Movement will crush it still more

Someone said to Socrates that a certain man had grown no better by his travels. “I should think not,” he said; “he took himself along with him.”

Why should we move to find
Countries and climates of another kind?
What exile leaves himself behind?


If a man does not first unburden himself and his soul of the load that weighs upon it, movement will crush it still more, as in a ship the cargo is less cumbersome when it is settled. You do a sick man more harm than good by moving him. You imbed the malady by disturbing it, as stakes penetrate deeper and grow firmer when you budge them and shake them. Wherefore it is not enough to have gotten away from the crowd, it is not enough to move; we must get away from the love of crowds that is within us, we must sequester ourselves and regain possession of ourselves.

— Montaigne, “Of Solitude”

The soul’s at fault, which ne’er escapes itself.


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