[The universe is a sort of book, whose first page one has read when one has seen only one's own country. I have leafed through a great many that I have found equally bad. This inquiry has not been at all unfruitful. I hated my country. All the oddities of the different people among whom I have lived have reconciled me to it. Should I gain no other benefit from my travels than this, I will have regretted neither the pains nor the fatigues. (Fougeret de Monbron (1753))]
This is one of the epigraphs that grace the beginning of the "Preface to Cantos I-II" of Byron's Childe Harold. If it can be supposed that the epigraph speaks Byron's own mind on his feelings about his travels, it might be concluded that he is asserting the opposite. Monbron, who might be seen as reflecting Byron's own thoughts, implies he traveled because he was already rebellious, not that travel produced a consequential rebellion where none existed beforehand. If this is taken as an indication of Byron's thoughts--and the nature of an epigraph indicates that we should--then Byron associates the desire to travel with a rebellious impetus; he does not associate travel with the production of newly felt rebellion. Monbron also implies that travel softens the rebellious feelings and brings about a sense of acquiescence, if not acceptance, Thus Byron indicates that his travels brought him some reconciliation with the problems that formerly caused him rebelliousness. In short, Childe Harold seems to assert travel quells preexisting rebellion, not that it inspires new rebellion.