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THE LIBRARY

OF

THE UNIVERSITY
OF CALIFORNIA

LOS ANGELES



OF WALKS AND
WALKING TOURS




BY THE SAME AUTHOR

GOLDWIN SMITH

His Life and Opinions

Illustrated with many Important Portraits
Demy 8vo, cloth gilt. i8s. net

"A thoroughly readable book." Lon-
don Times.

"Of its human and literary interest we
could hardly speak too highly." Birming-
ham Post.

UNIFORM WITH THE ABOVE

THE CORRESPONDENCE OF
GOLDWIN SMITH

Illustrated with many Important Portraits
Demy 8vo, cloth gilt. i8s. net.



All Rights Reserved



OF WALKS AND 9 $
WALKING TOURS

An Attempt to find a Philosophy
and a Creed



BY



ARNOLD HAULTAIN

Author of " Hints for Lovers "

" The Mystery of Golf"
" Goldwin Smith : His Life and Opinions "
Etc.



LONDON

T. WERNER LAURIE LTD.

8 ESSEX STREET, STRAND
1914



" De natura Rationis est res sub quadam
aeternitatis specie percipere."

SPINOZA, Ethics, Part II.,

Proposition xliv., Corollary ii.



PREFACE

THE writing of this little book has given
me a great deal of pleasure. That is why
I hope that, here and there, it may give
pleasure to others.

And yet it was not an easy task.
Nature's lessons are hard to learn. Harder
still is it to translate Nature's lessons to
others. Besides, the appeal of Nature is
to the Emotions ; and words are weak
things (save in the hands of a great Poet)
by which to convey or to evoke emotion.
Words seem to be the vehicles rather of
ratiocination than of emotion. Is not
even the Poet driven to link words to
music ? And always le mot juste, the
exact word, is so difficult to find ! Yet
found it must be if the appeal is to avail.

If, in these pages, there are scattered
speculations semi-mystical, semi-intellig-
ible, perhaps even transcending the boun-
daries of rigid logic, I must simply aver
that I put in writing that only which was

V

87O902



PREFACE

given me to say. How or whence it came,
I do not know. And this, notwithstand-
ing (or, perhaps, in a way, corroborative of)
my own belief that no thought is auto-
genous, but has parents and a pedigree.

I have tried, quite humbly, to follow, as
motto, the sentence chosen from Spinoza.
Yet, with that sentence always should be
read this other, taken from Pascal: "La
derniere demarche de la rat'son, cest de
reconnaitre quit y a une infinite de ckoses
qui la surpassent" Always emotion,
imagination, feeling, faith, try to soar
above reason ; and always they feel the
inadequacy of words.

I have incorporated in this book some
parts of my " Two Country Walks in
Canada" now long out of print (itself
comprising an article from The Nineteenth
Century and another from Blackwoods] ;
also (with the permission of the editor) an
article in The Atlantic Monthly Magazine ;
and Sections 22 and 23 first appeared in
The Canadian Magazine.

GENEVA, 1914.



CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

I. GOLF AND WALKING . . i

II. THE ESSENCE OF A WALK . . 5

III. NOTABLE WALKERS ... 9

IV. MY EARLIEST WALKS . . 15
V. INDIA . . . *7

VI. ENGLISH BYWAYS . . .21

VII. A SPRING MORNING IN ENGLAND . 25

VIII. AUTUMN REVERIES . 29

IX. SPIRITUALITY OF NATURE . . 34

X. PRACTICAL TRANSCENDENTALISM . 40

XI. SPRING IN CANADA . . .45

XII. AUTUMN IN CANADA . . 53

XIII. WINTER IN CANADA. . . 59

XIV. THE MOOD FOR WALKING . . 72
XV. EVENING MEDITATIONS . . 78

XVI. THE UNITY OF NATURE . . 91

XVII. THE INSTINCT FOR WALKING . 103
vii



CONTENTS



CHAPTEB



PAGE



XVIII. A WOEFUL WALK . . 105

XIX. AUTUMN IN CANADA AGAIN . 107

XX. THE WALKING TOUR . . 133

XXI. THE TRAMP'S DIETARY . . , 140

XXII. PRACTICAL DETAILS . . 152

XXIII. THE BEAUTY OF LANDSCAPE . 159

XXIV. WARNINGS TO THE OVER-ZEALOUS 180

XXV. HOW THAT ALL POINTS TO THE

INFINITE . . *88

XXVI. THE PLEASURES OF WALKING . 198

XXVII. Is WALKING SELFISH? . . 216

XXVIII. THE P.EAN OF BEING . . 223

INDEX . . . .227



OF WALKS AND WALKING
TOURS

I
GOLF AND WALKING



MANY are the indictments which are
brought against Golf : that it is a deplor-
able waster of time ; that it depletes the
purse ; that it divorces husband and
wife ; that it delays the dinner - hour,
freckles fair feminine faces, upsets
domestic arrangements, and unhinges
generally the mental balance of its
devotees. Yet perhaps to each of such
charges Golf can enter a plea. It repays
expenditure of time and money with



OF WALKS AND WALKING TOURS

interest in the form of health and good
spirits. If it acts the part of co-respondent
it is always open to the petitioner to
espouse the game. If it keeps men and
women away from work and home, at
least it keeps them out on the breezy
links and dispels for a time the cares of
the office or the kitchen. If it tans
well, it tans, and a tanned face needs
no paint, and is, moreover, beautiful to
look upon. Nevertheless, one indictment
there is against which it is not in the
power of Golf to enter a plea. It has
killed the country walk. " A country
walk ! " exclaimed a fellow-golfer to me
the other day. " I have not taken a
country walk since I began to play."

There are, I know, who affect to believe
that Golf consists of country walks,
diversified and embellished by pauses
made for the purpose of impelling little



GOLF AND WALKING

round balls into little round holes ; that
mind and eye are occupied chiefly with
the beauties of Nature, and that the
impulsion of the insignificant sphere into
the insignificant void is, as it were, but a
sop to Cerberus, or a cock sacrificed to the
^sculapius of this sporting age. " How
greatly," said to me once a fair and inno-
cent stranger to my links " how greatly
this beautiful landscape must enhance
the pleasure of your game 1 " sancta
simplicitas ! Far be it from me to explain
that as a rule the horrid golfer only drank
in the beauties of that landscape when the
game was over, and he was, perchance,
occupied in performing a similar opera-
tion upon the contents of a tumbler at his
elbow as he reclined in an arm-chair on the
verandah. And yet, and yet, our links
are beautiful, and one and all of us then-
frequenters know and appreciate to the
3



OF WALKS AND WALKING TOURS

full their beauty ; but not, I think, at the
moment of " addressing the ball." No ;
Golf is Golf ; a country walk is quite
another thing ; and the one, I maintain,
has killed the other.



II

THE ESSENCE OF A WALK

2

FOR, mark you, the essence of a country
walk is that you shall have no object or
aim whatsoever. The frame of mind in
which one ought to set out upon a rural
peregrination should be one of absolute
mental vacuity. Almost one ought to
rid oneself, if so be that were possible,
even of the categories of time and place :
for to start with a determination to cover
a certain distance within a specified time
is to take, not a walk, but a " constitu-
tional " ; and of all abortions or mon-
strosities of country walks, commend me
to the constitutional. The proper frame
5



OF WALKS AND WALKING TOURS

of mind is that of absolute and secure
passivity ; an openness to impressions ;
a giving-up of ourselves to the great and
guiding influences of benignant Nature ;
a humble receptivity of soul ; a wonder-
ing and childlike eagerness not a restless
and too inquisitive eagerness to learn all
that great Nature may like to teach, and
to learn it in the way that great Nature
would have us learn.

Yet, true, though we take with us a
vacuous mind, it must be a plenable mind
(if I may coin the word), a serenely
responsive mind ; otherwise we shall not
reap the harvest of a quiet eye.

