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

Part 9 out of 10

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adherents, and gave him endless promises of future support; but
hints and promises were all they could be got to give; and some of
his friends were for measures much bolder, more efficacious, and
more open. With a party of these, some of whom are yet alive, and
some whose names Mr. Esmond has no right to mention, he found
himself engaged the year after that miserable death of Duke
Hamilton, which deprived the Prince of his most courageous ally in
this country. Dean Atterbury was one of the friends whom Esmond
may mention, as the brave bishop is now beyond exile and
persecution, and to him, and one or two more, the Colonel opened
himself of a scheme of his own, that, backed by a little resolution
on the Prince's part, could not fail of bringing about the
accomplishment of their dearest wishes.

My young Lord Viscount Castlewood had not come to England to keep
his majority, and had now been absent from the country for several
years. The year when his sister was to be married and Duke
Hamilton died, my lord was kept at Bruxelles by his wife's lying-
in. The gentle Clotilda could not bear her husband out of her
sight; perhaps she mistrusted the young scapegrace should he ever
get loose from her leading-strings; and she kept him by her side to
nurse the baby and administer posset to the gossips. Many a laugh
poor Beatrix had had about Frank's uxoriousness: his mother would
have gone to Clotilda when her time was coming, but that the
mother-in-law was already in possession, and the negotiations for
poor Beatrix's marriage were begun. A few months after the horrid
catastrophe in Hyde Park, my mistress and her daughter retired to
Castlewood, where my lord, it was expected, would soon join them.
But, to say truth, their quiet household was little to his taste;
he could be got to come to Walcote but once after his first
campaign; and then the young rogue spent more than half his time in
London, not appearing at Court or in public under his own name and
title, but frequenting plays, bagnios, and the very worst company,
under the name of Captain Esmond (whereby his innocent kinsman got
more than once into trouble); and so under various pretexts, and in
pursuit of all sorts of pleasures, until he plunged into the lawful
one of marriage, Frank Castlewood had remained away from this
country, and was unknown, save amongst the gentlemen of the army,
with whom he had served abroad. The fond heart of his mother was
pained by this long absence. 'Twas all that Henry Esmond could do
to soothe her natural mortification, and find excuses for his
kinsman's levity.

In the autumn of the year 1713, Lord Castlewood thought of
returning home. His first child had been a daughter; Clotilda was
in the way of gratifying his lordship with a second, and the pious
youth thought that, by bringing his wife to his ancestral home, by
prayers to St. Philip of Castlewood, and what not, heaven might be
induced to bless him with a son this time, for whose coming the
expectant mamma was very anxious.

The long-debated peace had been proclaimed this year at the end of
March; and France was open to us. Just as Frank's poor mother had
made all things ready for Lord Castlewood's reception, and was
eagerly expecting her son, it was by Colonel Esmond's means that
the kind lady was disappointed of her longing, and obliged to defer
once more the darling hope of her heart.

Esmond took horses to Castlewood. He had not seen its ancient gray
towers and well-remembered woods for nearly fourteen years, and
since he rode thence with my lord, to whom his mistress with her
young children by her side waved an adieu. What ages seemed to
have passed since then, what years of action and passion, of care,
love, hope, disaster! The children were grown up now, and had
stories of their own. As for Esmond, he felt to be a hundred years
old; his dear mistress only seemed unchanged; she looked and
welcomed him quite as of old. There was the fountain in the court
babbling its familiar music, the old hall and its furniture, the
carved chair my late lord used, the very flagon he drank from.
Esmond's mistress knew he would like to sleep in the little room he
used to occupy; 'twas made ready for him, and wall-flowers and
sweet herbs set in the adjoining chamber, the chaplain's room.

In tears of not unmanly emotion, with prayers of submission to the
awful Dispenser of death and life, of good and evil fortune, Mr.
Esmond passed a part of that first night at Castlewood, lying awake
for many hours as the clock kept tolling (in tones so well
remembered), looking back, as all men will, that revisit their home
of childhood, over the great gulf of time, and surveying himself on
the distant bank yonder, a sad little melancholy boy with his lord
still alive--his dear mistress, a girl yet, her children sporting
around her. Years ago, a boy on that very bed, when she had
blessed him and called him her knight, he had made a vow to be
faithful and never desert her dear service. Had he kept that fond
boyish promise? Yes, before heaven; yes, praise be to God! His
life had been hers; his blood, his fortune, his name, his whole
heart ever since had been hers and her children's. All night long
he was dreaming his boyhood over again, and waking fitfully; he
half fancied he heard Father Holt calling to him from the next
chamber, and that he was coming in and out of from the mysterious

Esmond rose up before the dawn, passed into the next room, where
the air was heavy with the odor of the wall-flowers; looked into
the brazier where the papers had been burnt, into the old presses
where Holt's books and papers had been kept, and tried the spring
and whether the window worked still. The spring had not been
touched for years, but yielded at length, and the whole fabric of
the window sank down. He lifted it and it relapsed into its frame;
no one had ever passed thence since Holt used it sixteen years ago.

Esmond remembered his poor lord saying, on the last day of his
life, that Holt used to come in and out of the house like a ghost,
and knew that the Father liked these mysteries, and practised such
secret disguises, entrances and exits: this was the way the ghost
came and went, his pupil had always conjectured. Esmond closed the
casement up again as the dawn was rising over Castlewood village;
he could hear the clinking at the blacksmith's forge yonder among
the trees, across the green, and past the river, on which a mist
still lay sleeping.

Next Esmond opened that long cupboard over the woodwork of the
mantel-piece, big enough to hold a man, and in which Mr. Holt used
to keep sundry secret properties of his. The two swords he
remembered so well as a boy, lay actually there still, and Esmond
took them out and wiped them, with a strange curiosity of emotion.
There were a bundle of papers here, too, which no doubt had been
left at Holt's last visit to the place, in my Lord Viscount's life,
that very day when the priest had been arrested and taken to Hexham
Castle. Esmond made free with these papers, and found treasonable
matter of King William's reign, the names of Charnock and Perkins,
Sir John Fenwick and Sir John Friend, Rookwood and Lodwick, Lords
Montgomery and Allesbury, Clarendon and Yarmouth, that had all been
engaged in plots against the usurper; a letter from the Duke of
Berwick too, and one from the King at St. Germains, offering to
confer upon his trusty and well-beloved Francis Viscount Castlewood
the titles of Earl and Marquis of Esmond, bestowed by patent royal,
and in the fourth year of his reign, upon Thomas Viscount
Castlewood and the heirs-male of his body, in default of which
issue the ranks and dignities were to pass to Francis aforesaid.

This was the paper, whereof my lord had spoken, which Holt showed
him the very day he was arrested, and for an answer to which he
would come back in a week's time. I put these papers hastily into
the crypt whence I had taken them, being interrupted by a tapping
of a light finger at the ring of the chamber-door: 'twas my kind
mistress, with her face full of love and welcome. She, too, had
passed the night wakefuly, no doubt; but neither asked the other
how the hours had been spent. There are things we divine without
speaking, and know though they happen out of our sight. This fond
lady hath told me that she knew both days when I was wounded
abroad. Who shall say how far sympathy reaches, and how truly love
can prophesy? "I looked into your room," was all she said; "the
bed was vacant, the little old bed! I knew I should find you
here." And tender and blushing faintly with a benediction in her
eyes, the gentle creature kissed him.

They walked out, hand-in-hand, through the old court, and to the
terrace-walk, where the grass was glistening with dew, and the
birds in the green woods above were singing their delicious
choruses under the blushing morning sky. How well all things were
remembered! The ancient towers and gables of the hall darkling
against the east, the purple shadows on the green slopes, the
quaint devices and carvings of the dial, the forest-crowned
heights, the fair yellow plain cheerful with crops and corn, the
shining river rolling through it towards the pearly hills beyond;
all these were before us, along with a thousand beautiful memories
of our youth, beautiful and sad, but as real and vivid in our minds
as that fair and always-remembered scene our eyes beheld once more.
We forget nothing. The memory sleeps, but wakens again; I often
think how it shall be when, after the last sleep of death, the
reveillee shall arouse us for ever, and the past in one flash of
self-consciousness rush back, like the soul revivified.

The house would not be up for some hours yet, (it was July, and the
dawn was only just awake,) and here Esmond opened himself to his
mistress, of the business he had in hand, and what part Frank was
to play in it. He knew he could confide anything to her, and that
the fond soul would die rather than reveal it; and bidding her keep
the secret from all, he laid it entirely before his mistress
(always as staunch a little loyalist as any in the kingdom), and
indeed was quite sure that any plan, of his was secure of her
applause and sympathy. Never was such a glorious scheme to her
partial mind, never such a devoted knight to execute it. An hour
or two may have passed whilst they were having their colloquy.
Beatrix came out to them just as their talk was over; her tall
beautiful form robed in sable (which she wore without ostentation
ever since last year's catastrophe), sweeping over the green
terrace, and casting its shadows before her across the grass.

She made us one of her grand curtsies smiling, and called us "the
young people." She was older, paler, and more majestic than in the
year before; her mother seemed the youngest of the two. She never
once spoke of her grief, Lady Castlewood told Esmond, or alluded,
save by a quiet word or two, to the death of her hopes.

When Beatrix came back to Castlewood she took to visiting all the
cottages and all the sick. She set up a school of children, and
taught singing to some of them. We had a pair of beautiful old
organs in Castlewood Church, on which she played admirably, so that
the music there became to be known in the country for many miles
round, and no doubt people came to see the fair organist as well as
to hear her. Parson Tusher and his wife were established at the
vicarage, but his wife had brought him no children wherewith Tom
might meet his enemies at the gate. Honest Tom took care not to
have many such, his great shovel-hat was in his hand for everybody.
He was profuse of bows and compliments. He behaved to Esmond as if
the Colonel had been a Commander-in-Chief; he dined at the hall
that day, being Sunday, and would not partake of pudding except
under extreme pressure. He deplored my lord's perversion, but
drank his lordship's health very devoutly; and an hour before at
church sent the Colonel to sleep, with a long, learned, and
refreshing sermon.

Esmond's visit home was but for two days; the business he had in
hand calling him away and out of the country. Ere he went, he saw
Beatrix but once alone, and then she summoned him out of the long
tapestry room, where he and his mistress were sitting, quite as in
old times, into the adjoining chamber, that had been Viscountess
Isabel's sleeping apartment, and where Esmond perfectly well
remembered seeing the old lady sitting up in the bed, in her night-
rail, that morning when the troop of guard came to fetch her. The
most beautiful woman in England lay in that bed now, whereof the
great damask hangings were scarce faded since Esmond saw them last.

Here stood Beatrix in her black robes, holding a box in her hand;
'twas that which Esmond had given her before her marriage, stamped
with a coronet which the disappointed girl was never to wear; and
containing his aunt's legacy of diamonds.

"You had best take these with you, Harry," says she; "I have no
need of diamonds any more." There was not the least token of
emotion in her quiet low voice. She held out the black shagreen
case with her fair arm, that did not shake in the least. Esmond
saw she wore a black velvet bracelet on it, with my Lord Duke's
picture in enamel; he had given it her but three days before he

Esmond said the stones were his no longer, and strove to turn off
that proffered restoration with a laugh: "Of what good," says he,
"are they to me? The diamond loop to his hat did not set off
Prince Eugene, and will not make my yellow face look any handsomer."

"You will give them to your wife, cousin," says she. "My cousin,
your wife has a lovely complexion and shape."

"Beatrix," Esmond burst out, the old fire flaming out as it would
at times, "will you wear those trinkets at your marriage? You
whispered once you did not know me: you know me better now: how I
sought, what I have sighed for, for ten years, what foregone!"

"A price for your constancy, my lord!" says she; "such a preux
chevalier wants to be paid. Oh fie, cousin!"

