`If the biler of this vessel was Toe bust, sir,' said his new acquaintance, `and Toe bust now, this would be a festival day in the calendar of despotism; pretty nigh equallin', sir, in its effects upon the human race, our Fourth of glorious July. Yes, sir, that is the Honourable Elijah Pogram, Member of Congress; one of the master-minds of our country, sir. There is a brow, sir, there!'
`Quite remarkable,' said Martin.
`Yes, sir. Our own immortal Chiggle, sir, is said to have observed, when he made the celebrated Pogram statter in marble, which rose so much con-test and prejwdice in Europe, that the brow was more than mortal. This was before the Pogram Defiance, and was, therefore, a pre-diction, cruel smart.'
`What is the Pogram Defiance?' asked Martin, thinking, perhaps, it was the sign of a public-house.
`An o-ration, sir,' returned his friend.
`Oh! to be sure,' cried Martin. `What am I thinking of! It defied--'
`It defied the world, sir,' said the other, gravely. `Defied the world in general to com-pete with our country upon any hook; and devellop'd our internal resources for making war upon the universal airth. You would like to know Elijah Pogram, sir?'
`If you please,' said Martin.
`Mr. Pogram,' said the stranger--Mr. Pogram having overheard every word of the dialogue--`this is a gentleman from Europe, sir: from England, sir. But gen'rous ene-mies may meet upon the neutral sile of private life, I think.'
The languid Mr. Pogram shook hands with Martin, like a clock-work figure that was just running down. But he made amends by chewing like one that was just wound up.
`Mr. Pogram,' said the introducer, `is a public servant, sir. When Congress is recessed, he makes himself acquainted with those free United States, of which he is the gifted son.'
It occurred to Martin that if the Honourable Elijah Pogram had stayed at home, and sent his shoes upon a tour, they would have answered the same purpose; for they were the only part of him in a situation to see anything.
In course of time, however, Mr. Pogram rose; and having ejected certain plugging consequences which would have impeded his articulation, took up a position where there was something to lean against, and began to talk to Martin: shading himself with the green umbrella all the time.
As he began with the words, `How do you like--?' Martin took him up and said:
`The country, I presume?'
`Yes, sir,' said Elijah Pogram. A knot of passengers gathered round to hear what followed: and Martin heard his friend say, as he whispered to another friend, and rubbed his hands, `Pogram will smash him into sky-blue fits, I know!'
`Why,' said Martin, after a moment's hesitation, `I have learned by experience, that you take an unfair advantage of a stranger, when you ask that question. You don't mean it to be answered, except in one way. Now, I don't choose to answer it in that way, for I cannot honestly answer it in that way. And therefore, I would rather not answer it at all.'
But Mr. Pogram was going to make a great speech in the next session about foreign relations, and was going to write strong articles on the subject; and as he greatly favoured the free and independent custom
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