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This morning the Vagabond embarks on his first journey of the season. For fear there are those young ones as yet unfamiliar with his ways, a happy word of counsel may not be out of place. Sagmus, his old friend and philosopher, is wont to take the Vagabond under his warm wing. Not to reform, mind you, for the philosopher is a bit of a vagrant himself, but to befriend with wisdom. And the Vagabond seeks that precious jewel with all his heart. The talk was of travel; yet not travel of the common sort but of the imagination. For it is known to the Vagabond and those who have followed his trails that without imagination the richest course is bare; with it the dullest facts ascend those clouds of interest.
And imagination is dear to the Vagabond and necessary for those who would come with him for as he is a poet of the open road so is he a votary of the real. For the real is imaginary; the imaginary is perfect. That was a thought which came to the Vagabond as a young lad; and one which he would hold as he cherishes his youth. Though the heart, the Vagabond has been told, doesn't wrinkle, still well he knows it becomes poor. For in youth all things are of the same importance; nothing escapes our attention; and dreams are more precious than facts. But as we ascend the steps of formal education we act with design; busy ourselves with particulars; and carefully exchange the pure gold of the imagination for the paper currency of book definitions. And thus, as the philosophers suggest, win in the breadth of life what we unwisely lose in depth.
That is what Sagmus said; and that is the Vagabond's way. He is too poor to go otherwise; and too rich to want to do so. Imagination is the free way. Unbounded by space its roads are endless; timeless, its speed is as the flash of ideas. And so perhaps to Rome one hour; to Greece another. A trip to the stars before noon; to the soil of the earth as quickly. Nor will the Vagabond confine himself simply to places; but more important, to ideas. Therein lies the adventure of adventure. So come prepared, ye young ones. Soon the Vagabond's travels will begin. In the meantime if you are free you might find him this morning in the Treasure Room at Widener where the illustrations of Randolph Caldescott and Walter Crane are on exhibition.
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