"Again," Esmond spoke out, "if I do something you have at heart;
something worthy of me and you; something that shall make me a name
with which to endow you; will you take it? There was a chance for
me once, you said; is it impossible to recall it? Never shake your
head, but hear me; say you will hear me a year hence. If I come
back to you and bring you fame, will that please you? If I do what
you desire most--what he who is dead desired most--will that soften

"What is it, Henry?" says she, her face lighting up; "what mean

"Ask no questions," he said; "wait, and give me but time; if I
bring back that you long for, that I have a thousand times heard
you pray for, will you have no reward for him who has done you that
service? Put away those trinkets, keep them: it shall not be at my
marriage, it shall not be at yours; but if man can do it, I swear a
day shall come when there shall be a feast in your house, and you
shall be proud to wear them. I say no more now; put aside these
words, and lock away yonder box until the day when I shall remind
you of both. All I pray of you now is, to wait and to remember."

"You are going out of the country?" says Beatrix, in some agitation.

"Yes, to-morrow," says Esmond.

"To Lorraine, cousin?" says Beatrix, laying her hand on his arm;
'twas the hand on which she wore the Duke's bracelet. "Stay,
Harry!" continued she, with a tone that had more despondency in it
than she was accustomed to show. "Hear a last word. I do love
you. I do admire you--who would not, that has known such love as
yours has been for us all? But I think I have no heart; at least I
have never seen the man that could touch it; and, had I found him,
I would have followed him in rags had he been a private soldier, or
to sea, like one of those buccaneers you used to read to us about
when we were children. I would do anything for such a man, bear
anything for him: but I never found one. You were ever too much of
a slave to win my heart; even my Lord Duke could not command it. I
had not been happy had I married him. I knew that three months
after our engagement--and was too vain to break it. Oh, Harry! I
cried once or twice, not for him, but with tears of rage because I
could not be sorry for him. I was frightened to find I was glad of
his death; and were I joined to you, I should have the same sense
of servitude, the same longing to escape. We should both be
unhappy, and you the most, who are as jealous as the Duke was
himself. I tried to love him; I tried, indeed I did: affected
gladness when he came: submitted to hear when he was by me, and
tried the wife's part I thought I was to play for the rest of my
days. But half an hour of that complaisance wearied me, and what
would a lifetime be? My thoughts were away when he was speaking;
and I was thinking, Oh that this man would drop my hand, and rise
up from before my feet! I knew his great and noble qualities,
greater and nobler than mine a thousand times, as yours are,
cousin, I tell you, a million and a million times better. But
'twas not for these I took him. I took him to have a great place
in the world, and I lost it. I lost it, and do not deplore him--
and I often thought, as I listened to his fond vows and ardent
words, Oh, if I yield to this man, and meet THE OTHER, I shall hate
him and leave him! I am not good, Harry: my mother is gentle and
good like an angel. I wonder how she should have had such a child.
She is weak, but she would die rather than do a wrong; I am
stronger than she, but I would do it out of defiance. I do not
care for what the parsons tell me with their droning sermons: I
used to see them at court as mean and as worthless as the meanest
woman there. Oh, I am sick and weary of the world! I wait but for
one thing, and when 'tis done, I will take Frank's religion and
your poor mother's, and go into a nunnery, and end like her. Shall
I wear the diamonds then?--they say the nuns wear their best
trinkets the day they take the veil. I will put them away as you
bid me; farewell, cousin: mamma is pacing the next room racking her
little head to know what we have been saying. She is jealous, all
women are. I sometimes think that is the only womanly quality I

"Farewell. Farewell, brother." She gave him her cheek as a
brotherly privilege. The cheek was as cold as marble.

Esmond's mistress showed no signs of jealousy when he returned to
the room where she was. She had schooled herself so as to look
quite inscrutably, when she had a mind. Amongst her other feminine
qualities she had that of being a perfect dissembler.

He rode away from Castlewood to attempt the task he was bound on,
and stand or fall by it; in truth his state of mind was such, that
he was eager for some outward excitement to counteract that gnawing
malady which he was inwardly enduring.



Mr. Esmond did not think fit to take leave at Court, or to inform
all the world of Pall Mall and the coffee-houses, that he was about
to quit England; and chose to depart in the most private manner
possible. He procured a pass as for a Frenchman, through Dr.
Atterbury, who did that business for him, getting the signature
even from Lord Bolingbroke's office, without any personal
application to the Secretary. Lockwood, his faithful servant, he
took with him to Castlewood, and left behind there: giving out ere
he left London that he himself was sick, and gone to Hampshire for
country air, and so departed as silently as might be upon his

As Frank Castlewood's aid was indispensable for Mr. Esmond's
scheme, his first visit was to Bruxelles (passing by way of
Antwerp, where the Duke of Marlborough was in exile), and in the
first-named place Harry found his dear young Benedict, the married
man, who appeared to be rather out of humor with his matrimonial
chain, and clogged with the obstinate embraces which Clotilda kept
round his neck. Colonel Esmond was not presented to her; but
Monsieur Simon was, a gentleman of the Royal Cravat (Esmond
bethought him of the regiment of his honest Irishman, whom he had
seen that day after Malplaquet, when he first set eyes on the young
King); and Monsieur Simon was introduced to the Viscountess
Castlewood, nee Comptesse Wertheim; to the numerous counts, the
Lady Clotilda's tall brothers; to her father the chamberlain; and
to the lady his wife, Frank's mother-in-law, a tall and majestic
person of large proportions, such as became the mother of such a
company of grenadiers as her warlike sons formed. The whole race
were at free quarters in the little castle nigh to Bruxelles which
Frank had taken; rode his horses; drank his wine; and lived easily
at the poor lad's charges. Mr. Esmond had always maintained a
perfect fluency in the French, which was his mother tongue; and if
this family (that spoke French with the twang which the Flemings
use) discovered any inaccuracy in Mr. Simon's pronunciation, 'twas
to be attributed to the latter's long residence in England, where
he had married and remained ever since he was taken prisoner at
Blenheim. His story was perfectly pat; there were none there to
doubt it save honest Frank, and he was charmed with his kinsman's
scheme, when he became acquainted with it; and, in truth, always
admired Colonel Esmond with an affectionate fidelity, and thought
his cousin the wisest and best of all cousins and men. Frank
entered heart and soul into the plan, and liked it the better as it
was to take him to Paris, out of reach of his brothers, his father,
and his mother-in-law, whose attentions rather fatigued him.

Castlewood, I have said, was born in the same year as the Prince of
Wales; had not a little of the Prince's air, height, and figure;
and, especially since he had seen the Chevalier de St. George on
the occasion before-named, took no small pride in his resemblance
to a person so illustrious; which likeness he increased by all
means in his power, wearing fair brown periwigs, such as the Prince
wore, and ribbons, and so forth, of the Chevalier's color.

This resemblance was, in truth, the circumstance on which Mr.
Esmond's scheme was founded; and having secured Frank's secrecy and
enthusiasm, he left him to continue his journey, and see the other
personages on whom its success depended. The place whither Mr.
Simon next travelled was Bar, in Lorraine, where that merchant
arrived with a consignment of broadcloths, valuable laces from
Malines, and letters for his correspondent there.

Would you know how a prince, heroic from misfortunes, and descended
from a line of kings, whose race seemed to be doomed like the
Atridae of old--would you know how he was employed, when the envoy
who came to him through danger and difficulty beheld him for the
first time? The young king, in a flannel jacket, was at tennis
with the gentlemen of his suite, crying out after the balls, and
swearing like the meanest of his subjects. The next time Mr.
Esmond saw him, 'twas when Monsieur Simon took a packet of laces to
Miss Oglethorpe: the Prince's ante-chamber in those days, at which
ignoble door men were forced to knock for admission to his Majesty.
The admission was given, the envoy found the King and the mistress
together; the pair were at cards and his Majesty was in liquor. He
cared more for three honors than three kingdoms; and a half-dozen
glasses of ratafia made him forget all his woes and his losses, his
father's crown, and his grandfather's head.

Mr. Esmond did not open himself to the Prince then. His Majesty
was scarce in a condition to hear him; and he doubted whether a
King who drank so much could keep a secret in his fuddled head; or
whether a hand that shook so, was strong enough to grasp at a
crown. However, at last, and after taking counsel with the
Prince's advisers, amongst whom were many gentlemen, honest and
faithful, Esmond's plan was laid before the King, and her actual
Majesty Queen Oglethorpe, in council. The Prince liked the scheme
well enough; 'twas easy and daring, and suited to his reckless
gayety and lively youthful spirit. In the morning after he had
slept his wine off, he was very gay, lively, and agreeable. His
manner had an extreme charm of archness, and a kind simplicity;
and, to do her justice, her Oglethorpean Majesty was kind, acute,
resolute, and of good counsel; she gave the Prince much good advice
that he was too weak to follow, and loved him with a fidelity which
he returned with an ingratitude quite Royal.

Having his own forebodings regarding his scheme should it ever be
fulfilled, and his usual sceptic doubts as to the benefit which
might accrue to the country by bringing a tipsy young monarch back
to it, Colonel Esmond had his audience of leave and quiet.
Monsieur Simon took his departure. At any rate the youth at Bar
was as good as the older Pretender at Hanover; if the worst came to
the worst, the Englishman could be dealt with as easy as the
German. Monsieur Simon trotted on that long journey from Nancy to
Paris, and saw that famous town, stealthily and like a spy, as in
truth he was; and where, sure, more magnificence and more misery is
heaped together, more rags and lace, more filth and gilding, than
in any city in this world. Here he was put in communication with
the King's best friend, his half brother, the famous Duke of
Berwick; Esmond recognized him as the stranger who had visited
Castlewood now near twenty years ago. His Grace opened to him when
he found that Mr. Esmond was one of Webb's brave regiment, that had
once been his Grace's own. He was the sword and buckler indeed of
the Stuart cause: there was no stain on his shield except the bar
across it, which Marlborough's sister left him. Had Berwick been
his father's heir, James the Third had assuredly sat on the English
throne. He could dare, endure, strike, speak, be silent. The fire
and genius, perhaps, he had not (that were given to baser men), but
except these he had some of the best qualities of a leader. His
Grace knew Esmond's father and history; and hinted at the latter in
such a way as made the Colonel to think he was aware of the
particulars of that story. But Esmond did not choose to enter on
it, nor did the Duke press him. Mr. Esmond said, "No doubt he
should come by his name if ever greater people came by theirs."

What confirmed Esmond in his notion that the Duke of Berwick knew
of his case was, that when the Colonel went to pay his duty at St.
Germains, her Majesty once addressed him by the title of Marquis.
He took the Queen the dutiful remembrances of her goddaughter, and
the lady whom, in the days of her prosperity, her Majesty had
befriended. The Queen remembered Rachel Esmond perfectly well, had
heard of my Lord Castlewood's conversion, and was much edified by
that act of heaven in his favor. She knew that others of that
family had been of the only true church too: "Your father and your
mother, M. le Marquis," her Majesty said (that was the only time
she used the phrase). Monsieur Simon bowed very low, and said he
had found other parents than his own, who had taught him
differently; but these had only one king: on which her Majesty was
pleased to give him a medal blessed by the Pope, which had been
found very efficacious in cases similar to his own, and to promise
she would offer up prayers for his conversion and that of the
family: which no doubt this pious lady did, though up to the
present moment, and after twenty-seven years, Colonel Esmond is
bound to say that neither the medal nor the prayers have had the
slightest known effect upon his religious convictions.

As for the splendors of Versailles, Monsieur Simon, the merchant,
only beheld them as a humble and distant spectator, seeing the old
King but once, when he went to feed his carps; and asking for no
presentation at his Majesty's Court.

By this time my Lord Viscount Castlewood was got to Paris, where,
as the London prints presently announced, her ladyship was brought
to bed of a son and heir. For a long while afterwards she was in a
delicate state of health, and ordered by the physicians not to
travel; otherwise 'twas well known that the Viscount Castlewood
proposed returning to England, and taking up his residence at his
own seat.

