“’By that, I understand you know not how to act; and to avoid being wrong you remain inactive, that course being likely to receive the most praise. My good fellow, lesson from Young America,—act boldly, take the responsibility on your own shoulders, and abide the consequences. Be an independent citizen,—let your acts be your country’s and your own;—and whatever the result may be, meet it manfully, that moral courage may strengthen your cause. Now, then, let us set about building a canoe; let us imagine we can do a prodigy and it shall be done!’ At this John’s spirit became restored.
“We went to work in right good earnest, and, with necessity for an incentive, found ourselves at the expiration of three days master of a fine canoe, with which we drew down the astonishment of the natives. Two days more and we bid them a touching farewell, promised to call and see them again, bring cotton, cloth and sundry Yankee notions, with which to start a trade between them and the people of Salem, Massachusetts. Supplied with fish and porkmonhunter, a savory dish prepared by the natives, we set sail for Shanghai, I being skipper of the craft, and John mate. Nothing should seem to one’s mind too simple to learn, and I learned to navigate by what the sailors in times past called the rule of thumb: the rule now came nicely into play. Energy is the master of difficulties; the application of it is all-necessary when they present themselves. Adhering to this maxim I took the helm, laid down the course, and steered for Shanghai, while John kept a close watch on the stars. At times he would work lunars in his head, as did the Macedonians. Laughable as it may seem, John was just credulous enough to think that savages in these out-of-the-way parts of the world were honored with a north star, and amused himself with speculations on its identity. As luck will now and then favor the unfortunate, so we, after a voyage in which were any amount of storms and hair-breadth escapes, which it will be needless to describe here, arrived at the expiration of the tenth day safely at Shanghai. To know precisely where one is, and feel safe on terra-firma after a tempestuous voyage, makes the heart leap with joy—and with joy leaped mine.
MR. SMOOTH MAKES A FEW REFLECTIONS.
“Shanghai seemed a place of adventures and uncertain speculations; its people were a medley of all sorts of human kind badly propounded. Perhaps I should except that numerous gentry called fleas, so averse to travellers that they at once set about biting them out of the town. Two days in Shanghai proved quite enough. So, viewing it advisable, we packed up our alls, and on foot shaped our course for Scinde, a territory rather out of the way and very remotely situated. Littlejohn, still my companion, said his honorable Governor got possession of it in a very dignified sort of way; nevertheless, he thought it advisable that as little as possible be said about the process. The truth was, it was not distinctly known what the rest of mankind said about it.