No man will speak to his master; but to a wanderer and a friend, to him who does not come to teach or to rule, to him who asks for nothing and accepts all things, words are spoken by the camp-fires, in the shared solitude of the sea, in riverside villages, in resting-places surrounded by forests-words are spoken that take no account of race or colour. One heart speaks-another one listens; and the earth, the sea, the sky, the passing wind and the stirring leaf, hear also the futile tale of the burden of life.

how can you imagine what particular region of the first ages a man’s untrammelled feet may take him into by the way of solitude-utter solitude without a policeman-by the way of silence-utter silence, where no warning voice of a kind neighbor can be heard whispering of public opinion? These little things make all the great difference. When they are gone you must fall back upon your own innate strength, upon your own capacity for faithfulness.

but heavens! how that man could talk! He electrified large meetings. He had faith-don’t you see?-he had the faith. He could get himself to believe anything-anything. He would have been a splendid “leader of an extreme party.’ ‘What party?’ I asked. ‘Any party,’ answered the other. ‘He was an-an-extremist.

I was thinking of very old times, when the Romans first came here, nineteen hundred years ago–the other day. . . . Light came out of this river since–you say Knights? Yes; but it is like a running blaze on a plain, like a flash of lightning in the clouds. We live in the flicker–may it last as long as the old earth keeps rolling! But darkness was here yesterday.

Nowhere else than upon the sea do the days, weeks and months fall away quicker into the past. They seem to be left astern as easily as the light air-bubbles in the swirls of the ship’s wake, and vanish into a great silence in which your ship moves on with a sort of magical effect.

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