He had a most singular way of snapping with his thumb and finger, according to the nature of his talk; and when he reached a climax in an argument, or made a statement with emphasis, he brought down his hands with such violence on his knees as to make one fear the consequences. The gentlemen smiled at the snapping and thumping. The ladies were annoyed at his want of decorum and good breeding, and my son, a boy six years old, asked in his innocence, "Who in the room is letting off pop-guns?"
At this juncture he gave himself a respite, thinking, perhaps, common decency called for it, so that some one else might have a chance of speaking as well as himself. But the fact was he had talked all the talk out of the company, and no one cared to enter on the arena of conversation to be insta