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criminations of parties ; one cannot but be perplexed by the mutual misrepresentations of fellow-citizens; one cannot but sympathize largely with all in turn, since there is a large mixture of truth in all views about which people are strongly persuaded. It is only after sitting down alone at home that the traveller can separate the universal truth from the partial error with which he has sympathized, and can make some approximation towards assurance as to what he has learned and what he believes. So it is in the turmoil of life. While engaged in it, we are ignorantly persuaded, and liable, therefore, to be shaken from our certainty ; we are disproportionately moved, and we sympathize with incompatibilities, so as to be sure of disappointment and humiliation inflicted through our best sensibilities. In the place of retrospect we may find our repose again in contemplating our ignorance and weakness, and ascertaining the conviction and strength which they have wrought out for us.
What is gained by living and travelling?
One of the most striking and even amusing results is the perception of the transient nature of troubles. The thoughtful traveller feels something like wonder and amusement at himself for being so depressed by evils as he finds himself in the midst of long-idealized objects. He is surprised at his own sufferings from hunger, cold, heat, and weariness; and at his being only prevented by shame from passing some great object unseen, if he has to rouse himself from sleep to look at it, or to forego a meal for its sake. The next time he is refreshed, he wonders how his troubles could ever so affect him; and, when at home, he looks through the picture-gallery of his memory, the afflictions of past bours would have vanished, their very occurrence would be denied but for the record in the journal. The contemptible entries about cold, hunger, and sleepiness stand, ludicrously enough, among notices of cataracts and mountains, and of moral conflicts in the senates of nations. And so with life. We look back upon our pangs about objects of desire, as if it were the object and not the temper of pursuit which was of importance. We look back on our sufferings from disease,
. from disappointment, froin suspense, in times when the great moral events of our lives, or even of the age, were impending, and we disregarded them. We were mourning over some petty loss or injury while a new region of the
moral universe was about to be disclosed to us ; or fretting about our
roast chicken and our little game at cards,' while the liberties of an empire were being lost or won.
Worse than our own little troubles, probably, has been the fear and sorrow of hurting others. One of the greatest of a traveller's hardships is the being aware that he must be perpetually treading on somebody's toes. Passing from city to city, from one group of families to another, where the divisions of party and of sect, the contrariety of interests, and the world of doinestic circumstance are all un. known to bim, he can hardly open his lips without wounding somebody; and it makes him all the more anxious if, through the generosity of his entertainers, he never hears of it. No care of his own can save him from his function of torturer. He cannot speak of religion, morals, and politics ; he cannot speak of insanity, intemperance, or gaming, or even of health, riches, fair fame, and good children, without danger of rousing feelings of personal remorse or family shame in some, or the bitter sense of bereavement in others. Little or nothing has been said of this as one of the woes of travelling ; but, in my own opinion, this is the direction in which the fortitude of the traveller is the most severely tried. Yet, in the retrospect, it seems even good that we should have been obliged thus to call the generosity and forbearance of our hosts into exercise. They are, doubtless, benefited by the effort ; and we may perhaps be gainers, the direct operation of forbearance and forgiveness being to enhance affection. The regard of those whom we have wounded may perhaps be warmer than if we had never hurt them. It is much the same with men's mutual inflic. tions in life. None of us, especially none who are frank and honest, can speak what we think, and act according to what we believe, without giving pain in many directions. It is very painful, but quite unavoidable. In the retrospect, however, we are able to smile on the necessity, and to conclude that, as we have been willing to bear our share of the wounding from others, and should, perhaps, have been sorry if it had not happened, it is probable that others may have regarded us and our inflictions in the same way.
Nothing is more conspicuous in the traveller's retrospect than the fact how little external possession has to do with happiness. As he wanders back over city and village, plantation and prairie, he sees again care on the brow
the merchant and mirth in the eyes of the labourer ; the soulless faces of the rich Shakers rise up before him, side by side with the gladsome countenance of the ruined abolitionist. Each class kindly pities the one below it in power and wealth; the traveller pities none but those who are wasting their energies in the exclusive pursuit of either. Generally speaking, they have all an equal endowment of the things from which happiness is really derived. They have, in pretty equal distribution, health, senses, and their pleasures, homes, children, pursuits, and successes. With all these things in common, the one point of difference in their respective amounts of possession of more than they can at present eat, use, and enjoy, seems to him quite unworthy of all the compassion excited by it; though the compassion, having something amiable in it, is of a kindly use as far as it goes. In a cemetery, the thoughtless are startled into the same perception. How destitute are the dead in their graves! How naked is the spirit gone from its warm housings and environs of luxuries! This is the first thought. The next is, wag it ever otherwise ? Had these luxuries ever anything to do with the peace of the spirit, except as affording a pursuit for the employment of its energies? Is not as vigorous and gladsome a mind to be found abroad in the fields, or singing at the mill, as doing the honours of the drawing-room ? and, if it were not so, what words could we find strong enough for the cruelty of the decree under which every human being is compelled to enter his grave solitary and destitute ? In the retrospect of the recent traveller in America, the happiest class is clearly that small one of the original abolitionists; men and women wholly devoted to a lofty pursuit, and surrendering for it much that others most prize : and, in the retrospect of the traveller through life, the most eminently blessed come forth from among all ranks and orders of men, some being rich and others poor ; some illustrious and others obscure ; but all having one point of resemblance, that they have not staked their peace on anything so unreal as money or fame.
