The Adventures of My Cousin Smooth eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 320 pages of information about The Adventures of My Cousin Smooth.
he would when excited frisk across the polished crown of his head.  His great hobby was his knowledge of diplomacy.  And, too, he was forever talking about the affairs of the nation, and would not unfrequently get put out with the whole parish, because it withheld from him, he said, that deference his experience was entitled to.  He had, many years ago, been in some way attached to the diplomatic corps, which he ever after regarded with a sort of religious awe; and whenever a strange fit came over him he would do something he said was to prop up its dignity, of which none could be more jealous.  I have, known him declare, that to maintain untarnished the character of the polite corps, he would swear by its virtue and his crutch.  He would not have it held in suspicion by the vulgar world, and would go straight into a fit of sickness at the news of one its members doing aught to sully the fair name he described it as possessing.  Sometimes I thought my great-uncle had been attached to some foreign mission in the mean capacity of butler, or footman, for he was scrupulous of his bow, had an excellent taste for wine, and would spend much valuable time in bringing to light and brushing, and then putting carefully away again, certain velvet inexpressibles of great brightness, and richly embroidered waistcoats, of wonderful length.  ‘These,’ he would say with an air of exultation, ’have a mysterious but mighty influence in changing and directing the affairs of powerful nations.’  He had also a boyish fondness for displaying a lithograph of the Countess Hopenpap’s family arms, presented, he said, by that august lady to the legation, of which he had the honor of being a member, and from thence stolen by Thomas, footman in ordinary to the establishment.  For this heinous offence, Thomas, though his knowledge of etiquette was invaluable to the mission (the gentlemen up stairs always fashioned their bows after his!), was discharged, having been detected in the act of offering it for sale at the counter of a dealer in old clothes.

“On the other hand, there was that about my great-uncle which completely overthrew the suspicion of his having been a kitchen diplomatist:  he was an excellent judge of dancing, and what stronger evidence of his forming one of the polite body up-stairs, does the reader want?  In addition to this,—­he not only discoursed glibly about diplomacy, but sagaciously gave out that he would turn his back to no one in his knowledge of treaties; which said knowledge, and his crutch, he was always ready to swear by.  Those great brass buttons with the eagles, and his blue small clothes, too, he wore to the day of his death.  The parish had a feeling that no fourth of July could be celebrated without him; and I well remember how on that day I used to think him rather too fond of laying his crutch over the heads of all who differed with him on a question of state policy.  My readers will please understand that I have no particular interest in raising the question as to whether my

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