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of rigorous despotism; like shipwrecked mariners clinging to a bare and rugged rock as a refuge from the waves.
'And when we look to the history of religious changes, the prospect is similar. The formalism, the superstition, and the priestcraft which prevailed for so many ages throughout Christendom, led, in many instances, by a natural reaction, to the wildest irregularities of fanaticism or profaneness. We find antinomian licentiousness, in some instances, the successor of the pretended merit of what were called 'good works;' in others, the rejection altogether of the christian Sacraments, succeeding the superstitious abuse of them; the legitimate claims of every visible Church utterly disowned by the descendants of those who had groaned under a spiritual tyranny; pretensions to individual personal inspiration set up by those who had revolted from that tyranny; and in short, every variety of extravagance that was most contrasted with the excesses and abuses that had before prevailed/
Such are the lessons which Reason and wide Experience would teach to those who 'have ears to hear,' and which the wisest men in various ages have laboured, and generally laboured in vain, to inculcate. For all Reason, all Experience, and the authority of all the wise, are too often powerless when opposed to excited party-spirit.1
We cannot, then, be too much on our guard against reactions, lest we rush from one fault into another contrary fault. We should remember also that all admixture of truth with error has a double danger: some admit both together; others reject both. And hence, nothing is harmless that is mistaken either for a truth or for a virtue.
In no point, we may be assured, is our spiritual enemy more vigilant. He is ever ready not merely to tempt us with the unmixed poison of known sin, but to corrupt even our food, and to taint even our medicine, with the venom of his falsehood. For, religion is the medicine of the soul; it is the designed and appropriate preventive and remedy for the evils of our nature. The subtle Tempter well knows that no other allurements to sin would be of much avail, if this medicine were
1 See Cautions for the Times, No. XIX.
assiduously applied, and applied in unadulterated purity; and he knows that superstition is the specific poison which may be the most easily blended with true religion, and which will the most completely destroy its efficacy.
It is for us then to take heed that the 'light which is in us be not darkness;' that our religion be kept pure from the noxious admixture of superstition; and it is for us to observe the errors of others with a view to our own correction, and to our own preservation, instead of contemplating 'the mote that is in our brother's eye, while we behold not the beam that is in our own eye.' Our conscience, if we carefully regulate, and diligently consult it, will be ready, after we have seen and condemned (which is no hard task) the faults of our neighbour, to furnish us (where there is need) with that salutary admonition which the self-blinded King of Israel received from the mouth of the Prophet, 'Thou art the man.'1
1 Essay (4th series) 'On Superstition.'
ESSAY XVIII. OF TRAVEL.
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. That young men travel under some tutor, or grave servant, I allowl well; so that he be such a one that hath the language, and hath been in the country before; whereby he may be able to tell them what things are worthy to be seen in the country where they go, what acquaintances they are to seek, what .exercises or discipline the place yieldeth; for else young men shall go hooded, and look abroad little. It is a strange thing that, in sea voyages, where there is nothing to be seen but sky and sea, men should make diaries; but in land-travel, wherein so much is to be observed, for the most part they omit it—as if chance were fitter to be registered than observation: let diaries, therefore, be brought in use. The things to be seen and observed are the courts of princes, especially when they give audience to ambassadors; the courts of justice, while they sit and hear causes; and so of consistories ecclesiastic; the churches and monasteries, with the monuments which are therein extant; the walls and fortifications of cities and towns; and so the havens and harbours, antiquities and ruins, libraries, colleges, disputations and lectures, where any are; shipping and navies; houses and gardens of state and pleasure near great cities; armories, arsenals, magazines, exchanges, burses,2 warehouses, exercises of horsemanship, fencing, training of soldiers, and the like; comedies, such whereunto the better sort of persons do resort; treasuries of jewels and robes; cabinets and rarities; and, to conclude, whatsoever is memorable in the places where they go—after all which, the tutors or servants ought to make diligent inquiry. As for triumphs,1 masks, feasts, weddings, funerals, capital executions, and such shows, men need not be put in mind of them; yet they are not to be neglected. If you will have a young man to put his travel into a little room, and in short time to gather much, this you must do: first, as was said, he must have some entrance into the language before he goeth; then he must have such a servant, or tutor, as knoweth the country, as was likewise said; let him carry with him also some card, or book, describing the country where he travelleth, which will be a good key to his inquiry; let him keep also a diary; let him not stay long in one city or town, more or less as the place deserveth, but not long; nay, when he stayeth in one city or town, let him change his lodging from one end and part of the town to another, which is a great adamant2 of acquaintance; let him sequester himself from the company of his countrymen, and diet in such places where there is good company of the nation where he travelleth; let him, upon his removes from one place to another, procure recommendation to some person of quality residing in the place whither he removeth, that he may use his favour in those things he desireth to see or know; thus he may abridge his travel with much profit.
'Allow. Approve. 'The Lord allowet h the righteous.'—Psalmt.
* Burse. Exchange; bourse. (So called from the sign of a purse being anciently set over the places where merchants met.) 'Fraternities and companies I approve of, such as merchants' burset.'—Burton.
As for the acquaintance which is to be sought in travel, that which is most of all profitable, is, acquaintance with the secretaries, and employed men of ambassadors; for so in travelling in one country he shall suck the experience of many. Let him also see and visit eminent persons in all kinds, which are of great name abroad, that he may be able to tell how the life agreeth with the fame. For quarrels, they are with care and discretion to be avoided—they are commonly for mistresses, healths, place, and words: and let a man beware how he keepeth company with choleric and quarrelsome persons; for they will engage him into3 their own quarrels. When a traveller returneth home, let him not leave the countries where he hath travelled altogether behind him, but maintain a corre1 Triumphs. Fuilic shows of any kind.
'Hold those justs and triumphs.'—Shakespere. 5 Adamant. For loadstone.
'You drew me, you hard-hearted adamant.'—Shakespere. 1 Into. In. 'How much more may education induce by custom good habits into a reasonable creature.'—Locke.
spondence by letters with those of his acquaintance which are of most worth; and let his travel appear rather in his discourse, than in his apparel or gesture; and in his discourse let him be rather advised in his answers, than forward to tell stories: and let it appear that he doth not change his country manners for those of foreign parts, but only prick in some flowers of that1 he hath learned abroad into the customs of his own country.
'Travel in the younger sort is apart of education; in the elder apart of experience.'
The well-known tale for young people, in the Evenings at Home, of 'Eyes and no Eyes/ might be applied to many travellers of opposite habits.
But there are, moreover, not a few who may be said to be 'one-eyed' travellers; who see a great deal of some particular class of objects, and are blind to all others. One, for example, will have merely the eye of a landscape-painter; another, of a geologist, or a botanist; another, of a politician; and so on. And the way in which some men's views are in this way limited, is sometimes very whimsical. For instance—A. B. was a man of superior intelligence and extensive reading, especially in ancient history, which was his favourite study. He travelled on the Continent, and especially in Italy, with an eager desire to verify the localities of celebrated battles and other transactions recorded by the Greek and Roman historians: and he succeeded admirably in fixing on the exact spot of almost every feat performed by Hannibal. And when these researches, in each place, were completed, he hurried away without having, or seeking, any intercourse with any of the people now inhabiting Italy, or thinking it worth while to make any inquiries as to their character and social condition; having set out with the
1 That. What; that which. See page 73.