I GATHER THAT TRAVEL ILLNESS IS AS CONTAGIOUS AN EVIL AMONG US AS IS THE HORRIBLE TOBACCO HABIT
Eugene is sometimes accused by those who are not familiar with his writings of always being serious and not having a sense of humor. In fact, in his writings, we come across a very dry sense of humor.
He was frustrated with the community at Notre Dame des Lumières, because it appeared that each Oblate there had plans for enlarging a part of the building. Father Bellon had just arrived and had caught the building bug:
I gather that travel illness is as contagious an evil among us as is the horrible tobacco habit. You have scarcely arrived and already you propose to add more to the enormous expenses already incurred at Lumières.
I am sorry to go against you in regard to enlarging the organ loft. I have written about it to Father Ricard, because, without calumniating him, I believe that he had you promote this matter, not daring to speak to me about it himself after all that he has wrestled out of me.
Then in a moment of tongue-in-cheek humor he makes his point:
Won’t we have to build very soon over the sacristy to house all the sea shells that Father Chauvet gathered during his stay here. I believe that he has carried away at least eight thousand. That is quite excessive, but we have to please all tastes.
Letter to Father Charles Bellon, 10 July 1844, EO X n 846
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