Friday, 17 April 2009

On Going On A Journey...

Firstly, my apologies for the utter lack of blogging over the past couple of weeks. It's coming up to exam season, and i've recently realised what a ridiculous amount of work i have to do before then, whilst still making time for revision! Not fun. Anyway, i will make a concerted effort to post a little more regularly, even if it's only recommendations for listening material or other such things.

The purpose of this blog was really to share with you the following essay, written by William Hazlitt in 1822. I read it, and fell in love with it! It's beautiful!

"One of the pleasantest things in the world is going on a journey; but I like to go by myself. I can enjoy the society in a room; but out-of-doors, nature is company enough for me. I am then never less alone than when alone.

'The fields his study, nature was his book.'

I cannot see the wit of walking and talking at the same time. When i am in the country, i like to vegetate like the country. I am not for criticising hedge-rows and black cattle. I go out of town in order to forget the town and all that is in it. There are those who for this purpose go to watering-places, and carry the metropolis with them. I like more elbow-room, and fewer encumbrances. I like solitude, when i give myself up to it, for the sake of solitude; nor do i ask for

'a friend in my retreat

Whom i may whisper solitude is sweet.'

The soul a journey is liberty, perfect liberty, to think, feel, do just as one pleases. We go on a journey chiefly to be free of all impediments and of all inconveniences; to leave ourselves behind, much more to get rid of others. It is because i want a little breathing-space to must on indifferent matters, where Contemplation

'May plume her feathers and let grow her wings,

That in the various bustle of resort

Were all too ruffled, and sometimes impair'd,'

that i absent myself from the town for awhile, without feeling at a loss the moment i am left by myself. Instead of a friend in a post-chaise or in a Tilbury, to exchange good things with, and vary the same stale topics over again, for once let me have a truce with impertinence. Give me the clear blue sky over my head, and the green turf beneath my feet, a winding road before me and a three hours' march to dinner - and then to thinking! It is hard if i cannot start some game on these lone heaths. I laugh, i run, i leap, i sing for joy. From the point of yonder rolling cloud i plunge into my past being, and revel there, as the sun-burnt Indian plunges headlong into the wave that wafts him to his native shore. Then long-forgotten things, like 'sunken wrack and sumless treasuries,' burst upon my eager sight, and i begin to feel, think, and be myself again. Instead of an awkward silence, broken by attempts at wit of dull common-places, mine is that undisturbed silence of the heart which alone is perfect eloquence. No one likes puns, alliterations, antitheses, argument and analysis better than i do; but i sometimes had rather be without them. 'Leave, oh, leave me to my repose!' I have just now other business in hand, which would seem idle to you, but is with me 'very stuff of the conscience.' "

Please discuss any thoughts or feelings on the above :) i would like to know what you think!

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

LOVE it. It's kinda weird....I feel like I have felt those exact sentiments before but somehow my words didn't come out like that!