...Thoreau's Journal: 10-Jan-1851

I have met with but one or two persons in the course of my life who understood the art of taking walks daily, —not [to] exercise the legs or body merely, nor barely to recruit the spirits, but positively to exercise both body and spirit, and to succeed to the highest and worthiest ends by the abandonment of all specific ends,—who had a genius, so to speak, for sauntering. And this word “saunter,” by the way, is happily derived “from idle people who roved about the country [in the Middle Ages] and asked charity under pretence of going a la Sainte-Terrer,” a Holy-Lander. They who never go to the Holy Land in their walks, as they pretend, are indeed mere idlers and vagabonds.


michael jameson said...

it is good to know for what you speak!.

Quinton Blue said...

Each day I walk in the morning. The route I take passes an exercise gym where people drive their cars so they can walk on a machine and then jump back in their cars and drive away. I can imagine what Thoreau would think of that.