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.
great palaces for very faint-hearted people, who thought well of themselves, and in their prayers thanked Uncle John, at whose great cost they lived in sumptuous idleness.  As this last specimen of human nature, when dressed in full shine, would completely outshine the most vain Pawnee chief that ever ran wild in Arkansas, Mr. Smooth was anxious for a peep at the curiosity.  In truth, to Mr. Smooth’s unpolished eye London looked as if it might have emanated from a place called hook or crook, and stretched along the banks of a nauseous stream spreading its death stenches in the air, where, diffusing itself in the most perfect of fogs, it lent cheerful aid to the trade of physicians.  Everybody affected great knowledge of system; and yet things were so complex of past errors and ages that no system existed equal to the requirements of the present day.  The municipality was great only on dinners and donkeyism.  It had indeed a dining senate, but that august body never was known to discuss the practical reform of anything but turtle-soup, and that with an horrid carving of the English language.

“The beggar, (we name the worst nuisances first), the begrimed sweep, the butcher, the hawker, the ignorant costermonger, the ’cute cabby, the wily tradesman, who seeks favors and pockets frowns from his distinguished clowns—­the Lord, whose rank is known by his tinsel, and the Duke, so deeply identified with flunkeyism,—­all move along, helter-skelter, helter-skelter.  And then there came the small men of smaller titles, and the commoner whose grumbling was only equalled by his apeings.  To dine with my Lord Flippington was to him something great; nor could his airs and ostentation be well improved.  The little man of little titles, too, stood profound in his dignity:  no man was larger, nor thought he that his own little self wasn’t great.  To the tailor who made him he paid money down.  Of all men was he the largest dabbler in that divine essence of things called men—­the philosophy of blood.  But to keep up the dignity it not only required a great deal of experience, but a large amount of tin in the pocket, which for the minus thereof was it necessary to have a deal of brass in the face.  This principle, then, which is strictly in accordance with natural philosophy, being very well developed in this worthily aged country, makes the truly great very great of modesty; while the man of pewter greatness—­that is, great because Our Sovereign Lady said he might take upon himself the name of Sir Simpleton Somebody! always boiling over with the froth of his own follies.  With tin in his pocket, brass in his face, and never a forlorn h in his vocabulary, is he the fellow to do brown the ‘rag and tinsel.’

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