History of Nursing in Pacific Canada

[Letters, Ethel Johns to O.T. Leeman, 1958 - 1966] Johns, Ethel 1966

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 Bear Z2r Leesaan :
•?leei: Iczj r \--.. \-e.
more ways than one. Be am tas e1
no one has ei / of
have done In particular i\
Li/nlneo";. rsolf think  '
up a bit further. ';11 pro"
that you may have a or chance
tably in imiscle .nerves and skin11.
It Id, of course# clc ndea
promise not .   you <**
bewareJ    In the "0   -       elal
,r?r lading of rry new dental gears —
its way into the mwtky cavern of 1
e ti
the rat
oroaeh is worth following
I ^qImb ftttto biography ■ February 13, 1961
Sorting out some family letters, 1 oaiae across one addree-ad to my mother in beautiful-
ly clear Victorian handwriting* It was from an old txtmmgamkm&mmsk who. when I wes a
little girl, saaa&feuu came to stay with us and soiaetlines let me accompany her when ehm
drove about the pleasant Welsh countryside in an ancient vehicle, then called a governess
cart, drawn by a fat and laiy Walsh pony.  ?,I forgot to mention", she said in a postscript* that when we met that gypey  caravan down W  the Clwyd# 1 1-t one of the women
tell the ehi!d*s fortune, ifere it lsifShe will travel far la distant lands. She will
eat the bread of strangers. She will sit in council with dark people. She will talk with
a King.* What an odd prophecy! A lot of nontenso th.-t can never  come true*"
wildly improbable
MSI JSy mother's friend was mistaken, ®ae prophecy i true even though atsSMMI
Jdas»xlXXSi;-:j^a6X there was every reason to believe that my  life would follow the same
conventional pattern as that of other girls who* like nurself* were brought up la the
Yett  out of a clear sky* soon
Leo; -jiYiromnant of a country vicarage. But* mmmmmtm$xlmmmm$ circiu.suvncee arose
that XfflS^ ^^
3!&te& brought about an unexpected change, ^r mother told me auaut it as gently as she
out to Canada
cou Id. *    s going with my    I ImxSmmmAm and 1 was to stay behind for awhile and
go to beardlag school, fhe Nation that swept over me could only iiave been experienced
a child, it com ssured that the pain of 'parting will
soon be  over. *o lh®m$ it  s--*ms that it will never end*       After a few miserable weeks#
went to
father aa   I ^sr were  on their way to Canada and 1 wajSKjcfc school*   At least
$11       n and gee
lMmxm&%MM the landscape was familiar* Over the garden wall, I could tmmcmmkxmmmm
th' Tale of 81wyd *ta the blue hills, covered with heather, irawxx which the lagy pony  had
so unwillingly olimbad.
On the evenig of my arrival, 1 was assigned to a narrow b@d in a long dormitory and
8SXJUXX!BQCfxtxasa Bhmn a little chest of drawers in which my few possessions war* to be
grey and.
tly arranged, ©to oullriing was cold a>m$xmmtmx.m     but there was about it an air of
mxAmxxxmk  kindliness that sotoned its austerity , 8
April 18, 1960
Pear Mr, Leeman :
It was good of you to send me a copy of
Dr, Odium's letter. I am glad to be assured that
she agrees that I did my best "to leave so much
of it in its original form," After all, what are
a few almoners and hyphens between friends? This is
an excellent text, remarkably free from goboledegook^ I
and I am proud to have had a hand in it.
If I can be of any further help, please let me
With kindest regards,
very sincerely yours 8
October 26, 1960
Dear Hr. Leeman :
First of all, please let me explain why
your most welcome letter has remained so long unanswered.
Since the early summer, circumstances related to a complicated family situation have led to anxiety and distress
but I am now trying to face up to the fact that LIFE MUST
GO ON in spite of theur. This noble aphorism may come in
handy during your exploration of the Anatomy of Melancholy,
a literary enterprise that intrigues me tremendously. I
would dearly like to know how you are going to approach it,
M eanwhile, I will bone up on Mr, Butler the next time I
go to the University Library and thus get ready to be an
admiring and intelligent reader. More power to youJ
You ask whether I "have Jlone anything more" about you
know what. If I had tried to answer thatjga&aj&Dn a month
ago, I should have had to tell you that this time EJ really
had had it and must call it a day. How, I am not so sure.
