Little Lord Fauntleroy - illustrated online book

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

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newspapers, and so Cedric heard a great deal about what was going on in Washington ; and Mr. Hobbs would tell him whether the President was doing his duty or not. And once, when there was an election, he found it all quite grand, and probably but for Mr. Hobbs and Cedric the country might have been wrecked. Mr. Hobbs took him to see a great torchlight procession, and many of the men who carried torches remembered afterward a stout man who stood near a lamp-post and held on his shoulder a handsome little shouting boy, who waved his cap in the air.
It was not long after this election, when Cedric was between seven and eight years old, that the very strange thing happened which made so wonderful a change in his life. It was quite curious, too, that the day it happened he had been talking to Mr. Hobbs about England and the Queen, and Mr. Hobbs had said some very severe things about the aristocracy, being specially indignant against earls and mar­quises. It had been a hot morning; and after playing soldiers with some friends of his, Cedric had gone into the store to rest, and had found Mr. Hobbs looking very fierce over a piece of the Illustrated Londo?i News, which contained a picture of some court ceremony.
" Ah," he said, " that 's the way they go on now; but they'll get enough of it some day, when those they 've trod on rise and blow 'em up sky-high, — earls and marquises and all ! It 's coming, and they may look out for it! "
Cedric had perched himself as usual on the high stool and pushed his hat back, and put his hands in his pockets in delicate compliment to Mr. Hobbs.
"Did you ever know many marquises, Mr. Hobbs?" Cedric inquired,—" or earls ? "
" No," answered Mr. Hobbs, with indignation ; " I guess not. I 'd like to catch one of 'em inside here; that 's all ! I '11 have no grasping tyrants sittin' 'round on my cracker-barrels!"
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