If ever your sons should be discontented with France, try my recipe; tell them to go to Russia. It is a useful journey for every foreigner: whoever has well examined that country will be content to live anywhere else. It is always well to know that a society exists where no happiness is possible, because by a law of his nature, man cannot be happy unless he is free.
Such a recollection renders the traveller less fastidious; and, returning to his own hearth, he can say of his country what a man of mind once said of himself; 'When I estimate myself, I am modest; but when I compare myself, I am proud.'
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
The Marquis de Custine
A French dude's take on his time visiting the Russian Empire in 1839: