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cumstances necessarily entail a considerable amount of journeying to and fro, both in one's own country and not infrequently in other lands as well. Such quasi-compulsory travelling is not invariably a delight; often indeed, especially to the elderly cleric who has outlived the youthful love of adventure, it is an unmitigated nuisance. In some cases, no doubt, the essential difference between travelling for pleasure and travelling on business is much the same as the distinction made by the philosophical small boy between fun and work: "Fun is work that you haven't got to do, and work is fun that you've got to do." A little sane optimism, such as should characterize all clerics, not only makes a virtue of necessity but knows how to transform a task into a pleasure, a necessary journey into a delightful outing.
As for the personal behavior, deportment, usual practice, or general conduct most congruous to the travelling priest, opinions thereon will probably differ as widely as do individual characters and temperaments. Every one will admit that a cleric's attitude towards his travelling companions may sin in either of two ways: it may be too indiscriminately hail-fellow-well-met, or too reserved, standoffish, and repellent. The proper attitude lies, as all will agree, midway between these extremes; and, on the whole, there is perhaps less danger of a priest's manifesting undue affability than of his holding himself too much aloof from those into whose company circumstances have thrown him. Apropos of sociability or friendliness in travellers, there is in one of Scott's novels a paragraph
which, apart from its autobiographical interest, is worth while thinking about. "For ourselves," writes Sir Walter, "we can assure the reader-and perhaps if we have ever been able to afford him amusement, it is owing in a great degree to this cause that we have never found ourselves in company with the stupidest of all possible companions in a post-chaise, or with the most arrant cumbercomer that ever occupied a place in the mail-coach, without finding that, in the course of our conversation with him, we had some ideas suggested to us, either grave or gay, or some information communicated in the course of our journey which we should have regretted not to have learned, and which we should be sorry to have immediately forgotten." Substitute smoking-car and steamer-deck for post-chaise and mail-coach, and the foregoing will serve as an accurate account of the experience of many a traveller, clerical and lay, since Sir Walter's time, of every traveller indeed who combines with ordinary culture a modicum of practical philosophy and cheerful common sense. Civility in one's intercourse with travelling companions, readiness to be addressed by and to converse with those in whose society we are to make a journey of hours or days, a geniality that knows how to dispense on occasion with the formality of a ceremonious introduction-these are qualities which, if not natural to a priest, should in our opinion be acquired by him if he is desirous of either deriving full benefit from his travels or improving the opportunities of doing good which his travelling affords him.
It may be quite unnecessary, but it can do no harm, to remark that one of the dangers of travelling, at least for the laity, is a tendency to consider one's self more or less emancipated from the strict letter of the law regulating the correctness and moral propriety of one's normal life. Even the clergy, perhaps, or at least the younger members of that body, may profitably take to heart the lesson conveyed in the following paragraph from a secular moralist: "There is nothing that a man can less afford to leave at home than his conscience or his good habits; for it is not to be denied that travel is, in its immediate circumstances, unfavorable to habits of self-discipline, regulation of thought, sobriety of conduct, and dignity of character. Indeed, one of the great lessons of travel is the discovery how much our virtues owe to the support of constant occupation, to the influence of public opinion, and to the force of habit; a discovery very dangerous, if it proceed from an actual yielding to temptations resisted at home, and not from a consciousness of increased power put forth in withstanding them." Needless to say, the doctrine set forth in this quotation conflicts in no way with what has been asserted above concerning the advisability of a travelling priest's showing himself affable and courteous. His conscience and good habits are not at all involved in his avoiding brusqueness or churlishness of manner, or in his cultivating pleasantly genial relations with the circle in which for the time being he is moving.
A question sometimes discussed in connection with our subject is the relative advantage or dis
advantage of a priest's travelling alone rather than in the company of a friend, or friends. What may at first blush appear to be the obvious conclusionthat it is not good for a traveller to be alone-will be found on consideration to be less indubitably correct than it is generally supposed to be. The preponderance of traditional practice is doubtless an argument in favor of having a companion, and the rules of religious orders commonly require the company of a socius. There is, moreover, the satisfaction, at least when one's companion is a brother priest, of knowing that in case of accidents one will not be deprived of spiritual succor. On the other hand, however, the company of a friend or of friends involves several unequivocal disadvantages, or conditions looked upon as such by not a few travellers of experience. To begin with, if the ideal vacation means, as has been said, as complete a change as possible from one's ordinary life-a change of people and ideas as well as of scenery, diet, etc.-then the presence of a friend prevents the full enjoyment of the holiday. "Those who visit foreign nations,” says Colton, “but associate only with their own countrymen, change their climate, but not their customs. They see new meridians, but the same men; and with heads as empty as their pockets, return home with travelled bodies, but untravelled minds."
In the second place, unless one has the phenomenal good fortune of securing a travelling companion whose tastes, inclinations, turn of mind, dispositions, proclivities, and even idiosyncrasies, are identical with our own, this condition will fre
quently arise: either we shall have to forego our own pleasure to accommodate our friend, or he will have to forego his to accommodate us. It would be uncourteous to insist on always having one's own way, and accordingly one makes sacrifices on the altar of politeness. The supreme advantage of independent travelling, as distinguished from either touring with a party or accompanying a friend, is the privilege one enjoys of shaping one's course just as seems good on the spur of the moment, the freedom to alter and modify at will all pre-arranged plans, the consciousness that one may stop where one pleases and stay there as long as one pleases, irrespective of the likes or dislikes of anyone else. As for the objection that, when travelling alone, one is deprived of the social intercourse, the periodical conversations of which even the most self-centred individuals feel the need, the answer would seem to be that such deprivation is not at all compulsory. Given the affability advocated in this chapter, the solitary cleric may have all the conversation he cares for as often as he feels inclined to indulge therein.
In the final analysis, the degree of pleasure and profit which the priest derives from travelling depends perhaps on his approximation to the standard of "the good mixer." Not pleasure and profit, but their opposites accrue as a rule to the ultra-reserved clerics who immure themselves in "the Bastille of their rank," as some writer has happily described "that sort of shyness which men of dignified situation are apt to be beset with,