" How bountiful is Nature ! he shall find
Who seeks not ; and to him who hath not asked
Large measure shall be dealt,"

sings Wordsworth ; and of Nature and
of Nature's ways no one had a greater
right to sing. Wordsworth must have



THE ESSENCE OF A WALK

been an ideal country walker. " The Ex-
cursion " is the harvest of innumerable
walks, and when Wordsworth depicts the
Wanderer he depicts himself :

" In the woods

A lone Enthusiast, and among the fields,
Itinerant in this labour, he had passed
The better portion of his time ; and there
Spontaneously had his affections thriven
Amid the bounties of the year, the peace
And liberty of Nature ; there he kept,
In solitude and solitary thought,
His mind in a just equipoise of love."

Only, " the w ... w ... worst of
W ... W ... Wordsworth is," as a
stammering friend of mine once remarked,
" is, he is so d ... d ... d ... des-
perate p . . . pensive." (I was expecting
a past participle, not an ungrammatical
adverb for the " d.") He is ; and like,
yet unlike, Falstaff, he is not only pensive
in himself, but he is the cause of pensive-
7



OF WALKS AND WALKING TOURS

ness in other things to wit, his " stars,"
his " citadels," and what not ; and cer-
tainly his diary of " A Tour in Scotland "
makes the driest reading I know. Never-
theless, Wordsworth must have been an
ideal country walker. He was

" A lover of the meadows and the woods,
And mountains ; and of all that we behold
From this green earth " ;

and if we would understand him, we
ourselves must

" Let the moon

Shine on us in our solitary walk ;
And let the misty mountain winds be free
To blow against us."




Ill

NOTABLE WALKERS

3

ALL great souls, I venture to think, were
at some period of their lives walkers in the
country. Jesus of Nazareth spent forty
days in the wilderness, and the three years
of his mission were, we know, spent in
unceasing wandering. And whose heart
does not burn within him as he reads the
moving narrative of that seven-mile
country walk which he took with two of
his disciples to the village called Emmaus ?
It was after a forty days' solitary sojourn
on Mount Sinai, too, so we are told, that
Moses came down armed with the Deca-
logue ; and was it not after a similar
Ramadan retreat that Mohammed re-
9



OF WALKS AND WALKING TOURS

turned with the novel doctrine that there
was no God but God ? Enoch, we know,
walked with God ; and it is a childish
fancy of mine which I am loath to relin-
quish that God took him, and that he was
not, for because he was so delectable
a companion. Of a surety the Sweet
Singer of Israel must have wandered much
in the green pastures and by the still
waters ; he who kept his father's sheep ;
who slew both the lion and the bear ; who
sang the high hills, a refuge for the wild
goats, and the rocks for the conies.
Indeed, if one comes to think of it, how
much literature owes to the country walk !
It was to that long walk outside the wall
of Athens, and to the long talk that
Socrates held with Phaedrus under the
plane-tree by the banks of the Ilissus,
that we owe one of the most beautiful of
the Dialogues of Plato. There had been

10



NOTABLE WALKERS

no Georgics had not Virgil loved the
country. Horace must as often have
circumambulated his Sabine farm as he
perambulated the Via Sacra. Chaucer
must sometimes have pilgrimed afoot,
and Spenser, trod as well as pricked
o'er the plain. Shakespeare's poaching
episode gives us a glimpse into his youth-
ful pursuits. Milton " oft the woods
among wooed Philomel to hear her even-
song " ; and even after his blindness
" not the more ceased he to wander where
the Muses haunt clear spring, or shady
grove, or sunny hill." " The Traveller "
of Goldsmith was the outcome of a walking
tour ; so was Robert Louis Stevenson's
" Travels in the Cevennes with a Donkey."
To how many minds walks about the green
flat meads of Oxford have been a quiet
stimulant we may get a hint from more

than one of Matthew Arnold's poems,
ii



OF WALKS AND WALKING TOURS

Was it to Newman that Jowett, meeting
him alone and afoot, put the query:
" Nunquam minus solus quam quum
solus ?" Of Jowett's walks many a tale
is told. Of De Quincey, who spent his
youth in wanderings ; of William Cowper,
the gentle singer of the " Winter Walk " ;
of Thoreau * ; of Mr John Burroughs 2 ;
of Richard Jefferies 3 ; of Mr Hamilton
Wright Mabie, 4 the discoverer of the

^ee Henry D. Thoreau's "Walden"; "A
Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers " ;
" Winter"; etc.