But, if I were to have another go at it, it ^m^ki^m^m^^> »
^be from quite a different angle. Furthermore^ I should
have to be completely free from all other obligations —
especially from JPH. M ay I write about all this, perhaps
at greater length, a little later on?
Your letter made me homesick for the Laurentians. The
colours are muted here although in Stanley Park the crimson
thread of the vine maples stands out in vivid contrast to
tfee sombre background of the Douglas firs. The autumn has
been sunny and warm and my  Christmas roses have prejiaturely
burst into bloom instead of waiting for their appointed
Hoping that all goes well with the settling-in process
and with all good wishes xjmbxb ^        Again apology for not writing sooner.
xxxShxb agaofcx I must begin with an exytamatiaiHxsfxs^yxix        Since I last wrote, the
problem sometimes
pxafcisax txsHxis I mentioned  has been resolved, once and for all. Bereavement orings
sstrange    of misery do
a consolation a±± its own , — release from the gxjfcaf of not being able to anything to
JOK±|)xxsax35»KX}43Baxiyxxx relieve the suffering of s me ne dearly loved. I wonder what your
Burton has to say about this in his Anatomy of Melancholy,  xour letter makes me more
determined than ever to find out for myself, whether he has any bitter herb of heaking
to offer. And now no more of all this,
I hate to bother you but may there be
Just a word about about JHf, Yes, I did mean the October issue to be my  swan song,
hope serve to wheels
My  isbsa was that it would snxx»xKxxapcxxsxtxsfxxxiMgBxiiHt»KKBXX keep sqp the ssn±iss±iy
turning but
xsatxkrayx xsaxxyxsx&xxx ( until someone could be found to kasqpxx take charge, Ixhacxaa^±xx
but   $a far, rKixtixgxtBXSsjExaxuEkxx
kmxxixx  There has been n word from Mr. Barton Lippincott aMXIXfikSIX^^
so     Donft you alright
3fcaJdkJ^xsxyxxxx^B±ksxixgxhtax S{£PM&h3^      Do you thinm it might be best sX2XZ|[ to
am now      xa relieved of any further sim ply
assume that I haxKXx»xxkxxgxnBxfsxthKXxresponsibility?
Fortunately, tnere never was any binding agreement on either side : "Published informally
from time to time," ISMIE&    Mr Bacon and I thought that one up!
I do wish your die* oould be a little^ less rigorous,  and yet I can understand why
continue to
you must emulate and even surpass the ascetic Franciscan Friars.  Apropos of your fiendish
desire to give psychiatrists th ir come-uppance «— Dr. ^ilder Penfield etc. Pa^e.^7^.._; Substitute for.aaterial deleted. See marginal directions*
(Ho paragraph) Within the course of the last 10 or 15 years a tremendous advance has
been made in the treatment of the aggressive and violent schisophrenics by the use of
certain drugs popularly called tranquillisers. Unfortunately some of them have unfavorable
side effects and a great deal of experimental work is now being carried out with the object
of finding modifications which will be more effective and without these risks*
Pa^e ,181 | Substitute for material deleted. See marginal directions.
(Ho paragraph) aftat even today the new ideas are not fully aeopeted or pat into praotleOi
A number of hospitals still house far too imny patients or are built in remta places
so that it is difficult for both staff and patients to have sufficient social contacts
with the outside world. :
ggffs 191 I Substitute for material deleted* See marginal directions*
It is not only in mental hospitals and ameny doctors and nurses that there is a new
outlook. The general public are also beginning to feel more ootnpaiSi-oai and realise t,at
they have a responsibility for the welfare of those who are mentally handicapped as well
as those who suffer from physical disabilities* Commissions have been set up whose function
it is to enquire into legal matters related to mental illness and mental deficiency* Valuable reports are already available and*, as a result* radical, changes are being made in m«*
isting legislation which is now out of touch with modern thinking* It may well be that the
legal approach to mental illness and mental deficiency will have undergone considerable
change this book is in print.
