I am now letting loose the thread of my knowledge; the broach is turning from me to pull away the end, and with it the satisfaction that though its a hard broach to tie to, I have spun no yarn. The reader that only believes what he can see, through a limited source of facts, is always losing time and money, to read another man's knowledge; but the one who is always seeking to add to the stock of knowledge which he already has, is sure to gain time and knowledge in the stride of life.
On my way to Joppa I passed through Lebanon, took a glance at the old cedars, which I can pronounce nothing but spruce pine. I brought some of the burrows home to New Orleans, and they received from my friends the appellation above. An old man close to the little group of cedars, offered me his virgin daughter for the sum of twenty-five dollars; he seemed to be in great want of money. I hurried to Acre, and looked at its strong walls, and heard its foolish citizens talk of the impossibility of any nation being strong enough to take it.
Jaffa is the present name of Joppa. It was formerly the sea port town of Palestine; it has suffered much from being the gate city of Syria. Here, at Jaffa, I took passage to Marseilles, France, and arrived there just as the emperor of Morocco, who had been visiting France, was departing, himself and retinue, for Morocco, the Capitol of his Empire. I arrived back to Paris before the last of July. On the second day of September, the Franklin backed out from the wharf at Havre, France, with a splendid trip of passengers for New York city. Among these were Charles W. March, private secretary of Mr. Webster, and Geo. W. Kendall, the traveling editor of the New Orleans Picayune. They seemed to me the happiest men aboard; they eat their good dinners, drank their good wines, and came on deck and inquired of me my opinion of thousands of little things that I thought hardly worth noticing. I am passing by England and Wales for home, my journey must be considered done. Youth is ever ready to be where it seems no advantage to him; and it is a long time before he can surfeit on curiosity, enough to say, “alack, and well-a-day!” The aged are rough and ready implements of the world, they are too tightly riveted to their designs to let loose when they are absolutely in danger; yes, Old Fogy goes on like a saw on a nail, determined to go through because he had the power, heedless of the consequences, and determined to make the nail suffer for attempting to impede his progress; he soon finds his sawing propensities broken, and much the worse for wear. But not so with youth. I feel in taking leave of this work, as if I was parting with an old and familiar friend that I could stay much longer with, but I am afraid to stay much longer lest I enhance its value as a friend. A friend? Yes, a friend!
James says that men of talent are often seen with many books before them, extracting their contents and substances. Were such men authors? No! but imitators; they wrote few impressions because few were made; they merely confirmed what others proved.
Like an anxious boy, in the ardor of anxiety to describe, I may fail, but I tell the thing as I saw it.
Should the reader think strange that I could find pleasure in these curious and strange places for a young man to be in, wherein they may occasionally find me, he must bear in mind that those are the only places and streams where flows the tide of curiosity from the mind of a youthful channel. There is no sameness about youth; like the clock when down, he must be wound up, or there can be shown no fine work in the machinery of a career of glory. Henry kindled his own fire, Washington paddled his own canoe, and for a bright manhood, youth must find his own crag on the mountain, rivet his eye of determined prosperity up the cliffy wiles of life, kick assunder impediments and obstacles, and climb on! When you hear can't, laugh at it; when they tell you not in your time, pity them; and when they tell you surrounding circumstances alter cases, in manliness scorn them as sleeping sluggards, unworthy of a social brotherhood.
All are obliged to unite when a question of might against right comes up, as it is now before the world. Dickens says, “no doubt that all the ingenuity of men gifted with genius for finding differences, has never been able to impugn the doctrine of the unity of man.” He further says, “The European, Ethiopean, Mongolian, and American, are but different varieties of one species.” He then quotes Buffon, “Man, white in Europe, black in Africa, yellow in Asia, and red in America, is nothing but the same man differently dyed by climate.” Then away with your can't; when backed to the wall by the debator, you had better say nothing than can't. You had better say, as I say while taking leave of you, au revoir.