Whilst he remained at Paris, my Lord Castlewood had his picture
done by the famous French painter, Monsieur Rigaud, a present for
his mother in London; and this piece Monsieur Simon took back with
him when he returned to that city, which he reached about May, in
the year 1714, very soon after which time my Lady Castlewood and
her daughter, and their kinsman, Colonel Esmond, who had been at
Castlewood all this time, likewise returned to London; her ladyship
occupying her house at Kensington, Mr. Esmond returning to his
lodgings at Knightsbridge, nearer the town, and once more making
his appearance at all public places, his health greatly improved by
his long stay in the country.

The portrait of my lord, in a handsome gilt frame, was hung up in
the place of honor in her ladyship's drawing-room. His lordship
was represented in his scarlet uniform of Captain of the Guard,
with a light brown periwig, a cuirass under his coat, a blue
ribbon, and a fall of Bruxelles lace. Many of her ladyship's
friends admired the piece beyond measure, and flocked to see it;
Bishop Atterbury, Mr. Lesly, good old Mr. Collier, and others
amongst the clergy, were delighted with the performance, and many
among the first quality examined and praised it; only I must own
that Doctor Tusher happening to come up to London, and seeing the
picture, (it was ordinarily covered by a curtain, but on this day
Miss Beatrix happened to be looking at it when the Doctor arrived,)
the Vicar of Castlewood vowed he could not see any resemblance in
the piece to his old pupil, except, perhaps, a little about the
chin and the periwig; but we all of us convinced him that he had
not seen Frank for five years or more; that he knew no more about
the Fine Arts than a ploughboy, and that he must be mistaken; and
we sent him home assured that the piece was an excellent likeness.
As for my Lord Bolingbroke, who honored her ladyship with a visit
occasionally, when Colonel Esmond showed him the picture he burst
out laughing, and asked what devilry he was engaged on? Esmond
owned simply that the portrait was not that of Viscount Castlewood;
besought the Secretary on his honor to keep the secret; said that
the ladies of the house were enthusiastic Jacobites, as was well
known; and confessed that the picture was that of the Chevalier St.

The truth is, that Mr. Simon, waiting upon Lord Castlewood one day
at Monsieur Rigaud's whilst his lordship was sitting for his
picture, affected to be much struck with a piece representing the
Chevalier, whereof the head only was finished, and purchased it of
the painter for a hundred crowns. It had been intended, the artist
said, for Miss Oglethorpe, the Prince's mistress, but that young
lady quitting Paris, had left the work on the artist's hands; and
taking this piece home, when my lord's portrait arrived, Colonel
Esmond, alias Monsieur Simon, had copied the uniform and other
accessories from my lord's picture to fill up Rigaud's incomplete
canvas: the Colonel all his life having been a practitioner of
painting, and especially followed it during his long residence in
the cities of Flanders, among the masterpieces of Van Dyck and
Rubens. My grandson hath the piece, such as it is, in Virginia

At the commencement of the month of June, Miss Beatrix Esmond, and
my Lady Viscountess, her mother, arrived from Castlewood; the
former to resume her services at Court, which had been interrupted
by the fatal catastrophe of Duke Hamilton's death. She once more
took her place, then, in her Majesty's suite and at the Maids'
table, being always a favorite with Mrs. Masham, the Queen's chief
woman, partly perhaps on account of their bitterness against the
Duchess of Marlborough, whom Miss Beatrix loved no better than her
rival did. The gentlemen about the Court, my Lord Bolingbroke
amongst others, owned that the young lady had come back handsomer
than ever, and that the serious and tragic air which her face now
involuntarily wore became her better than her former smiles and

All the old domestics at the little house of Kensington Square were
changed; the old steward that had served the family any time these
five-and-twenty years, since the birth of the children of the
house, was despatched into the kingdom of Ireland to see my lord's
estate there: the housekeeper, who had been my lady's woman time
out of mind, and the attendant of the young children, was sent away
grumbling to Walcote, to see to the new painting and preparing of
that house, which my Lady Dowager intended to occupy for the
future, giving up Castlewood to her daughter-in-law that might be
expected daily from France. Another servant the Viscountess had
was dismissed too--with a gratuity--on the pretext that her
ladyship's train of domestics must be diminished; so, finally,
there was not left in the household a single person who had
belonged to it during the time my young Lord Castlewood was yet at

For the plan which Colonel Esmond had in view, and the stroke he
intended, 'twas necessary that the very smallest number of persons
should be put in possession of his secret. It scarce was known,
except to three or four out of his family, and it was kept to a

On the 10th of June, 1714, there came by Mr. Prior's messenger from
Paris a letter from my Lord Viscount Castlewood to his mother,
saying that he had been foolish in regard of money matters, that he
was ashamed to own he had lost at play, and by other extravagances;
and that instead of having great entertainments as he had hoped at
Castlewood this year, he must live as quiet as he could, and make
every effort to be saving. So far every word of poor Frank's
letter was true, nor was there a doubt that he and his tall
brothers-in-law had spent a great deal more than they ought, and
engaged the revenues of the Castlewood property, which the fond
mother had husbanded and improved so carefully during the time of
her guardianship.

His "Clotilda," Castlewood went on to say, "was still delicate, and
her physicians thought her lying-in had best take place at Paris.
He should come without her ladyship, and be at his mother's house
about the 17th or 18th day of June, proposing to take horse from
Paris immediately, and bringing but a single servant with him; and
he requested that the lawyers of Gray's inn might be invited to
meet him with their account, and the land-steward come from
Castlewood with his, so that he might settle with them speedily,
raise a sum of money whereof he stood in need, and be back to his
viscountess by the time of her lying-in." Then his lordship gave
some of the news of the town, sent his remembrance to kinsfolk, and
so the letter ended. 'Twas put in the common post, and no doubt
the French police and the English there had a copy of it, to which
they were exceeding welcome.

Two days after another letter was despatched by the public post of
France, in the same open way, and this, after giving news of the
fashion at Court there, ended by the following sentences, in which,
but for those that had the key, 'twould be difficult for any man to
find any secret lurked at all:--

"(The King will take) medicine on Thursday. His Majesty is better
than he hath been of late, though incommoded by indigestion from
his too great appetite. Madame Maintenon continues well. They
have performed a play of Mons. Racine at St. Cyr. The Duke of
Shrewsbury and Mr. Prior, our envoy, and all the English nobility
here were present at it. (The Viscount Castlewood's passports)
were refused to him, 'twas said; his lordship being sued by a
goldsmith for Vaisselle plate, and a pearl necklace supplied to
Mademoiselle Meruel of the French Comedy. 'Tis a pity such news
should get abroad (and travel to England) about our young nobility
here. Mademoiselle Meruel has been sent to the Fort l'Evesque;
they say she has ordered not only plate, but furniture, and a
chariot and horses (under that lord's name), of which extravagance
his unfortunate Viscountess knows nothing.

"(His Majesty will be) eighty-two years of age on his next
birthday. The Court prepares to celebrate it with a great feast.
Mr. Prior is in a sad way about their refusing at home to send him
his plate. All here admired my Lord Viscount's portrait, and said
it was a masterpiece of Rigaud. Have you seen it? It is (at the
Lady Castlewood's house in Kensington Square). I think no English
painter could produce such a piece.

"Our poor friend the Abbe hath been at the Bastile, but is now
transported to the Conciergerie (where his friends may visit him.
They are to ask for) a remission of his sentence soon. Let us hope
the poor rogue will have repented in prison.

"(The Lord Castlewood) has had the affair of the plate made up, and
departs for England.

"Is not this a dull letter? I have a cursed headache with drinking
with Mat and some more over-night, and tipsy or sober am

"Thine ever ----."

All this letter, save some dozen of words which I have put above
between brackets, was mere idle talk, though the substance of the
letter was as important as any letter well could be. It told those
that had the key, that The King will take the Viscount Castlewood's
passports and travel to England under that lord's name. His
Majesty will be at the Lady Castlewood's house in Kensington
Square, where his friends may visit him; they are to ask for the
Lord Castlewood. This note may have passed under Mr. Prior's eyes,
and those of our new allies the French, and taught them nothing;
though it explains sufficiently to persons in London what the event
was which was about to happen, as 'twill show those who read my
memoirs a hundred years hence, what was that errand on which
Colonel Esmond of late had been busy. Silently and swiftly to do
that about which others were conspiring, and thousands of Jacobites
all over the country clumsily caballing; alone to effect that which
the leaders here were only talking about; to bring the Prince of
Wales into the country openly in the face of all, under Bolingbroke's
very eyes, the walls placarded with the proclamation signed with
the Secretary's name, and offering five hundred pounds reward for
his apprehension: this was a stroke, the playing and winning of
which might well give any adventurous spirit pleasure: the loss
of the stake might involve a heavy penalty, but all our family were
eager to risk that for the glorious chance of winning the game.

Nor shall it be called a game, save perhaps with the chief player,
who was not more or less sceptical than most public men with whom
he had acquaintance in that age. (Is there ever a public man in
England that altogether believes in his party? Is there one,
however doubtful, that will not fight for it?) Young Frank was
ready to fight without much thinking, he was a Jacobite as his
father before him was; all the Esmonds were Royalists. Give him
but the word, he would cry, "God save King James!" before the
palace guard, or at the Maypole in the Strand; and with respect to
the women, as is usual with them, 'twas not a question of party but
of faith; their belief was a passion; either Esmond's mistress or
her daughter would have died for it cheerfully. I have laughed
often, talking of King William's reign, and said I thought Lady
Castlewood was disappointed the King did not persecute the family
more; and those who know the nature of women may fancy for
themselves, what needs not here be written down, the rapture with
which these neophytes received the mystery when made known to them;
the eagerness with which they looked forward to its completion; the
reverence which they paid the minister who initiated them into that
secret Truth, now known only to a few, but presently to reign over
the world. Sure there is no bound to the trustingness of women.
Look at Arria worshipping the drunken clodpate of a husband who
beats her; look at Cornelia treasuring as a jewel in her maternal
heart the oaf her son; I have known a woman preach Jesuit's bark,
and afterwards Dr. Berkeley's tar-water, as though to swallow them
were a divine decree, and to refuse them no better than blasphemy.

On his return from France Colonel Esmond put himself at the head of
this little knot of fond conspirators. No death or torture he knew
would frighten them out of their constancy. When he detailed his
plan for bringing the King back, his elder mistress thought that
that Restoration was to be attributed under heaven to the
Castlewood family and to its chief, and she worshipped and loved
Esmond, if that could be, more than ever she had done. She doubted
not for one moment of the success of his scheme, to mistrust which
would have seemed impious in her eyes. And as for Beatrix, when
she became acquainted with the plan, and joined it, as she did with
all her heart, she gave Esmond one of her searching bright looks.
"Ah, Harry," says she, "why were you not the head of our house?
You are the only one fit to raise it; why do you give that silly
boy the name and the honor? But 'tis so in the world; those get
the prize that don't deserve or care for it. I wish I could give
you YOUR silly prize, cousin, but I can't; I have tried, and I
can't." And she went away, shaking her head mournfully, but
always, it seemed to Esmond, that her liking and respect for him
was greatly increased, since she knew what capability he had both
to act and bear; to do and to forego.



'Twas announced in the family that my Lord Castlewood would arrive,
having a confidential French gentleman in his suite, who acted as
secretary to his lordship, and who, being a Papist, and a foreigner
of a good family, though now in rather a menial place, would have
his meals served in his chamber, and not with the domestics of the
house. The Viscountess gave up her bedchamber contiguous to her
daughter's, and having a large convenient closet attached to it, in
which a bed was put up, ostensibly for Monsieur Baptiste, the
Frenchman; though, 'tis needless to say, when the doors of the
apartments were locked, and the two guests retired within it, the
young viscount became the servant of the illustrious Prince whom he
entertained, and gave up gladly the more convenient and airy
chamber and bed to his master. Madam Beatrix also retired to the
upper region, her chamber being converted into a sitting-room for
my lord. The better to carry the deceit, Beatrix affected to
grumble before the servants, and to be jealous that she was turned
out of her chamber to make way for my lord.

