Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 2.djvu/37

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friend of Victor Hugo, a child of nature aged sixty, and obliged to drink much ale because it went to his head and gave him commercial ideas.

If it had given him no others it would have done well; but, after each draught, and he took many, this child of nature became so friendly that even the free and easy Americans were abashed. Matilda quailed before the languishing glances he gave her, and tied her head up like a bundle in a thick veil. The scandalized Lavinia, informing him that she did not understand French, assumed the demeanor of a griffin, and glared stonily into space, when she was not dislocating her neck trying to see if the top-heavy luggage had not tumbled off behind.

Poor Amanda was thus left a prey to the beery one; for, having at first courteously responded to his paternal remarks and expressed an interest in the state of France, she could not drop the conversation all at once, even when the friend of Victor Hugo became so disagreeable that it is to be hoped the poet has not many such. He recited poems, he sung songs, he made tender confidences, and finished by pressing the hand of Mademoiselle to his lips. On being told that such demonstrations were not