Background[ edit ] The family of Hazlitt's father were Irish Protestants who moved from the county of Antrim to Tipperary in the early 18th century.
I can enjoy society in a room; but out of doors, nature is company enough for me. I am then never less alone than when alone. When I am in the country I wish to vegetate like the country.
I am not for criticizing hedge-rows and black cattle. I go out of town in order to Analysis of william hazlitts on going the town and all that is in it. There are those who for this purpose go to watering-places, and carry the metropolis with them.
I like more elbow-room and fewer incumbrances. I like solitude, when I give myself up to it, for the sake of solitude; nor do I ask for "a friend in my retreat, Whom I may whisper solitude is sweet. We go a journey chiefly to be free of all impediments and of all inconveniences; to leave ourselves behind, much more to get rid of others.
Instead of a friend in a post-chaise or in a Tilbury, to exchange good things with, and vary the same stale topics over again, for once let me have a truce with impertinence. It is hard if I cannot start some game on these lone heaths.
I laugh, I run, I leap, I sing for joy. From the point of yonder rolling cloud I plunge into my past being, and revel there, as the sun-burnt Indian plunges headlong into the wave that wafts him to his native shore.
Then long-forgotten things, like "sunken wrack and sumless treasuries," burst upon my eager sight, and I begin to feel, think, and be myself again. Instead of an awkward silence, broken by attempts at wit or dull common-places, mine is that undisturbed silence of the heart which alone is perfect eloquence.
No one likes puns, alliterations, antitheses, argument, and analysis better than I do; but I sometimes had rather be without them. Does not this daisy leap to my heart set in its coat of emerald?
Yet if I were to explain to you the circumstance that has so endeared it to me, you would only smile. Had I not better then keep it to myself, and let it serve me to brood over, from here to yonder craggy point, and from thence onward to the far-distant horizon?
I should be but bad company all that way, and therefore prefer being alone. I have heard it said that you may, when the moody fit comes on, walk or ride on by yourself, and indulge your reveries. But this looks like a breach of manners, a neglect of others, and you are thinking all the time that you ought to rejoin your party.
I like to be either entirely to myself, or entirely at the disposal of others; to talk or be silent, to walk or sit still, to be sociable or solitary. I was pleased with an observation of Mr. If you only hint what you feel in a kind of dumb show, it is insipid: You cannot read the book of nature without being perpetually put to the trouble of translating it for the benefit of others.
I am for this synthetical method on a journey in preference to the analytical.
I am content to lay in a stock of ideas then, and to examine and anatomise them afterwards. I want to see my vague notions float like the down of the thistle before the breeze, and not to have them entangled in the briars and thorns of controversy.
For once, I like to have it all my own way; and this is impossible unless you are alone, or in such company as I do not covet. I have no objection to argue a point with any one for twenty miles of measured road, but not for pleasure.
If you remark the scent of a bean-field crossing the road, perhaps your fellow-traveller has no smell. If you point to a distant object, perhaps he is short-sighted, and has to take out his glass to look at it. There is a feeling in the air, a tone in the colour of a cloud, which hits your fancy, but the effect of which you are unable to account for.
There is then no sympathy, but an uneasy craving after it, and a dissatisfaction which pursues you on the way, and in the end probably produces ill-humour. Now I never quarrel with myself, and take all my own conclusions for granted till I find it necessary to defend them against objections.
It is not merely that you may not be of accord on the objects and circumstances that present themselves before you -- these may recall a number of objects, and lead to associations too delicate and refined to be possibly communicated to others.
Yet these I love to cherish, and sometimes still fondly clutch them, when I can escape from the throng to do so. To give way to our feelings before company seems extravagance or affectation; and, on the other hand, to have to unravel this mystery of our being at every turn, and to make others take an equal interest in it otherwise the end is not answeredis a task to which few are competent.
We must "give it an understanding, but no tongue. Had I words and images at command like these, I would attempt to wake the thoughts that lie slumbering on golden ridges in the evening clouds: I can make nothing out on the spot: In general, a good thing spoils out-of-door prospects: L[amb] is for this reason, I take it, the worst company in the world out of doors; because he is the best within.
I grant, there is one subject on which it is pleasant to talk on a journey; and that is, what one shall have for supper when we get to our inn at night.On Going a Journey.
William Hazlitt, New Monthly Magazine, January, ; Table Talk, One of the pleasantest things in the world is going a journey; but I like to go by myself. I can enjoy society in a room; but out of doors, nature is company enough for me.
Hazlitt's "On Going a Journey" originally appeared in the New Monthly Magazine in and was published that same year in the first edition of Table-Talk. 'On Going a Journey' One of the pleasantest things in the world is going a journey, but I like to go by myself.
William Hazlitt (10 April – 18 September ) was an English essayist, drama and literary critic, painter, social commentator, and philosopher. He is now considered one of the greatest critics and essayists in the history of the English language,   placed in Occupation: Essayist, literary critic, painter, philosopher.
William Hazlitt Homework Help Questions. Write Hazlitt's major interests as revealed in the essays "The Spirit of the Age." The Spirit of the Age was a collection of short essays, or more. Hazlitt's "On Going a Journey" originally appeared in the New Monthly Magazine in and was published that same year in the first edition of Table-Talk.
'On Going a Journey' One of the pleasantest things in the world is going a journey, but I like to go by myself. The book is successful at so much of what it does that perhaps it is best to get a few critical quibbles immediately out of the way.
Bromwich not only understands but also assimilates Hazlitt extremely well, and this book, much like Hazlitt’s best work, is filled with .