The present approach is that it should be as easy for a mentally ill patient to obtain
treatment in a suitable hospital as it is for a physically ill patient, formalities
should be done away with in the case of patients who are willing to come for treatment 4519 West Fifteenth Ave.*
fancouver* 8  B.C.
February 8, 1961
Dear lEr. Leeman t
1 have been slo%^ in ansv^ering your kind and understanding letter but
please believe it was a t due to lack of appreciation. One  reason for delay was that i
first vented  to have a talk with the writer of the attached letter — Hurguerite Schumacher «
adviser to schools of nursing, University of Alberta, Kdmonton*  As she says in her letter*
we had met before, liven thtia* 1 was harassed not only by h^r obvieas effieienoy but also
by her warm and tXli, utful personality* She has acquired both maturity and poise ?#ithout
losing either Meet  or enthusiasm and her present position gives her an opportunity to exercise the sort of academic leadership that is needed just now*
ffhe Campus Mission that she mentions was carried on under  the auspices of the farsity
Christian Federation and while I am not sold on this or aisy other evangallMtl JJg|WNiatll| I
had a chance to see this young woman in action and the response of the student nurse group
was remarkable* Why am I bo tuning you auout ail this? *oll* it struck me  t.uxt she might
have some j otentialities as a writer, especially along- the lines of the philosophy expressed in her  letter* ' lothiag was said auout any such possibility* however* and there is
therefore no need to follow it 9 .
We had several informal talks I    carted me  thinking along lines of my  own wnioh* 1
hasten to add# have no evangelical implications whatsoever* She made me wonder whether
something useful i.ight be written about the istfluenoes.    ~-<le and intangible, personal
and professional, which are brought to bear upon one nurse ia TOrt.lou^ar as distinct from
nurses in general* We agreed that the mxrm vihe told this story should be free to write
quite frankly about what those influences had mt3ant to her, either for good or ill*
fat* you have gaotsoA it — i;his is the ae-v approach to the autobiography that I have been
groping toward for so long. Chronological mquenee would be disregarded although it would
still be necessary to include references to experiences outside tue  practice of nursing
which would constitute the buo*:gro\?nd of the story*  Do you think you could endure the submission of a sample chapter? If not, this ia the time to dodge beoauee it is In process of
I am on the track of an Odd volume of Anatomy of Melancholy and would much appreciate
any of yuur discarded X SS which would serve as a guide* Writing is a lonely business
and it would be good to talk she,,
I do hope that all goes well and that the austerity of your regime hag been mitigated a
With all good wishes, 4519 West Fifteenth **ve.,
Vancouver* 8 B.C.
December  let., 1962
Dear i2r. Leeman :
After pondering over the points you raised in ye     'jer of
vembor li' t to answer it when along came another. Perhaps thay might
explored together. So let us now a&lably proceed to cL.      .therfs ears.
Yes* I do agree that BB anticipated Freud in context I is an element of
self-pity in grief for the loss of friends and that this in t rn betrays a fear of our
own       lag emdm    let  even when confronted mi 1 iueacapable terror* ho dares
to look it in the face and by'so doing helps us to do likewise. , Nevertheless* Ua i cry of
the heart, as well as the voice of calm reason* makes itself heard llXB$39aXX no
matter how much he tries to stifle it* In these few roi^~hewn paragraphs and almost
in Spite of himself,, he drops his mask and displays a profound sympathy with the
human condition.        implications there may be uut there are others jtist as
poignant «     S selfish*
These par    --s should not be excluded from the text becauce     cannot be made
to flow* Harsh and rugged they may be, but they reflect a depth of ,;onuine oiaotioa
eh li lacking elsewhere in the entire ?/ork. Sticking my neck out very HI far
indeed, they might starkly I    eut in a Section of their own. t Or they oould be
discreetly veiled mider  the general heading of nCurea of Melancholy."
