Sir Richard Francis Burton on travel

On December 2, 1856—fourteen long years ago!—we bade adieu to the foul harbour of Bombay the Beautiful, with but a single sigh. The warm-hearted Mr Lumsden saw us on board, wrung our hands with friendly vigour, and bade us go in and win—deserve success if we could not command it. No phantom of the future cast a shadow upon our sunny path as we set out, determined either to do or die. I find my journal brimful of enthusiasm. ‘Of the gladdest moments in human life, methinks, is the departure upon a distant journey into unknown lands. Shaking off with one mighty effort the fetters of Habit, the leaden weight of Routine, the cloak of many Cares and the slavery of Home, man feels once more happy. The blood flows with the fast circulation of childhood. Excitement lends unwonted vigour to the muscles, and the sudden sense of freedom adds a cubit to the mental stature. Afresh dawns the morn of life; again the bright world is beautiful to the eye, and the glorious face of nature gladdens the soul. A journey, in fact, appeals to Imagination, to Memory, to Hope,—the three sister Graces of our moral being.’[1]
Sir Richard Francis Burton in Zanzibar: City, Island, and Coast, Volume 1, (London: Tinsley Brothers, 1872), p. 16.

Footnote

[1] Somewhat boisterous, but true. (Note 14 years afterwards.)

Alternative Citation

Of the gladdest moments, methinks, in human life, is the departing upon a distant journey into unknown lands. Shaking off with one effort the fetters of habit, the leaden weight of routine, the cloak of carking care, and the slavery of Civilization, Man feels once more happy. The blood flows with the fast circulation of youth, excitement gives a new vigour to the muscles, and a sense of sudden freedom adds an inch to the stature. Afresh dawns the morn of life, again the bright world is beautiful to the eye, and the glorious face of Nature gladdens the soul. A journey, in fact, appeals to Imagination, to Memory, to Hope—the sister Graces of our moral being.
— Sir Richard Francis Burton as cited by Lady Isabel Burton in The Life of Captain Sir Richard F. Burton, edited by William Henry Wilkins, (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1898), p. 149.

Richard Francis Burton Isabel Burton Posted on behalf of Richard Francis Burton, and Isabel Burton on Friday, June 4th, 2010 under Quotations.

One comment so far

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