The Adventures of My Cousin Smooth eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 258 pages of information about The Adventures of My Cousin Smooth.
mixed Commission than would have filled an octavo volume.  I cannot forbear to say, however, that strange as is the character of many of these demands, claims, and grievances, some of them might have been settled without such a deplorable waste of time, had it not been for the interference of that phantom devil, Mr. General Pierce’s black pig, who is always construing principles to suit his purposes.  So avaricious is that animal, that no amount of swill seems to pacify his desire to overthrow principles and defeat great objects.  No place would seem too obscure for the brute to get his nose into; no demands too egregious for his appetite; no rights too daintily established for his disregard.  He is here, there, and everywhere—­demanding with the same ferocious spirit.  We had hoped Mr. General Pierce would keep him at home during the deliberations of this Convention:  let us console our disappointment by trusting to what the future may bring forth.’  Here the Umpire’s patience was at an end—­patience no longer remained with him a virtue.  He rose moodily from his seat, said the sitting would adjourn until to-morrow, and betook himself to his dinner, which he added he feared would get as cold as the gentlemen’s pleas.  This was rather abruptly bringing matters to a close.  The legal gentlemen, as if disturbed elsewhere than in their thoughts, looked terror-stricken, packed up their law tools, shouldered their green bags, and, in the company of Mr. Smooth, sought a place whereat to bestow good care on the inner temple.  Smooth, with all deference to the opinions of the very respectable gentlemen of the mixed Commission, begs to inform his readers, and Mr. Pierce in particular, that they never will catch him looking in upon them again.

CHAPTER XVIII.

SMOOTH RECEIVES THE DOCUMENTS, AND CALLS A CONGRESS AT OSTEND.

“Several months having passed, during which no further instructions from the General came to hand, I began to think he had forgotten my mission, and taken himself to dieting on gunpowder and War-Messages for the next Congress.  Then I received a private note from his boy Caleb, in which he stated very confidentially that everything was waiting the next turn in the Brigadier’s mind.  Caleb’s letter discovered much impatience with his position, and a good many sly remarks which were intended as a hit at Marcy and his budget.  I should tell the reader that an additional cause of my anxiety was the not receiving a reply to a private and confidential note to Pierce, in which I remonstrated with him against the propriety of holding a thing so open to base ridicule as a Congress of American Ministers at Ostend.  That fraternity of infallibility, kings and princes, might become somewhat uneasy at its presence, many honest-hearted republicans would be deceived, and its result be only the illustration of an unprecedented amount of folly on the part of the American Executive.  But the thing was a great

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The Adventures of My Cousin Smooth from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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