And I sez to myself, “There is a good, wholesome-lookin’ girl, who don’t care for the rain no more than I do,” when I heard a man behind me say in a awe-strucken voice, “That is the Princess! that is the Infanty!”
[Illustration: “There is a good, wholesome-lookin’ girl.”]
And I sez to myself, here is a chance to put yourself right in her eyes. For I wuz afraid that she would think that I hadn’t done right by her sence she come over from Spain to see us.
And I didn’t want her to go back with any false impressions. I wanted Spain to know jest where I stood in matters of etiquette and politeness.
So it happened jest right—she descended from her chair and stood waitin’ on the steps for the rest of her folks, I guess.
And I approached with good nater in my mean, and my umbrell in my hand.
And sez I, a-holdin’ out my hand horsepitably, sez I, “Ulaley, I am dretful glad of a chance to see you.” Sez I, “You have had so much company ever sence you come to America, that I hain’t had no chance to pay attention to you before.
“And I wanted to see you the worst kind, and tell you jest the reason I hain’t invited you to my house to visit.” Sez I, a-bowin’ deep, “I am Josiah Allen’s Wife, of Jonesville.”
“Of Jonesville?” sez she, in a silver voice.
“Yes,” sez I; “Jonesville, in the town of Lyme.”
Sez I, “You have probable read my books, Ulaley.” Sez I, “I spoze they are devoured all over the World as eager as Ruger’s Arithmetic, or the English Reader.”
She made a real polite bow here, and I most knew from her looks that she wuz familiar with ’em.
And I kep right on, and sez I—
“From everything that I have hearn on you ever sence you come here I have took to you, jest as the hull of the rest of America has. We think a sight on you—you have shown a pattern of sweetness, and grace, and true politeness, that is long to be remembered.
“And I want you to know that the only reason that I hain’t invited you to Jonesville to visit me is that you have had such sights and sights of company and invitations here and there, that I told Josiah that I wouldn’t put another effort onto you.
“I sez to him, sez I, ’There are times when it is greater kindness to kinder slight anybody than it is to make on ’em.’ And I told Josiah that though I would be tickled enough to have you come and stay a week right along, and though, as I sez to him,
“’The Infanty may feel real hurt to not have me pay no attention to her,’ still I felt that I had Right on my side.
“Sez I, ’It is enough to kill a young woman to have to be on the go all the time, as she has had to.’ Sez I, ’The American Eagle has jest driv her about from pillar to post. And Uncle Sam has most wore his old legs out a-escortin’ her about “from pleasure to palaces,” as the Him reads.’
“And then, sez I, ’She has had considerable to do with Ward McAllister, and he’s dretful wearin’.’