“Now John and Jonathan had for many years amused one another with the long-drawn music of diplomacy, played on very expensive keys, made with the express view of settling all ungrateful international growlings. Diplomacy, nevertheless, found these growlings beyond its power to reconcile; and now, having worn out its pipe over them, they were shuffled off upon the genius of a mixed commission, which high convention was expected to exert common sense and forego etiquette, and result in a mutual settlement of all outstanding questions since 1812. But, by a mysterious process, which never fails of effect in such cases, a deal of time had been unprofitably consumed by this supposed immaculate commission. And now the high contracting parties sought an extension, that much more might be consumed in the very same way. Uncle Sam being very good-natured, the request could not be refused.
“Through the Strand to Wellington street, Mister Smooth wended his way, and soon found himself between rows of high and stately buildings, in one of which, all calm and easy, sat the convention. Entering a narrow arch to the right, he passed down a passage so intricate and dark that it had the appearance of leading to a cave, and in a few minutes was confronted by a polite attendant, who ushered him into the presence of the international dignitaries, then sitting round a large square table, in the centre of the room, in moody contemplation. The room was high of ceiling, about twenty-five by eighteen feet in dimensions, and in appearance very well adapted to the pursuit of knowledge, for the display of legal ability. Upon the table, which seemed somewhat infirm, lay in excellent disorder, a few massive books, two green bags, a jacknife, Murray’s Grammar, Walker’s largest Dictionary, four large pipes, an ample supply