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anger, and the air of the land was filled with their cursings and their revilings. And certain of them which were men of blood, and which were possessed of devils, and had difficulties, and slew each other with knives and shooting-irons, did nothing all their time but rave through the land about the Niggah.
THE ENGLISHMAN'S TYPICAL AMERICAN.
[The Fate of Mansfield Humphreys. 1884.] RELONG a servant entered, with a card upon a salver, which he
presented to our hostess, who, after glancing at it a moment with a puzzled look, said, “ To my lord.” On receiving it, his lordship handed it to me, saying, “From your friend. He sent me a letter of introduction from Tooptoe at Oxford; said he couldn't come just now himself, and asked the favor of introducin', just for a mornin' visit, an American gentleman, in whom he felt sure I should be interested. It's all right, I suppose?” It was simply Humphreys's card, and a line in pencil, “Introducing the Hon. Washington J. Adams.”
"I don't know Mr. Adams," I said; "but I do know that Mansfield Humphreys would give a card to no one who might not be properly received by the gentleman to whom it was addressed."
Here Captain Surcingle, whose attention had been arrested, and who had heard my reply, cried out “ 'Mewican? Have him up, Toppin'em,have him up! Those fellows are such fun! I always go to see the Mewican Cousin. Not faw Dundweawy. Can't see what they make such a doosid fuss about him faw. Does nothin' but talk just like 'fellow at the Wag: wegla' muff. Nevah saw such a boa. But Twenchard's awful fun; good as goin' to 'Mewica without the boa of goin'.”
As the Honorable John began his appeal, his lady cousin stepped across the terrace to pluck a rose which peered at us over the stone balustrade, blushing with shame at its beautiful intrusion; and as she swept past him, I partly heard and partly saw her say, in an earnest whisper, “ Jack, do be quiet; and don't be such a goose !"
She had hardly returned with her flower, when the servant who had been sent out reappeared, announcing "Mr. Adams"; and all eyes folfore, one party or the other attained this purpose by concealing his shooting-iron beneath his raiment, and shooting through it with entire indifference to the cost of his apparel (in the original, dhamthex pentz), a struggle ensued which had not the peculiar decorum and solemnity becoming a religious ceremony. It is particularly worthy of notice that the difficulty and the likkerinup were peculiar to the Phiretahs, and were unknown to the Iangkies, and throughout the region north of the border of Masunandicsun, except among the Pahdees, who were strangers within the gates of Gotham.
lowed our host, as he stepped forward to receive the unknown guest. As unabashed as a comet crossing the orbit of Jupiter on its way to the sun, the Honorable Washington entered the Priory circle, and advanced to Lord Toppingham. The Earl offered him his hand. He took it, and then he shook it, --shook it well; and to a few of the usual words of welcome he replied, "I'm very glad to see you, my lord; most happy to hev the pleasure of meetin' your lordship” (looking round) “here in your elegant doughmain and gorjis castle. My friend Mr. Humphreys told me I'd find everything here fuss class; an' I hev. Your man help down stairs wuz a leetle slow, to be sure; but don't apologize; difference of institootions, I s'pose. Everything moves a leetie slower here."
As Lord Toppingham led Mr. Adams to our hostess, eyes of wonder, not unmixed with pleasure, were bent upon him. He was a man of middle size, neither tall nor slender; but he stooped a little from his hips, and his head was slightly thrust forward, with an expression of eagerness, as he slouched along the terrace. His upper lip was shaved; but his sallow face terminated in that adornment known at the West as 'chin-whiskers.” His hat, which he kept on, was of felt, with a slightly conical crown. It rested rather on the back than on the top of his head, and from it fell a quantity of longish straight brown hair. His splendid satin scarf was decorated with a large pin, worthy of its position: and the watch-chain that stretched across his waistcoat would have held a yacht to its moorings. His outer garment left the beholder in doubt whether it was an overcoat that he was wearing as a duster, or a duster doing service as an overcoat. Into the pockets of this he thrust his hands deep, and moved them back and forth from time to time, giving the skirts a wing-like action. Having taken Lady Toppingham's hand, and shaken that too, and assured her of his pleasure in meeting her also, he put his own back into its appropriate pocket, and, gently flapping his wings, repeated, “Yes, ma’am; very happy to hev the pleasure of meetin' your ladyship. Hope my call ain't put you out any; but I s'pose you're used to seein' a goodle o' company in the surprise way."
"I am always pleased to receive any friend of my lord's or of Dr. Tooptoe's," said Lady Toppingham, seating herself upon one of the stone benches of the terrace; and Lord Toppingham turned as if to lead Mr. Adams away. But that gentleman immediately sat himself down by her side, and, crossing his legs, was evidently preparing to make himself agreeable. A slight shade of reserve with which she had taken her seat deepened for a moment, and then instantly gave way to a look of goodnatured amusement; and I saw, to my relief, that she appreciated the situation. “You've been in our little England before, I suppose, Mr. Adams?"
“No, ma'am, I hevn't. My plit’cle dooties as a member of the legis
later of the Empire State hev pervented. Empire State's Noo York, ’z I s'pose your ladyship knows. Motto, Ex-celsior, an' the risin' sun; out of Longfeller's poem, you know.”
“I do know Mr. Longfellow's charming poem. We're great admirers of Mr. Longfellow in England; indeed, we think him quite an English poet."
“Wal, ma'am, you're 'baout right there; 'xcept in callin' him an English poet. He's a true Muh'kin; an' he kin beat Tennyson, an' all the rest of 'em, at writin' po'try, any day, let 'em do their level best. Why, he's written more vollums of poetry-fuss-class poetry, too--than any man that ever lived; more 'n Dr. Holland. Lives in fuss-class style, too, if he is a poet. Shouldn't wonder if there wa'nt a broker in Wall Street that lives in bigher style'n Longfellow.”
At this triumphant utterance Mr. Adams took off his hat, and I feared he was about to wave it; but the movement was only one of momentary relief, perhaps, to his enthusiasm, and be at once restored it to its perilous inclination.
Lord Toppingham now stepped up to create a diversion in favor of his beleaguered wife, and, standing before the pair, asked Mr. Adams if he had been in London while Parliament was sitting.
“Wal, yaas, I wuz,” replied the legislator, keeping bis seat and looking up; “'n' I went to see it; 'n' to tell the truth 'n' the hull truth, I wuz dis pinted. Gladstone's a smart man, but slow, I shed say, mighty slow; ain't learned not to craowd himself, nuther; bites off more ’n he kin chaw. 'N' I didn't hear no eloquence; nobody didn't seem to take no intrust into what was goin' on. You hev got a powerful han some buildin' fur the meetin' of your legislater ; but jess you wait ’n' see the noo Capitol 't Albany, 'n' you'll sing small, I-tell-you. Yes, siree."
As this conversation went on, some of the other guests had approached, and there was a little group around our hostess and Mr. Adams, who now, to the evident horror of some of them, drew from his pocket a gigantic knife, with a set-spring at the back; indeed, it was a clasp bowie-knife. Opening it with a tremendous click, he strapped it a little on his shoe, and then looked doubtfully at the bench on which he sat. Evidently dissatisfied with the inducement which its stone surface offered, he drew from one of his capacious pockets a piece of pine wood about as thick as a heavy broomstick, and began to cut it in a meditative manner.
“Don't git much whittlin' into your effete old monarchies. Even the benches, when they ain't stun, air oak, that'd turn the edge of any gen'leman's knife; 'n' so I carry suthin' comfortable raound with me." As he spoke the light shavings curled away from his stick, and rolled upon the terrace floor.