first in the county or village. By
far the greater part of the estate of Castlewood had been
confiscated, and been parcelled out to Commonwealthmen. One or two
of these old Cromwellian soldiers were still alive in the village,
and looked grimly at first upon my Lady Viscountess, when she came
to dwell there.

She appeared at the Hexton Assembly, bringing her lord after her,
scaring the country folks with the splendor of her diamonds, which
she always wore in public. They said she wore them in private,
too, and slept with them round her neck; though the writer can
pledge his word that this was a calumny. "If she were to take them
off," my Lady Sark said, "Tom Esmond, her husband, would run away
with them and pawn them." 'Twas another calumny. My Lady Sark was
also an exile from Court, and there had been war between the two
ladies before.

The village people began to be reconciled presently to their lady,
who was generous and kind, though fantastic and haughty, in her
ways; and whose praises Dr. Tusher, the Vicar, sounded loudly
amongst his flock. As for my lord, he gave no great trouble, being
considered scarce more than an appendage to my lady, who, as
daughter of the old lords of Castlewood, and possessor of vast
wealth, as the country folks said (though indeed nine-tenths of it
existed but in rumor), was looked upon as the real queen of the
Castle, and mistress of all it contained.



Coming up to London again some short time after this retreat, the
Lord Castlewood despatched a retainer of his to a little Cottage in
the village of Ealing, near to London, where for some time had
dwelt an old French refugee, by name Mr. Pastoureau, one of those
whom the persecution of the Huguenots by the French king had
brought over to this country. With this old man lived a little
lad, who went by the name of Henry Thomas. He remembered to have
lived in another place a short time before, near to London too,
amongst looms and spinning-wheels, and a great deal of psalm-
singing and church-going, and a whole colony of Frenchmen.

There he had a dear, dear friend, who died, and whom he called
Aunt. She used to visit him in his dreams sometimes; and her face,
though it was homely, was a thousand times dearer to him than that
of Mrs. Pastoureau, Bon Papa Pastoureau's new wife, who came to
live with him after aunt went away. And there, at Spittlefields,
as it used to be called, lived Uncle George, who was a weaver too,
but used to tell Harry that he was a little gentleman, and that his
father was a captain, and his mother an angel.

When he said so, Bon Papa used to look up from the loom, where he
was embroidering beautiful silk flowers, and say, "Angel! she
belongs to the Babylonish scarlet woman." Bon Papa was always
talking of the scarlet woman. He had a little room where he always
used to preach and sing hymns out of his great old nose. Little
Harry did not like the preaching; he liked better the fine stories
which aunt used to tell him. Bon Papa's wife never told him pretty
stories; she quarrelled with Uncle George, and he went away.

After this, Harry's Bon Papa and his wife and two children of her
own that she brought with her, came to live at Ealing. The new
wife gave her children the best of everything, and Harry many a
whipping, he knew not why. Besides blows, he got ill names from
her, which need not be set down here, for the sake of old Mr.
Pastoureau, who was still kind sometimes. The unhappiness of those
days is long forgiven, though they cast a shade of melancholy over
the child's youth, which will accompany him, no doubt, to the end
of his days: as those tender twigs are bent the trees grow
afterward; and he, at least, who has suffered as a child, and is
not quite perverted in that early school of unhappiness, learns to
be gentle and long-suffering with little children.

Harry was very glad when a gentleman dressed in black, on
horseback, with a mounted servant behind him, came to fetch him
away from Ealing. The noverca, or unjust stepmother, who had
neglected him for her own two children, gave him supper enough the
night before he went away, and plenty in the morning. She did not
beat him once, and told the children to keep their hands off him.
One was a girl, and Harry never could bear to strike a girl; and
the other was a boy, whom he could easily have beat, but he always
cried out, when Mrs. Pastoureau came sailing to the rescue with
arms like a flail. She only washed Harry's face the day he went
away; nor ever so much as once boxed his ears. She whimpered
rather when the gentleman in black came for the boy; and old Mr.
Pastoureau, as he gave the child his blessing, scowled over his
shoulder at the strange gentleman, and grumbled out something about
Babylon and the scarlet lady. He was grown quite old, like a child
almost. Mrs. Pastoureau used to wipe his nose as she did to the
children. She was a great, big, handsome young woman; but, though
she pretended to cry, Harry thought 'twas only a sham, and sprung
quite delighted upon the horse upon which the lackey helped him.

He was a Frenchman; his name was Blaise. The child could talk to
him in his own language perfectly well: he knew it better than
English indeed, having lived hitherto chiefly among French people:
and being called the Little Frenchman by other boys on Ealing
Green. He soon learnt to speak English perfectly, and to forget
some of his French: children forget easily. Some earlier and
fainter recollections the child had of a different country; and a
town with tall white houses: and a ship. But these were quite
indistinct in the boy's mind, as indeed the memory of Ealing soon
became, at least of much that he suffered there.

The lackey before whom he rode was very lively and voluble, and
informed the boy that the gentleman riding before him was my lord's
chaplain, Father Holt--that he was now to be called Master Harry
Esmond--that my Lord Viscount Castlewood was his parrain--that he
was to live at the great house of Castlewood, in the province
of ----shire, where he would see Madame the Viscountess, who was
a grand lady. And so, seated on a cloth before Blaise's saddle,
Harry Esmond was brought to London, and to a fine square called
Covent Garden, near to which his patron lodged.

Mr. Holt, the priest, took the child by the hand, and brought him
to this nobleman, a grand languid nobleman in a great cap and
flowered morning-gown, sucking oranges. He patted Harry on the
head and gave him an orange.

"C'est bien ca," he said to the priest after eying the child, and
the gentleman in black shrugged his shoulders.

