‘What of America?’ said I.

‘I have heard that it is a mighty country.’

‘I daresay it is,’ said I; ‘I have heard my father say that the Americans are first-rate marksmen.’

‘I heard nothing about that,’ said Belle; ‘what I heard was, that it is a great and goodly land, where people can walk about without jostling, and where the industrious can always find bread; I have frequently thought of going thither.’

‘Well,’ said I, ‘the Radical in the public-house will perhaps be glad of your company thither; he is as great an admirer of America as yourself, though I believe on different grounds.’

‘I shall go by myself,’ said Belle, ‘unless - unless that should happen which is not likely - I am not fond of Radicals no more than I am of scoffers and mockers.’

‘Do you mean to say that I am a scoffer and mocker?’

‘I don’t wish to say you are,’ said Belle; ‘but some of your words sound strangely like scoffing and mocking. I have now one thing to beg, which is, that if you have anything to say against America, you would speak it out boldly.’

‘What should I have to say against America? I never was there.’

‘Many people speak against America who never were there.’

‘Many people speak in praise of America who never were there; but with respect to myself, I have not spoken for or against America.’

‘If you liked America you would speak in its praise.’

‘By the same rule, if I disliked America I should speak against it.’

‘I can’t speak with you,’ said Belle; ‘but I see you dislike the country.’

‘The country!’

‘Well, the people - don’t you?’

‘I do.’

‘Why do you dislike them?’

‘Why, I have heard my father say that the American marksmen, led on by a chap of the name of Washington, sent the English to the right- about in double-quick time.’

‘And that is your reason for disliking the Americans?’

‘Yes,’ said I, ‘that is my reason for disliking them.’

‘Will you take another cup of tea?’ said Belle.

I took another cup; we were again silent. ‘It is rather uncomfortable,’ said I, at last, ‘for people to sit together without having anything to say.’

‘Were you thinking of your company?’ said Belle.

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter/page Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter/page
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.