“‘Never doubted Mr. Smooth’s word,’ says he, with simple dryness,—’but, notwithstanding, painful is the experience that office-holders and seekers, though always kind to Uncle Sam, and tenacious of his dignity and cashbag, seldom maintain the same earnestness for their own when legitimates are left in the key-hole.’
“‘You mean that the General’s friends don’t shine over on the square?’
“’Precisely so!—Mr. General Pierce himself is a sort of mixed stripe; but his friends (and he has regiments of them!), all fighters in the Mexican war when he was brigadier, expect so much something material for themselves that all outsiders are forgotten. Now and then the General is sorry to inform his many friends that he is a little ill; to which a voice here and there is heard to say that he is not inclined to do the clean thing.’
“Well, I saw what the feller wanted; so I pulled out a fist full of shiners, just to show him what Young America could do. The seeing the dimes smoothed him down into the most agreeable amiability. His face loomed out with good natur, his feelings seemed coming right from his inards; and he struck up Yankee Doodle by way of an offset.
“‘Pooty full, Mr. Smooth,’ he generously remarked, ’but we must try accommodate you somehow! We’ll tuck you away in a spare corner, high up!’
“‘That’s a good soul,’ said I,—’know’d ye warn’t a bad sort of fellow,—when a body understood how to get the good out!’
“‘Apartments for Solomon Smooth, Esq., from Cape Cod,’ he said, mutteringly, looking over his book, and drumming with his fingers on the page. Mr. Smooth, in proof of his fast principles, will have no objection to tying up in the seventh story?’
“’Rather stiff that, Major! Young America can do most anything,—hang up on a pin if it be necessary to accommodate, but don’t just like the moon for a bedfellow.’
“‘Won’t trouble you with a bedfellow, Mr. Smooth,’ he, grinned out, shaking all over his broad sides.