The Adventures of My Cousin Smooth eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 258 pages of information about The Adventures of My Cousin Smooth.

“’Let us push on, John, across the calm ocean we shall soon arrive at Shanghai,’ said I, confidentially.

“‘Yes!’ returns John, interrupting me, ’and I wish we could get a glimpse at Japan.  Other nations have supposed it impregnable; but Jonathan has found his way to the very gates of the Emperor’s palace, which he now knocks at with might and main.  How fantastically he is dressed!  Coal-basket in one hand, and Bible in the other, he is cutting what may be properly termed figure number one.’

“‘Certainly!’ I rejoined, ’that is the figure to make safe our country’s interests.  Trade and civilization is Jonathan’s motto, While ‘go-ahead’ is the pass-word that has placed him where he is—­in power.  Jonathan demolishes the aristocratic fantasy of dignity, and builds up the greatness of a people with the simplicity of trade.  We never had the most distant annexation design on this little empire, but we want coals that our commerce may be fostered and protected in its march over the world; and, if we chance to do a little trade while teaching an isolated people their proper position, so much the better for the world and manifest destiny.  The absurdity of celestial pre-eminence must be removed from the minds of those who yet maintain it at the expense of Christendom.  If we can sell the Emperor’s people Lowell cotton, at the same time you are selling them Manchester stripes, where can be the objection?  There can be no harm in promoting that which has for its end the interchange of good feeling between the most distant nations of earth:  interchange of commerce infuses its spirit of energy, and its results are for the good of the many.  But those interchanges between progressive and non-progressive governments should be conducted with caution and kindness, in order to preserve mutual respect.  The double-sided Dutchman prostrates himself before the barbarian whose commerce he seeks; but in doing so he enlists contempt for his nation, without aiding to tear down that superciliousness of the barbarian which is the greatest enemy of the world at large.  Better were it he approached that monarch on equal terms—­to, it might be, compel him to reconcile his feelings to the force of manifest destiny.  Smooth will stand the odds that Commodore Perry gets the better of the Dutchman, comes the independent over the Emperor, and makes a contract for the establishment of cotton factories and churches all along his coast.  ‘Land! oh,’ suddenly cried out John, at the top of his voice—­’another patch ahead.’  In another moment he shrieked out:—­’There you go—­good by!’ As I overreached to sight the object far beneath, one of the stays broke, the balloon careened wildly, and making a dashing circle high in the air, out we tumbled into the wild waste of space.  Finding myself going, I reckoned it was as well to keep up the philosophy, and remain cool.  ’You’re on the passage, too—­are you, John?’ inquired I, finding him turning the most artistic somersaults in his descent.  ‘Yes,’

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The Adventures of My Cousin Smooth from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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