Imagens da página

building or of keeping a house, of carrying on a business, of administering a college, of curing a patient, of prosecuting a law suit, or even of divine worship, should return with the belief that the modes of helpful and tasteful dress are many, that the ways of building and keeping a house vary from a Japanese cottage to a palm-leaf hut, and that the forms of divine worship may be as diverse as are either the conditions of the climate, or the needs of the human soul. Travel removes arrogance, haughtiness, intolerance. It gives willingness to respect others' opinions, to suffer others' prejudices,-if prejudices they be,—to recognize other points of view and standards than one's own, and to find in other nations and other personalities some qualities higher than are found among one's own people, or in one's own bosom.

Travel is also an education in efficiency. This result is gained both in negative and in positive ways. The peoples of the world are, on the whole, inefficient in their doing. They do not take forethought; they do not select out of several ways the best way of achieving; and they are inclined to let intention wait upon performance. The life in China, India, Ceylon, Egypt, Italy, Spain, is a life rather of unmeaning condition than of aggressive forcefulness. An Englishman or American is imprest with the loss which each nation suffers thru its lack of efficiency. The world is still a wasteful world. The sin and the mistake of inefficiency and wastefulness quicken the traveler unto economic aggressiveness and aggressive economy.

A still further result of the education of travel lies in the inspiration of service for all men. This result does not invariably emerge. For so vast is the world, so intricate the world's problems, so deep the world's needs, that one may be inclined to ask why should one disturb himself in order to make his little contribution to the world's benefit. The contribution can make no appreciable alleviation of the world's suffering, and give no discernible light in the world's night. Such questioning, however, is not the mood of the healthful or healthy mind. Such questioning

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

is the mood of intellectual weariness and emotional dissipation, of ethical and religious pessimism. Rather the natural mood is of increased desire, as well as of enlarged power, to help. The world's need is so deep, the world's darkness so black, the world's sore, whether in Africa or in Asia, is so sore, the world's blundering so dense, the world's contentment with what is not best so blind, that the man whom travel has educated is eager to make an offering, be it ever so small, for the world's enlightening and guiding, strengthening, soothing and comforting. When Lord Shaftesbury lay dying at the age of eighty-four, after a lifetime spent in alleviating the lot of the poor and the suffering, he cried out, “And must I die and leave the world with all this suffering in it?”

But there is one result of the education which travel is supposed to give which is not good, and which in any true interpretation should be noted. It is the result lying in intellectual and other dissipation. This dissipation I call intellectual and other. By "other" I mean much more than intellectual, large as that is. I mean the scattering of life's purpose and purposes, the thinning out of the interpretation of the objects toward which worthy struggle is directed, the disintegration of the forces which do or should struggle upward, in a single word, the weakening of the will. In the American college, and indeed in colleges of all nations, are found men who have remained so long that the aim of their first coming has been forgotten. Year after year they stay on, taking enough studies to retain the right of residence, yet not approaching a bit nearer to what most men regard as the goal of a liberal education. They are neither intellectually virtuous, nor intellectually vicious; they are quiet non-entities. They are always becoming, but never become; they are always going, but never get there. Travel, long-continued, is liable to work a like result upon the traveler. It incapacitates him; it cuts the nerve of the mission of his life; it weakens without destroying; it emasculates without giving any result nobly feminine; it makes

character thin without making it broad; it produces intellectual and moral ennui without producing dissatisfaction sufficient to quicken and to arouse; it gives a man appetite for the lotus root which tho not very good itself, is yet good enough to keep him from trying to get something better.

Behind the content and the substance of the education which travel offers, and leading to the results which this form of education achieves, lie the method and the force for getting this education. Into this form of training, as into every form, one should enter bearing a keen intellectual inquisitiveness. He should wish to know, and should know the fundamental as well as the superficial, the lasting as well as the temporary, elements of the life of a people. Surely if he lack this wish, he will return home well nigh as ignorant as he was on his departure. This desire serves as a motive power in promoting research, in enduring hardships, in seeking out individuals, in asking questions, in advancing the whole process of learning. From this fact follows easily the inference that one should travel when intellectual curiosity fills a large place in one's constitution. Intellectual curiosity may lessen and may at last entirely fade out. The journey of Velasquez to Italy helped to determine his career, for it was made at a stage when mind was active and power of acquiring great. Walter Scott went to Italy when his brain was tired and his hand feeble. It was without influence. Italy for more than a hundred years taught and inspired the northern nations thru their citizens who dwelt in Florence and Rome; but these men of the north usually came unto her in the period of intellectual enthusiasıns and eagerness.