No small preparations were made, you may be sure, and no slight
tremor of expectation caused the hearts of the gentle ladies of
Castlewood to flutter, before the arrival of the personages who
were about to honor their house. The chamber was ornamented with
flowers; the bed covered with the very finest of linen; the two
ladies insisting on making it themselves, and kneeling down at the
bedside and kissing the sheets out of respect for the web that was
to hold the sacred person of a King. The toilet was of silver and
crystal; there was a copy of "Eikon Basilike" laid on the writing-
table; a portrait of the martyred King hung always over the mantel,
having a sword of my poor Lord Castlewood underneath it, and a
little picture or emblem which the widow loved always to have
before her eyes on waking, and in which the hair of her lord and
her two children was worked together. Her books of private
devotions, as they were all of the English Church, she carried away
with her to the upper apartment, which she destined for herself.
The ladies showed Mr. Esmond, when they were completed, the fond
preparations they had made. 'Twas then Beatrix knelt down and
kissed the linen sheets. As for her mother, Lady Castlewood made a
curtsy at the door, as she would have done to the altar on entering
a church, and owned that she considered the chamber in a manner

The company in the servants' hall never for a moment supposed that
these preparations were made for any other person than the young
viscount, the lord of the house, whom his fond mother had been for
so many years without seeing. Both ladies were perfect housewives,
having the greatest skill in the making of confections, scented
waters, &c., and keeping a notable superintendence over the
kitchen. Calves enough were killed to feed an army of prodigal
sons, Esmond thought, and laughed when he came to wait on the
ladies, on the day when the guests were to arrive, to find two
pairs of the finest and roundest arms to be seen in England (my
Lady Castlewood was remarkable for this beauty of her person),
covered with flour up above the elbows, and preparing paste, and
turning rolling-pins in the housekeeper's closet. The guest would
not arrive till supper-time, and my lord would prefer having that
meal in his own chamber. You may be sure the brightest plate of
the house was laid out there, and can understand why it was that
the ladies insisted that they alone would wait upon the young chief
of the family.

Taking horse, Colonel Esmond rode rapidly to Rochester, and there
awaited the King in that very town where his father had last set
his foot on the English shore. A room had been provided at an inn
there for my Lord Castlewood and his servant; and Colonel Esmond
timed his ride so well that he had scarce been half an hour in the
place, and was looking over the balcony into the yard of the inn,
when two travellers rode in at the inn gate, and the Colonel
running down, the next moment embraced his dear young lord.

My lord's companion, acting the part of a domestic, dismounted, and
was for holding the viscount's stirrup; but Colonel Esmond, calling
to his own man, who was in the court, bade him take the horses and
settle with the lad who had ridden the post along with the two
travellers, crying out in a cavalier tone in the French language to
my lord's companion, and affecting to grumble that my lord's fellow
was a Frenchman, and did not know the money or habits of the
country:--"My man will see to the horses, Baptiste," says Colonel
Esmond: "do you understand English?" "Very leetle!" "So, follow
my lord and wait upon him at dinner in his own room." The landlord
and his people came up presently bearing the dishes; 'twas well
they made a noise and stir in the gallery, or they might have found
Colonel Esmond on his knee before Lord Castlewood's servant,
welcoming his Majesty to his kingdom, and kissing the hand of the
King. We told the landlord that the Frenchman would wait on his
master; and Esmond's man was ordered to keep sentry in the gallery
without the door. The Prince dined with a good appetite, laughing
and talking very gayly, and condescendingly bidding his two
companions to sit with him at table. He was in better spirits than
poor Frank Castlewood, who Esmond thought might be woe-begone on
account of parting with his divine Clotilda; but the Prince wishing
to take a short siesta after dinner, and retiring to an inner
chamber where there was a bed, the cause of poor Frank's discomfiture
came out; and bursting into tears, with many expressions of fondness,
friendship, and humiliation, the faithful lad gave his kinsman to
understand that he now knew all the truth, and the sacrifices
which Colonel Esmond had made for him.

Seeing no good in acquainting poor Frank with that secret, Mr.
Esmond had entreated his mistress also not to reveal it to her son.
The Prince had told the poor lad all as they were riding from
Dover: "I had as lief he had shot me, cousin," Frank said: "I knew
you were the best, and the bravest, and the kindest of all men" (so
the enthusiastic young fellow went on); "but I never thought I owed
you what I do, and can scarce bear the weight of the obligation."

"I stand in the place of your father," says Mr. Esmond, kindly,
"and sure a father may dispossess himself in favor of his son. I
abdicate the twopenny crown, and invest you with the kingdom of
Brentford; don't be a fool and cry; you make a much taller and
handsomer viscount than ever I could." But the fond boy, with
oaths and protestations, laughter and incoherent outbreaks of
passionate emotion, could not be got, for some little time, to put
up with Esmond's raillery; wanted to kneel down to him, and kissed
his hand; asked him and implored him to order something, to bid
Castlewood give his own life or take somebody else's; anything, so
that he might show his gratitude for the generosity Esmond showed

"The K---, HE laughed," Frank said, pointing to the door where the
sleeper was, and speaking in a low tone. "I don't think he should
have laughed as he told me the story. As we rode along from Dover,
talking in French, he spoke about you, and your coming to him at
Bar; he called you 'le grand serieux,' Don Bellianis of Greece, and
I don't know what names; mimicking your manner" (here Castlewood
laughed himself)--"and he did it very well. He seems to sneer at
everything. He is not like a king: somehow Harry, I fancy you are
like a king. He does not seem to think what a stake we are all
playing. He would have stopped at Canterbury to run after a
barmaid there, had I not implored him to come on. He hath a house
at Chaillot, where he used to go and bury himself for weeks away
from the Queen, and with all sorts of bad company," says Frank,
with a demure look; "you may smile, but I am not the wild fellow I
was; no, no, I have been taught better," says Castlewood devoutly,
making a sign on his breast.

"Thou art my dear brave boy," says Colonel Esmond, touched at the
young fellow's simplicity, "and there will be a noble gentleman at
Castlewood so long as my Frank is there."

The impetuous young lad was for going down on his knees again, with
another explosion of gratitude, but that we heard the voice from
the next chamber of the august sleeper, just waking, calling out:--
"Eh, La-Fleur, un verre d'eau!" His Majesty came out yawning:--"A
pest," says he, "upon your English ale, 'tis so strong that, ma
foi, it hath turned my head."

The effect of the ale was like a spur upon our horses, and we rode
very quickly to London, reaching Kensington at nightfall. Mr.
Esmond's servant was left behind at Rochester, to take care of the
tired horses, whilst we had fresh beasts provided along the road.
And galloping by the Prince's side the Colonel explained to the
Prince of Wales what his movements had been; who the friends were
that knew of the expedition; whom, as Esmond conceived, the Prince
should trust; entreating him, above all, to maintain the very
closest secrecy until the time should come when his Royal Highness
should appear. The town swarmed with friends of the Prince's
cause; there were scores of correspondents with St. Germains;
Jacobites known and secret; great in station and humble; about the
Court and the Queen; in the Parliament, Church, and among the
merchants in the City. The Prince had friends numberless in the
army, in the Privy Council, and the Officers of State. The great
object, as it seemed, to the small band of persons who had
concerted that bold stroke, who had brought the Queen's brother
into his native country, was, that his visit should remain unknown
till the proper time came, when his presence should surprise
friends and enemies alike; and the latter should be found so
unprepared and disunited, that they should not find time to attack
him. We feared more from his friends than from his enemies. The
lies and tittle-tattle sent over to St. Germains by the Jacobite
agents about London, had done an incalculable mischief to his
cause, and wofully misguided him, and it was from these especially,
that the persons engaged in the present venture were anxious to
defend the chief actor in it.*

* The managers were the Bishop, who cannot be hurt by having his
name mentioned, a very active and loyal Nonconformist Divine, a
lady in the highest favor at Court, with whom Beatrix Esmond had
communication, and two noblemen of the greatest rank, and a member
of the House of Commons, who was implicated in more transactions
than one in behalf of the Stuart family.

The party reached London by nightfall, leaving their horses at the
Posting-House over against Westminster, and being ferried over the
water, where Lady Esmond's coach was already in waiting. In
another hour we were all landed at Kensington, and the mistress of
the house had that satisfaction which her heart had yearned after
for many years, once more to embrace her son, who, on his side,
with all his waywardness, ever retained a most tender affection for
his parent.

She did not refrain from this expression of her feeling, though the
domestics were by, and my Lord Castlewood's attendant stood in the
hall. Esmond had to whisper to him in French to take his hat off.
Monsieur Baptiste was constantly neglecting his part with an
inconceivable levity: more than once on the ride to London, little
observations of the stranger, light remarks, and words betokening
the greatest ignorance of the country the Prince came to govern,
had hurt the susceptibility of the two gentlemen forming his
escort; nor could either help owning in his secret mind that they
would have had his behavior otherwise, and that the laughter and
the lightness, not to say license, which characterized his talk,
scarce befitted such a great Prince, and such a solemn occasion.
Not but that he could act at proper times with spirit and dignity.
He had behaved, as we all knew, in a very courageous manner on the
field. Esmond had seen a copy of the letter the Prince had writ
with his own hand when urged by his friends in England to abjure
his religion, and admired that manly and magnanimous reply by which
he refused to yield to the temptation. Monsieur Baptiste took off
his hat, blushing at the hint Colonel Esmond ventured to give him,
and said:--"Tenez, elle est jolie, la petite mere. Foi de
Chevalier! elle est charmante; mais l'autre, qui est cette nymphe,
cet astre qui brille, cette Diane qui descend sur nous?" And he
started back, and pushed forward, as Beatrix was descending the
stair. She was in colors for the first time at her own house; she
wore the diamonds Esmond gave her; it had been agreed between them,
that she should wear these brilliants on the day when the King
should enter the house, and a Queen she looked, radiant in charms,
and magnificent and imperial in beauty.

Castlewood himself was startled by that beauty and splendor; he
stepped back and gazed at his sister as though he had not been
aware before (nor was he very likely) how perfectly lovely she was,
and I thought blushed as he embraced her. The Prince could not
keep his eyes off her; he quite forgot his menial part, though he
had been schooled to it, and a little light portmanteau prepared
expressly that he should carry it. He pressed forward before my
Lord Viscount. 'Twas lucky the servants' eyes were busy in other
directions, or they must have seen that this was no servant, or at
least a very insolent and rude one.

Again Colonel Esmond was obliged to cry out, "Baptiste," in a loud
imperious voice, "have a care to the valise;" at which hint the
wilful young man ground his teeth together with something very like
a curse between them, and then gave a brief look of anything but
pleasure to his Mentor. Being reminded, however, he shouldered the
little portmanteau, and carried it up the stair, Esmond preceding
him, and a servant with lighted tapers. He flung down his burden
sulkily in the bedchamber:--"A Prince that will wear a crown must
wear a mask," says Mr. Esmond in French.

"Ah peste! I see how it is," says Monsieur Baptiste, continuing the
talk in French. "The Great Serious is seriously"--"alarmed for
Monsieur Baptiste," broke in the Colonel. Esmond neither liked the
tone with which the Prince spoke of the ladies, nor the eyes with
which he regarded them.

