The Adventures of My Cousin Smooth eBook

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

“‘You need not be alarmed, Mr. Smooth,’ continued John, modifying somewhat his natural crisp:  ’I am painfully sensible of our diplomatists having played the donkey; but why should you, being far removed from the scene of strife, nor having immediate interest in the game, desire to burn a finger in it?  Be a man of sense—­watch kings and kingcraft—­go your way home in peace, and let peace be your glorious triumph over war!’ From John such advice was valuable.  Acknowledging the joys and comforts of peace, we shook hands,—­I wished John well with his fighting, and we parted.  I could not however, resist the conviction that John knew not for what he fought so bravely, and might have maintained his position as the greatest cock of the dunghill without sorrow to the homes of his people, and desolation into the land of his long tried and most dependable friend.  Who can foretell the ways of a Napoleon.  Oh! ambition, ambition!

CHAPTER XIV.

DONE BROWN IN DOWNING-STREET.

“Few would have supposed that when Minister Smooth left General Pierce and his waggish cabinet he would so soon have taken a turn round the world, and fetched up in that world of misery and wealth called London.  But the world has got very fast, and only a fast man can keep up with it.  Indeed, it were well we set about doing things fast, instead of so thinking them over in the mind that they seem immovable as mountains.  Well, there was in London just about this time much waste of that sort of small talk newspapers now and then deal largely in, (editors are always kind enough to consider themselves great warriors), concerning our very spunky Captain Ingraham, who, they said, had Kosta safe under his guns, and would blow Austria to nobody knew where.  The whole, however, only amounted to the simplest evidence of what there was in sympathy and the Saxon heart.  To our Christian friends would we say—­none of these things moved Smooth from his equilibrium.  After all, come to the true philosophy of the thing, and it only amounted to a broil among small bullies.  And, too, did the little skipper not take care of himself he was no Yankee, and the whole United States would know it to his discredit.

“General Pierce, too, being a fighting President, (not a doubt could exist since the bombardment of Greytown), would take good care of the whole thing (perhaps send to Congress a message blazing with the language of war).  Could it turn a point to his own advantage, he would—­right or wrong—­send a fleet to whip Austria, to make her something.

“But let us turn to a subject more fruitful.  London seemed like a great waste of dingy dwellings and badly constructed palaces, the whole sleeping under a canopy of sickly smoke.  Everything wore a sombre, heavy air—­even the men seemed born to methodize on some one object.  Show-shops, beer-shops, and gin-palaces, made the very air reek with their stifling fumes.  Above all, there were

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