Little Lord Fauntleroy - illustrated online book

An American boy becomes A British Earl, By Frances Hodgson Burnett

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II
T here was never a more amazed little boy than Cedric during the week that followed ; there was never so strange or so unreal a week. In the first place, the story his mamma told him was a very curious one. He was obliged to hear it two or three times before he could understand it. He could not imagine what Mr. Hobbs would think of it. It began with earls : his grand­papa, whom he had never seen, was an earl; and his eldest uncle, if he had not been killed by a fall from his horse, would have been an earl, too, in time; and after his death, his other uncle would have been an earl, if he had not died suddenly, in Rome, of a fever. After that, his own papa, if he had lived, would have been an earl; but, since they all had died and only Cedric was left, it appeared that he was to be an earl after his grandpapa's death—and for the pres­ent he was Lord Fauntleroy.
He turned quite pale when he was first told of it. " Oh ! Dearest! " he said, " I should rather not be an earl. None of the boys are earls. Can't I not be one ? "
But it seemed to be unavoidable. And when, that evening, they sat together by the open window looking out into the shabby street, he and his mother had a long talk about it. Cedric sat on his footstool, clasping one knee in his favorite attitude and wearing a bewildered little face rather red from the exertion of thinking. His grandfather had sent for him to come to England, and his mamma tho.ught he must go.
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