Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The use of going up there ....

"The question 'What is the use of going up there?' has never been better answered than by Tschudi: 'It is the feeling of spiritual power that glows in him, and drives him to overcome the dead horrors of nature; it is the charm of measuring the power peculiar to man, the infinite capacity of an intelligent will, against the rough opposition of dust; it is the holy impulse to seek out, in the service of the everlasting science of the earth's life and framework, for the mysterious connection of all creation; it is perhaps the longing of the lord of the earth to place the seal on his consciousness of a relationship to the infinite, by a bold, free deed, on the last conquered height, looking round on the world lying at his feet.'"

From Chapter XXIV Alpine Summits of The Alps; or, Sketches of Life and Nature in the Mountains, by Hermann Alexander von Berlepsch, translated by Leslie Stephen (London 1861)