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which makes their graves, but have no sympathy with the spirit
which may still animate their clay. Patriotism is a maggot in their
heads. What was the meaning of that South-Sea Exploring
Expedition, with all its parade and expense, but an indirect
recognition of the fact that there are continents and seas in the moral
world to which every man is an isthmus or an inlet, yet unexplored
by him, but that it is easier to sail many thousand miles through cold
and storm and cannibals, in a government ship, with five hundred
men and boys to assist one, than it is to explore the private seal the
Atlantic and Pacific Ocean of one’s being alone.

"Erret, et extremos alter scrutetur Iberos. Plus habet hic vitae, plus
habet ille viae." Let them wander and scrutinize the outlandish
Australians. I have more of God, they more of the road.

It is not worth the while to go round the world to count the cats in
Zanzibar. Yet do this even till you can do better, and you may
perhaps find some "Symmes’ Hole" by which to get at the inside at
last. England and France, Spain and Portugal, Gold Coast and Slave
Coast, all front on this private sea; but no bark from them has
ventured out of sight of land, though it is without doubt the direct
way to India. If you would learn to speak all tongues and conform to
the customs of all nations, if you would travel farther than all
travellers, be naturalized in all climes, and cause the Sphinx to dash
her bead against a stone, even obey the precept of the old
philosopher, and Explore thyself. Herein are demanded the eye and
the nerve. Only the defeated and deserters go to the wars, cowards
that run away and enlist. Start now on that farthest western way,
which does not pause at the Mississippi or the Pacific, nor conduct
toward a wornout China or Japan, but leads on direct, a tangent to
this sphere, summer and winter, day and night, sun down, moon
down, and at last earth down too.

It is said that Mirabeau took to highway robbery "to ascertain what
degree of resolution was necessary in order to place one’s self in
formal opposition to the most sacred laws of society." He declared
that "a soldier who fights in the ranks does not require half so much
courage as a foot-pad"- "that honor and religion have never stood in
the way of a well-considered and a firm resolve." This was manly, as
the world goes; and yet it was idle, if not desperate. A saner man
would have found himself often enough "in formal opposition" to
what are deemed "the most sacred laws of society," through
obedience to yet more sacred laws, and so have tested his resolution
without going out of his way. It is not for a man to put himself in
such an attitude to society, but to maintain himself in whatever
attitude he find himself through obedience to the laws of his being,
which will never be one of opposition to a just government, if he
should chance to meet with such.

I left the woods for as good a reason as I went there. Perhaps it
seemed to me that I had several more lives to live, and could not
spare any more time for that one. It is remarkable how easily and
insensibly we fall into a particular route, and make a beaten track for
ourselves. I had not lived there a week before my feet wore a path
from my door to the pond-side; and though it is Eve or six years
since I trod it, it is still quite distinct. It is true, I fear, that others may
have fallen into it, and so helped to keep it open. The surface of the
earth is soft and impressible by the feet of men; and so with the paths
which the mind travels. How worn and dusty, then, must be the
Highways of the world, how deep the ruts of tradition and
conformity! I did not wish to take a cabin passage, but rather to go
before the mast and on the deck of the world, for there I could best
see the moonlight amid the mountains. I do not wish to go below

I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances
confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the
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