Summary (Masterplots: Revised Category Edition, British Fiction Series)
The Cavalier, son of a landed gentleman in the county of Salop, was born, according to his own report, in 1608. As a child, he was taught by good tutors; as a young man, he was sent to Oxford University, where he spent three years deciding that he was not interested either in continuing academic life or entering one of the professions—law, the Church, or medicine. His father hoped the young man, who was his favorite son, would settle down near his home. He even agreed to settle an estate worth two thousand pounds per year upon the young man; but the Cavalier, much as he loved his father and appreciated the offer, decided, with his father’s permission, to travel on the Continent.
In 1630, the Cavalier crossed the Channel and began his adventures in life. Fielding, a college friend, went with him. Because of his martial bearing, the friend had been nicknamed the “Captain,” and the name stuck to him. After some minor adventures on the road, the Cavalier and his friend arrived in Paris. Their stay was cut short when the Cavalier killed a man in a sword fight and the two friends left the city hurriedly to escape the authorities. They journeyed to Italy and traveled there for some time, returning later to France to observe how Cardinal Richelieu was administering that country for his king. Again the two Englishmen found themselves in trouble from which they were extricated by the Queen Mother, who gave them a pass that enabled them to travel on to see...
(The entire section is 1173 words.)
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