“‘Mr. Smooth belongs to the Young American party, if I mistake not?’ he returned, with a polite bow.
“‘You better believe that, citizen!’ says I, and off he goes, soon disappearing through a door at the other end of the room. While he was gone, I thought it wouldn’t be a bad idea to take a survey of the premises. So, lighting my cigar, I began at the top end first. Such looking-glasses, sofas, carpets—so much fashion and flummery, that nobody could tell what utility it contained, I never had seen before. Tell you what it is, Uncle Sam, we have an expensively queer way of representing our republican simplicity! As I was squinting about, in comes the General, looking as bright as a newly-coined cent. Running up to me, with hand extended, and exulting with joy, he spake: ‘Great kingdom, Smooth!—is it you?’ And then he shaked my hand as if he never would let it go.
“‘’Tis me too!’ says I, giving him a significant touch on the elbow. ’Didn’t expect to see you looking so bright, General—rather a bad kettle of fish that you unfortunately got into yesterday, eh?’—
“’Oh no—things like those are mere trifles; hardly worth mentioning amidst the current turmoil of the day. That black pig is an ungrateful brute, though, I must confess in confidence,’ the General replied, touching me on the arm.
“’He sunk you in the very swill you were cooking for him, eh?—petulant brute!’ I rejoined.
“‘Well, Smooth,’ said he, ’don’t let us say any more about that; I was deceived—most egregiously! How are all the Young Americans down your way—the real go-ahead stripe?’ he inquired anxiously: and we both laughed heartily to see one another. ’They’re all bright ends up, General,’ said I. ‘General!’ (I touched him on the shoulder) ’’taint more nor three years since we used to go fishing in old Sam Peabody’s pond; hain’t forgot it, I reckon?’
“’Not I, Smooth. Give us yer hand for old acquaintance sake! No change of power or circumstances could make me forget old associations. Fortune may change, my feelings never; they have been and shall always be with the people.’ The General couldn’t keep the dignity on, to save his life; he was not born to do so!
“‘Give us yer hand, General,’ I demanded in reply; ’right glad to see you, and to know that old New Hampshire’s granite hills have not faded from your memory, nor been absorbed in the quantity of swill it seems necessary to provide for the black-pig. But, I say, Frank, what harlequin-like changes politics take in a republic—now and then! Two years ago, and who’d a’ thought a’ seeing you here? ’Stonished you yourself, didn’t it? Scarcely expected to brush old General Scott’s fuss and feathers into a cock’d up hat, eh? There’s nothing like a man keeping his mouth shut when he’s got others to do the fighting for him; you know that, don’t you, General?’
“’Mr. Smooth is always asking some strange questions, or making some queer observation!’