The History of Henry Esmond, by William Makepeace Thackeray

Chapter V.

Mohun Appears for the Last Time in This History.

Besides my Lord Duke of Hamilton and Brandon, who for family reasons had kindly promised his protection and patronage to Colonel Esmond, he had other great friends in power now, both able and willing to assist him, and he might, with such allies, look forward to as fortunate advancement in civil life at home as he had got rapid promotion abroad. His Grace was magnanimous enough to offer to take Mr. Esmond as secretary on his Paris embassy, but no doubt he intended that proposal should be rejected; at any rate, Esmond could not bear the thoughts of attending his mistress farther than the church-door after her marriage, and so declined that offer which his generous rival made him.

Other gentlemen in power were liberal at least of compliments and promises to Colonel Esmond. Mr. Harley, now become my Lord Oxford and Mortimer, and installed Knight of the Garter on the same day as his Grace of Hamilton had received the same honor, sent to the Colonel to say that a seat in Parliament should be at his disposal presently, and Mr. St. John held out many flattering hopes of advancement to the Colonel when he should enter the House. Esmond’s friends were all successful, and the most successful and triumphant of all was his dear old commander, General Webb, who was now appointed Lieutenant-General of the Land Forces, and received with particular honor by the Ministry, by the Queen, and the people out of doors, who huzza’d the brave chief when they used to see him in his chariot going to the House or to the Drawing-room, or hobbling on foot to his coach from St. Stephen’s upon his glorious old crutch and stick, and cheered him as loud as they had ever done Marlborough.

That great Duke was utterly disgraced; and honest old Webb dated all his Grace’s misfortunes from Wynendael, and vowed that Fate served the traitor right. Duchess Sarah had also gone to ruin; she had been forced to give up her keys, and her places, and her pensions:—“Ah, ah!” says Webb, “she would have locked up three millions of French crowns with her keys had I but been knocked on the head, but I stopped that convoy at Wynendael.” Our enemy Cardonnel was turned out of the House of Commons (along with Mr. Walpole) for malversation of public money. Cadogan lost his place of Lieutenant of the Tower. Marlborough’s daughters resigned their posts of ladies of the bedchamber; and so complete was the Duke’s disgrace, that his son-inlaw, Lord Bridgewater, was absolutely obliged to give up his lodgings at St. James’s, and had his half-pension, as Master of the Horse, taken away. But I think the lowest depth of Marlborough’s fall was when he humbly sent to ask General Webb when he might wait upon him; he who had commanded the stout old General, who had injured him and sneered at him, who had kept him dangling in his ante-chamber, who could not even after his great service condescend to write him a letter in his own hand. The nation was as eager for peace as ever it had been hot for war. The Prince of Savoy came amongst us, had his audience of the Queen, and got his famous Sword of Honor, and strove with all his force to form a Whig party together, to bring over the young Prince of Hanover to do anything which might prolong the war, and consummate the ruin of the old sovereign whom he hated so implacably. But the nation was tired of the struggle: so completely wearied of it that not even our defeat at Denain could rouse us into any anger, though such an action so lost two years before would have set all England in a fury. ’Twas easy to see that the great Marlborough was not with the army. Eugene was obliged to fall back in a rage, and forego the dazzling revenge of his life. ’Twas in vain the Duke’s side asked, “Would we suffer our arms to be insulted? Would we not send back the only champion who could repair our honor?” The nation had had its bellyful of fighting; nor could taunts or outcries goad up our Britons any more.

For a statesman that was always prating of liberty, and had the grandest philosophic maxims in his mouth, it must be owned that Mr. St. John sometimes rather acted like a Turkish than a Greek philosopher, and especially fell foul of one unfortunate set of men, the men of letters, with a tyranny a little extraordinary in a man who professed to respect their calling so much. The literary controversy at this time was very bitter, the Government side was the winning one, the popular one, and I think might have been the merciful one. ’Twas natural that the opposition should be peevish and cry out: some men did so from their hearts, admiring the Duke of Marlborough’s prodigious talents, and deploring the disgrace of the greatest general the world ever knew: ’twas the stomach that caused other patriots to grumble, and such men cried out because they were poor, and paid to do so. Against these my Lord Bolingbroke never showed the slightest mercy, whipping a dozen into prison or into the pillory without the least commiseration.

