So, Amblard is coming. I think he devotes himself too much to petty politics, and we have got to do something very big or we shall fail. Enrique Dupuy de Lôme (1897)
Amblard, you say, is coming with a supply of mustard
seeds for the English journalists who swarm the hotel.
His staff sweeps troubling facts from his rooms. And he
occupies so many furnished by the crown. From these
each dark diplomat owns glassware surrendered as a gift.
Amblard eats the native food and interrogates the servants.
He collects portents from the editor of a Boston weekly.
When he consults a Cuban thespian with connections
to the cabinet, Amblard embellishes with an ampoule
of a grand duke’s cologne. He is, per rumor, acquainted
with a liberal dame who knows every lizard on the island.
Amblard the extrovert! He has written to the autonomists
whom these people think so immaculate. He turns down
money but angles for a posting in case it all goes wrong.
Amblard leaves another door open behind him that leads
to asylum and a Dutch bank account. He will bind us,
Don José! He will, if we allow it, commit us to a policy
of sugary favors. For my part, old friend, I suffer this city
of watery proclamations hardening daily to Potomac ice.
The president’s jingoes bear church bells on their tongues
and damage their hands with their allies’ newsprint.
In the highest councils here, they see no contradiction
between war and adjournment. Tomorrow, I may speak
to a senator if I agree to accompany him on a frightful
hunt for hooves and horns. In closing, Adela returns
your greeting from her rendezvous with Amblard.