"Let Blaise take him out for a holiday," and out for a holiday the
boy and the valet went. Harry went jumping along; he was glad
enough to go.

He will remember to his life's end the delights of those days. He
was taken to see a play by Monsieur Blaise, in a house a thousand
times greater and finer than the booth at Ealing Fair--and on the
next happy day they took water on the river, and Harry saw London
Bridge, with the houses and booksellers' shops thereon, looking
like a street, and the Tower of London, with the Armor, and the
great lions and bears in the moat--all under company of Monsieur

Presently, of an early morning, all the party set forth for the
country, namely, my Lord Viscount and the other gentleman; Monsieur
Blaise and Harry on a pillion behind them, and two or three men
with pistols leading the baggage-horses. And all along the road
the Frenchman told little Harry stories of brigands, which made the
child's hair stand on end, and terrified him; so that at the great
gloomy inn on the road where they lay, he besought to be allowed to
sleep in a room with one of the servants, and was compassionated by
Mr. Holt, the gentleman who travelled with my lord, and who gave
the child a little bed in his chamber.

His artless talk and answers very likely inclined this gentleman in
the boy's favor, for next day Mr. Holt said Harry should ride
behind him, and not with the French lacky; and all along the
journey put a thousand questions to the child--as to his foster-
brother and relations at Ealing; what his old grandfather had
taught him; what languages he knew; whether he could read and
write, and sing, and so forth. And Mr. Holt found that Harry could
read and write, and possessed the two languages of French and
English very well; and when he asked Harry about singing, the lad
broke out with a hymn to the tune of Dr. Martin Luther, which set
Mr. Holt a-laughing; and even caused his grand parrain in the laced
hat and periwig to laugh too when Holt told him what the child was
singing. For it appeared that Dr. Martin Luther's hymns were not
sung in the churches Mr. Holt preached at.

"You must never sing that song any more: do you hear, little
mannikin?" says my Lord Viscount, holding up a finger.

"But we will try and teach you a better, Harry," Mr. Holt said; and
the child answered, for he was a docile child, and of an
affectionate nature, "That he loved pretty songs, and would try and
learn anything the gentleman would tell him." That day he so
pleased the gentlemen by his talk, that they had him to dine with
them at the inn, and encouraged him in his prattle; and Monsieur
Blaise, with whom he rode and dined the day before, waited upon him

"'Tis well, 'tis well!" said Blaise, that night (in his own
language) when they lay again at an inn. "We are a little lord
here; we are a little lord now: we shall see what we are when we
come to Castlewood, where my lady is."

"When shall we come to Castlewood, Monsieur Blaise?" says Harry.

"Parbleu! my lord does not press himself," Blaise says, with a
grin; and, indeed, it seemed as if his lordship was not in a great
hurry, for he spent three days on that journey which Harry Esmond
hath often since ridden in a dozen hours. For the last two of the
days Harry rode with the priest, who was so kind to him, that the
child had grown to be quite fond and familiar with him by the
journey's end, and had scarce a thought in his little heart which
by that time he had not confided to his new friend.

At length, on the third day, at evening, they came to a village
standing on a green with elms round it, very pretty to look at; and
the people there all took off their hats, and made curtsies to my
Lord Viscount, who bowed to them all languidly; and there was one
portly person that wore a cassock and a broad-leafed hat, who bowed
lower than any one--and with this one both my lord and Mr. Holt had
a few words. "This, Harry, is Castlewood church," says Mr. Holt,
"and this is the pillar thereof, learned Doctor Tusher. Take off
your hat, sirrah, and salute Dr. Tusher!"

"Come up to supper, Doctor," says my lord; at which the Doctor made
another low bow, and the party moved on towards a grand house that
was before them, with many gray towers and vanes on them, and
windows flaming in the sunshine; and a great army of rooks,
wheeling over their heads, made for the woods behind the house, as
Harry saw; and Mr. Holt told him that they lived at Castlewood too.

They came to the house, and passed under an arch into a court-yard,
with a fountain in the centre, where many men came and held my
lord's stirrup as he descended, and paid great respect to Mr. Holt
likewise. And the child thought that the servants looked at him
curiously, and smiled to one another--and he recalled what Blaise
had said to him when they were in London, and Harry had spoken
about his godpapa, when the Frenchman said, "Parbleu, one sees well
that my lord is your godfather;" words whereof the poor lad did not
know the meaning then, though he apprehended the truth in a very
short time afterwards, and learned it, and thought of it with no
small feeling of shame.

Taking Harry by the hand as soon as they were both descended from
their horses, Mr. Holt led him across the court, and under a low
door to rooms on a level with the ground; one of which Father Holt
said was to be the boy's chamber, the other on the other side of
the passage being the Father's own; and as soon as the little man's
face was washed, and the Father's own dress arranged, Harry's guide
took him once more to the door by which my lord had entered the
hall, and up a stair, and through an ante-room to my lady's
drawing-room--an apartment than which Harry thought he had never
seen anything more grand--no, not in the Tower of London which he
had just visited. Indeed, the chamber was richly ornamented in the
manner of Queen Elizabeth's time, with great stained windows at
either end, and hangings of tapestry, which the sun shining through
the colored glass painted of a thousand lines; and here in state,
by the fire, sat a lady to whom the priest took up Harry, who was
indeed amazed by her appearance.

