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FIVE YEARS IN CHINA.
Ho for China! the land of hoary superstitions and ancient idolatry.
The good ship Candace is weighing anchor. The steam tug takes her in tow, and away they scud down the narrows, and out upon the broad ocean. There are two young men on board, just starting for the long voyage. One of them, through whose eyes, more particularly, we propose to look at that far-off country of the misnamed "Celestials," has already led a chequered life; so peculiar indeed as to suggest our motto, and. justify a more particular introduction to our readers, before we proceed further with the long journey which he has undertaken.
His name is WILLIAM AITCHISON. He was born of humble parentage at Glasgow, Scotland, on the 4th of January, 1826. His parents came to this country in 1834, and soon after settled in Greeneville, Conn. Here the boy William was sent for a short time to the public-school, where his attainments were highly creditable, although not at all of the order of youthful prodigies. But even as a boy, his deportment was characterized by so much of sobriety and thoughtfulness, by such a spirit of inquiry and thirst for knowledge, that he always seemed older than his
At the age of twelve, however, he was taken from school, the place which he greatly loved, and set to work in a cotton mill for which he had no special affection; but nevertheless, in this humble occupation, he spent about two years, always faithful to his employers, although he was still eager after knowledge, scrupulously devoting every leisure moment to reading and study. Many an instructive volume did he devour, even whilst busy with his work, laying his book upon the machine to which he was attending, and catching a few sentences as he passed and repassed, with