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.
pet with Caleb, Jeff, and Pierce, who knew that Marcy would have to father the abortions, which were generally laid at his door.  With all these very natural difficulties before me, I decided to charter the next Collins steamer, and proceed to the White House, there to learn in person what the boys were doing.  I was anxious to know what had become of Pierce and Papa—­whether Papa was yet administering the pap-spoon to the General, by way merely of counteracting the effect of the charcoal being piled on by the boys—­Jeff and Caleb.  Now, lest there should be any one in Washington unwilling to separate Smooth’s better inclinations from the general character of the Convention to be holden, he would here say that the very best of his abilities were exerted with the General against the policy of making his Ministers cut so ridiculous a figure in Europe.  He knew also that Monsieur Souley would take upon himself all the cooking business, and have it all his own way, as they say in England.

“One morning, while consoling myself with the prospect of soon leaving Europe, its aristocracy, its blighting kingcraft, and its squabbles, who should confront me but grandfather Steady, a monster despatch under his arm, on which loomed out in all its scarlet the great seal of the State Department.  Steady had recognized ‘Confidential’ on the envelope, and bore it to me safely ensconced beneath the ample skirts of his coat.  ‘Something of great importance for Minister Smooth!’ said he, making a very diplomatic bow as he extended the packet, made his compliments, and retired.  Steady having disappeared, I opened the packet, and, equally surprised with the reader, what should I find but a State document of great dimensions, commissioning Smooth without further delay to call together at Ostend, or such other place on the continent of Europe as was celebrated for its pure air and good liquors, a Congress of American Ministers!  Three several times did the commission reiterate—­’Pure air and good liquors!’ as if the tastes of the very respectable gentlemen forming the Congress made such adjuncts inseparable from the prime object of their deliberations.  For some time did I exert my most mature deliberations to get the diplomacy of the thing square into my head, which I thought was more than had been done by the State Department.  Well, you better believe it was a puzzle!  It was so Dutch, as we say.  I was directed particularly to consult my old and much-tried friend, James Buckhanan, whose sanction and presence at the gathering was necessary, as well for the purpose of imparting an air of dignity to the Convention as counteracting the fast spirit of those gentlemen, who had gained a doubtful notoriety through their extensive dealings in cheap popularity.  Marcy added, in a private and confidential note, that he felt inclined to question the policy of inviting certain gentlemen, but as a matter of etiquette it could not be foregone; and then he was anxious to keep

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