My Lady Viscountess's face was daubed with white and red up to the
eyes, to which the paint gave an unearthly glare: she had a tower
of lace on her head, under which was a bush of black curls--
borrowed curls--so that no wonder little Harry Esmond was scared
when he was first presented to her--the kind priest acting as
master of the ceremonies at that solemn introduction--and he stared
at her with eyes almost as great as her own, as he had stared at
the player woman who acted the wicked tragedy-queen, when the
players came down to Ealing Fair. She sat in a great chair by the
fire-corner; in her lap was a spaniel-dog that barked furiously; on
a little table by her was her ladyship's snuff-box and her sugar-
plum box. She wore a dress of black velvet, and a petticoat of
flame-colored brocade. She had as many rings on her fingers as the
old woman of Banbury Cross; and pretty small feet which she was
fond of showing, with great gold clocks to her stockings, and white
pantofles with red heels; and an odor of musk was shook out of her
garments whenever she moved or quitted the room, leaning on her
tortoise-shell stick, little Fury barking at her heels.

Mrs. Tusher, the parson's wife, was with my lady. She had been
waiting-woman to her ladyship in the late lord's time, and, having
her soul in that business, took naturally to it when the
Viscountess of Castlewood returned to inhabit her father's house.

"I present to your ladyship your kinsman and little page of honor,
Master Henry Esmond," Mr. Holt said, bowing lowly, with a sort of
comical humility. "Make a pretty bow to my lady, Monsieur; and
then another little bow, not so low, to Madame Tusher--the fair
priestess of Castlewood."

"Where I have lived and hope to die, sir," says Madame Tusher,
giving a hard glance at the brat, and then at my lady.

Upon her the boy's whole attention was for a time directed. He
could not keep his great eyes off from her. Since the Empress of
Ealing, he had seen nothing so awful.

"Does my appearance please you, little page?" asked the lady.

"He would be very hard to please if it didn't," cried Madame

"Have done, you silly Maria," said Lady Castlewood.

"Where I'm attached, I'm attached, Madame--and I'd die rather than
not say so."

"Je meurs ou je m'attache," Mr. Holt said with a polite grin. "The
ivy says so in the picture, and clings to the oak like a fond
parasite as it is."

"Parricide, sir!" cries Mrs. Tusher.

"Hush, Tusher--you are always bickering with Father Holt," cried my
lady. "Come and kiss my hand, child;" and the oak held out a
BRANCH to little Harry Esmond, who took and dutifully kissed the
lean old hand, upon the gnarled knuckles of which there glittered a
hundred rings.

"To kiss that hand would make many a pretty fellow happy!" cried
Mrs. Tusher: on which my lady crying out, "Go, you foolish Tusher!"
and tapping her with her great fan, Tusher ran forward to seize her
hand and kiss it. Fury arose and barked furiously at Tusher; and
Father Holt looked on at this queer scene, with arch, grave glances.

The awe exhibited by the little boy perhaps pleased the lady to
whom this artless flattery was bestowed: for having gone down on
his knee (as Father Holt had directed him, and the mode then was)
and performed his obeisance, she said, "Page Esmond, my groom of
the chamber will inform you what your duties are, when you wait
upon my lord and me; and good Father Holt will instruct you as
becomes a gentleman of our name. You will pay him obedience in
everything, and I pray you may grow to be as learned and as good as
your tutor."

The lady seemed to have the greatest reverence for Mr. Holt, and to
be more afraid of him than of anything else in the world. If she
was ever so angry, a word or look from Father Holt made her calm:
indeed he had a vast power of subjecting those who came near him;
and, among the rest, his new pupil gave himself up with an entire
confidence and attachment to the good Father, and became his
willing slave almost from the first moment he saw him.

He put his small hand into the Father's as he walked away from his
first presentation to his mistress, and asked many questions in his
artless childish way. "Who is that other woman?" he asked. "She
is fat and round; she is more pretty than my Lady Castlewood."

"She is Madame Tusher, the parson's wife of Castlewood. She has a
son of your age, but bigger than you."

"Why does she like so to kiss my lady's hand. It is not good to

"Tastes are different, little man. Madame Tusher is attached to my
lady, having been her waiting-woman before she was married, in the
old lord's time. She married Doctor Tusher the chaplain. The
English household divines often marry the waiting-women."

"You will not marry the French woman, will you? I saw her laughing
with Blaise in the buttery."

"I belong to a church that is older and better than the English
church," Mr. Holt said (making a sign whereof Esmond did not then
understand the meaning, across his breast and forehead); "in our
church the clergy do not marry. You will understand these things
better soon."

"Was not Saint Peter the head of your church?--Dr. Rabbits of
Ealing told us so."

The Father said, "Yes, he was."

"But Saint Peter was married, for we heard only last Sunday that
his wife's mother lay sick of a fever." On which the Father again
laughed, and said he would understand this too better soon, and
talked of other things, and took away Harry Esmond, and showed him
the great old house which he had come to inhabit.

It stood on a rising green hill, with woods behind it, in which
were rooks' nests, where the birds at morning and returning home at
evening made a great cawing. At the foot of the hill was a river,
with a steep ancient bridge crossing it; and beyond that a large
pleasant green flat, where the village of Castlewood stood, and
stands, with the church in the midst, the parsonage hard by it, the
inn with the blacksmith's forge beside it, and the sign of the
"Three Castles" on the elm. The London road stretched away towards
the rising sun, and to the west were swelling hills and peaks,
behind which many a time Harry Esmond saw the same sun setting,
that he now looks on thousands of miles away across the great
ocean--in a new Castlewood, by another stream, that bears, like the
new country of wandering AEneas, the fond names of the land of his

The Hall of Castlewood was built with two courts, whereof one only,
the fountain-court, was now inhabited, the other having been
battered down in the Cromwellian wars. In the fountain-court,
still in good repair, was the great hall, near to the kitchen and
butteries. A dozen of living-rooms looking to the north, and
communicating with the little chapel that faced eastwards and the
buildings stretching from that to the main gate, and with the hall
(which looked to the west) into the court now dismantled. This
court had been the most magnificent of the two, until the
Protector's cannon tore down one side of it before the place was
taken and stormed. The besiegers entered at the terrace under the
clock-tower, slaying every man of the garrison, and at their head
my lord's brother, Francis Esmond.

