Little Lord Fauntleroy HTML version
It was during the voyage that Cedric's mother told him that his home was not to be hers;
and when he first understood it, his grief was so great that Mr. Havisham saw that the
Earl had been wise in making the arrangements that his mother should be quite near him,
and see him often; for it was very plain he could not have borne the separation otherwise.
But his mother managed the little fellow so sweetly and lovingly, and made him feel that
she would be so near him, that, after a while, he ceased to be oppressed by the fear of any
"My house is not far from the Castle, Ceddie," she repeated each time the subject was
referred to--"a very little way from yours, and you can always run in and see me every
day, and you will have so many things to tell me! and we shall be so happy together! It is
a beautiful place. Your papa has often told me about it. He loved it very much; and you
will love it too."
"I should love it better if you were there," his small lordship said, with a heavy little sigh.
He could not but feel puzzled by so strange a state of affairs, which could put his
"Dearest" in one house and himself in another.
The fact was that Mrs. Errol had thought it better not to tell him why this plan had been
"I should prefer he should not be told," she said to Mr. Havisham. "He would not really
understand; he would only be shocked and hurt; and I feel sure that his feeling for the
Earl will be a more natural and affectionate one if he does not know that his grandfather
dislikes me so bitterly. He has never seen hatred or hardness, and it would be a great
blow to him to find out that any one could hate me. He is so loving himself, and I am so
dear to him! It is better for him that he should not be told until he is much older, and it is
far better for the Earl. It would make a barrier between them, even though Ceddie is such
So Cedric only knew that there was some mysterious reason for the arrangement, some
reason which he was not old enough to understand, but which would be explained when
he was older. He was puzzled; but, after all, it was not the reason he cared about so much;
and after many talks with his mother, in which she comforted him and placed before him
the bright side of the picture, the dark side of it gradually began to fade out, though now
and then Mr. Havisham saw him sitting in some queer little old-fashioned attitude,
watching the sea, with a very grave face, and more than once he heard an unchildish sigh
rise to his lips.
"I don't like it," he said once as he was having one of his almost venerable talks with the
lawyer. "You don't know how much I don't like it; but there are a great many troubles in
this world, and you have to bear them. Mary says so, and I've heard Mr. Hobbs say it too.
And Dearest wants me to like to live with my grandpapa, because, you see, all his
children are dead, and that's very mournful. It makes you sorry for a man, when all his
children have died--and one was killed suddenly."
One of the things which always delighted the people who made the acquaintance of his
young lordship was the sage little air he wore at times when he gave himself up to
conversation;--combined with his occasionally elderly remarks and the extreme