“An Agreable Voyage”
In which John Jones, né Paul, invades both England and Scotland, despoils a countess, and defeats a British sloop—all in less than forty-eight hours
June 1970 | Volume 21, Issue 4
Tho’ I have drawn my Sword in the present generous Struggle for the rights of Men; yet I am not in Arms as an American, nor am I in pursuit of Riches. My Fortune is liberal enough, having no Wife nor Family, and having lived long enough to know that Riches cannot ensure Happiness. I profess myself a Citizen of the World, totally unfettered by the little mean distinctions of Climate or of Country, which diminish the benevolence of the Heart and set bounds to Philanthropy. Before this War began I had at an early time of life, withdrawn from the Sea service, in favor of ‘calm contemplation and Poetic ease.’
Captain Jones was never to find this life of rural bliss in Scotland, nor anywhere else; but in 1778 it seems to have been a real and enticing possibility in his mind.
Whatever else in the letter may have been devious, Jones’s promise to restore the Selkirk silver was not. After more than five years of painstaking negotiation and personal expense, Jones got the plundered plate, which was worth about six hundred dollars, shipped back to the Selkirks in 1784. The breakfast tea leaves, we are assured, were still in the teapot.