The Restoration did not bring enough money to the Lord Castlewood
to restore this ruined part of his house; where were the morning
parlors, above them the long music-gallery, and before which
stretched the garden-terrace, where, however, the flowers grew
again which the boots of the Roundheads had trodden in their
assault, and which was restored without much cost, and only a
little care, by both ladies who succeeded the second viscount in
the government of this mansion. Round the terrace-garden was a low
wall with a wicket leading to the wooded height beyond, that is
called Cromwell's Battery to this day.

Young Harry Esmond learned the domestic part of his duty, which was
easy enough, from the groom of her ladyship's chamber: serving the
Countess, as the custom commonly was in his boyhood, as page,
waiting at her chair, bringing her scented water and the silver
basin after dinner--sitting on her carriage-step on state
occasions, or on public days introducing her company to her. This
was chiefly of the Catholic gentry, of whom there were a pretty
many in the country and neighboring city; and who rode not seldom
to Castlewood to partake of the hospitalities there. In the second
year of their residence, the company seemed especially to increase.
My lord and my lady were seldom without visitors, in whose society
it was curious to contrast the difference of behavior between
Father Holt, the director of the family, and Doctor Tusher, the
rector of the parish--Mr. Holt moving amongst the very highest as
quite their equal, and as commanding them all; while poor Doctor
Tusher, whose position was indeed a difficult one, having been
chaplain once to the Hall, and still to the Protestant servants
there, seemed more like an usher than an equal, and always rose to
go away after the first course.

Also there came in these times to Father Holt many private
visitors, whom, after a little, Henry Esmond had little difficulty
in recognizing as ecclesiastics of the Father's persuasion,
whatever their dresses (and they adopted all) might be. These were
closeted with the Father constantly, and often came and rode away
without paying their devoirs to my lord and lady--to the lady and
lord rather--his lordship being little more than a cipher in the
house, and entirely under his domineering partner. A little
fowling, a little hunting, a great deal of sleep, and a long dine
at cards and table, carried through one day after another with his
lordship. When meetings took place in this second year, which
often would happen with closed doors, the page found my lord's
sheet of paper scribbled over with dogs and horses, and 'twas said
he had much ado to keep himself awake at these councils: the
Countess ruling over them, and he acting as little more than her

Father Holt began speedily to be so much occupied with these
meetings as rather to neglect the education of the little lad who
so gladly put himself under the kind priest's orders. At first
they read much and regularly, both in Latin and French; the Father
not neglecting in anything to impress his faith upon his pupil, but
not forcing him violently, and treating him with a delicacy and
kindness which surprised and attached the child, always more easily
won by these methods than by any severe exercise of authority. And
his delight in their walks was to tell Harry of the glories of his
order, of its martyrs and heroes, of its Brethren converting the
heathen by myriads, traversing the desert, facing the stake, ruling
the courts and councils, or braving the tortures of kings; so that
Harry Esmond thought that to belong to the Jesuits was the greatest
prize of life and bravest end of ambition; the greatest career
here, and in heaven the surest reward; and began to long for the
day, not only when he should enter into the one church and receive
his first communion, but when he might join that wonderful
brotherhood, which was present throughout all the world, and which
numbered the wisest, the bravest, the highest born, the most
eloquent of men among its members. Father Holt bade him keep his
views secret, and to hide them as a great treasure which would
escape him if it was revealed; and, proud of this confidence and
secret vested in him, the lad became fondly attached to the master
who initiated him into a mystery so wonderful and awful. And when
little Tom Tusher, his neighbor, came from school for his holiday,
and said how he, too, was to be bred up for an English priest, and
would get what he called an exhibition from his school, and then a
college scholarship and fellowship, and then a good living--it
tasked young Harry Esmond's powers of reticence not to say to his
young companion, "Church! priesthood! fat living! My dear Tommy,
do you call yours a church and a priesthood? What is a fat living
compared to converting a hundred thousand heathens by a single
sermon? What is a scholarship at Trinity by the side of a crown of
martyrdom, with angels awaiting you as your head is taken off?
Could your master at school sail over the Thames on his gown? Have
you statues in your church that can bleed, speak, walk, and cry?
My good Tommy, in dear Father Holt's church these things take place
every day. You know Saint Philip of the Willows appeared to Lord
Castlewood, and caused him to turn to the one true church. No
saints ever come to you." And Harry Esmond, because of his promise
to Father Holt, hiding away these treasures of faith from T.
Tusher, delivered himself of them nevertheless simply to Father
Holt; who stroked his head, smiled at him with his inscrutable
look, and told him that he did well to meditate on these great
things, and not to talk of them except under direction.



Had time enough been given, and his childish inclinations been
properly nurtured, Harry Esmond had been a Jesuit priest ere he was
a dozen years older, and might have finished his days a martyr in
China or a victim on Tower Hill: for, in the few months they spent
together at Castlewood, Mr. Holt obtained an entire mastery over
the boy's intellect and affections; and had brought him to think,
as indeed Father Holt thought with all his heart too, that no life
was so noble, no death so desirable, as that which many brethren of
his famous order were ready to undergo. By love, by a brightness
of wit and good-humor that charmed all, by an authority which he
knew how to assume, by a mystery and silence about him which
increased the child's reverence for him, he won Harry's absolute
fealty, and would have kept it, doubtless, if schemes greater and
more important than a poor little boy's admission into orders had
not called him away.

After being at home for a few months in tranquillity (if theirs
might be called tranquillity, which was, in truth, a constant
bickering), my lord and lady left the country for London, taking
their director with them: and his little pupil scarce ever shed
more bitter tears in his life than he did for nights after the
first parting with his dear friend, as he lay in the lonely chamber
next to that which the Father used to occupy. He and a few
domestics were left as the only tenants of the great house: and,
though Harry sedulously did all the tasks which the Father set him,
he had many hours unoccupied, and read in the library, and
bewildered his little brains with the great books he found there.

