Edward Barnett; a Neglected Child of South Carolina, Who Rose to Be a Peer of Great Britain,—and the Stormy Life of His Grandfather, Captain Williams eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 74 pages of information about Edward Barnett; a Neglected Child of South Carolina, Who Rose to Be a Peer of Great Britain,and the Stormy Life of His Grandfather, Captain Williams.
the title and the estate could not be alienated, yet the enormous personal property could, and even his love for the fair Italian could not reconcile him to risk the chance of enduring what he would have called poverty.  He purchased a villa at Leghorn, and leaving the ship almost entirely at my command, lived for the time at least as though there was nothing on this earth to care for but love and beauty.  The chaplain had been sworn to secresy, and the other officers of the ship thought it was merely some amour of their commander’s, and whatever they thought of his morals, they of course took good care to say nothing.  The chaplain died soon after, and I remained the sole living witness of the marriage.  The birth of a son, however, instead of linking their hearts closer together, became the apple of discord between them.  She pressed him to acknowledge her as his wife to the numerous English families who were settled around Leghorn, and who refused to associate with one in her equivocal position.  She had borne their slights patiently when only directed against herself, but the feelings of a mother were aroused when the finger of scorn was pointed at her child.  It was too evident, also, that his affection for her was on the wane.  He was absent from her more frequently—­spoke of the necessity of attending to his duty—­his duty! oh, the ready excuse man finds to do evil.  Better far for that poor girl would it have been to have been buried in the deepest recesses of the cloister, than to have attracted the notice of that vile unprincipled nobleman.  It was about this time the old Earl died, and he quitted the service.  There was no bar now for his acknowledging her as his wife—­but he was satiated—­his fleeting passion had evaporated.  He had visited England in the interval, and seen the bride destined for him by his father:  and her beauty, the enormous addition to his wealth and power which would accrue from the marriage, tempted him, and he now regarded the woman who had surrendered to him the most sacred of man’s earthly trusts—­her young heart’s first affections, her hopes of earthly happiness—­as a barrier to his pride and the vile passion he dared to dignify with the name of love:  and when she now asked him to do her the justice which he could no longer plead his father’s anger for denying—­O God, where were thy thunderbolts!—­he told her that their marriage was a sham one, that the chaplain was but a servant in disguise, and that in truth she was only his mistress.  I had been dismissed the service through him—­I will speak of that anon—­the chaplain was dead—­she did not even know his name or mine—­how could she help herself?  She never held up her head after this.  She refused all support from him, though he offered to settle upon her a considerable pension.  For five years she supported herself by teaching music at Florence, whither she removed with an attendant whom her gentle manners had attached to her, and from whom, years after, I learned these
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Edward Barnett; a Neglected Child of South Carolina, Who Rose to Be a Peer of Great Britain,—and the Stormy Life of His Grandfather, Captain Williams from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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