2 See John Burroughs, his "Birds and Poets " ;
"Locusts and Wild Honey"; "JPejj>acton_ ' ;
""Signs and Seasons " ; " Wake Robin " ; " Winter
Sunshine^' ; etc. f^^. \<^C^>

8 See Richard Jefferies, his " Amateur Poaching ' ' ; -/ /
^ FjelcUad JLedgejrow -. "4_L'_\WidLif e in a Southern '
County " ; " Najture_near JLGffl^fla^J.JlJ^aBi - -
about a Great Estate " ; " Wood Magic " ; " The
"Story of my Heart."

* See Hamilton Wright Mabie's "In the Forest
of Arden " ; " Under the Trees and Elsewhere " ;
etc.

12



NOTABLE WALKERS

Forest of Arden ; of Mr Henry Van Dyke 1
who would be, I warrant me, an incom-
parable companion for a walk, and whose
books make the pent-up sigh for the
open; of "A Son of the Marshes" 2 ; of
Dr Charles C. Abbott, 3 that indefatigable
Wasteland Wanderer ; of Mr Charles
Goodrich Whiting, 4 the Saunterer ; of

1 See Henry Van Dyke's "
some other Uncertain



A Book of Essays in Profitable Idleness " ; " Days
Off, and other Digressions " ; etc.

2 See "Ir^the Green Leaf and the^ere," by
" A Son of "the Marshes." Edited byjTA. Owen.
Illustrated by G. C. Haite and D. C. Nicholl. Also
"Drift from Longshore," by the same author and
editor.

3 See Charles C. Abbott's "Upland and
Meadow " ; " Wasteland Wanderings " ; " The
Birds About Us " ; "A Naturalist's Rambles about
Home " ; " Outings at Odd Times " ; " Recent
Rambles, or, In Touch with Nature " ; "Travels
in a Tree Top " ; " Birdland Echoes " ; " Notes
of the Night, and other Outdoor Sketches " ; etc.

4 See Charles Goodrich Whiting's " Walks in New
England " ; etc.

13



OF WALKS AND WALKING TOURS

that prince of walkers, of whom The
Spectator said it was " half a pity that
such a man could not go walking about
for ever, for the benefit of people who are
not gifted with legs so stout and eyes so
discerning," I mean that erudite nomad,
George Borrow * ; of Senancour, who in
his journeys afoot experienced illusions
imposantes 2 ; of Sir Leslie Stephen 3
of these and many another lover of
outdoor Nature it is needless to speak.

1 See George Sorrow's " Wild Wales : Its People,
Language, and Scenery.""

* " Obermann," lettre ii.

8 See his " In Praise of Walking," in The Monthly
Review (London : Murray) of August, 1901.



IV
MY EARLIEST WALKS

4

THE earliest walks which my own memory
recalls were rather curious ones. We were
in Burma, a country in which, in the dry
season, exercise must be taken about
daybreak or sundown, or not at all.
We walked and before breakfast ; and
always we were accompanied by a pet cat,
a sharp-nosed " toddy-cat " (so they
called him), indigenous to the country,
and not unlike the American raccoon, very
affectionate and very cleanly. But the
cat was not our only companion, for just
overhead, screaming threateningly, were
always also, and all the way, a flock of
15



OF WALKS AND WALKING TOURS

kites the mortal enemies, so I must
suppose, of Hokey-Pokey (thus was named
our 'coon-cat pet). Now I come to think
of it, it must have been a funny sight :
a family afoot ; in the rear an impudent
cat with tail erect ; overhead irate and
clamorous kites.



