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 93 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.
particulars.  She never would, however, consent to sign any papers which would affect her own or her son’s rights, nor would she part with the certificate of marriage the chaplain had given her, though he tried hard to obtain them, as also the letters he had written to her from the ship at different times in which he had always addressed her as his wife.  But her constitution had received a shock from which it never recovered, and at the expiration of that time she died.  His agent, who had been secretly watching her by his orders, took the boy to England, where he was sent to a distant school for education under a feigned name, and at the age of fifteen sent to sea—­where, as he was believed to be a natural son of the Earl, and the latter favored that assumption, his advancement was rapid; not more so, however, than his gallantry and good conduct deserved, for I often heard his name mentioned with applause, though I little dreamed then who he was, or how closely the fortunes of those I loved the best were connected with him.  He was your father, Edward, and the proud man who now usurps your title and your fortune is a bastard!’

The look of high reserve that flashed in the young man’s eyes as he listened to the tale, contrasted well while it agreed with the stern, implacable, expression of the mariner’s countenance, which deepened, if possible, as he proceeded.

’It was many years afterwards that I learned these particulars, but I must now speak of my dismissal and its cause.  From the day that your grandfather’s love for his young bride began to decline, he hated me, yet he feared me—­and took good care to conceal it:  I was young and unsuspicious, and when he procured my appointment as first-lieutenant in a frigate bound to the West Indies, I thanked the man who was plotting my ruin.  The commander of the frigate was one of the meanest wretches that ever disgraced a command—­an impoverished rake who gained the means of continuing his excesses by flattering the vanity and aiding the schemes of his richer companions in vice, and duping the more inexperienced.  He had received his directions evidently, and every studied insult, everything that petty spite and malice could inflict was tried to provoke me, but the contempt I felt for the reptile restrained me full as much as the iron bands of discipline.  We arrived at Jamaica and cruised about the Bay of Mexico for some time, when the daughter of a rich planter, in South Carolina, (then one of his Majesty’s colonies, now one of the brightest stars in the flag of the Great Republic,) took a passage with her governess in our ship to New Orleans, whither we were ordered on service.  The Captain tried to make himself agreeable to her, but she treated his advances with coldness so marked as to enrage him.  She saw through, with ease, the flimsy veil he attempted to throw over his vices.  It was my happy fortune to save her from a watery grave.  In landing, she incautiously stepped from the ladder

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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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