US PRESIDENTS ON TOURISM
TOURISME PARLÉ PAR LES PRESIDENTS DES ÉTATS-UNIS
作者/刘植荣 LIU Zhirong
Travelling. This makes men wiser, but less happy. When men of sober age travel, they gather knowledge, which they may apply usefully for their country; but they are subject ever after to recollections mixed with regret; their affections are weakened by being extended over more objects; and they learn new habits which cannot be gratified when they return home. Young men, who travel, are exposed to all these inconveniences in a higher degree, to others still more serious, and do not acquire that wisdom for which a previous foundation is requisite, by repeated and just observations at home. The glare of pomp and pleasure is analogous to the motion of the blood; it absorbs all their affection and attention, they are torn from it as from the only good in this world, and return to their home as to a place of exile and condemnation. Their eyes are forever turned back to the object they have lost, and its recollection poisons the residue of their lives. Their first and most delicate passions are hackneyed on unworthy objects here, and they carry home the dregs, insufficient to make themselves or anybody else happy. Add to this, that a habit of idleness, an inability to apply themselves to business is acquired, and renders them useless to themselves and their country. These observations are founded in experience. There is no place where your pursuit of knowledge will be so little obstructed by foreign objects, as in your own country, nor any, wherein the virtues of the heart will be less exposed to be weakened. Be good, be learned, and be industrious, and you will not want the aid of travelling, to render you precious to your country, dear to your friends, happy within yourself. I repeat my advice, to take a great deal of exercise, and on foot. Health is the first requisite after morality.
I wish you to have each a Pencil Book, always in your Pockett, by which you may minute on the Spot any remarkable thing you may See or hear. A pocket Ink horn, any cheap thing of the kind, and a Sheet or two of paper, ought always to be about you. A Journal; a Diary is indispensible. "Studium Sine Calamo, Somnium." Without a minute Diary, your Travels, will be no better than the flight of Birds, through the Air. They will leave no trace behind them. Whatever you write preserve. I have burned, Bushells of my Silly notes, in fitts of Impatience and humiliation, which I would now give anything to recover. （选自《美国总统家书精选50封》）