After a while, the little lad grew accustomed to the loneliness of
the place; and in after days remembered this part of his life as a
period not unhappy. When the family was at London the whole of the
establishment travelled thither with the exception of the porter--
who was, moreover, brewer, gardener, and woodman--and his wife and
children. These had their lodging in the gate-house hard by, with
a door into the court; and a window looking out on the green was
the Chaplain's room; and next to this a small chamber where Father
Holt had his books, and Harry Esmond his sleeping closet. The side
of the house facing the east had escaped the guns of the
Cromwellians, whose battery was on the height facing the western
court; so that this eastern end bore few marks of demolition, save
in the chapel, where the painted windows surviving Edward the Sixth
had been broke by the Commonwealthmen. In Father Holt's time
little Harry Esmond acted as his familiar and faithful little
servitor; beating his clothes, folding his vestments, fetching his
water from the well long before daylight, ready to run anywhere for
the service of his beloved priest. When the Father was away, he
locked his private chamber; but the room where the books were was
left to little Harry, who, but for the society of this gentleman,
was little less solitary when Lord Castlewood was at home.

The French wit saith that a hero is none to his valet-de-chambre,
and it required less quick eyes than my lady's little page was
naturally endowed with, to see that she had many qualities by no
means heroic, however much Mrs. Tusher might flatter and coax her.
When Father Holt was not by, who exercised an entire authority over
the pair, my lord and my lady quarrelled and abused each other so
as to make the servants laugh, and to frighten the little page on
duty. The poor boy trembled before his mistress, who called him by
a hundred ugly names, who made nothing of boxing his ears, and
tilting the silver basin in his face which it was his business to
present to her after dinner. She hath repaired, by subsequent
kindness to him, these severities, which it must be owned made his
childhood very unhappy. She was but unhappy herself at this time,
poor soul! and I suppose made her dependants lead her own sad life.
I think my lord was as much afraid of her as her page was, and the
only person of the household who mastered her was Mr. Holt. Harry
was only too glad when the Father dined at table, and to slink away
and prattle with him afterwards, or read with him, or walk with
him. Luckily my Lady Viscountess did not rise till noon. Heaven
help the poor waiting-woman who had charge of her toilet! I have
often seen the poor wretch come out with red eyes from the closet
where those long and mysterious rites of her ladyship's dress were
performed, and the backgammon-box locked up with a rap on Mrs.
Tusher's fingers when she played ill, or the game was going the
wrong way.

Blessed be the king who introduced cards, and the kind inventors of
piquet and cribbage, for they employed six hours at least of her
ladyship's day, during which her family was pretty easy. Without
this occupation my lady frequently declared she should die. Her
dependants one after another relieved guard--'twas rather a
dangerous post to play with her ladyship--and took the cards turn
about. Mr. Holt would sit with her at piquet during hours
together, at which time she behaved herself properly; and as for
Dr. Tusher, I believe he would have left a parishioner's dying bed,
if summoned to play a rubber with his patroness at Castlewood.
Sometimes, when they were pretty comfortable together, my lord took
a hand. Besides these my lady had her faithful poor Tusher, and
one, two, three gentlewomen whom Harry Esmond could recollect in
his time. They could not bear that genteel service very long; one
after another tried and failed at it. These and the housekeeper,
and little Harry Esmond, had a table of their own. Poor ladies
their life was far harder than the page's. He was sound asleep,
tucked up in his little bed, whilst they were sitting by her
ladyship reading her to sleep, with the "News Letter" or the "Grand
Cyrus." My lady used to have boxes of new plays from London, and
Harry was forbidden, under the pain of a whipping, to look into
them. I am afraid he deserved the penalty pretty often, and got it
sometimes. Father Holt applied it twice or thrice, when he caught
the young scapegrace with a delightful wicked comedy of Mr.
Shadwell's or Mr. Wycherley's under his pillow.

These, when he took any, were my lord's favorite reading. But he
was averse to much study, and, as his little page fancied, to much
occupation of any sort.

It always seemed to young Harry Esmond that my lord treated him
with more kindness when his lady was not present, and Lord
Castlewood would take the lad sometimes on his little journeys a-
hunting or a-birding; he loved to play at cards and tric-trac with
him, which games the boy learned to pleasure his lord: and was
growing to like him better daily, showing a special pleasure if
Father Holt gave a good report of him, patting him on the head, and
promising that he would provide for the boy. However, in my lady's
presence, my lord showed no such marks of kindness, and affected to
treat the lad roughly, and rebuked him sharply for little faults,
for which he in a manner asked pardon of young Esmond when they
were private, saying if he did not speak roughly, she would, and
his tongue was not such a bad one as his lady's--a point whereof
the boy, young as he was, was very well assured.

Great public events were happening all this while, of which the
simple young page took little count. But one day, riding into the
neighboring town on the step of my lady's coach, his lordship and
she and Father Holt being inside, a great mob of people came
hooting and jeering round the coach, bawling out "The Bishops for
ever!" "Down with the Pope!" "No Popery! no Popery! Jezebel,
Jezebel!" so that my lord began to laugh, my lady's eyes to roll
with anger, for she was as bold as a lioness, and feared nobody;
whilst Mr. Holt, as Esmond saw from his place on the step, sank
back with rather an alarmed face, crying out to her ladyship, "For
God's sake, madam, do not speak or look out of window; sit still."
But she did not obey this prudent injunction of the Father; she
thrust her head out of the coach window, and screamed out to the
coachman, "Flog your way through them, the brutes, James, and use
your whip!"