I should have made it       t I wasn*t suggesting that the Latin tags be altogether
withdrawn. i thought. A humble plea ?^as beings made on behalf of GElIShAIi
lBSBS who, like EJ have little Latin and less Greekf but sorely need the spiritual
solace and mental stinmlus which thanks to your sensitive interpretation BB is able to
offer ekem. • J 4519 West fifteenth Ave.*
Vancouver* 8 B.C.
lovember 9, 1968
r. Leeuaa I
First of all* just a word about the question you raise regarding
the insertion of a paragraph dealing with the arguments "pro and oo& for marriage."
Tee, perhaps it would round out the discussion and urlng it into sharper focus if
■jre  done.
itbout the proof readings I am now going over the IMS  a second time* Sometimes
thi translation of a Latin phrase lias been  Suggested and occasionally the omission
of English words the meaning of which would probably elude the general  reader*
Eho red dot  tooiinique lias been followed to indie    aages, spell.    e.
I will try i        . S oa its way in a day_ or two*
How I am really gwing to stick my neck out mm at your own kind Invitation* I beg
to observe| In my humble opinion, one brief yet major addition to the present text
wou.:    atly enhance the value of the book as a whole* 33xis material comes
the    aig "Cure of Ilelancholy mm against Sorrow for the Death of Friends or*
otherwise* vain FaBf** 1 found this in ay own little copy of the Anaten^ (page 176)
which I am sending to you along with this letter, fhls passage moved me very deeply
but quite apart from any emotional response*• 1 felt that it shed a new light on
Burton the man, as distinct from Democritus wearing his £&Sk* his calm acceptance
of the noble and austereGreek point -of view seemed to be almost complete and* apart
from a pious plirase or two, he made no mention of "the sure and certain hope* that is
at the core of the Christian faith, wf course, tuis dichotomy is more or less manifest throughout the entire work but here it finds expression with more poigoaiioy and
less detachment than elsewhere* And yet in I we find what the Fvench
call nthe cry from tmk heart."   y not let Demoorltus drop his mask for once? Tour own approach to the Anc    It evidently so different from the clumsy handling
inflicted on it by  other commentators     1 am sure you share my oxm  convictions
"Camerade, this is no book, who touches this, touches a man*"
Well* there it is* Tor -.hat it ma;    tirtfcj Except that I should like to tell
you what a consolation it lias been to iiave so congenial a took to turn to during this
continuing period of anxiety* 4519 LVcst Fifte nth ^vo.#
I    B*C*
Fir. S fee€
for sea of the    'ous 9NU Jest at I
mrd  that ay only orothor, who live    alifor ic, is m
i there is no hope of recovery. 1 know .    11 undc
but I also oaat to assure you that the r
of great contort* Tour book      3g me ^here  to look
f ethos author I have kaoxm* Bera
the same i
healing. Better thaa
It ion*   Sjfc will
?;o al
:>ugh. In fact, I c<
sh ..:eane# of
been subtly tranef\
eo chaage*
:e:  ■ ,;  -  -rl . lee
ldn*t      .'^m*
.^r„r-_ .  *
rt imagine ho^
all, I
hen I ra**
> long a delay in thaafe*
*1bo it arrived* 1 got
ring from an illness from
tnd my grief and.anxiety
proving to be a source
compassion and even for
tood the hmmn
■ eight
(such as U) soul
cn^p&ers,     xon
I knee
X am making a hegi.
ce to see a] e
)G   Of   tl-
ton of content* sequence of   .
&j>%j m   <Lv>. -
a0?   In
mmp be worth*
•^ 'l-xl
^TBaBtiHgXX ^j
I do h(ipe this brief note will Kactskxxxx reach you before you take off for your
lake    its waters
Green Wilderness. By now,the ice x:nx3taxt3£te will have piled up on the shore and thezz
isxtxx  will reflect the blue sky of the Laurentains. -- nothing quite like it anywhere
in the world,
else. Lots of wild flowers in the woods, too. A good place (and *he right time)
to do a little loafing, and to nvie the Unconscious to do its stuff.