The bedchamber and the two rooms adjoining it, the closet and the
apartment which was to be called my lord's parlor, were already
lighted and awaiting their occupier; and the collation laid for my
lord's supper. Lord Castlewood and his mother and sister came up
the stair a minute afterwards, and, so soon as the domestics had
quitted the apartment, Castlewood and Esmond uncovered, and the two
ladies went down on their knees before the Prince, who graciously
gave a hand to each. He looked his part of Prince much more
naturally than that of servant, which he had just been trying, and
raised them both with a great deal of nobility, as well as kindness
in his air. "Madam," says he, "my mother will thank your ladyship
for your hospitality to her son; for you, madam," turning to
Beatrix, "I cannot bear to see so much beauty in such a posture.
You will betray Monsieur Baptiste if you kneel to him; sure 'tis
his place rather to kneel to you."

A light shone out of her eyes; a gleam bright enough to kindle
passion in any breast. There were times when this creature was so
handsome, that she seemed, as it were, like Venus revealing herself
a goddess in a flash of brightness. She appeared so now; radiant,
and with eyes bright with a wonderful lustre. A pang, as of rage
and jealousy, shot through Esmond's heart, as he caught the look
she gave the Prince; and he clenched his hand involuntarily and
looked across to Castlewood, whose eyes answered his alarm-signal,
and were also on the alert. The Prince gave his subjects an
audience of a few minutes, and then the two ladies and Colonel
Esmond quitted the chamber. Lady Castlewood pressed his hand as
they descended the stair, and the three went down to the lower
rooms, where they waited awhile till the travellers above should be
refreshed and ready for their meal.

Esmond looked at Beatrix, blazing with her jewels on her beautiful
neck. "I have kept my word," says he: "And I mine," says Beatrix,
looking down on the diamonds.

"Were I the Mogul Emperor," says the Colonel, "you should have all
that were dug out of Golconda."

"These are a great deal too good for me," says Beatrix, dropping
her head on her beautiful breast,--"so are you all, all!" And when
she looked up again, as she did in a moment, and after a sigh, her
eyes, as they gazed at her cousin, wore that melancholy and
inscrutable look which 'twas always impossible to sound.

When the time came for the supper, of which we were advertised by a
knocking overhead, Colonel Esmond and the two ladies went to the
upper apartment, where the Prince already was, and by his side the
young Viscount, of exactly the same age, shape, and with features
not dissimilar, though Frank's were the handsomer of the two. The
Prince sat down and bade the ladies sit. The gentlemen remained
standing: there was, indeed, but one more cover laid at the table:--
"Which of you will take it?" says he.

"The head of our house," says Lady Castlewood, taking her son's
hand, and looking towards Colonel Esmond with a bow and a great
tremor of the voice; "the Marquis of Esmond will have the honor of
serving the King."

"I shall have the honor of waiting on his Royal Highness," says
Colonel Esmond, filling a cup of wine, and, as the fashion of that
day was, he presented it to the King on his knee.

"I drink to my hostess and her family," says the Prince, with no
very well-pleased air; but the cloud passed immediately off his
face, and he talked to the ladies in a lively, rattling strain,
quite undisturbed by poor Mr. Esmond's yellow countenance, that, I
dare say, looked very glum.

When the time came to take leave, Esmond marched homewards to his
lodgings, and met Mr. Addison on the road that night, walking to a
cottage he had at Fulham, the moon shining on his handsome serene
face:--"What cheer, brother?" says Addison, laughing: "I thought it
was a footpad advancing in the dark, and behold 'tis an old friend.
We may shake hands, Colonel, in the dark, 'tis better than fighting
by daylight. Why should we quarrel, because I am a Whig and thou
art a Tory? Turn thy steps and walk with me to Fulham, where there
is a nightingale still singing in the garden, and a cool bottle in
a cave I know of; you shall drink to the Pretender if you like, and
I will drink my liquor my own way: I have had enough of good
liquor?--no, never! There is no such word as enough as a stopper
for good wine. Thou wilt not come? Come any day, come soon. You
know I remember Simois and the Sigeia tellus, and the praelia mixta
mero, mixta mero," he repeated, with ever so slight a touch of
merum in his voice, and walked back a little way on the road with
Esmond, bidding the other remember he was always his friend, and
indebted to him for his aid in the "Campaign" poem. And very
likely Mr. Under-Secretary would have stepped in and taken t'other
bottle at the Colonel's lodging, had the latter invited him, but
Esmond's mood was none of the gayest, and he bade his friend an
inhospitable good-night at the door.

"I have done the deed," thought he, sleepless, and looking out into
the night; "he is here, and I have brought him; he and Beatrix are
sleeping under the same roof now. Whom did I mean to serve in
bringing him? Was it the Prince? was it Henry Esmond? Had I not
best have joined the manly creed of Addison yonder, that scouts the
old doctrine of right divine, that boldly declares that Parliament
and people consecrate the Sovereign, not bishops, nor genealogies,
nor oils, nor coronations." The eager gaze of the young Prince,
watching every movement of Beatrix, haunted Esmond and pursued him.
The Prince's figure appeared before him in his feverish dreams many
times that night. He wished the deed undone for which he had
labored so. He was not the first that has regretted his own act,
or brought about his own undoing. Undoing? Should he write that
word in his late years? No, on his knees before heaven, rather be
thankful for what then he deemed his misfortune, and which hath
caused the whole subsequent happiness of his life.

Esmond's man, honest John Lockwood, had served his master and the
family all his life, and the Colonel knew that he could answer for
John's fidelity as for his own. John returned with the horses from
Rochester betimes the next morning, and the Colonel gave him to
understand that on going to Kensington, where he was free of the
servants' hall, and indeed courting Miss Beatrix's maid, he was to
ask no questions, and betray no surprise, but to vouch stoutly that
the young gentleman he should see in a red coat there was my Lord
Viscount Castlewood, and that his attendant in gray was Monsieur
Baptiste the Frenchman. He was to tell his friends in the kitchen
such stories as he remembered of my Lord Viscount's youth at
Castlewood; what a wild boy he was; how he used to drill Jack and
cane him, before ever he was a soldier; everything, in fine, he
knew respecting my Lord Viscount's early days. Jack's ideas of
painting had not been much cultivated during his residence in
Flanders with his master; and, before my young lord's return, he
had been easily got to believe that the picture brought over from
Paris, and now hanging in Lady Castlewood's drawing-room, was a
perfect likeness of her son, the young lord. And the domestics
having all seen the picture many times, and catching but a
momentary imperfect glimpse of the two strangers on the night of
their arrival, never had a reason to doubt the fidelity of the
portrait; and next day, when they saw the original of the piece
habited exactly as he was represented in the painting, with the
same periwig, ribbons, and uniform of the Guard, quite naturally
addressed the gentleman as my Lord Castlewood, my Lady
Viscountess's son.

The secretary of the night previous was now the viscount; the
viscount wore the secretary's gray frock; and John Lockwood was
instructed to hint to the world below stairs that my lord being a
Papist, and very devout in that religion, his attendant might be no
other than his chaplain from Bruxelles; hence, if he took his meals
in my lord's company there was little reason for surprise. Frank
was further cautioned to speak English with a foreign accent, which
task he performed indifferently well, and this caution was the more
necessary because the Prince himself scarce spoke our language like
a native of the island: and John Lockwood laughed with the folks
below stairs at the manner in which my lord, after five years
abroad, sometimes forgot his own tongue, and spoke it like a
Frenchman. "I warrant," says he, "that, with the English beef and
beer, his lordship will soon get back the proper use of his mouth;"
and, to do his new lordship justice, he took to beer and beef very

The Prince drank so much, and was so loud and imprudent in his talk
after his drink, that Esmond often trembled for him. His meals
were served as much as possible in his own chamber, though
frequently he made his appearance in Lady Castlewood's parlor and
drawing-room, calling Beatrix "sister," and her ladyship "mother,"
or "madam" before the servants. And, choosing to act entirely up
to the part of brother and son, the Prince sometimes saluted Mrs.
Beatrix and Lady Castlewood with a freedom which his secretary did
not like, and which, for his part, set Colonel Esmond tearing with

The guests had not been three days in the house when poor Jack
Lockwood came with a rueful countenance to his master, and said:
"My Lord--that is the gentleman--has been tampering with Mrs. Lucy
(Jack's sweetheart), and given her guineas and a kiss." I fear
that Colonel Esmond's mind was rather relieved than otherwise when
he found that the ancillary beauty was the one whom the Prince had
selected. His royal tastes were known to lie that way, and
continued so in after life. The heir of one of the greatest names,
of the greatest kingdoms, and of the greatest misfortunes in
Europe, was often content to lay the dignity of his birth and grief
at the wooden shoes of a French chambermaid, and to repent
afterwards (for he was very devout) in ashes taken from the dust-
pan. 'Tis for mortals such as these that nations suffer, that
parties struggle, that warriors fight and bleed. A year afterwards
gallant heads were falling, and Nithsdale in escape, and
Derwentwater on the scaffold; whilst the heedless ingrate, for whom
they risked and lost all, was tippling with his seraglio of
mistresses in his petite maison of Chaillot.

Blushing to be forced to bear such an errand, Esmond had to go to
the Prince and warn him that the girl whom his Highness was bribing
was John Lockwood's sweetheart, an honest resolute man, who had
served in six campaigns, and feared nothing, and who knew that the
person calling himself Lord Castlewood was not his young master:
and the Colonel besought the Prince to consider what the effect of
a single man's jealousy might be, and to think of other designs he
had in hand, more important than the seduction of a waiting-maid,
and the humiliation of a brave man.

Ten times, perhaps, in the course of as many days, Mr. Esmond had
to warn the royal young adventurer of some imprudence or some
freedom. He received these remonstrances very testily, save
perhaps in this affair of poor Lockwood's, when he deigned to burst
out a-laughing, and said, "What! the soubrette has peached to the
amoureux, and Crispin is angry, and Crispin has served, and Crispin
has been a corporal, has he? Tell him we will reward his valor
with a pair of colors, and recompense his fidelity."

Colonel Esmond ventured to utter some other words of entreaty, but
the Prince, stamping imperiously, cried out, "Assez, milord: je
m'ennuye a la preche; I am not come to London to go to the sermon."
And he complained afterwards to Castlewood, that "le petit jaune,
le noir Colonel, le Marquis Misanthrope" (by which facetious names
his Royal Highness was pleased to designate Colonel Esmond),
"fatigued him with his grand airs and virtuous homilies."

The Bishop of Rochester, and other gentlemen engaged in the
transaction which had brought the Prince over, waited upon his
Royal Highness, constantly asking for my Lord Castlewood on their
arrival at Kensington, and being openly conducted to his Royal
Highness in that character, who received them either in my lady's
drawing-room below, or above in his own apartment; and all implored
him to quit the house as little as possible, and to wait there till
the signal should be given for him to appear. The ladies
entertained him at cards, over which amusement he spent many hours
in each day and night. He passed many hours more in drinking,
during which time he would rattle and talk very agreeably, and
especially if the Colonel was absent, whose presence always seemed
to frighten him; and the poor "Colonel Noir" took that hint as a
command accordingly, and seldom intruded his black face upon the
convivial hours of this august young prisoner. Except for those
few persons of whom the porter had the list, Lord Castlewood was
denied to all friends of the house who waited on his lordship. The
wound he had received had broke out again from his journey on
horseback, so the world and the domestics were informed. And
Doctor A----,* his physician (I shall not mention his name, but he
was physician to the Queen, of the Scots nation, and a man
remarkable for his benevolence as well as his wit), gave orders
that he should be kept perfectly quiet until the wound should heal.
With this gentleman, who was one of the most active and influential
of our party, and the others before spoken of, the whole secret
lay; and it was kept with so much faithfulness, and the story we
told so simple and natural, that there was no likelihood of a
discovery except from the imprudence of the Prince himself, and an
adventurous levity that we had the greatest difficulty to control.
As for Lady Castlewood, although she scarce spoke a word, 'twas
easy to gather from her demeanor, and one or two hints she dropped,
how deep her mortification was at finding the hero whom she had
chosen to worship all her life (and whose restoration had formed
almost the most sacred part of her prayers), no more than a man,
and not a good one. She thought misfortune might have chastened
him; but that instructress had rather rendered him callous than
humble. His devotion, which was quite real, kept him from no sin
he had a mind to. His talk showed good-humor, gayety, even wit
enough; but there was a levity in his acts and words that he had
brought from among those libertine devotees with whom he had been
bred, and that shocked the simplicity and purity of the English
lady, whose guest he was. Esmond spoke his mind to Beatrix pretty
freely about the Prince, getting her brother to put in a word of
warning. Beatrix was entirely of their opinion; she thought he was
very light, very light and reckless; she could not even see the
good looks Colonel Esmond had spoken of. The Prince had bad teeth,
and a decided squint. How could we say he did not squint? His
eyes were fine, but there was certainly a cast in them. She
rallied him at table with wonderful wit; she spoke of him
invariably as of a mere boy; she was more fond of Esmond than ever,
praised him to her brother, praised him to the Prince, when his
Royal Highness was pleased to sneer at the Colonel, and warmly
espoused his cause: "And if your Majesty does not give him the
Garter his father had, when the Marquis of Esmond comes to your
Majesty's court, I will hang myself in my own garters, or will cry
my eyes out." "Rather than lose those," says the Prince, "he shall
be made Archbishop and Colonel of the Guard" (it was Frank
Castlewood who told me of this conversation over their supper).

