If I cannot narrate a life of adventurous and daring exploits, fortunately I have no heavy crimes to confess: and, if I do not rise in the estimation of the reader for acts of gallantry and devotion in my country's cause, at least I may claim the merit of zealous and persevering continuance in my vocation. We are all of us variously gifted from Above, and he who is content to walk, instead of to run, on his allotted path through life, although he may not so rapidly attain the goal, has the advantage of not being out of breath upon his arrival.
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How many troops do we embark?' inquired Philip. 'Two hundred and forty-five rank and file, and six officers. Poor fellows! There are but few of them will ever return; nay, more than one-half will not see another birthday. It is a dreadful climate. I have landed three hundred men at that horrid hole, and in six months, even before I had sailed, there were not one hundred left alive.' 'It is almost murder to send them there, ' observed Philip. 'Pshaw! They must die somewhere, and if they die a little sooner, what matter? Life is a commodity to be bought and sold like any other. We send out so much manufactured goods and so much money to barter for Indian commodities. We also send out so much life, and it gives a good return to the Company.' 'But not to the poor soldiers, I am afraid.' 'No; the Company buy it cheap and sell it dear, ' replied the captain, who walked forward. True, thought Philip, they do purchase human life cheap, and make a rare profit of it, for without these poor fellows how could they hold their possessions in spite of native and foreign enemies? For what a paltry and cheap annuity do these men sell their lives? For what a miserable pittance do they dare all the horrors of a most deadly climate, without a chance, a hope of return to their native land, where they might happily repair their exhausted energies, and take a new lease of life!
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Whose destinies can be in these stars, which appear not to those who inhabit the northern regions?' said Amine, as she cast her eyes above, and watched them in their brightness; 'and what does that falling meteor portend? What causes its rapid descent from heaven?' 'Do you then put faith in stars, Amine?' 'In Araby we do; and why not? They were not spread over the sky to give light-for what then?' 'To beautify the world. They have their uses, too.' 'Then you agree with me-they have their uses, and the destinies of men are there concealed. My mother was one of those who could read them well. Alas! For me they are a sealed book.' 'Is it not better so, Amine?' 'Better!-say better to grovel on this earth with our selfish, humbled race, wandering in mystery and awe, and doubt, when we can communicate with the intelligences above! Does not the soul leap at her admission to confer with superior powers? Does not the proud heart bound at the feeling that its owner is one of those more gifted than the usual race of mortals? Is it not a noble ambition?' 'A dangerous one-most dangerous.' 'And therefore most noble. They seem as if they would speak to me; look at yon bright star-it beckons to me.
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In the vast archipelago of the east, where Borneo and Java and Sumatra lie, and the Molucca Islands, and the Philippines, the sea is often fanned only by the land and sea breezes, and is like a smooth bed, on which these islands seem to sleep in bliss,--islands in which the spice and perfume gardens of the world are embowered, and where the bird of paradise has its home, and the golden pheasant, and a hundred others of brilliant plumage, whose flight is among thickets so luxuriant, and scenery so picturesque, that European strangers find there the fairy land of their youthful dreams.
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But what was most remarkable, Broadway being three miles long, and the booths lining each side of it, in every booth there was a roast pig, large or small, as the centre attraction. Six miles of roast pig! And that in New York City alone; and roast pig in every other city, town, hamlet, and village in the Union. What association can there be between roast pig and independence?
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