The History of Henry Esmond
He story of Henry Esmond, a colonel in the service of Queen Anne of England, begins in his youth, as the illegitimate and orphaned cousin of the Viscount and Lady of Castlewood. The Jacobite family gradually embraces Henry as one of their own. When Henry comes of age he joins the campaign to restore James Stuart to the throne, but is eventually forced to accept the Protestant future of England.
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Page 104 - His qualities were pretty well known in the army, where there were parties of all politics, and of plenty of shrewdness and wit; but there existed such a perfect confidence in him, as the first captain of the world, and such a faith and admiration in his prodigious genius and fortune, that the very men whom he notoriously cheated of their pay, the chiefs whom he used and injured — (for he used all men, great and small, that came near him, as his instruments alike, and took something of theirs,...
Page 104 - ... smiles alike, and whenever need was for using this cheap coin. He would cringe to a shoeblack, as he would flatter a minister or a monarch ; be haughty, be humble, threaten, repent, weep, grasp your hand, (or stab you whenever he saw occasion) — but yet those of the army, who knew him best and had suffered most from him, admired him most of all: and as he rode along the lines to battle or galloped up in the nick of time to a battalion reeling from before the enemy's charge or shot, the fainting...
Page 120 - ... city. A bird came down from a roof opposite, and lit first on a cross, and then on the grass below it, whence it flew away presently with a leaf in its mouth; then came a sound as of chanting, from the chapel of the sisters hard by; others had long since filled the place which poor Mary...
Page 95 - They that sow in tears shall reap in joy ; and he that goeth forth and weepeth, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him;' I looked up from the book, and saw you. I was not surprised when I saw you. I knew you would come, my dear, and saw the gold sunshine round your head.
Page 17 - I would have History familiar rather than heroic : and think that Mr. Hogarth and Mr. Fielding will give our children a much better idea of the manners of the present age in England, than the Court Gazette and the newspapers which we get thence.
Page 107 - A word of kindness or acknowledgment, or a single glance of approbation, might have changed Esmond's opinion of the great man; and instead of a satire, which his pen cannot help writing, who knows but that the humble historian might have taken the other side of panegyric? We have but to change the point of view, and the greatest action looks mean: as we turn the perspective-glass, and a giant appears a pigmy.
Page 95 - I thought, yes, like them that dream — them that dream. And then it went, 'They that sow in tears shall reap in joy; and he that goeth forth and weepeth, shall doubtless come home again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him...
Page 19 - ... saying some words to him, which were so kind, and said in a voice so sweet, that the boy, who had never looked upon so much beauty before, felt as if the touch of a superior being or angel smote him down to the ground, and kissed the fair protecting hand as he knelt on one knee. To the very last hour of his life, Esmond remembered the lady as she then spoke and looked, the rings on her fair hands, the very scent of her robe, the beam of her eyes lighting up with surprise and kindness, her lips...
Page 39 - The first sense of sorrow I ever knew was upon the death of my father, at which time I was not quite five years of age ; but was rather amazed at what all the house meant, than possessed with a real understanding why nobody was willing to play with me.
Page 17 - The Muse of History hath encumbered herself with ceremony as well as her Sister of the Theatre. She too wears the mask and the cothurnus, and speaks to measure. She too, in our age, busies herself with the affairs only of kings ; waiting on them obsequiously and stately, as if she were but a mistress of court ceremonies, and had nothing B 7 to do with the registering of the affairs of the common people.