There is one kind of wisdom which we learn from the world, and another kind which can be acquired in solitude only.

van gogh auteuil
Van Gogh Countryside

Longfellow spent one Summer afternoon in the countryside of Auteuil, France. These were his reflections:

It is with the sensations of pure delight that I recur to the brief period of my existence which was passed in the peaceful shades of Auteuil. There is one kind of wisdom which we learn from the world, and another kind which can be acquired in solitude only. In the cities we study those around us, but in the retirement of the country we learn to know ourselves. The voice within us is more distinctly audible in the stillness of the place; and the gentler affections of our nature spring up more freshly in its tranquility and sunshine,–nurtured by the healthy principle which we inhale with the pure air, and invigorated by the genial influences which descend into the heart from the quiet of the sylvan solitude around, and the soft serenity of the sky above  [59, 60].

 

Longfellow, Henry W. Outre-Mer: A Pilgrimage Beyond the Sea. Philadelphia: McKay Publisher. 1892.