"Really?" she asked with a languid affectation of surprise; "it is awfully kind of you to say so, but of course you can't mean it.
"Is it possible? I never should have thought it."
"You have not the air of wishing to be George Washington."
"Certainly. Did you ever see George Washington?"
"Of course not. He died fifty years before I was born."
"I thought so. You see you don't know him. Now, will you give us an idea of what you imagine General Washington to have looked like?"
Dunbeg gave accordingly a flattering description of General Washington, compounded of Stuart's portrait and Greenough's statue of Olympian Jove with Washington's features, in the Capitol Square. Miss Dare listened with an expression of superiority not unmlxed with patience, and then she enlightened him as follows:
"All you have been saying is perfect stuff--excuse the vulgarity of the expression. When I am a Countess I will correct my language. The truth is that General Washington was a raw-boned country farmer, very hard-featured, very awkward, very illiterate and very dull; very bad tempered, very profane, and generally tipsy after dinner."