IJXSMXMSSXpgXX  Your rash invitation "to feel free to pencil all over it (the
but     hswffggKxx
if necessasry" will not be interpreted too literally! fhere is one suggestion that
it   be sent   to me
£x3BJs»x±to:ii^ here it is. Do you thinkaqpn could send it in successive "takes"
as the typist proceeds If so,       I could do
rather than en masse when the typing process is completed? Itxy^^x^xtJagxx^gxgg^ztlgtgxx
tBXXMBL  to do a careful job as I go along rather than rushing it through too fast.for
accuracy.  If this notion doesnft fit in with your plans, just drop it in the lake and
think no  more about it. -
.49 west Fifteenth Ave.,
Vancouver*    8*C.
aprll 3, It:
• %
\t  the first                ;ful anc    lar
ly int-ro.    a to ft.
. s of Seneeritati
ger* . tm                                              .tulatvn
it of 00 diffj
Loate a task* •
pur xnetrue £ions* »» t*noieni? to/v bcxxx oi i
over          a few alte
iratioas    -ted, ©est of them Quito ml^or*
>y tin
to attract.attention      a writ.               em
tion seemed to be desirable
», Care has \           '-ken  to avoid damage te    IMS  and a le
It tr
re&x^ i?iw*v li^ wiar^s coujlci oa^ixy o© eras
t one suggested alter
w~y  n<-1 v.i, prove o* it. «en
or*aoAO.ss* my euxverxax o^n^oieaee
in which further reference
IS isact.e to tee remove                               ...•»*«*•*»
a topic already treat
your heart     0 KB- the b
eaef it of ■        ,id to al.io\; h a
qr farewell &.    is o
id in his
"If through weakness*
folly, passion, discontent,     -iee, I hive said U                   it
be forgtttaa &nd  forgivem.
If hereafter anatomizing           '.our, my hand slip* I
lance too deep and cut thro
ugh. skin and all at unawares, make it smart      awry, |
vude hand, an unekllf?
****** «*b ** i    .* Hicvii; oitxng t         Fen xone, a per**
petu&l tenor and
aai to 1    t*"
li        estion seems
ous ( aad I i    11 unc          it might
-eltive I
it is well-meaning         com the heart of em  of 1
»  •
„■ .               ■■- '■■>
* V *
1 '* ~lL,
-  hmmm
... 1 1
to  cay,  j
ould 1
i    The IBS of
r Three
as a pleasure
.' any-
herewith.    I
1 first encou
rk *
I could 2i£
not lay hands on t
.-erefore isad to plunge
mora or let
random into
Lthout ben
»fit of *            itus to the' .
der ,f or ot
s ■ i.    xn 3. p r o *
oit   di-
1    T   m
1 /-) ^4<^«1oY>'hr     >>l»f
vteful to you
1 fch "
the coi-ple
te edition, ]
®ay L.           on*
There, for the first time,  I
?rtain thrc
I (if
b untangled) a
ile                rtr
*al directives"
t     ^
you an idea
one          ral
lga ro<
i>@  ;.
J   ' *
to str
Any oosa
i restricted to tete teat
lorltai to i
I task In
If (
t smilo at
verity.         &g# 1
:                         :
e a stab at  1
<*        -•'    ■-' e. ir
coincidence, '
ndat I ciT"     T
.* *i#«i ^
■;^Il£^~*v>   H   Wmfl
,11 itself
| ortivnv | ies for
E loanaged
i* fr           -Ion
garden, .from
to church
.    une lovely
- afternoon, 1 !
mnt into Christ Chureh and
orth aisle in
i which Dottocrltuo
x x & s our x ei..
,ee be to
1 &fb . .
