FROM WHICH IT WILL BE SEEN THAT MARTIN BECAME A LION OF HIS
OWN ACCOUNT. TOGETHER WITH THE REASON WHY
As soon as it was generally known in the National Hotel, that the young
Englishman, Mr Chuzzlewit, had purchased a 'lo-cation' in the Valley of Eden,
and intended to betake himself to that earthly Paradise by the next steamboat, he
became a popular character. Why this should be, or how it had come to pass,
Martin no more knew than Mrs Gamp, of Kingsgate Street, High Holborn, did; but
that he was for the time being the lion, by popular election, of the Watertoast
community, and that his society was in rather inconvenient request there could
be no kind of doubt.
The first notification he received of this change in his position, was the following
epistle, written in a thin running hand--with here and there a fat letter or two, to
make the general effect more striking--on a sheet of paper, ruled with blue lines.
'Dear Sir--'When I had the privillidge of being your fellow-traveller in the cars, the
day before yesterday, you offered some remarks upon the subject of the tower of
London, which (in common with my fellow-citizens generally) I could wish to hear
repeated to a public audience.
'As secretary to the Young Men's Watertoast Association of this town, I am
requested to inform you that the Society will be proud to hear you deliver a
lecture upon the Tower of London, at their Hall to-morrow evening, at seven
o'clock; and as a large issue of quarter-dollar tickets may be expected, your
answer and consent by bearer will be considered obliging.
'LA FAYETTE KETTLE.
'The Honourable M. Chuzzlewit.
'P.S.--The Society would not be particular in limiting you to the Tower of London.
Permit me to suggest that any remarks upon the Elements of Geology, or (if
more convenient) upon the Writings of your talented and witty countryman, the
honourable Mr Miller, would be well received.'
Very much aghast at this invitation, Martin wrote back, civilly declining it; and had
scarcely done so, when he received another letter.
'No. 47, Bunker Hill Street,
'Sir--I was raised in those interminable solitudes where our mighty Mississippi (or
Father of Waters) rolls his turbid flood.
'I am young, and ardent. For there is a poetry in wildness, and every alligator
basking in the slime is in himself an Epic, self- contained. I aspirate for fame. It is
my yearning and my thirst.