Which Records the singular character
of the application made by
general Roger Potter for an office, and how he is sent minister to
the king of the Kaloramas, that being the easiest method of getting
rid of him.
Stretcher, after having looked in at the State Department, where he extolled the qualifications of General Roger Potter in language that would have astonished Cicero and put Lycurgus to the blush, busied himself the greater portion of the night in preparing the general’s application for the mission to the King of the Kaloramas, a nation of savages few had heard of, and yet fewer visited. In short, I may mention here that the only benefit the government expected to derive from going to the great expense of sending a minister to Kalorama was that the savage, whom divers renegades had set up for a King, might have a guano island or two, which by some well-directed trick could be fritted away from him; while, having impressed him with the greatness of our prowess, he would hold it good policy to keep his peace. With a ponderous document, then, covering some forty pages of foolscap, and minutely setting forth all the great political results achieved by the general, and upon which he based his claims to the high consideration of the administration, Mr. Stretcher, not a little vain of his skill in drafting such instruments, entered the general’s room early on the following morning, and found him in consultation with his Secretary, who was writing a letter to the Secretary of State, of which the following is an exact copy:- “Willard’s Hotel, July 7th, 185-. “To his excellency the secretary of state:
“Being informed by my friend, the President of these United States, who has given me no few assurances of his inclination to serve me, that it was to you all those in search of rewards for their endeavors must address themselves, I take it you will not set me down for a maker of wheel-barrows when you read this, my application for the mission to the King of Kalorama, which God knows is but a trifle, though I am willing to accept it out of respect for the man who is ready to die honest, and has no itching for what money he may get of his country. As to my qualifications, I take it you know enough of them already. But this I will say, that I am not a man to betray a trust, nor am I trickey; which is more than all of your ministers can say of themselves! In short, if your excellency would know all about that, I can refer you to Barnstable, where I am set down for a peaceable neighbor and as good a Christian as any of them. But I have heard it said that