Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

Percival Keene   By: (1792-1848)

Book cover

First Page:

Percival Keene, by Captain Marryat.

Captain Frederick Marryat was born July 10 1792, and died August 8 1848. He retired from the British navy in 1828 in order to devote himself to writing. In the following 20 years he wrote 26 books, many of which are among the very best of English literature, and some of which are still in print.

Marryat had an extraordinary gift for the invention of episodes in his stories. He says somewhere that when he sat down for the day's work, he never knew what he was going to write. He certainly was a literary genius.

"Percival Keene" was published in 1842, the nineteenth book to flow from Marryat's pen.

This e text was transcribed in 1998 by Nick Hodson, and was reformatted in 2003, and again in 2005.

PERCIVAL KEENE, BY CAPTAIN FREDERICK MARRYAT.

CHAPTER ONE.

A few miles from the town of Southampton there is an old mansion house, which has been for centuries known as Madeline Hall, in the possession of the de Versely family. It is a handsome building, surrounded by a finely timbered park of some extent, and, what is more important, by about 12,000 acres of land, which also appertain to it. At the period in which I commence this history, there resided in this mansion an elderly spinster of rank, named the Honourable Miss Delmar, sister of the late Lord de Versely and aunt to the present earl, and an Honourable Captain Delmar, who was the second son of the deceased nobleman. This property belonged to the Honourable Miss Delmar, and was at her entire disposal upon her decease.

The Honourable Captain Delmar, at the time I am speaking of, commanded a frigate employed upon what was designated channel service, which in those days implied that the captain held a seat in the House of Commons and that he voted with the ministry; and further, that his vote might, when required, be forthcoming, the frigate was never sea going, except during the recess. It must be admitted that H.M. ship Paragon did occasionally get under weigh and remain cruising in sight of land for two or three days, until the steward reported that the milk provided for the captain's table was turning sour; upon which important information the helm was immediately put up, and the frigate, in a case of such extreme distress, would drop her anchor at the nearest port under her lee. Now as the Paragon was constantly at Spithead, Captain Delmar was very attentive in visiting his aunt, who lived at Madeline Hall; ill natured people asserted, because she had so fine an estate in her own gift. Certain it is, that he would remain there for weeks, which gave great satisfaction to the old lady, who liked her nephew, liked attention, and was even so peculiar as to like sailors. But it must be observed that there was another person at the mansion who also liked the captain, liked attention, and liked sailors; this was Miss Arabella Mason, a very pretty young woman of eighteen years of age, who constantly looked in the glass merely to ascertain if she had ever seen a face which she preferred to her own, and who never read any novel without discovering that there was a remarkable likeness between the heroine and her pretty self.

Miss Arabella Mason was the eldest daughter of the steward of the old Lord de Versely, brother to the Honourable Miss Delmar, and was much respected by his lordship for his fidelity and his knowledge of business, in the transaction of which he fell, for he was felling trees, and a tree fell upon him. He left a widow and two daughters: it was said that at his death Mrs Mason was not badly off, as her husband had been very careful of his earnings. Mrs Mason, however, did not corroborate this statement; on the contrary, she invariably pleaded poverty; and the Honourable Miss Delmar, after Lord de Versely's death which happened soon after that of his steward sent both the daughters to be educated at a country school, where, as everything that is taught is second rate, young ladies, of course, receive a second rate education... Continue reading book >>




eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books