The mob answered with a roaring jeer of laughter, and fresh cries
of "Jezebel! Jezebel!" My lord only laughed the more: he was a
languid gentleman: nothing seemed to excite him commonly, though I
have seen him cheer and halloo the hounds very briskly, and his
face (which was generally very yellow and calm) grow quite red and
cheerful during a burst over the Downs after a hare, and laugh, and
swear, and huzzah at a cockfight, of which sport he was very fond.
And now, when the mob began to hoot his lady, he laughed with
something of a mischievous look, as though he expected sport, and
thought that she and they were a match.

James the coachman was more afraid of his mistress than the mob,
probably, for he whipped on his horses as he was bidden, and the
post-boy that rode with the first pair (my lady always rode with
her coach-and-six,) gave a cut of his thong over the shoulders of
one fellow who put his hand out towards the leading horse's rein.

It was a market-day, and the country-people were all assembled with
their baskets of poultry, eggs, and such things; the postilion had
no sooner lashed the man who would have taken hold of his horse,
but a great cabbage came whirling like a bombshell into the
carriage, at which my lord laughed more, for it knocked my lady's
fan out of her hand, and plumped into Father Holt's stomach. Then
came a shower of carrots and potatoes.

"For Heaven's sake be still!" says Mr. Holt; "we are not ten paces
from the 'Bell' archway, where they can shut the gates on us, and
keep out this canaille."

The little page was outside the coach on the step, and a fellow in
the crowd aimed a potato at him, and hit him in the eye, at which
the poor little wretch set up a shout; the man laughed, a great big
saddler's apprentice of the town. "Ah! you d--- little yelling
Popish bastard," he said, and stooped to pick up another; the crowd
had gathered quite between the horses and the inn door by this
time, and the coach was brought to a dead stand-still. My lord
jumped as briskly as a boy out of the door on his side of the
coach, squeezing little Harry behind it; had hold of the potato-
thrower's collar in an instant, and the next moment the brute's
heels were in the air, and he fell on the stones with a thump.

"You hulking coward!" says he; "you pack of screaming blackguards!
how dare you attack children, and insult women? Fling another shot
at that carriage, you sneaking pigskin cobbler, and by the Lord
I'll send my rapier through you!"

Some of the mob cried, "Huzzah, my lord!" for they knew him, and
the saddler's man was a known bruiser, near twice as big as my lord

"Make way there," says he (he spoke in a high shrill voice, but
with a great air of authority). "Make way, and let her ladyship's
carriage pass." The men that were between the coach and the gate
of the "Bell" actually did make way, and the horses went in, my
lord walking after them with his hat on his head.

As he was going in at the gate, through which the coach had just
rolled, another cry begins, of "No Popery--no Papists!" My lord
turns round and faces them once more.

"God save the King!" says he at the highest pitch of his voice.
"Who dares abuse the King's religion? You, you d--d psalm-singing
cobbler, as sure as I'm a magistrate of this county I'll commit
you!" The fellow shrank back, and my lord retreated with all the
honors of the day. But when the little flurry caused by the scene
was over, and the flush passed off his face, he relapsed into his
usual languor, trifled with his little dog, and yawned when my lady
spoke to him.

This mob was one of many thousands that were going about the
country at that time, huzzahing for the acquittal of the seven
bishops who had been tried just then, and about whom little Harry
Esmond at that time knew scarce anything. It was Assizes at
Hexton, and there was a great meeting of the gentry at the "Bell;"
and my lord's people had their new liveries on, and Harry a little
suit of blue and silver, which he wore upon occasions of state; and
the gentlefolks came round and talked to my lord: and a judge in a
red gown, who seemed a very great personage, especially
complimented him and my lady, who was mighty grand. Harry
remembers her train borne up by her gentlewoman. There was an
assembly and ball at the great room at the "Bell," and other young
gentlemen of the county families looked on as he did. One of them
jeered him for his black eye, which was swelled by the potato, and
another called him a bastard, on which he and Harry fell to
fisticuffs. My lord's cousin, Colonel Esmond of Walcote, was
there, and separated the two lads--a great tall gentleman, with a
handsome good-natured face. The boy did not know how nearly in
after-life he should be allied to Colonel Esmond, and how much
kindness he should have to owe him.

There was little love between the two families. My lady used not
to spare Colonel Esmond in talking of him, for reasons which have
been hinted already; but about which, at his tender age, Henry
Esmond could be expected to know nothing.

Very soon afterwards, my lord and lady went to London with Mr.
Holt, leaving, however, the page behind them. The little man had
the great house of Castlewood to himself; or between him and the
housekeeper, Mrs. Worksop, an old lady who was a kinswoman of the
family in some distant way, and a Protestant, but a staunch Tory
and king's-man, as all the Esmonds were. He used to go to school
to Dr. Tusher when he was at home, though the Doctor was much
occupied too. There was a great stir and commotion everywhere,
even in the little quiet village of Castlewood, whither a party of
people came from the town, who would have broken Castlewood Chapel
windows, but the village people turned out, and even old
Sieveright, the republican blacksmith, along with them: for my
lady, though she was a Papist, and had many odd ways, was kind to
the tenantry, and there was always a plenty of beef, and blankets,
and medicine for the poor at Castlewood Hall.

A kingdom was changing hands whilst my lord and lady were away.
King James was flying, the Dutchmen were coming; awful stories
about them and the Prince of Orange used old Mrs. Worksop to tell
to the idle little page.

He liked the solitude of the great house very well; he had all the
play-books to read, and no Father Holt to whip him, and a hundred
childish pursuits and pastimes, without doors and within, which
made this time very pleasant.