As for the worth of praise, a traveller cannot have gone far without finding it out. He has been praised and blamed at every turn; and he soon sees that what people think of
; him matters to themselves and not to him. He applies this to himself, and finds confirmation. It is ludicrous to suppose that what be thinks of this man and that, whose motives and circumstances he can never completely understand, should be of lasting importance to the subjects of his observation, while he feels it to be very important to his own peace and state of temper that he should admire as much and despise as little as reason will allow. That this is not more felt and acted upon is owing to the confined intercourses of the majority of men. If, like the traveller, they were for a long time exposed to a contrariety of opinions respecting themselves, they would arrive at the conviction which rises by natural exhalation" from the field of graves, that men's mutual judgments are almost insignificant to the objects of them, while immeasurably important to those who form them. When we look about us upon this obelisk and that urn, what matter the applauses and censures of the neighbours of the departed, in the presence of the awful facts here doclarod, that he has lived and is gone? In this mighty transaction between himself and bis Maker, how insignificant to him are the comments of beings between whom and himself there could exist no complete understanding in this life! But there is no overrating the consequences to himself of having lived with high or low models before his eyes; in a spirit of love or a spirit of contempt; in a process of generous or disparaging interpretation of human actions. His whole future condition and progress may be affected by it.
Out of this matter of mutual opinion arises a cheering emotion, both to the retrospective traveller and to the thinker among the tombs. Each foreign companion of the one, and each who lies buried about the path of the other, has had his hero, and even succession of heroes, among the live ing. I know not what those who despise their kind can make of this fact, that every human being whom we know has found in every stage of his conception of moral beauty some living exemplification which satisfied him for the time. The satisfaction is only temporary, it is true, and the admiration fades when the satisfaction is impaired ; but this only shows the vigour of the moral nature and its capacity of progress. The fact that every man is able to make idols, though he must “find them clay,” is a proof of the vast amount of good which human character presents to every observer. The reality of this is very striking in the exist. ence of villagers, who find so much excellence round about them that they cannot believe any other part of God's world
is so good as their village ; but the effect to the traveller of going from village to village, from city to city, during his wanderings of ten thousand miles, and finding the samo worship, the same prejudice, born of mutual reverence and love, wherever he goes, is exhilarating to his heart of hearts. The testimony at the same time to the love and existence of goodness is so overpowering, that it must subdue misanthropy itself, if only misanthropy could be brought into the presence of a large number of the human race; which, it may be suspected, has never been done. When we extend our view from the field of travel to the world of the dead, and remember that every one of the host has had his succession of heroes and demigods, and, probably, of worshippers also, what words can express the greatness of the homage rendered to goodness? It drowns all the praises practically offered to the powers of evil, from the first hour of sin and sorrow till now.
The mysterious pain of partings presses upon the returned traveller and the surviver with nearly equal force. I do not know whether this wo is usually taken into the estimate of travellers when they are counting the cost of their scheme before setting out; but I know that it deserves to be. I believe that many would not go if they could anticipate the misery of such partings as those which must be encountered in a foreign country, in long dreary succession, and without more hope than in parting with the dying. The chances of meeting again are small. For a time grief sooths itself by correspondence ; but this cannot last, as one family group after another opens its arms to the stranger, and gives hirn a home only that he must vacate it for another. The correspondence slackens, fails, and the parties are to one another as if they were dead, with the sad difference that there is somewhat less faith in each other than if they were in circumstances in which it is physically impossible that they could communicate. To the surviver of intercourse, in either place of meditation, there remains the heartsoreness from the anguish of parting ; that pain which, like physical pain, takes us by surprise with its bitterness at each return, and disposes us, at length, to either cowardice or recklessness; and each of these survivers may be conscious of some visitations of jealousy, jealousy lest the absent should be learning to forget the past in new interests and connexions.
The strongest point of resemblance in the two contem