WHEN Horace wrote that they who cross the sea change their skies, but not their natures, he uttered a truth the full meaning and force of which is too little regarded by those who are ready to find men of the same race differing essentially because they live apart in different countries. True, the sea that Horace had in mind was but the Adriatic, or at the most the Mediterranean. For it should always be remembered that to the ancients lakes were seas, and that "the sea" was the Mediterranean; a voyage upon which to Greece, mostly within sight of land, was probably the poet's only knowledge of those terrors of navigation which, with denunciations of its inventor, he uttered in his ode on the departure of Virgil for Athens. The exclamation of the Psalmist --"The floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves. The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters; yea, than the mighty waves of the sea"--had probably its inspiration in a squall upon the shores of the Levant, or in a tempest in the shallows of Gennesareth. So little can we measure the occasion by the expression which it receives from a poet. He tells us, not what the thing was, but what it seemed to him, what feeling it awoke in him; and what is really measured is his capacity of emotion and of its utterance; and even
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Publication information: Book title: England without and within. Contributors: Richard Grant White - Author, Hamlet - Author. Publisher: Houghton Mifflin and Co.. Place of publication: Boston. Publication year: 1881. Page number: 13.
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