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The Virginians

William Makepeace Thackeray

Book Overview: 

It tells the story of Henry Esmond's twin grandsons, George and Henry Warrington. Henry's romantic entanglements with an older woman lead up to his taking a commission in the British army and fighting under the command of General Wolfe at the capture of Quebec. On the outbreak of the American War of Independence he takes the revolutionary side. George, who is also a British officer, thereupon resigns his commission rather than take up arms against his brother. (Summary by Wikipedia)

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .In the early morning poor Chaplain Sampson sent over his little black mare by the hands of his groom, footman, and gardener, who wept and bestowed a great number of kisses on the beast's white nose as he handed him over to Gumbo. Gumbo and his master were both affected by the fellow's sensibility; the negro servant showing his sympathy by weeping, and Harry by producing a couple of guineas, with which he astonished and speedily comforted the chaplain's boy. Then Gumbo and the late groom led the beast away to the stable, having commands to bring him round with Mr. William's horse after breakfast, at the hour when Madam Bernstein's carriages were ordered.

So courteous was he to his aunt, or so grateful for her departure, that the master of the house even made his appearance at the morning meal, in order to take leave of his guests. The ladies and the chaplain were present—the only member of the family absent was Will: who, however, left a note for his cousi. . . Read More