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When London Burned : a Story of Restoration Times and the Great Fire   By: (1832-1902)

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Charles Aldarondo, Tiffany Vergon, S.R. Ellison, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.

WHEN LONDON BURNED

BY G. A. HENTY

PREFACE

We are accustomed to regard the Reign of Charles II. as one of the most inglorious periods of English History; but this was far from being the case. It is true that the extravagance and profligacy of the Court were carried to a point unknown before or since, forming, by the indignation they excited among the people at large, the main cause of the overthrow of the House of Stuart. But, on the other hand, the nation made extraordinary advances in commerce and wealth, while the valour of our sailors was as conspicuous under the Dukes of York and Albemarle, Prince Rupert and the Earl of Sandwich, as it had been under Blake himself, and their victories resulted in transferring the commercial as well as the naval supremacy of Holland to this country. In spite of the cruel blows inflicted on the well being of the country, alike by the extravagance of the Court, the badness of the Government, the Great Plague, and the destruction of London by fire, an extraordinary extension of our trade occurred during the reign of Charles II. Such a period, therefore, although its brilliancy was marred by dark shadows, cannot be considered as an inglorious epoch. It was ennobled by the bravery of our sailors, by the fearlessness with which the coalition of France with Holland was faced, and by the spirit of enterprise with which our merchants and traders seized the opportunity, and, in spite of national misfortunes, raised England in the course of a few years to the rank of the greatest commercial power in the world.

G. A. HENTY.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I. FATHERLESS

II. A CHANGE FOR THE BETTER

III. A THIEF SOMEWHERE

IV. CAPTURED

V. KIDNAPPED

VI. A NARROW ESCAPE

VII. SAVED FROM A VILLAIN

VIII. THE CAPTAIN'S YARN

IX. THE FIRE IN THE SAVOY

X. HOW JOHN WILKES FOUGHT THE DUTCH

XI. PRINCE RUPERT

XII. NEW FRIENDS

XIII. THE BATTLE OF LOWESTOFT

XIV. HONOURABLE SCARS

XV. THE PLAGUE

XVI. FATHER AND SON

XVII. SMITTEN DOWN

XVIII. A STROKE OF GOOD FORTUNE

XIX. TAKING POSSESSION

XX. THE FIGHT OFF DUNKIRK

XXI. LONDON IN FLAMES

XXII. AFTER THE FIRE

ILLUSTRATIONS

"WITH GREAT RAPIDITY THE FLAMES SPREAD FROM HOUSE TO HOUSE"

"DON'T CRY, LAD; YOU WILL GET ON BETTER WITHOUT ME"

"THIS IS MY PRINCE OF SCRIVENERS, MARY"

"ROBERT ASHFORD, KNIFE IN HAND, ATTACKED JOHN WILKES WITH FURY"

"CYRIL SAT UP AND DRANK OFF THE CONTENTS OF THE PANNIKIN"

"FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE, SIR, DO NOT CAUSE TROUBLE"

"TAKE HER DOWN QUICK, JOHN, THERE ARE THREE OTHERS"

"CYRIL RAISED THE KING'S HAND TO HIS LIPS"

"A DUTCH MAN OF WAR RAN ALONGSIDE AND FIRED A BROADSIDE"

"FOR THE LAST TIME: WILL YOU SIGN THE DEED?"

"WELCOME BACK TO YOUR OWN AGAIN, SIR CYRIL!"

"WHAT NEWS, JAMES?" THE KING ASKED EAGERLY

WHEN LONDON BURNED

CHAPTER I

FATHERLESS

Lad stood looking out of the dormer window in a scantily furnished attic in the high pitched roof of a house in Holborn, in September 1664. Numbers of persons were traversing the street below, many of them going out through the bars, fifty yards away, into the fields beyond, where some sports were being held that morning, while country people were coming in with their baskets from the villages of Highgate and Hampstead, Tyburn and Bayswater. But the lad noted nothing that was going on; his eyes were filled with tears, and his thoughts were in the little room behind him; for here, coffined in readiness for burial, lay the body of his father.

Sir Aubrey Shenstone had not been a good father in any sense of the word. He had not been harsh or cruel, but he had altogether neglected his son. Beyond the virtues of loyalty and courage, he possessed few others... Continue reading book >>




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