Letter 14


P.O. Dept. Ottawa      
18 Sept. 1890              

My Dear Lighthall,

     Thanks for your postcard of the 3d.  I had already seen the article in question.  The New Zealand writer whose name is Burn1 (Win. David M. Burn) sent me a copy of the magazine containing it, and I have delayed answering your card this long in the hope that I might find it and send it to you, but I appear to have lost the thing.   If it turns up

     I will forward it to you, as I dare say you would be interested in reading it.

     I see that we have been scandalously misused from the point of view of portraiture, in the September New England Magazine.2  I think your physiognomy however has got off better than mine — a little.

     I suppose you are now approaching the date of your marriage3 and 'tho' it is too soon to congratulate, I must express my sincere hope that every happiness may reign over the event.

Yours very sincerely    
A. Lampman                


  1. Probably D.W.M. Burn (1862-1951), a New Zealand writer of verse.  Lampman would be referring to an article of his in The Monthly Review (Wellington), May 1890, in which he said, in part, that the poet sings of nature when he gazes ". . . awestruck into the deep chasmic secrets of the Universe."  He also believed that lesser bards performed a worthy function since: "The flowers, the trees, the birds, the sky, the sea, the hues of sunset, form a continual feast of beauty for his soul: and oftentimes he strings his lute and sings them; and men awake in wonderment to the glory of the world they live in" (McCormick, New Zealand Literature, 65).  Lampman would have concurred.[back]

  2. Lampman is referring here to an article by W. Blackburn Harte entitled "Some Canadian Writers of To-day" which appeared in the September 1890 issue of the New England Magazine.  Lampman is given rather flattering and extensive mention in the article.  Harte says, "I venture to assert that there is no living poet in either hemisphere who can present such pictures of natural scenery and natural phenomena as Lampman."  Lighthall is more modestly described as ". . . a man with a future before him in literature, if he does not allow his ambitions in this direction to be swamped by his occupations as a hard-working lawyer."[back]

  3. Lighthall married Cybel Charlotte Wilkes in Montreal on 1 October 1890.  They had three children, Alice Margaret Schuyler (b. 1891); Cybel Katharine Schuyler (b. 1893); and William Wilkes Schuyler (b. 1896).[back]