a ramblers lease

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: AN OLD ROAD. Methinks here one may, without much molestation, be thinking what he is, whence he came, what he has done, and to what the King has called him. — Bhutan. I FALL in with persons, now and then, who profess to care nothing for a path when walking in the woods. They do not choose to travel in other people's footsteps, — nay, nor even in their own, — but count it their mission to lay out a new road every time they go afield. They are welcome to their freak. My own genius for adventure is less highly developed; and, to be frank, I have never learned to look upon affectation and whim as synonymous with originality. In my eyes, it is nothing against a hill that other men have climbed it before me ; and if their feet have worn a trail, so much the better. I not only reach the summit more easily, but have company on the way, — company none the less to my mind, perhaps, for being silent and invisible. It iswell enough to strike into the trackless forest once in a while; to wander you know not whither, and come out you know not where; to lie down in a strange place, and for an hour imagine yourself the explorer of a new continent: but if the mind be awake (as, alas, too often it is not), you may walk where you will, in never so well known a corner, and you will see new things, and think new thoughts, and return to your house a new man, which, I venture to believe, is after all the main consideration. Indeed, if your stirring abroad is to be more than mere muscular exercise, you will find a positive advantage in making use of some well-worn and familiar path. The feet will follow it mechanically, and so the mind—that is, the walker himself — will be left undistracted. That, to my thinking, is the real tour of discovei-y wherein one keeps to the beaten road, looks at the cust...
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