* There can be very little doubt that the Doctor mentioned by my
dear father was the famous Dr. Arbuthnot.--R. E. W.

"Yes," cries she, with one of her laughs--I fancy I hear it now.
Thirty years afterwards I hear that delightful music. "Yes, he
shall be Archbishop of Esmond and Marquis of Canterbury."

"And what will your ladyship be?" says the Prince; "you have but to
choose your place."

"I," says Beatrix, "will be mother of the maids to the Queen of his
Majesty King James the Third--Vive le Roy!" and she made him a
great curtsy, and drank a part of a glass of wine in his honor.

"The Prince seized hold of the glass and drank the last drop of
it," Castlewood said, "and my mother, looking very anxious, rose up
and asked leave to retire. But that Trix is my mother's daughter,
Harry," Frank continued, "I don't know what a horrid fear I should
have of her. I wish--I wish this business were over. You are
older than I am, and wiser, and better, and I owe you everything,
and would die for you--before George I would; but I wish the end of
this were come."

Neither of us very likely passed a tranquil night; horrible doubts
and torments racked Esmond's soul: 'twas a scheme of personal
ambition, a daring stroke for a selfish end--he knew it. What
cared he, in his heart, who was King? Were not his very sympathies
and secret convictions on the other side--on the side of People,
Parliament, Freedom? And here was he, engaged for a Prince that
had scarce heard the word liberty; that priests and women, tyrants
by nature, both made a tool of. The misanthrope was in no better
humor after hearing that story, and his grim face more black and
yellow than ever.



Should any clue be found to the dark intrigues at the latter end of
Queen Anne's time, or any historian be inclined to follow it,
'twill be discovered, I have little doubt, that not one of the
great personages about the Queen had a defined scheme of policy,
independent of that private and selfish interest which each was
bent on pursuing: St. John was for St. John, and Harley for Oxford,
and Marlborough for John Churchill, always; and according as they
could get help from St. Germains or Hanover, they sent over
proffers of allegiance to the Princes there, or betrayed one to the
other: one cause, or one sovereign, was as good as another to them,
so that they could hold the best place under him; and like Lockit
and Peachem, the Newgate chiefs in the "Rogues' Opera," Mr. Gay
wrote afterwards, had each in his hand documents and proofs of
treason which would hang the other, only he did not dare to use the
weapon, for fear of that one which his neighbor also carried in his
pocket. Think of the great Marlborough, the greatest subject in
all the world, a conqueror of princes, that had marched victorious
over Germany, Flanders, and France, that had given the law to
sovereigns abroad, and been worshipped as a divinity at home,
forced to sneak out of England--his credit, honors, places, all
taken from him; his friends in the army broke and ruined; and
flying before Harley, as abject and powerless as a poor debtor
before a bailiff with a writ. A paper, of which Harley got
possession, and showing beyond doubt that the Duke was engaged with
the Stuart family, was the weapon with which the Treasurer drove
Marlborough out of the kingdom. He fled to Antwerp, and began
intriguing instantly on the other side, and came back to England,
as all know, a Whig and a Hanoverian.

Though the Treasurer turned out of the army and office every man,
military or civil, known to be the Duke's friend, and gave the
vacant posts among the Tory party; he, too, was playing the double
game between Hanover and St. Germains, awaiting the expected
catastrophe of the Queen's death to be Master of the State, and
offer it to either family that should bribe him best, or that the
nation should declare for. Whichever the King was, Harley's object
was to reign over him; and to this end he supplanted the former
famous favorite, decried the actions of the war which had made
Marlborough's name illustrious, and disdained no more than the
great fallen competitor of his, the meanest arts, flatteries,
intimidations, that would secure his power. If the greatest
satirist the world ever hath seen had writ against Harley, and not
for him, what a history had he left behind of the last years of
Queen Anne's reign! But Swift, that scorned all mankind, and
himself not the least of all, had this merit of a faithful
partisan, that he loved those chiefs who treated him well, and
stuck by Harley bravely in his fall, as he gallantly had supported
him in his better fortune.

Incomparably more brilliant, more splendid, eloquent, accomplished
than his rival, the great St. John could be as selfish as Oxford
was, and could act the double part as skilfully as ambidextrous
Churchill. He whose talk was always of liberty, no more shrunk
from using persecution and the pillory against his opponents than
if he had been at Lisbon and Grand Inquisitor. This lofty patriot
was on his knees at Hanover and St. Germains too; notoriously of no
religion, he toasted Church and Queen as boldly as the stupid
Sacheverel, whom he used and laughed at; and to serve his turn, and
to overthrow his enemy, he could intrigue, coax, bully, wheedle,
fawn on the Court favorite and creep up the back-stair as silently
as Oxford, who supplanted Marlborough, and whom he himself
supplanted. The crash of my Lord Oxford happened at this very time
whereat my history is now arrived. He was come to the very last
days of his power, and the agent whom he employed to overthrow the
conqueror of Blenheim, was now engaged to upset the conqueror's
conqueror, and hand over the staff of government to Bolingbroke,
who had been panting to hold it.

In expectation of the stroke that was now preparing, the Irish
regiments in the French service were all brought round about
Boulogne in Picardy, to pass over if need were with the Duke of
Berwick; the soldiers of France no longer, but subjects of James
the Third of England and Ireland King. The fidelity of the great
mass of the Scots (though a most active, resolute, and gallant Whig
party, admirably and energetically ordered and disciplined, was
known to be in Scotland too) was notoriously unshaken in their
King. A very great body of Tory clergy, nobility, and gentry, were
public partisans of the exiled Prince; and the indifferents might
be counted on to cry King George or King James, according as either
should prevail. The Queen, especially in her latter days, inclined
towards her own family. The Prince was lying actually in London,
within a stone's cast of his sister's palace; the first Minister
toppling to his fall, and so tottering that the weakest push of a
woman's finger would send him down; and as for Bolingbroke, his
successor, we know on whose side his power and his splendid
eloquence would be on the day when the Queen should appear openly
before her Council and say:--"This, my lords, is my brother; here
is my father's heir, and mine after me."

During the whole of the previous year the Queen had had many and
repeated fits of sickness, fever, and lethargy, and her death had
been constantly looked for by all her attendants. The Elector of
Hanover had wished to send his son, the Duke of Cambridge--to pay
his court to his cousin the Queen, the Elector said;--in truth, to
be on the spot when death should close her career. Frightened
perhaps to have such a memento mori under her royal eyes, her
Majesty had angrily forbidden the young Prince's coming into
England. Either she desired to keep the chances for her brother
open yet; or the people about her did not wish to close with the
Whig candidate till they could make terms with him. The quarrels
of her Ministers before her face at the Council board, the pricks
of conscience very likely, the importunities of her Ministers, and
constant turmoil and agitation round about her, had weakened and
irritated the Princess extremely; her strength was giving way under
these continual trials of her temper, and from day to day it was
expected she must come to a speedy end of them. Just before
Viscount Castlewood and his companion came from France, her Majesty
was taken ill. The St. Anthony's fire broke out on the royal legs;
there was no hurry for the presentation of the young lord at Court,
or that person who should appear under his name; and my Lord
Viscount's wound breaking out opportunely, he was kept conveniently
in his chamber until such time as his physician would allow him to
bend his knee before the Queen. At the commencement of July, that
influential lady, with whom it has been mentioned that our party
had relations, came frequently to visit her young friend, the Maid
of Honor, at Kensington, and my Lord Viscount (the real or
supposititious), who was an invalid at Lady Castlewood's house.

On the 27th day of July, the lady in question, who held the most
intimate post about the Queen, came in her chair from the Palace
hard by, bringing to the little party in Kensington Square
intelligence of the very highest importance. The final blow had
been struck, and my Lord of Oxford and Mortimer was no longer
Treasurer. The staff was as yet given to no successor, though my
Lord Bolingbroke would undoubtedly be the man. And now the time
was come, the Queen's Abigail said: and now my Lord Castlewood
ought to be presented to the Sovereign.

After that scene which Lord Castlewood witnessed and described to
his cousin, who passed such a miserable night of mortification and
jealousy as he thought over the transaction, no doubt the three
persons who were set by nature as protectors over Beatrix came to
the same conclusion, that she must be removed from the presence of
a man whose desires towards her were expressed only too clearly;
and who was no more scrupulous in seeking to gratify them than his
father had been before him. I suppose Esmond's mistress, her son,
and the Colonel himself, had been all secretly debating this matter
in their minds, for when Frank broke out, in his blunt way, with:--
"I think Beatrix had best be anywhere but here,"--Lady Castlewood
said:--"I thank you, Frank, I have thought so, too;" and Mr.
Esmond, though he only remarked that it was not for him to speak,
showed plainly, by the delight on his countenance, how very
agreeable that proposal was to him.

"One sees that you think with us, Henry," says the viscountess,
with ever so little of sarcasm in her tone: "Beatrix is best out of
this house whilst we have our guest in it, and as soon as this
morning's business is done, she ought to quit London."

"What morning's business?" asked Colonel Esmond, not knowing what
had been arranged, though in fact the stroke next in importance to
that of bringing the Prince, and of having him acknowledged by the
Queen, was now being performed at the very moment we three were
conversing together.

The Court-lady with whom our plan was concerted, and who was a chief
agent in it, the Court physician, and the Bishop of Rochester, who
were the other two most active participators in our plan, had held
many councils in our house at Kensington and elsewhere, as to the
means best to be adopted for presenting our young adventurer to his
sister the Queen. The simple and easy plan proposed by Colonel
Esmond had been agreed to by all parties, which was that on some
rather private day, when there were not many persons about the
Court, the Prince should appear there as my Lord Castlewood, should
be greeted by his sister in waiting, and led by that other lady into
the closet of the Queen. And according to her Majesty's health or
humor, and the circumstances that might arise during the interview,
it was to be left to the discretion of those present at it, and to
the Prince himself, whether he should declare that it was the
Queen's own brother, or the brother of Beatrix Esmond, who kissed
her Royal hand. And this plan being determined on, we were all
waiting in very much anxiety for the day and signal of execution.

