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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 258 pages of information about The Adventures of My Cousin Smooth.
the avenue; and there, behold! but tell it not in the Capitol, was the broad, burly face of General Cass, like a wet moon in discontent.  Unhappy with himself, he was peering in at the window.  Again he muttered:—­’I can’t get in!—­such has always been my fate.’  The much-disappointed old gentleman bore such an expression of discomfiture on his countenance, that Smooth was forced to the conclusion that to be sociable would only be doing a good turn—­more especially as the General and Uncle Sam never got along well together.  ‘Then it’s you, General?’ says I:  ‘well, don’t be in a hurry!’ After a short silence, he inquired if I could accommodate a traveller who had been long on the road, and short of shot.  I said I was not well to do for room; but as to be obliging was the order of the day, and seeing that he was soon to try another turn by joining the ‘Young American’ party, I would see what could be done.  He had got upon the roof of the institution,—­just where he could slip backward with great ease, though it took some effort to go forward.  Being somewhat infirm of age, I took him gently by the hand and assisted him in, where I thought he might, if he pleased, stand upon a square platform.  The General was very polite, bore strongly in his demeanor the marks of time and honor; I could not suppress the capricious thought—­that it was time a sly corner in the patent office were provided for political relics of a past age, and he safely stowed away in it.  All things of a by-gone age should have their place; notwithstanding, knowing that Uncle Sam and him had tried to be intimate friends, and that he had many warm and substantial voters in the far West, I felt to be less than condescending would be bad political policy.  He took a seat, and began to get up his good-nature, as I inquired what earthly mission he could be prosecuting on so dark and cold a night.

“‘Well, now, friend Smooth,’ he says:  ’I like you, but the question you put so honestly has a point which you cannot see, though I can painfully feel.  However, as I have no secrets, I don’t mind telling you:  it must be private, nevertheless—­I am sensitive not to have these matters spread all over the Union.  To-night, you see, a conclave of political wranglers met below, in this house.  Conscious that they would have a large ‘grin’ at me, discussing the means by which I have always been the rejected of this great and growing people, I came that my ears might lesson of fools.  To this end, I mounted the chimney, and was reconoitering down the black abyss, when my eye turned and caught your light, like a star in tribulation, twinkling from the window.  Strange kind of a tribune for a senator, I admit, but I heard many judgments, and from them may draw many more.  One reckoned I had stamped with the cold hand of death my political life; always wanting to fight somebody—­the English in particular!  Another said Virginia and Pennsylvania couldn’t approve of my policy—­that it was too slow;

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