Not having been able to sleep, for thinking of some lines for eels
which he had placed the night before, the lad was lying in his
little bed, waiting for the hour when the gate would be open, and
he and his comrade, John Lockwood, the porter's son, might go to
the pond and see what fortune had brought them. At daybreak John
was to awaken him, but his own eagerness for the sport had served
as a reveillez long since--so long, that it seemed to him as if the
day never would come.

It might have been four o'clock when he heard the door of the
opposite chamber, the Chaplain's room, open, and the voice of a man
coughing in the passage. Harry jumped up, thinking for certain it
was a robber, or hoping perhaps for a ghost, and, flinging open his
own door, saw before him the Chaplain's door open, and a light
inside, and a figure standing in the doorway, in the midst of a
great smoke which issued from the room.

"Who's there?" cried out the boy, who was of a good spirit.

"Silentium!" whispered the other; "'tis I, my boy!" and, holding
his hand out, Harry had no difficulty in recognizing his master and
friend, Father Holt. A curtain was over the window of the
Chaplain's room that looked to the court, and Harry saw that the
smoke came from a great flame of papers which were burning in a
brazier when he entered the Chaplain's room. After giving a hasty
greeting and blessing to the lad, who was charmed to see his tutor,
the Father continued the burning of his papers, drawing them from a
cupboard over the mantel-piece wall, which Harry had never seen

Father Holt laughed, seeing the lad's attention fixed at once on
this hole. "That is right, Harry," he said; "faithful little
famuli, see all and say nothing. You are faithful, I know."

"I know I would go to the stake for you," said Harry.

"I don't want your head," said the Father, patting it kindly; all
you have to do is to hold your tongue. Let us burn these papers,
and say nothing to anybody. Should you like to read them?"

Harry Esmond blushed, and held down his head; he HAD looked as the
fact was, and without thinking, at the paper before him; and though
he had seen it, could not understand a word of it, the letters
being quite clear enough, but quite without meaning. They burned
the papers, beating down the ashes in a brazier, so that scarce any
traces of them remained.

Harry had been accustomed to see Father Holt in more dresses than
one; it not being safe, or worth the danger, for Popish
ecclesiastics to wear their proper dress; and he was, in
consequence, in no wise astonished that the priest should now
appear before him in a riding-dress, with large buff leather boots,
and a feather to his hat, plain, but such as gentlemen wore.

"You know the secret of the cupboard," said he, laughing, "and must
be prepared for other mysteries;" and he opened--but not a secret
cupboard this time--only a wardrobe, which he usually kept locked,
and from which he now took out two or three dresses and perruques
of different colors, and a couple of swords of a pretty make
(Father Holt was an expert practitioner with the small-sword, and
every day, whilst he was at home, he and his pupil practised this
exercise, in which the lad became a very great proficient), a
military coat and cloak, and a farmer's smock, and placed them in
the large hole over the mantel-piece from which the papers had been

"If they miss the cupboard," he said, "they will not find these; if
they find them, they'll tell no tales, except that Father Holt wore
more suits of clothes than one. All Jesuits do. You know what
deceivers we are, Harry."

Harry was alarmed at the notion that his friend was about to leave
him; but "No," the priest said, "I may very likely come back with
my lord in a few days. We are to be tolerated; we are not to be
persecuted. But they may take a fancy to pay a visit at Castlewood
ere our return; and, as gentlemen of my cloth are suspected, they
might choose to examine my papers, which concern nobody--at least
not them." And to this day, whether the papers in cipher related
to politics, or to the affairs of that mysterious society whereof
Father Holt was a member, his pupil, Harry Esmond, remains in
entire ignorance.

The rest of his goods, his small wardrobe, &c. Holt left untouched
on his shelves and in his cupboard, taking down--with a laugh,
however--and flinging into the brazier, where he only half burned
them, some theological treatises which he had been writing against
the English divines. "And now," said he, "Henry, my son, you may
testify, with a safe conscience, that you saw me burning Latin
sermons the last time I was here before I went away to London; and
it will be daybreak directly, and I must be away before Lockwood is

"Will not Lockwood let you out, sir?" Esmond asked. Holt laughed;
he was never more gay or good-humored than when in the midst of
action or danger.

"Lockwood knows nothing of my being here, mind you," he said; "nor
would you, you little wretch! had you slept better. You must
forget that I have been here; and now farewell. Close the door,
and go to your own room, and don't come out till--stay, why should
you not know one secret more? I know you will never betray me."

In the Chaplain's room were two windows; the one looking into the
court facing westwards to the fountain; the other, a small casement
strongly barred, and looking on to the green in front of the Hall.
This window was too high to reach from the ground; but, mounting on
a buffet which stood beneath it, Father Holt showed me how, by
pressing on the base of the window, the whole framework of lead,
glass, and iron stanchions descended into a cavity worked below,
from which it could be drawn and restored to its usual place from
without; a broken pane being purposely open to admit the hand which
was to work upon the spring of the machine.

"When I am gone," Father Holt said, "you may push away the buffet,
so that no one may fancy that an exit has been made that way; lock
the door; place the key--where shall we put the key?--under
'Chrysostom' on the book-shelf; and if any ask for it, say I keep
it there, and told you where to find it, if you had need to go to
my room. The descent is easy down the wall into the ditch; and so,
once more farewell, until I see thee again, my dear son." And with
this the intrepid Father mounted the buffet with great agility and
briskness, stepped across the window, lifting up the bars and
framework again from the other side, and only leaving room for
Harry Esmond to stand on tiptoe and kiss his hand before the
casement closed, the bars fixing as firmly as ever, seemingly, in
the stone arch overhead. When Father Holt next arrived at
Castlewood, it was by the public gate on horseback; and he never so
much as alluded to the existence of the private issue to Harry,
except when he had need of a private messenger from within, for
which end, no doubt, he had instructed his young pupil in the means
of quitting the Hall.

