“Lord bless yer soul, Uncle Sam! I told him it was always good policy to keep civil to distinguished individuals, and treating his insolence as Captain Ingraham would an Austrian proclamation, I kept onward (that’s the motto!) until the passage-way opened into a gorgeously decorated hall, the motto on the door of which I surveyed until my head begun to ache. The General seems to have got him a snug and well-ordained establishment, thought I. But the fixings were rather more profuse than democracy in its simplicity had led me to suppose its taste appreciated. But there was no concealing the fact, that the democracy—its love of simplicity not excepted—did pay large sums now and then for showy fixtures and grand failures. The short-comings of the New Hampshire law-shop were extinct—elegance everywhere met the eye. While enjoying my meditations one flunkey approached another, telling him to keep a keen eye on that fellow—meaning me. Then a slim figure done up in dignity and tight clothes approached me with a polite bow: ‘Please remember this is the President’s mansion,’ said he, viewing my perpendicular as if he questioned whether my length was all real growth. Seeing that the establishment belonged to Uncle Sam, I assured him he was a little too impertinent.
“‘Now, neighbor!’ says I to the citizen, don’t deceive yourself by supposing the General has got his aristocracy up like this before he has lodged three months in the White House. I’m an independent citizen; come to put some straight policy into the General, who, with the assistance of his grind-stone man, Fourney, unfortunately has got everything into a twist. My name (sometimes they call me Squire) is Solomon Smooth. It don’t matter what they call me now, for be it known, ye men of titles, all the fishermen in our district have become judges and generals. This is the result of that necessity that makes negro-drivers of the south captains and majors. ‘But the President,’ said he, ’has got such a fearful load of business on his hands this morning, it will be impossible he can see Mr. Smooth, nor are the apartments in a state to be seen by visitor—’ ‘Always in the suds!’ I interrupted. ‘No! that ain’t it,’ he continued, half trembling of fear; ’but the President is new, nor yet has got into the straight way of doing crooked business.’
“‘Never mind that,’ replied I, ’Smooth’s an independent citizen, who must not be interfered with while taking a turn round the establishment: he neither stands on ceremony nor political point-making.’ The fact was, Mr. Smooth had a very wholesome hatred of the nonsense of ceremony, and always pitied that complacency of Uncle John Bull who, like a well-worn and faithful pack-horse, never flinched under the heavy burden of that precious legacy called royal blood, which, said blood, was fast absorbing the vital blood of the nation. May our Union always be spared the degradation of such blood!