“’Tis no use,” he said at length to the sober reflection in the glass, and he threw himself into a chair and burst out laughing at his own folly. “I am only a simple American gentleman, and Monsieur de St. Aulaire’s manners are too elaborate for such. Perhaps ’tis his splendid dress and decorations which give such eclat to his every movement. At any rate I see that I shall have to content myself with my own quiet fashions. And why, indeed, am I suddenly dissatisfied with them?—why wish to change them?”
But though he sat for some time staring into the fire he did not attempt to answer his own queries, and, after a little, he blew out the candles and resolutely addressed himself to sleep.
THE AMERICANS ARE MADE WELCOME IN PARIS
As Mr. Morris had predicted, Calvert’s skill in skating and the accident to Monsieur de St. Aulaire became the topic of conversation in all salons. Accounts of the young American’s success on the ice came like a breath of fresh air into the stagnant gossip of the drawing-rooms, and were repeated until the affair had become a notable exploit, and Mr. Calvert could have posed as a conquering hero had he cared to profit by his small adventure. But the young gentleman was not only entirely indifferent to such success, but scarcely cognizant of it, for he was greatly occupied, and threw himself so heartily into his work that Mr. Jefferson could never sufficiently congratulate himself on having with him so efficient and willing a secretary. There was an enormous amount of business to be attended to at the Legation, and not even a copying clerk or an accountant to aid in dispatching it. Indeed, the labor put upon our foreign representatives was wellnigh inconceivable, and could those who cavilled at Dr. Franklin’s lax business methods but have imagined the tenth of what he had to attend to, they would have been heartily ashamed of their complaints. Many of the enterprises which the good Doctor had begun and left at loose ends, Mr. Jefferson found himself obliged to go on with and finish as satisfactorily as was possible. Besides which there were constant communications on an infinity of subjects to be made to our representatives in London and in Madrid and to our charges d’affaires at Brussels and The Hague; money loans negotiated, bonds executed, important creditors at Paris appeased, and numberless schemes for financial aid to be devised and floated. In all of these affairs Mr. Calvert had his share, so that the young gentleman had but small leisure for that social intercourse into which Mr. Morris entered with such zest and perfect success.