Go far—too far you cannot, still the farther
The more experience finds you: And go sparing;—
One meal a week will serve you, and one suit,
Through all your travels; for you'll find it certain,
The poorer and the baser you appear,
The more you look through still.
John Fletcher, The Woman's Prize, or The Tamer Tamed (c. 1611; published 1647), Act IV, scene 5, line 199.
Know most of the rooms of thy native country before thou goest over the threshold thereof.
As the Spanish proverb says, "He who would bring home the wealth of the Indies must carry the wealth of the Indies with him." So it is in travelling: a man must carry knowledge with him, if he would bring home knowledge.
I spake of most disastr'us chances,
* * * *
Of being taken by the insolent foe
And sold to slavery; of my redemption thence
And portance in my travellers' history;
Wherein of antres vast, and deserts idle,
Rough quarries, rocks and hills whose heads touch heaven,
It was my hint to speak—such was the process;—
And of the cannibals that each other eat.
Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience. He that travelleth into a country before he hath some entrance into the language, goeth to school, and not to travel.
He travels safest in the dark night who travels lightest.
Fernando Cortez; reported in Prescott, Conquest of Mexico, Book V, Chapter III.
One who journeying
Along a way he knows not, having crossed
A place of drear extent, before him sees
A river rushing swiftly toward the deep,
And all its tossing current white with foam,
And stops and turns, and measures back his way.
Homer, The Iliad, Book V, line 749. Bryant's translation.
Cœlum, non animum mutant, qui trans mare currunt.
Strenua nos exercet inertia, navibus atque
Quadrigis petimus bene vivere; quod petis hic est.
They change their sky, not their mind, who cross the sea. A busy idleness possesses us: we seek a happy life, with ships and carriages: the object of our search is present with us.
The marquise has a disagreeable day for her journey.
Louis XV, while looking at Mme. de Pompadour's funeral.
Better sit still where born, I say,
Wed one sweet woman and love her well,
Love and be loved in the old East way,
Drink sweet waters, and dream in a spell,
Than to wander in search of the Blessed Isles,
And to sail the thousands of watery miles
In search of love, and find you at last
On the edge of the world, and a curs'd outcast.
When we have discovered a continent, or crossed a chain of mountains, it is only to find another ocean or another plain upon the further side…. O toiling hands of mortals! O wearied feet, travelling ye know not whither! Soon, soon, it seems to you, you must come forth on some conspicuous hilltop, and but a little way further, against the setting sun, descry the spires of El Dorado. Little do ye know your own blessedness; for to travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive, and the true success is to labour.
Let observation with extended observation observe extensively.
Alfred Tennyson, paraphrasing Johnson. See Locker-Lampson's Recollections of a tour with Tennyson, in Memoirs of Tennyson by his son, II. 73. See also Criticism by Byron in his Diary, Jan. 9, 1821. "Let observation with observant view, / Observe mankind from China to Peru." Goldsmith's paraphrase. Caroline Spurgeon—Works of Dr. Johnson. (1898). De Quincey quotes it from some writer, according to Dr. Birkbeck Hill—Boswell. I. 194. Coleridge quotes it, Lecture VI, on Shakespeare and Milton.
For always roaming with a hungry heart,
Much have I seen and known.
The dust is old upon my "sandal-shoon,"
And still I am a pilgrim; I have roved
From wild America to Bosphor's waters,
And worshipp'd at innumerable shrines
Of beauty; and the painter's art, to me,
And sculpture, speak as with a living tongue,
And of dead kingdoms, I recall the soul,
Sitting amid their ruins.