From having been a man of arms Mr. Esmond had now come to be a man of letters, but on a safer side than that in which the above-cited poor fellows ventured their liberties and ears. There was no danger on ours, which was the winning side; besides, Mr. Esmond pleased himself by thinking that he writ like a gentleman if he did not always succeed as a wit.

Of the famous wits of that age, who have rendered Queen Anne’s reign illustrious, and whose works will be in all Englishmen’s hands in ages yet to come, Mr. Esmond saw many, but at public places chiefly; never having a great intimacy with any of them, except with honest Dick Steele and Mr. Addison, who parted company with Esmond, however, when that gentleman became a declared Tory, and lived on close terms with the leading persons of that party. Addison kept himself to a few friends, and very rarely opened himself except in their company. A man more upright and conscientious than he it was not possible to find in public life, and one whose conversation was so various, easy, and delightful. Writing now in my mature years, I own that I think Addison’s politics were the right, and were my time to come over again, I would be a Whig in England and not a Tory; but with people that take a side in politics, ’tis men rather than principles that commonly bind them. A kindness or a slight puts a man under one flag or the other, and he marches with it to the end of the campaign. Esmond’s master in war was injured by Marlborough, and hated him: and the lieutenant fought the quarrels of his leader. Webb coming to London was used as a weapon by Marlborough’s enemies (and true steel he was, that honest chief); nor was his aide-de-camp, Mr. Esmond, an unfaithful or unworthy partisan. ’Tis strange here, and on a foreign soil, and in a land that is independent in all but the name, (for that the North American colonies shall remain dependants on yonder little island for twenty years more, I never can think,) to remember how the nation at home seemed to give itself up to the domination of one or other aristocratic party, and took a Hanoverian king, or a French one, according as either prevailed. And while the Tories, the October club gentlemen, the High Church parsons that held by the Church of England, were for having a Papist king, for whom many of their Scottish and English leaders, firm churchmen all, laid down their lives with admirable loyalty and devotion; they were governed by men who had notoriously no religion at all, but used it as they would use any opinion for the purpose of forwarding their own ambition. The Whigs, on the other hand, who professed attachment to religion and liberty too, were compelled to send to Holland or Hanover for a monarch around whom they could rally. A strange series of compromises is that English History; compromise of principle, compromise of party, compromise of worship! The lovers of English freedom and independence submitted their religious consciences to an Act of Parliament; could not consolidate their liberty without sending to Zell or the Hague for a king to live under; and could not find amongst the proudest people in the world a man speaking their own language, and understanding their laws, to govern them. The Tory and High Church patriots were ready to die in defence of a Papist family that had sold us to France; the great Whig nobles, the sturdy republican recusants who had cut off Charles Stuart’s head for treason, were fain to accept a king whose title came to him through a royal grandmother, whose own royal grandmother’s head had fallen under Queen Bess’s hatchet. And our proud English nobles sent to a petty German town for a monarch to come and reign in London and our prelates kissed the ugly hands of his Dutch mistresses, and thought it no dishonor. In England you can but belong to one party or t’other, and you take the house you live in with all its encumbrances, its retainers, its antique discomforts, and ruins even; you patch up, but you never build up anew. Will we of the new world submit much longer, even nominally, to this ancient British superstition? There are signs of the times which make me think that ere long we shall care as little about King George here, and peers temporal and peers spiritual, as we do for King Canute or the Druids.

This chapter began about the wits, my grandson may say, and hath wandered very far from their company. The pleasantest of the wits I knew were the Doctors Garth and Arbuthnot, and Mr. Gay, the author of “Trivia,” the most charming kind soul that ever laughed at a joke or cracked a bottle. Mr. Prior I saw, and he was the earthen pot swimming with the pots of brass down the stream, and always and justly frightened lest he should break in the voyage. I met him both at London and Paris, where he was performing piteous congees to the Duke of Shrewsbury, not having courage to support the dignity which his undeniable genius and talent had won him, and writing coaxing letters to Secretary St. John, and thinking about his plate and his place, and what on earth should become of him should his party go out. The famous Mr. Congreve I saw a dozen of times at Button’s, a splendid wreck of a man, magnificently attired, and though gouty, and almost blind, bearing a brave face against fortune.