• West fifteenth Ave.*
Vancouv r,     *e.
axroh  13th,' 19CZ
Pear U  • Leemaa
I" "It
lIo reading
smm to fli
Ring paragraphs of Oha      e, x
, ttito limply, was .tot it did a-
to overlook til
r work
or explain. , Sxtraneious matter
led. There was no fussy attempt either to interpret
aietly pet aside. *he author was allowed to speak for
himself and treated with the respect which is hie due. "As he wote it* so let it stand*"
I hope 1 am right in tailing for granted that Chapter Three will serve as a model for the
other Sections that are to do included in the book. Any attempt tm at revision, or the. in*
terpolation of explanatory cor*    mid* i      pftJVt* interfere wi       am of "the
flow" and spoil    :mtinuity that the text requires*
( be neeere:.e.ry. Thi-p could be incorporated in
•.,-.-- i, i ,
or ana
■". {ill usler
r except
Cedent and explanation will, of coui
an introductory eh ch, all u...
"unconscious*1. Let it si mer away and t
to retire to his urn in t     ill L
Burt a.
It is flattering to be told that 1
1 if some of the ideas express*
thread to the labyrinth? This *«ijht come in handy when your unconscious is ready to take
over. If  this bright idea doesn't ring a bell, other Suggestions would be welcome*  1 am
precious IJES for one uore reading and will then' return it, carefully jacked.
-nownst to you, Is already t
xd seme fine morning it will begin to
,.ry. Bo one wast look over your a
be asked to lea
jd la Demeorltus to the Header cou
raid it bo
into a
lU Yuu. ISXX      I have  j  st finished a careful first reading of "Deraocritus to the Header1!
and found it a IxtoXHXhailx    I owe you a great deal for making
—XMSXlXxiiix most    ewarding experience    tkatxtesxxsjraxmyxxx^^ This
amazing      not only a but is a distillation of      it possible,
discourse fxxxxxhssx    provides the guiding thread to the latsxx labyrinth of thelater
: It is indeed a aaJterpiBEB minor
voliimes.v^tetelxxxfeaixKXtjrxixBkisBLxxx tact is a masterpiece  in itself j
"Camerado,  this is no book,
Who touches this, touches a man." (?e>ge Walt Whitman)
Yes, axi ^lusuxlx-axi man whasosould have felt perfectly at home in the twentieth century
mightn't      approve of it of
ev n    if he ±h&x&± jttee  it any more than he did his own.       The
After four hundred years,
jgixx his   education and    social
Sftx comments on the influence of environment x:
by every professor of sociology and are as ixxx heeded now as they were then. He
are being echoed
even has something shrewd to say about traffic problems and suburban sprawl    that
ourmodern and
might be  quite useful to town planners    glMTSiyragXjfWffiyXKffiig      He has the right idea
about old age pensions,  too.
Whygxy^x«xgggx^xxia¥g?s^T¥^yy      I am sorry that he  should so despise women but
msxsx    those
I should have liked to hear him preach one of htsxmmwt incendiary sermors.xxJMUExx
full      of
xifcxxafc invective,  savge humour and irony.      And yet  ssxEtosr compassionate after his
fashion, mromnn^^
I am very much intrigued the philosophic study of nursing that you mention and ..
should very much like to get a look at the book that Sister Clemence has written.
An existentialist approach might qx£txx]»n£k£y lead to (pits valid conclusions
that would cause a flittering in the dovecotes at Teachers1 College and elsewhere.
Strange things are happening these days with regard to the granting (or witholding)
of the Imprimatur. And some highly intelligent thinking is going on behind the shelter
of the convent walls. luns enjoy swam  freedoms xtiii denied to those of us who are
•»^7HTnsx^K,raiiXTgXiBX^iKMXXe  fcxxxd by  the petty conventionalities  of the outside world.
I MXlI^lXHXIXlXMglKJIIHpXo sound as though I were becoming "project" minded so I
no more will be said. Your doctor has given you excellent advice in that connection
and Ifm going to borrow a bit for myself. XXX Indeed, I realize that I must do so
whether I like it or not. Best is the thing that does the trick. Would you like
to be a fSHMIXg member of Hepatitis Anonymous I
. Since EJ could not lay hands on tne first volume of tne Anatomy of Melancholy, she
plunged into volumes two and three more or less at random. As it happened, she turned
first of all to "Against Sorrow for the Death of Friends" :
ftJS man dies every time he loses his dear ones ... yet we are never better or freer from
cares trian when we sleep and death is but a perpetual sleep ... But he was my most  dear
and loving friend ... s^r sole friend ... Wilt thou then have him crazed and sickly still,
like a tired traveller that comes weary to his? inn, begin his journey afresh or be freed
of his miseries? Thou hast more need to rejoice that he has gone."
