Posted on: Nov 05, '07
Reverend James Chapter eight
For Edward James on leave from his ship the county was a place of great interest for in the morning having risen he would breakfast with his brother and sister in law before setting out to call upon old acquaintances.
It had been a number of years since the officer returned years full of naval action in effect every person whom he met had a great deal to ask of the service that the sea officer served. On several occasions he was called upon to relate stories of his party in the battle of the Nile. Of Lord Nelson he had great admiration this admiration showed itself in his every expression upon the subject of this great sea hero. For at this time many in England had already heard a great deal of the sea Lord, however they would listen lost in the detail of the young mans story for Nelson was England and England Nelson.
Of actions and of the French coming out there was talk but the good naval officer was glad to inform the ladies and gentleman in who’s company he found himself that the channel fleet kept old Bony locked up safe in the ports cities of France.
Thus his listeners grew to appreciate the great work that the navy service performed for indeed they knew that The marquis of Wellington was busy in Portugal and France beating back the forces of old Bony.
Tea he would take in the home of an old friend now retired due to ill health from the service and on half pay William Smithers a navy officer of some standing now spent his days in quite reflection, dreaming of the great battles in which he had served the crown well for he had but one leg having given the leg in the service of his country.
Indeed had it not been for men of this cloth England might have a long time passed fallen into the hands of the Corsican villain and his revolutionary cohorts.
Then would England have no king and every man addressed by the title of citizen the parliament suspended the heads of the aristocracy in the dust. Had not those who followed Nelson and Wellington not lead there men by example, in the heat of battle England now stood alone against the rest of Europe against the tyrant and England would have no tyrant for they had more then a century and a half earlier had a dalliance with the idea of commonwealth and they liked it not thus they had returned to monarchy and all that went with it.
In the afternoon the young officer could be found in an ale house enjoying a pint of what killed aunty good hearty English ale the nectar of the gods for like all sea officers he had a certain fondness for the beverage which warmed the heart and gave courage to the heart...
Returning in the evening the young officer would spend time with his brother the reverend gentleman talking of what had occurred in the day and later reading from one of the many volumes which the rectory seemed to be full of for when the reverend gentleman had taken up office the former parson having died had left to the man who replaced him a collection of books which had been put together with a great deal of care and over a life time of labor. The young sea officer found great comfort in taking up a volume upon the subjects which had been popular in the latter half of the last century.
It was not that Edward James was knowledgeable on the subject matter of the previous age of elegance it was just that he had come upon the books while in search of some thing to do with his time the books provided a welcome change to his daily routine.
He had found among the volumes a most interesting book upon the histories of the East India party it seemed to him to be a diary of an officer who had for many years served in the greater interior of India. To the young sea officer the words which flowed from the page filled him with images of days long past of adventure and of daily life on the great sub continent it was indeed an education. In the back of the volume he found penne din faded ink an inscription that provided the information that the volume had indeed belonged to a brother of the former parson who had returned after many years of service to old England to write his memorial in the hope of one day having it published but this was not to be the final entry in the book was in a different hand stating that Arthur Benson officer in the English East India company had succumbed to a reoccurring illness believed to be typhoid fever. In the year of our lord 1763
To the young sea officer it seemed that the untimely passing of the officer of the company had robbed the world of a most interesting volume of work on the life of India thereafter he determined that he would if at all possible get the volume to Paternoster row in London in the expectation of finding a printer who would be willing to publish the volume in the interests of persons going out to India
Thus on the first Monday of the month he set out in his best coat upon the London coach wishing his brother and Sister in law a good bye and telling them that he would be away for a few days in London for he had a matter of navy business to attend to before he could return to enjoy the rest of his holiday.
The reverend gentleman was left wondering what had caused the hasty departure of his favorite brother, for when Mrs. James had expressed the hope that he would take a basket of food for the road Edward had begged her not to for he was in great hast and would find little time to partake in the sweetmeats which she wished to prepare for him.
Tags: regency novel