Page:A Thousand-Mile Walk To The Gulf.djvu/26

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
Introduction

where I was going. Doomed to be ‘carried of the spirit into the wilderness,’ I suppose. I wish I could be more moderate in my desires, but I cannot, and so there is no rest.”

The letter noted above was written only two days before he started on his long walk to Florida. If the concluding sentences still reflect indecision, they also convey a hint of the overmastering impulse under which he was acting. The opening sentences of his journal, afterwards crossed out, witness to this sense of inward compulsion which he felt. “Few bodies,” he wrote, “are inhabited by so satisfied a soul that they are allowed exemption from extraordinary exertion through a whole life.” After reciting illustrations of nature’s periodicity, of the ebbs and flows of tides, and the pulsation of other forces, visible and invisible, he observes that “so also there are tides not only in the affairs of men, but in the primal thing of life itself. In some persons the impulse, being slight, is easily obeyed or overcome. But in others it is constant and cumulative in action until its

xiv