To EJ, it seemed strange that in a book written by a divine, there was little more than
a passing reference to the consolations traditionally offered by nis own Protestant Communion — the Church of England «— in which he had been ordained a Clerk in holy Orders
and appointed to a cure of souls. It was to the austere yet compassionate philosophy of
Plato and Socrates rather than to the mercy of Christ that the sorrowful were told to look
for pity and comfort. There was no sure and certain hope of immortality. Other sections of
the master v/ork, especially those related to religion and to women, a similar dichotomy
was in evidence. What was its nature and origin?
It was not until (thanks to OTL) EJ had been provided v/ith the entire text, t&ojt" ""Demoori-
tus to the Reader"was made available mmAmmsmmmA Bhe  began to gather up threads thatf if they
could be disentangled, might serve as a guide to the general reader who, like herself,
was lost in the labyrinth.  Obviously, the first step was carefully to examine this revealing document^which BB had himself set down^and to select passages that might prove enlightening.  Here are some of them, along with brief comments from EJ, offered only for
what they may be worth, •     e     ,
Democritus (according to EB) was " a little wearish old man very melancholy by nature,
averse from company in his latter days;... much given to solitariness, a famous philosopher
in his age ... wholly addicted to his studies at the last and to a private life ... wrote
many excellent books.  A great divine according to the divinity of those times, an expert
physician, knew the natures and differences of all beasts, plants, fishes and birds .*.
and some say, could understand the tunes and voices of them. In a word, he was a general
sdholar, a great student. A man of an excellent wit and profound conceit*"
EJ : EBfs identification of himself with Democritus is quite engaging and eminently justified. Ho false modesty about it, either.
Democritus travelled extensively "to confer with learned men, admired of some, despised of
others. After a wandering life, he settled down and lived at last in a garden in the sub-
3Dffi]S3MXX|c urbs wholly betaking himself to his studies and a private life. I do not presume to make any parallel... yet this much I will say for myself ... I have lived a silent,
sedentary, solitary private life ... in the University as long as Xenocrates at Athens ...
to learn wisdom as he did, penned up most part in my  study.,. ^or thirty years I have con-
tinued (having the use of a good library as ever he had) a scholar, and would therefore
loth to write that which should be in any way dishonorable to such a royal and ample
■ Something I have done, though by my profession a divine: I had a great desire to have
some smattering in all ... not to be a slave to one science or dwell on the subject but to
taste of every dish and sup of every cup.
" I have read many books but to little purpose for want of good method. ... I am not poor,
I am not rich... I have little, I want nothing. ... I live a collegiate student and lead
a monastic life sequestered from the tumults and troubles of the world. ... I have no wife
nor children, good or bad, to provide for. ... As I have lived, so I now continue, left
to a solitary life, saving that sometimes I didffor my  recreation^now and then walk abroad,
and could not choose but make some little observation ... not to scoff or laugh at but
with a mixed passion.  (EJ italics) -3-
111 wrote of XSXXg melancholy, by being busy to avoid melancholy. There is no greater
cause of melancholy than idleness, no better cure than business. ... When I £fcs± first
took this task in hand this I aimed at, to ease my mini  by writing, for I had a kind of
imposthume in imy  head which I v/as very desirous to be unladen of and could imagine no
Sittxx evacuation than this. To what purpose? ... to news here, tnat which I have is
stolen from others. ... A dwarf, standing on the shoulders of a giant may see further
than the giant himself.
