Haines Falls, N.Y.
10. September. 1927
morning, dear person, and thousand thanks for your last
letter just here. If you had ever had the very common
experience of an attempt to get a half-way prompt letter
out of this pen, you would be astonished at the volume
and precipitacy (if there is such a word) of all my
recent chatter to you on paper. Why is it? Infatuation,
of course! A new friendship must have a touch of ecstasyóO
good Lord, more than a touch. It isnít worth anything
if it hasnít rapture and fondnessówhich in its original
meaning is foolishness. It is just like falling in love,
which is all foolishness, as we so well know!
am ever so grateful for all the self-revealing, and
in no wise egotistic, things you say which explain the
which you give me to know. And the more I hear the more
delightful and akin you seem. That very modern and truly
sceptical mind which cannot be easily fooled is just
like my own exactly.
instance I wholly agree with your point of view of nice
Krishna.1 I am
sure he must be embarrassed at having to be mothered
and exploited so interminably. And yet he cannot quite
break away. Also I think it must be said that all the
messiah talk is, now at least, mere newspaper twaddle.
And a terrible pity. I view him just as you do. And
take him as a radiant youth. What wisdom he may develop
as he goes along remains to be seen. I agree with Count
I think, that the age of Messianic revelation is probably
over. I suppose every-man-his-own-messiah is what we
are working towards. It doesnít seem very near does
Next day Sunday 11th
sonorous day of sun and cloud after a heavy rain last
night. As I sit here in a corner of the verandah all
the clean heaven seems full of rushing sound. It is
the streams roaring down the side of the mountain in
their stony beds, making such a singing as you would
love to hear. The Santa Cruz stream dashing down its
falls on one side, and the Kaaterskill in its caŮon
on the other side, a steadier louder noise than the
throbbing sea. The mountains themselves are heavily
timbered from base to peak, and as I look down the Clove
I see all the tree tops wind-blown far below and billowing
and tossing like a driven tide. It is a glorious scene.
about your letter. What must I reply to? O yes, transportation
to Quebec. You should see Mr. John Murray Gibbon (C.P.R.
Offices, Montreal) or write to him.3
He is head of their publicity department and as you
know was the first President of the Canadian Authors
Association. If you can see him some time when on one
of his frequent visits to Toronto, that would be best.
Tell him all about your explorers and pioneers, and
he will see the need of visiting many points in Canada
for your work. The C.P.R. has an excellent library in
its Montreal offices full of books old and new on Canada,
and I am sure your scheme would interest him very much
personally. All he would need to know further would
be something of your work. If you could get an order
for one or two sketches from some periodical, on the
strength of your outline, that would be sufficient to
warrant him in asking for transportation. Anyhow you
will find him most approachable, gentle, and kindly.
Say I advised you to ask him for an interview. Put your
artistís modesty in your pocket.
the woman feels the need of love more than the man"
you say. Perhaps. I cannot say. I never needed much
else. And about the mating business, I donít know the
true philosophy of that either. On the physical evolutionary
side it seems to be rather casual and transient. But
on the spiritual side it is anything but casual, and
the one thing the spirit longs for is permanency in
its friendship. The soul is terribly lonely, and cannot
understand itself, and so I suppose that is why it so
longs for an understanding companionship. I believe
there are those who find in their human lives just such
suitable companions as to make them perfectly happy.
But this is rare. Blessed are they who find it. It is
this mixture of the permanent and the impermanent in
every soul that makes such desperate unhappiness for
Iím sure you have had much love offered you, Margaret
dear. And youíll have more no doubt. Stick to your ideal
of spaciousness and the heroic line in a man. Also beauty,
gallantry, cleverness and wisdom! You deserve them all.
Would that I had any one of them to offer!
was once travelling with his Company he had a telegram
from an actor saying, "I desire to join your company".
Mansfield wired back, "You are alone in your desire."
the phrase. It may serve you some time when you have
to turn down an ambitious squire or Don! So much for
I am very happy too. You grow dearer with every day.
Time is short only if one consults "Whoís Who in
dear, Iím not through. But the flaming spirit loves
the trail through the wild and rejoices in the miles,
forgetting that the willing shape (heroic line or no
heroic line) cannot take all the grades in high. Sometimes
I run myself down and then have a break, fatigue and
nerve-exhaustion and even a touch of despondency and
apprehension. Donít ever let yourself overdo to that
point. It is worse than anything. I am all right now.
dear, a year is not long. I have often waited many times
as long as that before seeing a wonderful poem (!) in
print. And Twilight will be here. I donít leave for
New Canaan until the end of the week. And shall be there
until early November.
here is very prompt action by way of encouragement.
was only written last month and has been accepted by
with enthusiasm. Bravo! and "shouts without".6
a very dear.
is an awful infliction. I am horrified
a letter of September 8, Lawrence expresses approval
of Krishnamurtiís At the Feet of the Master
(see Letter 2 n.1) and her reservations about the
followers of a Messiah. See also Letter 5 n.8 for
Besantís "mother[ing] of Krishnamurti and the
"newspaper twaddle" surrounding her proclamation
of him as World Teacher. [back]
Hermann Keyserling (1880-1946) was a Russian-born
traveller, lecturer, and mystical philosopher who
founded a "School of Wisdom" at Darmstadt
in Germany. His Travel Diary of a Philosopher
was published in 1919 and the book to which
Carman appears to be alludingóCreative Understandingó
in 1922. In a letter of September 17, 1927,
Lawrence expresses her approval of the former, which
Albert Durrant Watson had given to her as a gift,
and her disapproval of the latter. [back]
1913 and 1945, the Ceylon-born and British-educated
John Murray Gibbon (1875-1952) was the general publicity
agent for the Canadian Pacific Railway Company.
A prolific poet, novelist, essayist, and translator,
he was the co-founder and first president of the
Canadian Authors Association (1921), the founder
of Trail Riders of the Canadian Rockies (1924),
and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (1922).
His early writings include Scots in Canada
(1911), Hearts and Faces (1916), A Canadian
Calendar (1919), Pagan Love (1922), and
Eyes of a Gypsy (1926). In 1927-28 he published
four volumes of Canadian folksongs and between 1927
and 1930 he organized fourteen folk festivals at
C.P.R. hotels across Canada, including three with
the help of Marius Barbeau (see Letter 46 n.4) at
the Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City (see Letter
62 n.3). See Terrence Craig, "John Murray Gibbon,"
Dictionary of Literary Biography, v.
92 Canadian Writers, 1890-1920, ed. W.H.
New (Detroit: Gale Research, 1990), 117-20. [back]
Mansfield (1854-1907) was a German-born actor who
achieved fame and aroused controversy in Prince
Carl (1886), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1887),
Richard III (1889), and Cyrano de Bergerac
(1898). See G. Bordman, Oxford Companion
to American Theatre, 2nd. ed. (New York: Oxford
UP, 1992). [back]
poem was published in the Delineator (date
unknown) and subsequently appeared in his Poems
without": a common stage direction in drama
since the Renaissance. [back]