Little Lord Fauntleroy - illustrated online book

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

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lo8                              LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY.
He leaned back against the cushions and regarded the Earl with rapt interest for a few minutes and in entire silence.
" I think you must be the best person in the world," he burst forth at last. "You are always doing good, are n't you? — and thinking about other people. Dearest says that is the best kind of goodness; not to think about yourself, but to think about other peo­ple. That is just the way you are, is n't it?"
His lordship was so dumfounded to find himself presented in such agreeable colors, that he did not know exactly what to say. He felt that he needed time for reflection. To see each of his ugly, selfish motives changed into a good and generous one by the sim­plicity of a child was a singular experience.
Fauntleroy went on, still regarding him with admiring eyes— those great, clear, innocent eyes!
" You make so many people happy," he said. " There 's Michael and Bridget and their ten children, and the apple-woman, and Dick, and Mr. Hobbs, and Mr. Higgins and Mrs. Higgins and their chil­dren, and Mr. Mordaunt,— because of course he was glad,— and Dearest and me, about the pony and all the other things. Do you know, I 've counted it up on my fingers and in my mind, and it's twenty-seven people you 've been kind to. That 's a good many — twenty-seven !"
" And I was the person who was kind to them—was I ?" said the Earl.
" Why, yes, you know," answered Fauntleroy. " You made them all happy. Do you know," with some delicate hesitation, " that people are sometimes mistaken about earls when they don't know them. Mr. Hobbs was. I am going to write him, and tell him about it."
"What was Mr. Hobbs's opinion of earls?" asked his lordship.
" Well, you see, the difficulty was," replied his young companion, " that he did n't know any, and he 'd only read about them in books.
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