Two mornings after that supper, it being the 27th day of July, the
Bishop of Rochester breakfasting with Lady Castlewood and her
family, and the meal scarce over, Doctor A.'s coach drove up to our
house at Kensington, and the Doctor appeared amongst the party
there, enlivening a rather gloomy company; for the mother and
daughter had had words in the morning in respect to the transactions
of that supper, and other adventures perhaps, and on the day
succeeding. Beatrix's haughty spirit brooked remonstrances from no
superior, much less from her mother, the gentlest of creatures, whom
the girl commanded rather than obeyed. And feeling she was wrong,
and that by a thousand coquetries (which she could no more help
exercising on every man that came near her, than the sun can help
shining on great and small) she had provoked the Prince's dangerous
admiration, and allured him to the expression of it, she was only
the more wilful and imperious the more she felt her error.

To this party, the Prince being served with chocolate in his
bedchamber, where he lay late, sleeping away the fumes of his wine,
the Doctor came, and by the urgent and startling nature of his
news, dissipated instantly that private and minor unpleasantry
under which the family of Castlewood was laboring.

He asked for the guest; the guest was above in his own apartment:
he bade Monsieur Baptiste go up to his master instantly, and
requested that MY LORD VISCOUNT CASTLEWOOD would straightway put
his uniform on, and come away in the Doctor's coach now at the

He then informed Madam Beatrix what her part of the comedy was to
be:--"In half an hour," says he, "her Majesty and her favorite lady
will take the air in the Cedar-walk behind the new Banqueting-
house. Her Majesty will be drawn in a garden-chair, Madam Beatrix
walking in the private garden, (here is Lady Masham's key,) and
will come unawares upon the Royal party. The man that draws the
chair will retire, and leave the Queen, the favorite, and the maid
of honor and her brother together; Mistress Beatrix will present
her brother, and then!--and then, my Lord Bishop will pray for the
result of the interview, and his Scots clerk will say Amen! Quick,
put on your hood, Madam Beatrix; why doth not his Majesty come
down? Such another chance may not present itself for months again."

The Prince was late and lazy, and indeed had all but lost that
chance through his indolence. The Queen was actually about to
leave the garden just when the party reached it; the Doctor, the
Bishop, the maid of honor and her brother went off together in the
physician's coach, and had been gone half an hour when Colonel
Esmond came to Kensington Square.

The news of this errand, on which Beatrix was gone, of course for a
moment put all thoughts of private jealousy out of Colonel Esmond's
head. In half an hour more the coach returned; the Bishop
descended from it first, and gave his arm to Beatrix, who now came
out. His lordship went back into the carriage again, and the maid
of honor entered the house alone. We were all gazing at her from
the upper window, trying to read from her countenance the result of
the interview from which she had just come.

She came into the drawing-room in a great tremor and very pale; she
asked for a glass of water as her mother went to meet her, and
after drinking that and putting off her hood, she began to speak--
"We may all hope for the best," says she; "it has cost the Queen a
fit. Her Majesty was in her chair in the Cedar-walk, accompanied
only by Lady ----, when we entered by the private wicket from the
west side of the garden, and turned towards her, the Doctor
following us. They waited in a side walk hidden by the shrubs, as
we advanced towards the chair. My heart throbbed so I scarce could
speak; but my Prince whispered, 'Courage, Beatrix,' and marched on
with a steady step. His face was a little flushed, but he was not
afraid of the danger. He who fought so bravely at Malplaquet fears
nothing." Esmond and Castlewood looked at each other at this
compliment, neither liking the sound of it.

"The Prince uncovered," Beatrix continued, "and I saw the Queen
turning round to Lady Masham, as if asking who these two were. Her
Majesty looked very pale and ill, and then flushed up; the favorite
made us a signal to advance, and I went up, leading my Prince by
the hand, quite close to the chair: 'Your Majesty will give my Lord
Viscount your hand to kiss,' says her lady, and the Queen put out
her hand, which the Prince kissed, kneeling on his knee, he who
should kneel to no mortal man or woman.

"'You have been long from England, my lord,' says the Queen: 'why
were you not here to give a home to your mother and sister?'

"'I am come, Madam, to stay now, if the Queen desires me,' says the
Prince, with another low bow.

"'You have taken a foreign wife, my lord, and a foreign religion;
was not that of England good enough for you?'

"'In returning to my father's church,' says the Prince, 'I do not
love my mother the less, nor am I the less faithful servant of your

"Here," says Beatrix, "the favorite gave me a little signal with
her hand to fall back, which I did, though I died to hear what
should pass; and whispered something to the Queen, which made her
Majesty start and utter one or two words in a hurried manner,
looking towards the Prince, and catching hold with her hand of the
arm of her chair. He advanced still nearer towards it; he began to
speak very rapidly; I caught the words, 'Father, blessing,
forgiveness,'--and then presently the Prince fell on his knees;
took from his breast a paper he had there, handed it to the Queen,
who, as soon as she saw it, flung up both her arms with a scream,
and took away that hand nearest the Prince, and which he endeavored
to kiss. He went on speaking with great animation of gesture, now
clasping his hands together on his heart, now opening them as
though to say: 'I am here, your brother, in your power.' Lady
Masham ran round on the other side of the chair, kneeling too, and
speaking with great energy. She clasped the Queen's hand on her
side, and picked up the paper her Majesty had let fall. The Prince
rose and made a further speech as though he would go; the favorite
on the other hand urging her mistress, and then, running back to
the Prince, brought him back once more close to the chair. Again
he knelt down and took the Queen's hand, which she did not
withdraw, kissing it a hundred times; my lady all the time, with
sobs and supplications, speaking over the chair. This while the
Queen sat with a stupefied look, crumpling the paper with one hand,
as my Prince embraced the other; then of a sudden she uttered
several piercing shrieks, and burst into a great fit of hysteric
tears and laughter. 'Enough, enough, sir, for this time,' I heard
Lady Masham say: and the chairman, who had withdrawn round the
Banqueting-room, came back, alarmed by the cries. 'Quick,' says
Lady Masham, 'get some help,' and I ran towards the Doctor, who,
with the Bishop of Rochester, came up instantly. Lady Masham
whispered the Prince he might hope for the very best; and to be
ready to-morrow; and he hath gone away to the Bishop of Rochester's
house, to meet several of his friends there. And so the great
stroke is struck," says Beatrix, going down on her knees, and
clasping her hands. "God save the King: God save the King!"

Beatrix's tale told, and the young lady herself calmed somewhat of
her agitation, we asked with regard to the Prince, who was absent
with Bishop Atterbury, and were informed that 'twas likely he might
remain abroad the whole day. Beatrix's three kinsfolk looked at
one another at this intelligence: 'twas clear the same thought was
passing through the minds of all.

But who should begin to break the news? Monsieur Baptiste, that is
Frank Castlewood, turned very red, and looked towards Esmond; the
Colonel bit his lips, and fairly beat a retreat into the window: it
was Lady Castlewood that opened upon Beatrix with the news which we
knew would do anything but please her.

"We are glad," says she, taking her daughter's hand, and speaking
in a gentle voice, "that the guest is away."

Beatrix drew back in an instant, looking round her at us three, and
as if divining a danger. "Why glad?" says she, her breast beginning
to heave; "are you so soon tired of him?"

"We think one of us is devilishly too fond of him," cries out Frank

"And which is it--you, my lord, or is it mamma, who is jealous
because he drinks my health? or is it the head of the family" (here
she turned with an imperious look towards Colonel Esmond), "who has
taken of late to preach the King sermons?"

"We do not say you are too free with his Majesty."

"I thank you, madam," says Beatrix, with a toss of the head and a

But her mother continued, with very great calmness and dignity--"At
least we have not said so, though we might, were it possible for a
mother to say such words to her own daughter, your father's

"Eh? mon pere," breaks out Beatrix, "was no better than other
persons' fathers." And again she looked towards the Colonel.

We all felt a shock as she uttered those two or three French words;
her manner was exactly imitated from that of our foreign guest.

"You had not learned to speak French a month ago, Beatrix," says
her mother, sadly, "nor to speak ill of your father."

Beatrix, no doubt, saw that slip she had made in her flurry, for
she blushed crimson: "I have learnt to honor the King," says she,
drawing up, "and 'twere as well that others suspected neither his
Majesty nor me."

"If you respected your mother a little more," Frank said, "Trix,
you would do yourself no hurt."

"I am no child," says she, turning round on him; "we have lived
very well these five years without the benefit of your advice or
example, and I intend to take neither now. Why does not the head
of the house speak?" she went on; "he rules everything here. When
his chaplain has done singing the psalms, will his lordship deliver
the sermon? I am tired of the psalms." The Prince had used almost
the very same words in regard to Colonel Esmond that the imprudent
girl repeated in her wrath.

"You show yourself a very apt scholar, madam," says the Colonel;
and, turning to his mistress, "Did your guest use these words in
your ladyship's hearing, or was it to Beatrix in private that he
was pleased to impart his opinion regarding my tiresome sermon?"

"Have you seen him alone?" cries my lord, starting up with an oath:
"by God, have you seen him alone?"

"Were he here, you wouldn't dare so to insult me; no, you would not
dare!" cries Frank's sister. "Keep your oaths, my lord, for your
wife; we are not used here to such language. Till you came, there
used to be kindness between me and mamma, and I cared for her when
you never did, when you were away for years with your horses and
your mistress, and your Popish wife."

"By ---," says my lord, rapping out another oath, "Clotilda is an
angel; how dare you say a word against Clotilda?"

Colonel Esmond could not refrain from a smile, to see how easy
Frank's attack was drawn off by that feint:--"I fancy Clotilda is
not the subject in hand," says Mr. Esmond, rather scornfully; "her
ladyship is at Paris, a hundred leagues off, preparing baby-linen.
It is about my Lord Castlewood's sister, and not his wife, the
question is."

"He is not my Lord Castlewood," says Beatrix, "and he knows he is
not; he is Colonel Francis Esmond's son, and no more, and he wears
a false title; and he lives on another man's land, and he knows
it." Here was another desperate sally of the poor beleaguered
garrison, and an alerte in another quarter. "Again, I beg your
pardon," says Esmond. "If there are no proofs of my claim, I have
no claim. If my father acknowledged no heir, yours was his lawful
successor, and my Lord Castlewood hath as good a right to his rank
and small estate as any man in England. But that again is not the
question, as you know very well; let us bring our talk back to it,
as you will have me meddle in it. And I will give you frankly my
opinion, that a house where a Prince lies all day, who respects no
woman, is no house for a young unmarried lady; that you were better
in the country than here; that he is here on a great end, from
which no folly should divert him; and that having nobly done your
part of this morning, Beatrix, you should retire off the scene
awhile, and leave it to the other actors of the play."

As the Colonel spoke with a perfect calmness and politeness, such
as 'tis to be hoped he hath always shown to women,* his mistress
stood by him on one side of the table, and Frank Castlewood on the
other, hemming in poor Beatrix, that was behind it, and, as it
were, surrounding her with our approaches.

* My dear father saith quite truly, that his manner towards our sex
was uniformly courteous. From my infancy upwards, he treated me
with an extreme gentleness, as though I was a little lady. I can
scarce remember (though I tried him often) ever hearing a rough
word from him, nor was he less grave and kind in his manner to the
humblest negresses on his estate. He was familiar with no one
except my mother, and it was delightful to witness up to the very
last days the confidence between them. He was obeyed eagerly by
all under him; and my mother and all her household lived in a
constant emulation to please him, and quite a terror lest in any
way they should offend him. He was the humblest man with all this;
the least exacting, the more easily contented; and Mr. Benson, our
minister at Castlewood, who attended him at the last, ever said--"I
know not what Colonel Esmond's doctrine was, but his life and death
were those of a devout Christian."--R. E. W.

Having twice sallied out and been beaten back, she now, as I
expected, tried the ultima ratio of women, and had recourse to
tears. Her beautiful eyes filled with them; I never could bear in
her, nor in any woman, that expression of pain:--"I am alone,"
sobbed she; "you are three against me--my brother, my mother, and
you. What have I done, that you should speak and look so unkindly
at me? Is it my fault that the Prince should, as you say, admire
me? Did I bring him here? Did I do aught but what you bade me, in
making him welcome? Did you not tell me that our duty was to die
for him? Did you not teach me, mother, night and morning to pray
for the King, before even ourselves? What would you have of me,
cousin, for you are the chief of the conspiracy against me; I know
you are, sir, and that my mother and brother are acting but as you
bid them; whither would you have me go?"

