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44 CHAPTER IX. Visit Covert’s house—Meet there with a person I know and don’t know—Two political parties illustrated— Curiosity of Barney Fox. covert succeeded in getting the nomination; and afterwards there were two or three informal gatherings at his house, to take measures for securing his election. By his request, I was present at one of these; for, since his nomination, he had of course grown very polite—to me among the rest. He wanted Ephraim Foster’s vote and influence, which was not small; and, for those meetings, it was his object to have them pretty full. When I knocked at Covert’s door it was just after dark. I found I had anticipated the time, and the lawyer was not yet home. In answer to my pull at the bell a young woman opened the door; and the light of a street lamp falling on her face, reminded me, as people are often vaguely and provokingly reminded, of features they have seen before; but where or how they cannot tell. The young woman was neatly dressed in Quaker style, 45 though with warmer colors and a little more of the ornamental than is common in that rigid sect.What the lamplightallowedmetoseeof herface,impressedmeveryagreeably . She asked me in, said that Mr. Covert would doubtless be home in a little while, and, if I wished to wait, I could walk in the room. I would wait; but I sat down by a table in the wide hall, on which there were books and newspapers. The young woman stopped a moment to raise the light that hung suspended from the ceiling; and as she did so, and her face was turned upward, the puzzle of having seen her somewhere, again bothered me. Where could it have been? I was almost tempted to say as much to her; but she had arranged the lamp, and walked quietly down the basement stairs. Probably Covert’s daughter, thought I; and, if so, I could not congratulate her on her parentage. But no; she hadn’t any of his features. Her eyes were grey, with a tender, affectionate expression; her face blooming and healthy; her figure plump almost to the point of being fat; and her figure , hands, neck, and so on, all finely formed. Besides, she was very nimble in her movements, with all her plumpness; as I saw, by her management of the lamp, and her walk past me, to the head of the stairs, I even listened, to satisfy myself of the lightness and rapidity of her step. You see I had arrived, of late, at quite a degree of interest in all these important matters. Particularly since my acquaintance with Inez, I found myself worked up to an astonishing amount of curiosity that way. 46 When Covert came, he brought a couple of friends with him and we adjourned to the parlor—more people dropped in, and the room was quite full. The two friends were Alderman Rye, an opulent wholesale grocer, and the Hon. Isaac Leech, a gentleman of fortune. Although these were alike supporters of Mr. Covert, they were as far as the poles asunder in their political principles. Principles! Yes; that is what they called them. “Why, sir,” I heard Alderman Rye’s voice above the rest, “is not this evidence enough of the poisonous consequences of Whig misrule? Isn’t the country already almost ruined— ruined, sir?” Fortunately I was seated in the back-room, but I heard those shrill voices in front there, quite plainly enough. “That we are down, sir—that we are down, as a commercial people, I grant you,” was the response of the Hon. Isaac Leech, “but not from anything done by the Whig party. Sir, that party is the palladium of our freedom. Sir, the Locofocos would utterly destroy this nation in five years, if they had their own way. Their leaders are blind to truth, and the whole party is regardless of law.” “Law! the Whigs ride over the constitution, without mercy. Bargains, corruption, is their game.” “Did not Gen. Jackson remove those deposits without the shadow of legal authority?” “But who spent money like water in bribing members of Congress?” 47 “The veto power, sir, is dangerous to our liberties.” Then a medley of “bargain and corruption,” “Clay,” “Adams ,” “I deny it, sir,” “I can prove it,” and so forth, and so on. A pretty fair sample, this, of what happened whenever the Hon. Isaac...


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