The great Mr. Pope (of whose prodigious genius I have no words to express my admiration) was quite a puny lad at this time, appearing seldom in public places. There were hundreds of men, wits, and pretty fellows frequenting the theatres and coffee-houses of that day — whom “nunc perscribere longum est.” Indeed I think the most brilliant of that sort I ever saw was not till fifteen years afterwards, when I paid my last visit in England, and met young Harry Fielding, son of the Fielding that served in Spain and afterwards in Flanders with us, and who for fun and humor seemed to top them all. As for the famous Dr. Swift, I can say of him, “Vidi tantum.” He was in London all these years up to the death of the Queen; and in a hundred public places where I saw him, but no more; he never missed Court of a Sunday, where once or twice he was pointed out to your grandfather. He would have sought me out eagerly enough had I been a great man with a title to my name, or a star on my coat. At Court the Doctor had no eyes but for the very greatest. Lord Treasurer and St. John used to call him Jonathan, and they paid him with this cheap coin for the service they took of him. He writ their lampoons, fought their enemies, flogged and bullied in their service, and it must be owned with a consummate skill and fierceness. ’Tis said he hath lost his intellect now, and forgotten his wrongs and his rage against mankind. I have always thought of him and of Marlborough as the two greatest men of that age. I have read his books (who doth not know them?) here in our calm woods, and imagine a giant to myself as I think of him, a lonely fallen Prometheus, groaning as the vulture tears him. Prometheus I saw, but when first I ever had any words with him, the giant stepped out of a sedan chair in the Poultry, whither he had come with a tipsy Irish servant parading before him, who announced him, bawling out his Reverence’s name, whilst his master below was as yet haggling with the chairman. I disliked this Mr. Swift, and heard many a story about him, of his conduct to men, and his words to women. He could flatter the great as much as he could bully the weak; and Mr. Esmond, being younger and hotter in that day than now, was determined, should he ever meet this dragon, not to run away from his teeth and his fire.

Men have all sorts of motives which carry them onwards in life, and are driven into acts of desperation, or it may be of distinction, from a hundred different causes. There was one comrade of Esmond’s, an honest little Irish lieutenant of Handyside’s, who owed so much money to a camp sutler, that he began to make love to the man’s daughter, intending to pay his debt that way; and at the battle of Malplaquet, flying away from the debt and lady too, he rushed so desperately on the French lines, that he got his company; and came a captain out of the action, and had to marry the sutler’s daughter after all, who brought him his cancelled debt to her father as poor Roger’s fortune. To run out of the reach of bill and marriage, he ran on the enemy’s pikes; and as these did not kill him he was thrown back upon t’other horn of his dilemma. Our great Duke at the same battle was fighting, not the French, but the Tories in England; and risking his life and the army’s, not for his country but for his pay and places; and for fear of his wife at home, that only being in life whom he dreaded. I have asked about men in my own company, (new drafts of poor country boys were perpetually coming over to us during the wars, and brought from the ploughshare to the sword,) and found that a half of them under the flags were driven thither on account of a woman: one fellow was jilted by his mistress and took the shilling in despair; another jilted the girl, and fled from her and the parish to the tents where the law could not disturb him. Why go on particularizing? What can the sons of Adam and Eve expect, but to continue in that course of love and trouble their father and mother set out on? Oh, my grandson! I am drawing nigh to the end of that period of my history, when I was acquainted with the great world of England and Europe; my years are past the Hebrew poet’s limit, and I say unto thee, all my troubles and joys too, for that matter, have come from a woman; as thine will when thy destined course begins. ’Twas a woman that made a soldier of me, that set me intriguing afterwards; I believe I would have spun smocks for her had she so bidden me; what strength I had in my head I would have given her; hath not every man in his degree had his Omphale and Delilah? Mine befooled me on the banks of the Thames, and in dear old England; thou mayest find thine own by Rappahannock.

To please that woman then I tried to distinguish myself as a soldier, and afterwards as a wit and a politician; as to please another I would have put on a black cassock and a pair of bands, and had done so but that a superior fate intervened to defeat that project. And I say, I think the world is like Captain Esmond’s company I spoke of anon; and could you see every man’s career in life, you would find a woman clogging him; or clinging round his march and stopping him; or cheering him and goading him: or beckoning him out of her chariot, so that he goes up to her, and leaves the race to be run without him or bringing him the apple, and saying “Eat;” or fetching him the daggers and whispering “Kill! yonder lies Duncan, and a crown, and an opportunity.”