"I would but remove from the Prince," says Esmond, gravely, "a
dangerous temptation; heaven forbid I should say you would yield; I
would only have him free of it. Your honor needs no guardian,
please God, but his imprudence doth. He is so far removed from all
women by his rank, that his pursuit of them cannot but be unlawful.
We would remove the dearest and fairest of our family from the
chance of that insult, and that is why we would have you go, dear

"Harry speaks like a book," says Frank, with one of his oaths,
"and, by ---, every word he saith is true. You can't help being
handsome, Trix; no more can the Prince help following you. My
counsel is that you go out of harm's way; for, by the Lord, were
the Prince to play any tricks with you, King as he is, or is to be,
Harry Esmond and I would have justice of him."

"Are not two such champions enough to guard me?" says Beatrix,
something sorrowfully; "sure, with you two watching, no evil could
happen to me."

"In faith, I think not, Beatrix," says Colonel Esmond; "nor if the
Prince knew us would he try."

"But does he know you?" interposed Lady Castlewood, very quiet: "he
comes of a country where the pursuit of kings is thought no
dishonor to a woman. Let us go, dearest Beatrix. Shall we go to
Walcote or to Castlewood? We are best away from the city; and when
the Prince is acknowledged, and our champions have restored him,
and he hath his own house at St. James's or Windsor, we can come
back to ours here. Do you not think so, Harry and Frank?"

Frank and Harry thought with her, you may be sure.

"We will go, then," says Beatrix, turning a little pale; "Lady
Masham is to give me warning to-night how her Majesty is, and

"I think we had best go to-day, my dear," says my Lady Castlewood;
"we might have the coach and sleep at Hounslow, and reach home
to-morrow. 'Tis twelve o'clock; bid the coach, cousin, be ready
at one."

"For shame!" burst out Beatrix, in a passion of tears and
mortification. "You disgrace me by your cruel precautions; my own
mother is the first to suspect me, and would take me away as my
gaoler. I will not go with you, mother; I will go as no one's
prisoner. If I wanted to deceive, do you think I could find no
means of evading you? My family suspects me. As those mistrust me
that ought to love me most, let me leave them; I will go, but I
will go alone: to Castlewood, be it. I have been unhappy there and
lonely enough; let me go back, but spare me at least the
humiliation of setting a watch over my misery, which is a trial I
can't bear. Let me go when you will, but alone, or not at all.
You three can stay and triumph over my unhappiness, and I will bear
it as I have borne it before. Let my gaoler-in-chief go order the
coach that is to take me away. I thank you, Henry Esmond, for your
share in the conspiracy. All my life long I'll thank you, and
remember you, and you, brother, and you, mother, how shall I show
my gratitude to you for your careful defence of my honor?"

She swept out of the room with the air of an empress, flinging
glances of defiance at us all, and leaving us conquerors of the
field, but scared, and almost ashamed of our victory. It did
indeed seem hard and cruel that we three should have conspired the
banishment and humiliation of that fair creature. We looked at
each other in silence: 'twas not the first stroke by many of our
actions in that unlucky time, which, being done, we wished undone.
We agreed it was best she should go alone, speaking stealthily to
one another, and under our breaths, like persons engaged in an act
they felt ashamed in doing.

In a half-hour, it might be, after our talk she came back, her
countenance wearing the same defiant air which it had borne when
she left us. She held a shagreen-case in her hand; Esmond knew it
as containing his diamonds which he had given to her for her
marriage with Duke Hamilton, and which she had worn so splendidly
on the inauspicious night of the Prince's arrival. "I have brought
back," says she, "to the Marquis of Esmond the present he deigned
to make me in days when he trusted me better than now. I will
never accept a benefit or a kindness from Henry Esmond more, and I
give back these family diamonds, which belonged to one king's
mistress, to the gentleman that suspected I would be another. Have
you been upon your message of coach-caller, my Lord Marquis? Will
you send your valet to see that I do not run away?" We were right,
yet, by her manner, she had put us all in the wrong; we were
conquerors, yet the honors of the day seemed to be with the poor
oppressed girl.

That luckless box containing the stones had first been ornamented
with a baron's coronet, when Beatrix was engaged to the young
gentleman from whom she parted, and afterwards the gilt crown of a
duchess figured on the cover, which also poor Beatrix was destined
never to wear. Lady Castlewood opened the case mechanically and
scarce thinking what she did; and behold, besides the diamonds,
Esmond's present, there lay in the box the enamelled miniature of
the late Duke, which Beatrix had laid aside with her mourning when
the King came into the house; and which the poor heedless thing
very likely had forgotten.

"Do you leave this, too, Beatrix?" says her mother, taking the
miniature out, and with a cruelty she did not very often show; but
there are some moments when the tenderest women are cruel, and some
triumphs which angels can't forego.*

* This remark shows how unjustly and contemptuously even the best
of men will sometimes judge of our sex. Lady Castlewood had no
intention of triumphing over her daughter; but from a sense of duty
alone pointed out her deplorable wrong.--H. E.

Having delivered this stab, Lady Castlewood was frightened at the
effect of her blow. It went to poor Beatrix's heart: she flushed
up and passed a handkerchief across her eyes, and kissed the
miniature, and put it into her bosom:--"I had forgot it," says she;
"my injury made me forget my grief: my mother has recalled both to
me. Farewell, mother; I think I never can forgive you; something
hath broke between us that no tears nor years can repair. I always
said I was alone; you never loved me, never--and were jealous of me
from the time I sat on my father's knee. Let me go away, the
sooner the better: I can bear to be with you no more."

"Go, child," says her mother, still very stern; "go and bend your
proud knees and ask forgiveness; go, pray in solitude for humility
and repentance. 'Tis not your reproaches that make me unhappy,
'tis your hard heart, my poor Beatrix; may God soften it, and teach
you one day to feel for your mother."

If my mistress was cruel, at least she never could be got to own as
much. Her haughtiness quite overtopped Beatrix's; and, if the girl
had a proud spirit, I very much fear it came to her by inheritance.



Beatrix's departure took place within an hour, her maid going with
her in the post-chaise, and a man armed on the coach-box to prevent
any danger of the road. Esmond and Frank thought of escorting the
carriage, but she indignantly refused their company, and another
man was sent to follow the coach, and not to leave it till it had
passed over Hounslow Heath on the next day. And these two forming
the whole of Lady Castlewood's male domestics, Mr. Esmond's
faithful John Lockwood came to wait on his mistress during their
absence, though he would have preferred to escort Mrs. Lucy, his
sweetheart, on her journey into the country.

We had a gloomy and silent meal; it seemed as if a darkness was
over the house, since the bright face of Beatrix had been withdrawn
from it. In the afternoon came a message from the favorite to
relieve us somewhat from this despondency. "The Queen hath been
much shaken," the note said; "she is better now, and all things
will go well. Let MY LORD CASTLEWOOD be ready against we send for

At night there came a second billet: "There hath been a great
battle in Council; Lord Treasurer hath broke his staff, and hath
fallen never to rise again; no successor is appointed. Lord B----
receives a great Whig company to-night at Golden Square. If he is
trimming, others are true; the Queen hath no more fits, but is
a-bed now, and more quiet. Be ready against morning, when I still
hope all will be well."

The Prince came home shortly after the messenger who bore this
billet had left the house. His Royal Highness was so much the
better for the Bishop's liquor, that to talk affairs to him now was
of little service. He was helped to the Royal bed; he called
Castlewood familiarly by his own name; he quite forgot the part
upon the acting of which his crown, his safety, depended. 'Twas
lucky that my Lady Castlewood's servants were out of the way, and
only those heard him who would not betray him. He inquired after
the adorable Beatrix, with a royal hiccup in his voice; he was
easily got to bed, and in a minute or two plunged in that deep
slumber and forgetfulness with which Bacchus rewards the votaries
of that god. We wished Beatrix had been there to see him in his
cups. We regretted, perhaps, that she was gone.

One of the party at Kensington Square was fool enough to ride to
Hounslow that night, coram latronibus, and to the inn which the
family used ordinarily in their journeys out of London. Esmond
desired my landlord not to acquaint Madam Beatrix with his coming,
and had the grim satisfaction of passing by the door of the chamber
where she lay with her maid, and of watching her chariot set forth
in the early morning. He saw her smile and slip money into the
man's hand who was ordered to ride behind the coach as far as
Bagshot. The road being open, and the other servant armed, it
appeared she dispensed with the escort of a second domestic; and
this fellow, bidding his young mistress adieu with many bows, went
and took a pot of ale in the kitchen, and returned in company with
his brother servant, John Coachman, and his horses, back to London.

They were not a mile out of Hounslow when the two worthies stopped
for more drink, and here they were scared by seeing Colonel Esmond
gallop by them. The man said in reply to Colonel Esmond's stern
question, that his young mistress had sent her duty; only that, no
other message: she had had a very good night, and would reach
Castlewood by nightfall. The Colonel had no time for further
colloquy, and galloped on swiftly to London, having business of
great importance there, as my reader very well knoweth. The
thought of Beatrix riding away from the danger soothed his mind not
a little. His horse was at Kensington Square (honest Dapple knew
the way thither well enough) before the tipsy guest of last night
was awake and sober.

The account of the previous evening was known all over the town
early next day. A violent altercation had taken place before the
Queen in the Council Chamber; and all the coffee-houses had their
version of the quarrel. The news brought my Lord Bishop early to
Kensington Square, where he awaited the waking of his Royal master
above stairs, and spoke confidently of having him proclaimed as
Prince of Wales and heir to the throne before that day was over.
The Bishop had entertained on the previous afternoon certain of the
most influential gentlemen of the true British party. His Royal
highness had charmed all, both Scots and English, Papists and
Churchmen: "Even Quakers," says he, "were at our meeting; and, if
the stranger took a little too much British punch and ale, he will
soon grow more accustomed to those liquors; and my Lord
Castlewood," says the Bishop with a laugh, "must bear the cruel
charge of having been for once in his life a little tipsy. He
toasted your lovely sister a dozen times, at which we all laughed,"
says the Bishop, "admiring so much fraternal affection.--Where is
that charming nymph, and why doth she not adorn your ladyship's
tea-table with her bright eyes?"

Her ladyship said, dryly, that Beatrix was not at home that
morning; my Lord Bishop was too busy with great affairs to trouble
himself much about the presence or absence of any lady, however

We were yet at table when Dr. A---- came from the Palace with a
look of great alarm; the shocks the Queen had had the day before
had acted on her severely; he had been sent for, and had ordered
her to be blooded. The surgeon of Long Acre had come to cup the
Queen, and her Majesty was now more easy and breathed more freely.
What made us start at the name of Mr. Ayme? "Il faut etre aimable
pour etre aime," says the merry Doctor; Esmond pulled his sleeve,
and bade him hush. It was to Ayme's house, after his fatal duel,
that my dear Lord Castlewood, Frank's father, had been carried to

No second visit could be paid to the Queen on that day at any rate;
and when our guest above gave his signal that he was awake, the
Doctor, the Bishop, and Colonel Esmond waited upon the Prince's
levee, and brought him their news, cheerful or dubious. The Doctor
had to go away presently, but promised to keep the Prince constantly
acquainted with what was taking place at the Palace hard by. His
counsel was, and the Bishop's, that as soon as ever the Queen's
malady took a favorable turn, the Prince should be introduced to her
bedside; the Council summoned; the guard at Kensington and St.
James's, of which two regiments were to be entirely relied on, and
one known not to be hostile, would declare for the Prince, as the
Queen would before the Lords of her Council, designating him as the
heir to her throne.

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