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In Which the Reader Is Introduced to a Man of

LATE in the afternoon of a chilly day in February, two gentlemen were sitting
alone over their wine, in a well-furnished dining-parlor, in the town of P__, in
Kentucky. There were no servants present, and the gentlemen, with chairs closely
approaching, seemed to be discussing some subject with great earnestness.

For convenience’ sake, we have said, hitherto, two gentlemen. One of the par-
ties, however, when critically examined, did not seem, strictly speaking, to come
under the species. He was a short, thick-set man, with coarse, commonplace fea-
tures, and that swaggering air of pretension which marks a low man who is trying
to elbow his way upward in the world. He was much over-dressed, in a gaudy
vest of many colors, a blue neckerchief, bedropped gayly with yellow spots, and
arranged with a flaunting tie, quite in keeping with the general air of the man. His
hands, large and coarse, were plentifully bedecked with rings; and he wore a
heavy gold watch-chain, with a bundle of seals of portentous size, and a great va-
riety of colors, attached to it,- which, in the ardor of conversation, he was in the
habit of flourishing and jingling with evident satisfaction. His conversation was
in free and easy defiance of Murray’s Grammar, and was garnished at convenient
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