Esmond, young as he was, would have died sooner than betray his
friend and master, as Mr. Holt well knew; for he had tried the boy
more than once, putting temptations in his way, to see whether he
would yield to them and confess afterwards, or whether he would
resist them, as he did sometimes, or whether he would lie, which he
never did. Holt instructing the boy on this point, however, that
if to keep silence is not to lie, as it certainly is not, yet
silence is, after all, equivalent to a negation--and therefore a
downright No, in the interest of justice or your friend, and in
reply to a question that may be prejudicial to either, is not
criminal, but, on the contrary, praiseworthy; and as lawful a way
as the other of eluding a wrongful demand. For instance (says he),
suppose a good citizen, who had seen his Majesty take refuge there,
had been asked, "Is King Charles up that oak-tree?" his duty would
have been not to say, Yes--so that the Cromwellians should seize
the king and murder him like his father--but No; his Majesty being
private in the tree, and therefore not to be seen there by loyal
eyes: all which instruction, in religion and morals, as well as in
the rudiments of the tongues and sciences, the boy took eagerly and
with gratitude from his tutor. When, then, Holt was gone, and told
Harry not to see him, it was as if he had never been. And he had
this answer pat when he came to be questioned a few days after.

The Prince of Orange was then at Salisbury, as young Esmond learned
from seeing Doctor Tusher in his best cassock (though the roads
were muddy, and he never was known to wear his silk, only his stuff
one, a-horseback), with a great orange cockade in his broad-leafed
hat, and Nahum, his clerk, ornamented with a like decoration. The
Doctor was walking up and down in front of his parsonage, when
little Esmond saw him, and heard him say he was going to pay his
duty to his Highness the Prince, as he mounted his pad and rode
away with Nahum behind. The village people had orange cockades
too, and his friend the blacksmith's laughing daughter pinned one
into Harry's old hat, which he tore out indignantly when they bade
him to cry "God save the Prince of Orange and the Protestant
religion!" but the people only laughed, for they liked the boy in
the village, where his solitary condition moved the general pity,
and where he found friendly welcomes and faces in many houses.
Father Holt had many friends there too, for he not only would fight
the blacksmith at theology, never losing his temper, but laughing
the whole time in his pleasant way; but he cured him of an ague
with quinquina, and was always ready with a kind word for any man
that asked it, so that they said in the village 'twas a pity the
two were Papists.

The Director and the Vicar of Castlewood agreed very well; indeed,
the former was a perfectly-bred gentleman, and it was the latter's
business to agree with everybody. Doctor Tusher and the lady's-
maid, his spouse, had a boy who was about the age of little Esmond;
and there was such a friendship between the lads, as propinquity
and tolerable kindness and good-humor on either side would be
pretty sure to occasion. Tom Tusher was sent off early, however,
to a school in London, whither his father took him and a volume of
sermons, in the first year of the reign of King James; and Tom
returned but once, a year afterwards, to Castlewood for many years
of his scholastic and collegiate life. Thus there was less danger
to Tom of a perversion of his faith by the Director, who scarce
ever saw him, than there was to Harry, who constantly was in the
Vicar's company; but as long as Harry's religion was his Majesty's,
and my lord's, and my lady's, the Doctor said gravely, it should
not be for him to disturb or disquiet him: it was far from him to
say that his Majesty's Church was not a branch of the Catholic
Church; upon which Father Holt used, according to his custom, to
laugh, and say that the Holy Church throughout all the world, and
the noble Army of Martyrs, were very much obliged to the Doctor.

It was while Dr. Tusher was away at Salisbury that there came a
troop of dragoons with orange scarfs, and quartered in Castlewood,
and some of them came up to the Hall, where they took possession,
robbing nothing however beyond the hen-house and the beer-cellar:
and only insisting upon going through the house and looking for
papers. The first room they asked to look at was Father Holt's
room, of which Harry Esmond brought the key, and they opened the
drawers and the cupboards, and tossed over the papers and clothes--
but found nothing except his books and clothes, and the vestments
in a box by themselves, with which the dragoons made merry, to
Harry Esmond's horror. And to the questions which the gentleman
put to Harry, he replied that Father Holt was a very kind man to
him, and a very learned man, and Harry supposed would tell him none
of his secrets if he had any. He was about eleven years old at
this time, and looked as innocent as boys of his age.

The family were away more than six months, and when they returned
they were in the deepest state of dejection, for King James had
been banished, the Prince of Orange was on the throne, and the
direst persecutions of those of the Catholic faith were apprehended
by my lady, who said she did not believe that there was a word of
truth in the promises of toleration that Dutch monster made, or in
a single word the perjured wretch said. My lord and lady were in a
manner prisoners in their own house; so her ladyship gave the
little page to know, who was by this time growing of an age to
understand what was passing about him, and something of the
characters of the people he lived with.

"We are prisoners," says she; "in everything but chains, we are
prisoners. Let them come, let them consign me to dungeons, or
strike off my head from this poor little throat" (and she clasped
it in her long fingers). "The blood of the Esmonds will always
flow freely for their kings. We are not like the Churchills--the
Judases, who kiss their master and betray him. We know how to
suffer, how even to forgive in the royal cause" (no doubt it was to
that fatal business of losing the place of Groom of the Posset to
which her ladyship alluded, as she did half a dozen times in the
day). "Let the tyrant of Orange bring his rack and his odious
Dutch tortures--the beast! the wretch! I spit upon him and defy
him. Cheerfully will I lay this head upon the block; cheerfully
will I accompany my lord to the scaffold: we will cry 'God save
King James!' with our dying breath, and smile in the face of the
executioner." And she told her page, a hundred times at least, of
the particulars of the last interview which she had with his

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