16



INDIA

5

MY next walks were on the Nilgiris, the
Blue Mountains of India. Ah, they were
beautiful ! The seven or eight thousand
feet of altitude tempered the tropical sun,
the mornings were fresh and invigorating
your cold bath was really cold, and
spring seemed perennial. Hedges of
cluster-roses bloomed the whole year
round ; on the orange-trees were leaf, bud,
bloom and ripening fruit, also the whole
year round. Heliotrope grew in gigantic
bushes that were pruned with garden
clippers. Through the grounds about

the house flowed a babbling brook, widen-
B 17



OF WALKS AND WALKING TOURS

ing here and there into quiet ponds, from
the sedgy edges of which green-stemmed
arums raised their graceful cups. In the
deep valleys grew the tree-fern ; here
and there a playful waterfall gushed from
the hill ; and everything was green. No ;
two things were not green : the one, the
hot and hazy plains, shimmering in yellow
dust as seen from the shoulder of a hill ;
the other, the gigantic Droog, a mighty
mountain mass rearing its head, sombre
and silent, on the other side of a deep
ravine. The Droog was purple : not
with the pellucid purple of a petal, but
with the misty blue-black purple of the
bloom of a plum. Ah, it was all very
good. Never shall I forget the convolvu-
lus that decorated the northern verandah
before the heat of day shrivelled the
delicate corollas. There were rich bass

purples that stirred one like the tones of
18



INDIA

an organ. There were soprano pinks so
exquisite that a pianissimo trill on a violin
seemed crude in comparison. Their
beauty was all but audible : it penetrated
the senses and reached in to some inner
subtile psychic centre, there to move
emotions which must remain unsaid.
This was in India. There is something
perfervid in the fascination of the East.
The West may clutch the thrilled heart
with a steely clasp ; the East holds the
soul in a passionate embrace. Ah, India,
beloved India, my first nurse and I trust
my last ; "not were that submarine, gem-
lighted city mine " would I relinquish
hope of seeing thee again, adored India :
old majestic land ; land of ancient castes
and alien creeds ; land of custom, myth,
and magic ; land of pungent odours,
stinging tastes, and colours dazzling as the
sun ; land of mystery, of pageant, and of
19



OF WALKS AND WALKING TOURS

pain ! Ah, subtile, thralling, luring India!
India is like Samson's lion : it has been
conquered by the young and lusty Occi-
dent, and in its old carcass its conqueror
finds both meat and sweetness ; and it
serves for a riddle to others. To complete
the analogy, there are those who are
trying to plough with Samson's heifer.



20



VI

ENGLISH BYWAYS
6

MY next walks were in England. For
their size, the British Isles probably
afford the most varied tramping ground
of any country in the world. Within a
few hundred miles of radius you get
infinite variety : the rolling downs ; the
quiet weald ; hilly Derbyshire ; mount-
ainous Wales ; Devonshire's lanes ; the
Westmorland or the Cumberland lakes
these for the seeker of quiet. For the
more emprising there is the wild and
broken scenery of the northern isles ;
and the lover of the homeless sea can
choose any shore to his liking.

21



OF WALKS AND WALKING TOURS

7

There is an impression abroad that in
England you must confine your steps to
the high-road. That has not been my
experience. True, you must not expect
everywhere to be allowed to stalk any-
where across country unless you are
following the beagles ; but, so numerous
are the byways and bridle-paths ; so
easy has access been made, through
centuries of hereditary ownership, from
one field or stile or farm to another ; so
generous, too, are so many landlords, that
one can travel for many and many a mile
without doing more than cross and recross
the road. But true it is also that, in order
to do this, you must know something of
the locality.

One much-hidden entrance to a most
sequestered spot I hope I do no wrong in

22



ENGLISH BYWAYS

revealing here. London stretches out
north-west almost to Uxbridge, nearly
twenty miles out that is, habitations
line almost every inch of the way. After
Uxbridge, the road is hard, dry, and
comparatively uninteresting. But, near
a cross-road, where is a house on either
side, if you look carefully to the right
you will dimly discern, beneath the shade
of low-bending boughs, and almost hidden
by these, a simple, unpretending stile.
I recommend you to climb over it, for it is
the entrance to a great, quiet, secluded
spot, several acres in extent, thickly
wooded with superb beeches and firs, so
thickly wooded that the sky is invisible
and the earth wholly in shade. But for
the extreme kemptness of the underbrush
(and the fact that you have just stepped
out of the London road), you might be in
a primaeval forest of the West. Nor is
23



OF WALKS AND WALKING TOURS

this the sum of its beauty. High though
it is above the surrounding country,
embosomed in this forest is a lovely lake,
exquisite in its colouring, reflecting, as
it does, the cloud-flecked sky, and, all
round its rim, the bending boughs of the
beech. Typical of England are this lake
and park. They are private property,
of course ; but the owner gives every
wayfarer leave of access. Typical of
England : tenacious of rights, yet just,
nay, generous, to all.



