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.

“Then there came an unaccented voice from the little light—­the light said to be the impersonation of Pierce; indeed, it was of kindred with the shadow in that singular romance by Hawthorn, called the life of Pierce!  And the voice said:—­’I shall be known by my practice.’  Just then the little light became dimmer, and turned away toward a long dark avenue, where the vista seemed studded with the faces of disconsolate ‘niggers.’  At this the ghost of Webster yawned, and that of Calhoun scowled fiercely and contemptuously; while Clay’s rubbed its eyes and wept tears of pity.  Again all was darkness.  Then there came again the little light of which I have spoken;—­it was the light of Mr. Pierce.  It flickered and fluttered, and thus we identified it.  ’We have to deal with Europe—­with that happy alliance my very amiable Lord Clarendon says is for purposes not alone in Europe.  My lord’s language, however, is so cleverly diplomatic—­that is, it can be made to mean anything or nothing,—­as to need a translation.  My lord means, that when it has served to curb the national ambition of certain nations of Europe it may be turned to the same purpose in another but more congenial hemisphere.  Kossuth wants material aid—­such as saddles, tin, &c. &c.  I would give it him, if he would teach Austria a lesson of honesty!  Nevertheless, as to Louis himself I would be extremely cautious, for being more a blower than a moulder, and having a peculiar talent for getting affairs very crooked, the instrument in the man is of questionable ability;—­indeed, in a crisis between nations, such an instrument should he examined with great skill and delicacy before being set in motion.’  He spoke after this manner, and quick as thought the spectacle vanished—­it was but a dream?  Not a ghost was seen; no lurid face cast its pale shadow over the dark canvas; the pure spirit of Washington had departed in hopeless despair.  I was about to read a prayer, when the dark canvas moved aside, and there, real as life, sat on a slave’s grave the immaculate Brigadier;—­he, reader, was sipping whiskey toddy, as if it were his wont.  Old Bunkum was the slave whose grave he sat upon.  It was a strange penance over the mound of one so old; and yet who in the political world that had not paid it?  ’Why!—­Bunkum, you are barefoot;’ a voice spoke.

“’Remember, old man, you must keep on the stiff,—­it’s as necessary to success as it was to believe the old Constitution frigate could whip anything afloat.’  It was the General who spoke to the ghost of Bunkum, who, having risen from the grave, stood before him, moody and despairing.  In ecstasy he grasped the hand of the cold figure cried out that his soul’s love was with him.  But in his exuberance he let the whiskey run over the green grave, into which the ghost soon disappeared and left him alone to his contemplations.  Bunkum, like Billy Bowlegs, who has too much sense for the great father, says he has wandered through all weathers,

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