Your grandfather fought with more effect as a politician than as a wit: and having private animosities and grievances of his own and his General’s against the great Duke in command of the army, and more information on military matters than most writers, who had never seen beyond the fire of a tobacco-pipe at “Wills’s,” he was enabled to do good service for that cause which he embarked in, and for Mr. St. John and his party. But he disdained the abuse in which some of the Tory writers indulged; for instance, Dr. Swift, who actually chose to doubt the Duke of Marlborough’s courage, and was pleased to hint that his Grace’s military capacity was doubtful: nor were Esmond’s performances worse for the effect they were intended to produce, (though no doubt they could not injure the Duke of Marlborough nearly so much in the public eyes as the malignant attacks of Swift did, which were carefully directed so as to blacken and degrade him,) because they were writ openly and fairly by Mr. Esmond, who made no disguise of them, who was now out of the army, and who never attacked the prodigious courage and talents, only the selfishness and rapacity, of the chief.

The Colonel then, having writ a paper for one of the Tory journals, called the Post-Boy, (a letter upon Bouchain, that the town talked about for two whole days, when the appearance of an Italian singer supplied a fresh subject for conversation,) and having business at the Exchange, where Mistress Beatrix wanted a pair of gloves or a fan very likely, Esmond went to correct his paper, and was sitting at the printer’s, when the famous Doctor Swift came in, his Irish fellow with him that used to walk before his chair, and bawled out his master’s name with great dignity.

Mr. Esmond was waiting for the printer too, whose wife had gone to the tavern to fetch him, and was meantime engaged in drawing a picture of a soldier on horseback for a dirty little pretty boy of the printer’s wife, whom she had left behind her.

“I presume you are the editor of the Post-Boy, sir?” says the Doctor, in a grating voice that had an Irish twang; and he looked at the Colonel from under his two bushy eyebrows with a pair of very clear blue eyes. His complexion was muddy, his figure rather fat, his chin double. He wore a shabby cassock, and a shabby hat over his black wig, and he pulled out a great gold watch, at which he looks very fierce.

“I am but a contributor, Doctor Swift,” says Esmond, with the little boy still on his knee. He was sitting with his back in the window, so that the Doctor could not see him.

“Who told you I was Dr. Swift?” says the Doctor, eying the other very haughtily.

“Your Reverence’s valet bawled out your name,” says the Colonel. “I should judge you brought him from Ireland?”

“And pray, sir, what right have you to judge whether my servant came from Ireland or no? I want to speak with your employer, Mr. Leach. I’ll thank ye go fetch him.”

“Where’s your papa, Tommy?” asks the Colonel of the child, a smutty little wretch in a frock.

Instead of answering, the child begins to cry; the Doctor’s appearance had no doubt frightened the poor little imp.

“Send that squalling little brat about his business, and do what I bid ye, sir,” says the Doctor.

“I must finish, the picture first for Tommy,” says the Colonel, laughing. “Here, Tommy, will you have your Pandour with whiskers or without?”

“Whisters,” says Tommy, quite intent on the picture.

“Who the devil are ye, sir?” cries the Doctor; “are ye a printer’s man or are ye not?” he pronounced it like NAUGHT.

“Your reverence needn’t raise the devil to ask who I am,” says Colonel Esmond. “Did you ever hear of Doctor Faustus, little Tommy? or Friar Bacon, who invented gunpowder, and set the Thames on fire?”

Mr. Swift turned quite red, almost purple. “I did not intend any offence, sir,” says he.

“I dare say, sir, you offended without meaning,” says the other, dryly.

“Who are ye, sir? Do you know who I am, sir? You are one of the pack of Grub Street scribblers that my friend Mr. Secretary hath laid by the heels. How dare ye, sir, speak to me in this tone?” cries the Doctor, in a great fume.

“I beg your honor’s humble pardon if I have offended your honor,” says Esmond in a tone of great humility. “Rather than be sent to the Compter, or be put in the pillory, there’s nothing I wouldn’t do. But Mrs. Leach, the printer’s lady, told me to mind Tommy whilst she went for her husband to the tavern, and I daren’t leave the child lest he should fall into the fire; but if your Reverence will hold him —”

“I take the little beast!” says the Doctor, starting back. “I am engaged to your betters, fellow. Tell Mr. Leach that when he makes an appointment with Dr. Swift he had best keep it, do ye hear? And keep a respectful tongue in your head, sir, when you address a person like me.”

“I’m but a poor broken-down soldier,” says the Colonel, “and I’ve seen better days, though I am forced now to turn my hand to writing. We can’t help our fate, sir.”