24



VII

A SPRING MORNING IN ENGLAND

8

HE who knows not England I will here
permit to peep into a page of a diary
giving a glimpse of a morning dawdle on
the Sussex Downs :

" ROYAL OAK INN,

" VILLAGE OF POYNINGS,

" 27/7? March 18 , 11.30 A.M.

" The little maid is laying the other half
of this table to supply me with eggs and
bacon. . . .

" I got me out of Brighton early,

walked through Hassocks and Hurstpier-

point, and strolled on in any direction that

invited (for I had the whole lovely day

25



OF WALKS AND WALKING TOURS

to myself), choosing chiefly byways and
sequestered paths approached by stiles.

" The day was superb. The sky, after
a rainy night, was a rich deep blue, and
across it sailed great white-grey clouds,
the shadows of which chased each other
albeit solemnly and with dignity over
field and meadow. The fields, sown with
corn already tall, were burnished green
they shone in the sunlight . The meadows
were deeper in colour. The slopes of the
downs changed their hues every moment ;
every acre changed, according as it caught
the light direct, or through a thin cloud,
or was immersed in shade by a big and
thick one. The ditches and the little
banks by the road, out of which the trim
hedgerows sprang, were green with a
hundred little plants and weeds the
dock, the nettle, groundsel, stick-a-bobs,

ivy of every hue and shape, mullein, the
26



A SPRING MORNING IN ENGLAND

alder well in leaf, and the hawthorn here
and there in flower.

" Breakfast over. The most delicious
bacon, the freshest of eggs, milk that
might have masqueraded as cream ; and
all served with the extremity of respect-
ful civility. A fire smouldering in the
hearth ; a terrier longing to make friends ;
otherwise they shut the door and leave me
to quiet privacy.

" The greenness of the hedges was
exquisite. And here and there the prim-
roses in profusion and the violets and
birds. England teems with life. I
heard the thrush ' It is Spring ! It is
Spring ! O the joy ! I tell you it is is
is ! ' And the blackbirds screaming out
of a bush, pretending to be frightened,
but only looking for an excuse to shout.
The ring-doves, really disturbed and

rising with noisy wings. The rooks, lost
27



OF WALKS AND WALKING TOURS

in real wonderment that anyone should
stop and look at them for five minutes,
and ' cawing ' and ' cahing ' in vociferous
interrogation. Querulous tits, chirping
hedge-sparrows, cheeping linnets and
finches by the hundreds and hundreds."

A mere peep (but a peep photographed
on the spot), and giving but a poor glimpse
of a scene the exact like of which you will
not get elsewhere the wide world over.
And, by the way, shouldst ever find thy-
self at this self -same village of Poynings,
omit not to examine the Early Perpen-
dicular church ; the alms-box is an
ancient thurible.



VIII

AUTUMN REVERIES

9

THIS was in the spring. Autumn in
England is equally lovely. In the new
world at least in the northern regions
there is a chill in the fall of the year.
The cold north-western winds, cradled
amidst palaeocrystic ice, and blowing over
tundra and prairie, are untempered by
Gulf Stream or ocean. Untempered, too,
by cloud and moisture, they cut keen, and
reveal the leafless landscape in all its bare-
ness. And it may be that they bring with
them the thought that for many months
to come that landscape will be bare indeed
unless covered with a shroud of snow.

Far different is autumn in England
29



OF WALKS AND WALKING TOURS

I write (this time) situate in the basin of
the Thames, and for many weeks I have
been watching summer slowly give up its
glowing glories in order that other glories,
not less wonderful in colour, may take their
place. For England is never colourless ;
nay, in England, all through the year, the
colours are warm and sweet and com-
forting. The very trunks and twigs of
the trees are warm with browns and greens


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