With intellectual inquisitiveness should be united moral thoughtfulness. If intellectual inquisitiveness represents acts, or a series of acts, moral thoughtfulness represents rather a mood or atmosphere of the individual. The most important elements and phenomena of a nation are moral. Behind the decay of Greece from social causes, and the decline of Rome from political, lay moral conditions. , Behind the industrial forces making modern England, or America, lie moral forces, giving temper and quickening to the material. The traveler of a mood of moral thoughtfulness seeks and is more able to find the moral elements of a nation, or of a community. The traveler who goes to any oriental country without such a mood investing him as a garment will be imprest by, and will gather up only, the elements of exterior picturesqueness. His character will receive no enrichment, and his intellect no proper enlightenment. The world is, on the whole, a world embedded in moral foundations. This moral condition gives itself to the heart and the mind only of him who approaches it in moral sympathy and moral reverence. John Ruskin is a great moral interpreter of our literature and humanity by reason of the moral atmosphere of his character.

In fostering the education of travel a high place should be given to the value of the sense of humor. Travel involves annoyances of all sorts, from the hunger and sleeplessness of one's self to the boorishness and faithlessness of those who should be courteous and honest. But each annoyance, however hard, provided it contains no immoral element, may have its element of the ridiculous. The ridiculous is constantly met with, and is usually not hard to find. A friend of mine in Madura, Southern India, had a servant : who was found beating his wife. His mistress told the man she could not keep a servant who beat his wife. "What shall I do," said the servant, “Is not marriage made for the comfort of man?” When Phillips Brooks was in Japan at one time waiting for a delayed train, he and his traveling companion, also large of stature, were taken for American wrestlers who had come to Japan to exhibit their strength and skill. I am not told whether they gave to the little folks of the little islands a public exhibition of their prowess. Talking once with the conductor of a dining-car on the Union Pacific Railroad, I remarked upon the unreasonableness of passengers and upon the impossibility of a conductor making answer to impertinences. “Yes," he said, "we have a swearing-box upon the road into which we go sometimes and relieve ourselves.”



Akin to this sense, or possibly akin to the application of this sense of humor, is the value of a smile or of a laugh. One of the constant annoyances of travel in rural district or urban center is the invitation to buy or to use. The rickshaw man wants you to hire his little vehicle; the jeweler to buy his wares; and the post-card dealer to purchase his cards. Scolding is of small avail for putting an end to persistent or personal application; to scolding the ear has become dumb and the heart hard. But the eye is sensitive to a smile, and further, if the occasion prompts a laugh is also well. For a laugh may convey an intimation of the ridiculous and most natives dislike any evidence intimating that they are being made fun of.

One may be suffered to say that in getting the full advantage of the education of travel, the virtue and the grace of courtesy is to be exercised. Travel often seems to represent the mistake, the fault and the vice of boorish

It embodies a constant and silly struggle for the best: the best tables in the dining-room; the best seats in the railroad cars; the best carriages at the station; the best places for chairs on the steamer deck. Travel brings out the innate and acquired selfishness of humanity. But courtesy still represents the wiser method. Courtesy results, in the long run, in richer material results than selfish

Selfishness should really lead one to the grace of unselfishness. For courtesy must, abroad as well as at home, spring from genuine regard for one's fellow-travelers. In it are recognized all rights, and in it also is embodied the right to give up one's own rights.

The sympathy out of which courtesy arises has a still wider and deeper application. The traveler is to enter a country bearing a heart and mind sympathetic with it. Let him enter with a mind so broad that, while not neglecting to understand national limitations, he shall not fail to appreciate the causes of these limitations. Let him neither unduly appreciate advantages nor unduly depreciate disadvantages. Never let him enter either Thibet or Afghanistan, --if he can get into either country,-


« AnteriorContinuar »