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57. CHAPTER LVII.
It was worth a kingdom to be at sea again. It was a relief to drop all anxiety whatsoever--all questions as to where we should go; how long we should stay; whether it were worth while to go or not; all anxieties about the condition of the horses; all such questions as "Shall we ever get to water?" "Shall we ever lunch?" "Ferguson, how many more million miles have we got to creep under this awful sun before we camp?" It was a relief to cast all these torturing little anxieties far away--ropes of steel they were, and every one with a separate and distinct strain on it --and feel the temporary contentment that is born of the banishment of all care and responsibility. We did not look at the compass: we did not care, now, where the ship went to, so that she went out of sight of land as quickly as possible. When I travel again, I wish to go in a pleasure ship. No amount of money could have purchased for us, in a strange vessel and among unfamiliar faces, the perfect satisfaction and the sense of being at home again which we experienced when we stepped on board the "Quaker City,"--our own ship--after this wearisome pilgrimage. It is a something we have felt always when we returned to her, and a something we had no desire to sell.
We took off our blue woollen shirts, our spurs, and heavy boots, our sanguinary revolvers and our buckskin-seated pantaloons, and got shaved and came out in Christian costume once more. All but Jack, who changed all other articles of his dress, but clung to his traveling pantaloons. They still preserved their ample buckskin seat intact; and so his short pea jacket and his long, thin legs assisted to make him a picturesque object whenever he stood on the forecastle looking abroad upon the ocean over the bows. At such times his father's last injunction suggested itself to me. He said:
"Jack, my boy, you are about to go among a brilliant company of gentlemen and ladies, who are refined and cultivated, and thoroughly accomplished in the manners and customs of good society. Listen to their conversation, study their habits of life, and learn. Be polite and obliging to all, and considerate towards every one's opinions, failings and prejudices. Command the just respect of all your fellow-voyagers, even though you fail to win their friendly regard. And Jack--don't you ever dare, while you live, appear in public on those decks in fair weather, in a costume unbecoming your mother's drawing-room!"
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