Excerpt from Prue I: Lotus Eating Sweet day so cool, so calm, so bright The bridal of the earth and sky, I am sure that I see days as lovely in our clearer air, and do not believe that Italian sunsets have a more gorgeous purple or a softer gold.
So, as the circle of my little life revolves, I console myself with believing, What I can not help believing, that a man need not be a vagabond to enjoy the sweetest charm of travel, but that all countries and all times repeat themselves in his experience. This is an old philosophy, I am told, and much favoured by those Who have travelled; and I cannot but be glad that my faith has such a fine name and such competent Witnesses. I am assured, however, upon the other hand, that such a faith is only imagination. But, if that be true, imagination is as good as many voyages - and how much cheaper - a consideration Which an old book-keeper can never afford to forget.
I have not found, in my experience, that travellers always bring back with them the sunshine of Italy or the elegance of Greece. They tell us that there are such things, and that they have seen them but, perhaps, they saw them, as the apples in the garden of the Hesperides were sometimes seen - over the wall. I prefer the fruit which I can buy in the market to that which a man tells me he saw in Sicily, but of which there is no flavour in his story, Others, like Moses Primrose, bring us a gross of such spectacles as we prefer not to see; so that I begin to suspect a man must have Italy and Greece in his heart and mind, if he would ever see them with his eyes.
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