“You’re the person that Mr. Leach hath spoken to me of, I presume. Have the goodness to speak civilly when you are spoken to — and tell Leach to call at my lodgings in Bury Street, and bring the papers with him to-night at ten o’clock. And the next time you see me, you’ll know me, and be civil, Mr. Kemp.”

Poor Kemp, who had been a lieutenant at the beginning of the war, and fallen into misfortune, was the writer of the Post-Boy, and now took honest Mr. Leach’s pay in place of her Majesty’s. Esmond had seen this gentleman, and a very ingenious, hardworking honest fellow he was, toiling to give bread to a great family, and watching up many a long winter night to keep the wolf from his door. And Mr. St. John, who had liberty always on his tongue, had just sent a dozen of the opposition writers into prison, and one actually into the pillory, for what he called libels, but libels not half so violent as those writ on our side. With regard to this very piece of tyranny, Esmond had remonstrated strongly with the Secretary, who laughed and said the rascals were served quite right; and told Esmond a joke of Swift’s regarding the matter. Nay, more, this Irishman, when St. John was about to pardon a poor wretch condemned to death for rape, absolutely prevented the Secretary from exercising this act of good-nature, and boasted that he had had the man hanged; and great as the Doctor’s genius might be, and splendid his ability, Esmond for one would affect no love for him, and never desired to make his acquaintance. The Doctor was at Court every Sunday assiduously enough, a place the Colonel frequented but rarely, though he had a great inducement to go there in the person of a fair maid of honor of her Majesty’s; and the airs and patronage Mr. Swift gave himself, forgetting gentlemen of his country whom he knew perfectly, his loud talk at once insolent and servile, nay, perhaps his very intimacy with Lord Treasurer and the Secretary, who indulged all his freaks and called him Jonathan, you may be sure, were remarked by many a person of whom the proud priest himself took no note, during that time of his vanity and triumph.

’Twas but three days after the 15th of November, 1712 (Esmond minds him well of the date), that he went by invitation to dine with his General, the foot of whose table he used to take on these festive occasions, as he had done at many a board, hard and plentiful, during the campaign. This was a great feast, and of the latter sort; the honest old gentleman loved to treat his friends splendidly: his Grace of Ormonde, before he joined his army as generalissimo, my Lord Viscount Bolingbroke, one of her Majesty’s Secretaries of State, my Lord Orkney, that had served with us abroad, being of the party. His Grace of Hamilton, Master of the Ordnance, and in whose honor the feast had been given, upon his approaching departure as Ambassador to Paris, had sent an excuse to General Webb at two o’clock, but an hour before the dinner: nothing but the most immediate business, his Grace said, should have prevented him having the pleasure of drinking a parting glass to the health of General Webb. His absence disappointed Esmond’s old chief, who suffered much from his wounds besides; and though the company was grand, it was rather gloomy. St. John came last, and brought a friend with him: “I’m sure,” says my General, bowing very politely, “my table hath always a place for Dr. Swift.”

Mr. Esmond went up to the Doctor with a bow and a smile:—“I gave Dr. Swift’s message,” says he, “to the printer: I hope he brought your pamphlet to your lodgings in time.” Indeed poor Leach had come to his house very soon after the Doctor left it, being brought away rather tipsy from the tavern by his thrifty wife; and he talked of Cousin Swift in a maudlin way, though of course Mr. Esmond did not allude to this relationship. The Doctor scowled, blushed, and was much confused, and said scarce a word during the whole of dinner. A very little stone will sometimes knock down these Goliaths of wit; and this one was often discomfited when met by a man of any spirit; he took his place sulkily, put water in his wine that the others drank plentifully, and scarce said a word.

The talk was about the affairs of the day, or rather about persons than affairs: my Lady Marlborough’s fury, her daughters in old clothes and mob-caps looking out from their windows and seeing the company pass to the Drawing-room; the gentleman-usher’s horror when the Prince of Savoy was introduced to her Majesty in a tie-wig, no man out of a full-bottomed periwig ever having kissed the Royal hand before; about the Mohawks and the damage they were doing, rushing through the town, killing and murdering. Some one said the ill-omened face of Mohun had been seen at the theatre the night before, and Macartney and Meredith with him. Meant to be a feast, the meeting, in spite of drink and talk, was as dismal as a funeral. Every topic started subsided into gloom. His Grace of Ormonde went away because the conversation got upon Denain, where we had been defeated in the last campaign. Esmond’s General was affected at the allusion to this action too, for his comrade of Wynendael, the Count of Nassau Woudenbourg, had been slain there. Mr. Swift, when Esmond pledged him, said he drank no wine, and took his hat from the peg and went away, beckoning my Lord Bolingbroke to follow him; but the other bade him take his chariot and save his coach-hire — he had to speak with Colonel Esmond; and when the rest of the company withdrew to cards, these two remained behind in the dark.

