The Chinaman has only a passive courage, but this courage he possesses in the highest degree. His indifference to death is truly extraordinary. When he is ill, he sees it approach, and does not falter. When condemned, and already in the hands of an officer, he manifests no fear.
I seriously believed that my last hour was approaching, and yet, so strange is imagination, all I thought of was some childish hypothesis or other. In such circumstances, you do not choose your own thoughts. They overcome you.
Nothing is more dreadful than private duels in America. The two adversaries attack each other like wild beasts. Then it is that they might well covet those wonderful properties of the Indians of the prairies - their quick intelligence, their ingenious cunning, their scent of the enemy.
The sea is everything. It covers seven tenths of the terrestrial globe. Its breath is pure and healthy. It is an immense desert, where man is never lonely, for he feels life stirring on all sides.
The Yankees, the first mechanicians in the world, are engineers - just as the Italians are musicians and the Germans metaphysicians - by right of birth. Nothing is more natural, therefore, than to perceive them applying their audacious ingenuity to the science of gunnery.
Imagine a society in which there were neither rich nor poor. What evils, afflictions, sorrows, disorders, catastrophes, disasters, tribulations, misfortunes, agonies, calamities, despair, desolation and ruin would be unknown to man!
In spite of the opinions of certain narrow-minded people, who would shut up the human race upon this globe, as within some magic circle it must never outstep, we shall one day travel to the moon, the planets, and the stars, with the same facility, rapidity, and certainty as we now make the voyage from Liverpool to New York!
Put two ships in the open sea, without wind or tide, and, at last, they will come together. Throw two planets into space, and they will fall one on the other. Place two enemies in the midst of a crowd, and they will inevitably meet; it is a fatality, a question of time; that is all.