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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 frequently 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,
rather from not exactly knowing how far or with whom they ought to be familiar than from any touch of aristocratic pride.” The dignity of the priesthood should of course be preserved at all times and in all places, by travelling clerics as by their stay-at-home brethren; but affability, properly understood, never compromised any dignity really worthy of the name, and a genial disposition is an asset which a priest, even while enjoying his vacation, can readily turn to the spiritual advantage of the temporary acquaintances with whom he comes in contact. To conclude with a reflection from the transcendentalist, Thoreau, although it might well be credited to Thomas à Kempis: "Only that travelling is good which reveals to me the value of home, and enables me to enjoy it better."
A PRIESTLY KNIGHT OF MARY
Let us now praise men of renown, and our fathers in their generation.-Ecclus.: xliv, 1.
In life we shall find many men that are great, and some men that are good, but very few men that are both great and good. Colton.
The greatest man is he who chooses the right with invincible resolution; who resists the sorest temptations from within and without; who bears the heaviest burdens cheerfully; who is calmest in storms, and most fearless under menace and frowns; and whose reliance on truth, on virtue, and on God, is most unfaltering.Channing.
HE age of chivalry has gone!” The world
is now older by a century and a quarter than when the lament was first called forth by the unhappy fate of France's fairest Queen; and during the intervening decades the “sophisters, economists, and calculators” whose spirit Burke disparaged have probably not grown either fewer in number or more sensitive to the dictates of lofty honor. Yet though our own age, judged by its more prominent and apparently its most symmetrical expressions, deserves still less perhaps than that of Burke the distinctive epithet of "chivalrous," no sane observer of the undercurrents of modern life will affirm that men grow worse as the world grows older, or that the chivalric sentiment has utterly perished.
The outward manifestations of the sentiment have doubtless taken new and different forms. The knights of to-day energize in other fields than did their plumed and mail-clad predecessors of centuries gone by; but lofty virtues and heroic deeds do still relieve the commonplaces of life; and even in this age of aggressive utilitarianism and frenetic Mammon-worship knights there are as valiant and as noble, as fearless and without reproach, as ever were the dauntless cavaliers who in the zenith of chivalry's golden day protected the helpless, succored the distressed, rescued captive damsels from embattled towers, applauded tales of high emprise at Arthur's Table Round, or envied pure Sir Galahad his ceaseless quest of the Holy Grail. Nor need the fact be accounted strange. Courtesy, valor, magnanimity, and love are as indigenous to the human heart in these modern times as they were in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries; and She who proved the fountain-source that watered those fragrant flowers during chivalry's full noontide still aids and fosters their perfect growth in each of the successive generations that have learned to call Her blessed.
The transcendent beauty of the Virgin-Mother was the initial inspiration of knighthood. The respectful enthusiasm for woman, which was the dominant note of chivalry while its glory lasted, was the direct outcome of devotion to the Immaculate Mother of the world's Redeemer. “The Virgin Mary,” says a non-Catholic author, "was exalted by the Church to a central figure of devotion; and in her elevation, woman, from being associated with ideas of degradation and sensuality, rose into a new sphere, and became the object of a reverential regard unknown to the proudest civilizations of the past." In the lady whose colors he wore,