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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 258 pages of information about The Adventures of My Cousin Smooth.

CHAPTER IV.

MR. SMOOTH’S DREAM.

“Leaving Cass holding on at the slippery roof.  I dreamed that the ghost of Benton, in contemplation bestrode the summit of the Rocky Mountains; that ‘Young America,’ like a Colossus with monster limbs stretched across a world, was endeavouring to wake from their stupor the nations.  With a voice like unto lazy thunder murmuring in the distance was he proclaiming his hatred of kings, into whose dominions he threatened to march great armies, and whom he described as curses sent upon the earth by the evil one:  for the Evil One sought to promote self, a means to which he found in those intrigues by which he made strong his court—­the same was the trade of kings.  Again the voice thundered forth—­’Here are the instruments that have destroyed a world of human beings, and for a selfish purpose gloated over the blood they had made run in torrents.’  I looked, and behold! appeared there before me a terrible devil, of hideous form having two great horns, on one of the long sharp points of which was poised a king, on the other a fat bishop in his lawn.  The two perpetual mischief-makers, and desolators thus poised, he came with a hideous roar, threatening to drown them in the river of unrefined common sense.  And then there was written in broad letters of fire across the shoulders of this sturdy devil—­’Kingcraft and Churchcraft have cursed the nations of the earth, and turned to blight the blessings of the True God!’ Again this significant edict vanished, and in its place there came, as in letters of gold, ’Cheap Government and no Established Church—­let the nations be ruled in wisdom and right!’ This had reference to good old England, not America, for here bishops are known to be meek and good.  All this was a dream:  but then there came, soaring giant-like, ’Young America,’ and manifest destiny which he spread over the land for the benefit of mankind.  Then there came a great darkness, followed by a little light that crept feebly onward as if fearing to spread itself on the broad disc of the horoscope—­it was the light of Mr. Pierce, beneath which hovered doubtful devils.  How rapacious they seemed!  They saw the doubts and fears of his little light, and would fain carry him off into purgatory ere it died out.  But his saviours came:  they were the ghosts of those great lights that founded the pillars of our Republicanism.  Down they sat, in ghostly conclave, and with instruments in hand set about driving away the carrier devils and working the problem of Mr. Pierce’s political policy.  It was impossible!—­not all the trigonometry of which they were masters sufficed to aid them in the task.  It seemed like attempting to solve the principle of that which never had one.  He stood on a platform of sections, each of which turned at a touch, and seemed giving way for want of strength.  Indeed, as beheld in the dream, he could play the game of uncertainty through a dozen focuses.  The jury of ghosts became sorely perplexed; then they began to put to him some very honest questions, as to what his intentions really were.  And while doing this the spirit of Washington, arrayed in glory, looked down upon its feeble successor, and with an ironical smile shook its head.

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