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I WAS strolling one fine afternoon in February through the Park, by way of relaxation after my work, when I descried immediately before me the tall gaunt figure of Mr Jefferson J. Ewins. Without losing a moment I made up to the Yankee, upon whose cadaverous countenance hovered a grim smile as he returned my greeting, protesting that he was as happy as a clam at high water to renew the pleasure of our acquaintance. Mr Ewins was nowise altered in appearance since I saw him last, save that, in honour of the country he had been visiting, he had donned a pair of trousers of the fieriest tartan, which made him rather a conspicuous object, and attracted the notice of several butchers boys, who facetiously inquired if he had been getting his legs cut up into collops. He told me that he had recently arrived in London after a prolonged sojourn
in the north ; and was quite eloquent in his praise of Glasgow, a city which he vastly preferred to Edinburgh, because it was a "rael go-ahead place, and no mistake, where the people knew how to put the licks in;" whereas the Scottish metropolis was, in his opinion, “ used up, mighty fine to look at, but bogus to the backbone; and as for doing a streak of business there, it was as useless trying that as whistling psalms to a dead horse.” With regard to London, his mind was not yet exactly made up, though from what he had seen he was inclined to admit that it was "some pumpkins," but by no means comparable to New York.
"I say though, mister, he remarked, after some other desultory and miscellaneous conversation, "land can't be very valuable hereabouts, else them there parks would have been squatted on long ago.
They tell me they are public property. Wall, then, as you've a good jag of public debt, I reckon it would be the sensible thing to sell these clearings and run up streets. I would, I know, if I had only half a jumping claim, and I guess it 'ud be a grandacious spekilation.”
“Why, Mr Ewins, you must remember that the parks are the very lungs of London, healthy as well as ornamental. Without them there would be no ventilation.”
“That's all moonshine," said the Yankee. "I guess the folks in the City don't draw much breath here; but jest you rub their hair back, and see if they won't holler as loud as any nigger when he gets a taste of the cow-hide. That shows there's no want of lung leather