Bolingbroke always spoke freely when he had drunk freely. His enemies could get any secret out of him in that condition; women were even employed to ply him, and take his words down. I have heard that my Lord Stair, three years after, when the Secretary fled to France and became the Pretender’s Minister, got all the information he wanted by putting female spies over St. John in his cups. He spoke freely now:—“Jonathan knows nothing of this for certain, though he suspects it, and by George, Webb will take an Archbishopric, and Jonathan a — no — damme — Jonathan will take an Arch-bishopric from James, I warrant me, gladly enough. Your Duke hath the string of the whole matter in his hand,” the Secretary went on. “We have that which will force Marlborough to keep his distance, and he goes out of London in a fortnight. Prior hath his business; he left me this morning, and mark me, Harry, should fate carry off our august, our beloved, our most gouty and plethoric Queen, and Defender of the Faith, la bonne cause triomphera. A la sante de la bonne cause! Everything good comes from France. Wine comes from France; give us another bumper to the bonne cause.” We drank it together.

“Will the bonne cause turn Protestant?” asked Mr. Esmond.

“No, hang it,” says the other, “he’ll defend our Faith as in duty bound, but he’ll stick by his own. The Hind and the Panther shall run in the same car, by Jove. Righteousness and peace shall kiss each other: and we’ll have Father Massillon to walk down the aisle of St. Paul’s, cheek by jowl with Dr. Sacheverel. Give us more wine; here’s a health to the bonne cause, kneeling — damme, let’s drink it kneeling.” He was quite flushed and wild with wine as he was talking.

“And suppose,” says Esmond, who always had this gloomy apprehension, “the bonne cause should give us up to the French, as his father and uncle did before him?”

“Give us up to the French!” starts up Bolingbroke; “is there any English gentleman that fears that? You who have seen Blenheim and Ramillies, afraid of the French! Your ancestors and mine, and brave old Webb’s yonder, have met them in a hundred fields, and our children will be ready to do the like. Who’s he that wishes for more men from England? My Cousin Westmoreland? Give us up to the French, pshaw!”

“His uncle did,” says Mr. Esmond.

“And what happened to his grandfather?” broke out St. John, filling out another bumper. “Here’s to the greatest monarch England ever saw; here’s to the Englishman that made a kingdom of her. Our great King came from Huntingdon, not Hanover; our fathers didn’t look for a Dutchman to rule us. Let him come and we’ll keep him, and we’ll show him Whitehall. If he’s a traitor let us have him here to deal with him; and then there are spirits here as great as any that have gone before. There are men here that can look at danger in the face and not be frightened at it. Traitor! treason! what names are these to scare you and me? Are all Oliver’s men dead, or his glorious name forgotten in fifty years? Are there no men equal to him, think you, as good — ay, as good? God save the King! and, if the monarchy fails us, God save the British Republic!”

He filled another great bumper, and tossed it up and drained it wildly, just as the noise of rapid carriage-wheels approaching was stopped at our door, and after a hurried knock and a moment’s interval, Mr. Swift came into the hall, ran up stairs to the room we were dining in, and entered it with a perturbed face. St. John, excited with drink, was making some wild quotation out of Macbeth, but Swift stopped him.

“Drink no more, my lord, for God’s sake!” says he. “I come with the most dreadful news.”

“Is the Queen dead?” cries out Bolingbroke, seizing on a water-glass.

“No, Duke Hamilton is dead: he was murdered an hour ago by Mohun and Macartney; they had a quarrel this morning; they gave him not so much time as to write a letter. He went for a couple of his friends, and he is dead, and Mohun, too, the bloody villain, who was set on him. They fought in Hyde Park just before sunset; the Duke killed Mohun, and Macartney came up and stabbed him, and the dog is fled. I have your chariot below; send to every part of the country and apprehend that villain; come to the Duke’s house and see if any life be left in him.”

“Oh, Beatrix, Beatrix,” thought Esmond, “and here ends my poor girl’s ambition!”

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Last updated Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 19:07