So that as a river runs sometimes precipitate and swift; now muddy and then clear, now
broad and then narrow; doth my style flow, now serious, then light, now comical, then
satirical; now more elaborate, then remiss, as the present subject required,or as at that
time I was affected. ... I shall lead thee ... through variety of objects, that ?/hich
thou shalt like and surely dislike*"    (EJfs italics)
Although EB was as good as his word, he did try to forestall criticism oy  making his
own position clear. He well knew that exception would be taken to the fact that "I beiing
a divine, have meddled in physic. ... rthat have I to do with physic? ...Why should I meddle with this tract? ... There are many other subjects fit to be treated of ... but at
this time I was fatally driven upon the rock of melancholy and carried away by the stream.
... ^ot tnat I prefer physic before divinity .but that in divinity bglXXlgXXlXXXiXlXIttX
I JIM no such need. ... A good divine is, or ought to be a good physician, a spiritual
physician, at least,"  ..." I am by my profession a divine and by my inclination a
physician."    EJ :  ( Here is another dichotomy! )
IP EB was hundreds of years before his time in the field of psychiatry, he was efen more
advanced in matters pertaining to health, good government, education, town planning. (See
his ideas about his own Utopia). b2
The death of a friend is certainly an event of a very grievous and
afflicting nature; but ought we, in a life so transistory and full
of perils, to fix our affections so firmly even on deserving objects,
as to render our sorrows for th€fcr loss so poignant as to injure health
and to destroy our future happiness? One of the chief benefits of
virtue is a contempt of death, an advantage which accomodates human
life with a soft and easy tranquility, and gives us a pure and amiable
taste of it, without which every other pleasure is extinct. Death is
inevitable, like the rock of Tantalus, it hangs continually over our
The death of a good and virtuous man ought to be contemplated as the
termination of trouble; a kind release from a troubled world: but since
all who live must die, we cannot contemplate its approach without alarm
and apprehension for ourselves, and the severest sorrow and lamentations
for our friends.
The death of Eteoneus, a noble young Greek, being lamented by his friends
with excessive sorrow, Pindarus the poet thus addressed them.
"Quiet your minds, ye weeping friends; fdlr the fate of this lamented
youth is not so miserable as ye seem to apprehend. He is not condemned
either to the Styx or to Acheron, but, "gloriosus et senii expers heros,"
lives immortal in the Elysian fields, enjoying that happiness which the
greatest kings so earnestly seek, and wearing a garland of felicity which
we all so anxiously hope to obtain. f
** ~ --.-viiv£~| is^r~
^ > >/  CMvO
je / f&^fac^^~d& 4519 West 15th. Ave.
Vancouver 8 B.C.
March 2nd., 1966
Dear Mr, Leeman :
It was such a pleasure to hear from you
at Christmas although I was sorry to hear that you had had
a rather difficult year,  I should have replied sooner
had it not been for minor disasters none of them serious
although rather annoying. First I managed to sprain an
ankle. Then we had three feet of snow which made it difficult for friends to come to the rescue and even though
they were as always most kind and helpful, there was a
gleam in their eye that warned me that they thought I
should not be living in a little house all by myself,
at least .not at mv age.   I realize that they may be
right and for a while the shadow of incarceration in a
nursing home seemed imminent. But now that the snow has
melted and the ankle is mm  functioning I can look after
myself quite well. So I am tempted to hang on to my
independence for awhile.
During the past few weeks, I have again turned the pages
31 q. 'J v*S* of your Epitome and am more convinced than ever of its
unique txasiixExxx timeliness. Even in this cynical
decade there are signs that a new spirit is abroad and
that what Democritus Tertius has to say in this scholarly analysis is in accord with it. Please let me know
what has been or will soon be done to put this book into
the hands of readers who, like myself, would turn to it
in times of stress and strain.
What do you think of the Canadian scene these days?
La Belle Province is not alone in its desire for separatism. British Columbia has its own brand, too, and is
being drawn more closely than ever into the American
orbit. Perhaps the Centennial high jinks will bind us
together again.    Anyway, I have just come in from
the garden. The crocuses are in bloom and so is the
^white .heather^—-So her^1 a hoping.— ff***» ffiffifr* r	


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