He jumped up and said, “Miss Claxon is going to oblige us with a little bit of dramatics, now, and I’m sure you’ll all enjoy that quite as much as her beautiful dancing. She’s going to take the principal part in the laughable after-piece of Passing round the Hat, and I hope the audience will—a—a—a—do the rest. She’s consented on this occasion to use a hat—or cap, rather—of her own, the charming Tam O’Shanter in which we’ve all seen her, and—a—admired her about the ship for the week past.”
He caught up the flat woolen steamer-cap which Clementina had left in her seat beside Mrs. Milray when she rose to dance, and held it aloft. Some one called out, “Chorus! For he’s a jolly good fellow,” and led off in his praise. Lord Lioncourt shouted through the uproar the announcement that while Miss Claxon was taking up the collection, Mr. Ewins, of Boston, would sing one of the student songs of Cambridge—no! Harvard—University; the music being his own.
Everyone wanted to make some joke or some compliment to Clementina about the cap which grew momently heavier under the sovereigns and half sovereigns, half crowns and half dollars, shillings, quarters, greenbacks and every fraction of English and American silver; and the actor who had given the imitations, made bold, as he said, to ask his lordship if the audience might not hope, before they dispersed, for something more from Miss Claxon. He was sure she could do something more; he for one would be glad of anything; and Clementina turned from putting her cap into Mrs. Milray’s lap, to find Lord Lioncourt bowing at her elbow, and offering her his arm to lead her to the spot where she had stood in dancing.