Kamloops, B.C. 3 Sep 1885 Marcus Smith Letter to his wife Anne
Lot 86 in our auction Saturday 14th January 2023
Kamloops B.C. Sept 3rd/85
My dear Nannie
I wrote you hurriedly two days ago – today I have a little more time and again referring to Arthur I am very much concerned about his future prospects. He has a fine intellect but whenever I have seen him he was very quiet and apparently timid which might indicate a want of energy but as he was said to be animated on the play ground and liked his associates it might be only boyish bashfulness which would gradually wear off. But as you say he is still physically weak and listless. I fear he is much of the temperament of Adam and ill fitted to fight the battle of life – Then as to the choice of a profession can you find out if ever he has given a thought whether the legal profession will be congenial to his tastes or his health. I have no doubt he has intellect enough and even perseverance to study and master its general principles – but in actual practice, to get a living by it it requires great determination and self assertion as well as combattiveness to contend with all classes of people – vulgar as well as learned and to a very sensitive person would often be terrible torture It requires a thickskinned dogged temper which I fear is the very reverse of Arthur’s. The Church or a professorship in a University would at a superficial glance appear more suited for him, but again all our family on both sides have been hot blooded and require plenty of exercise both mental and physical.
Tom seems to be getting more staid and less boyish, he is apparently beginning to realize the necessity of exertion, economy and acquisitiveness to succeed in life – He has over $1500 invested in Town lots at the terminus of the railway which I advised him to and am now almost sorry for for though there seems little doubt it will ultimately yield a good profit it requires time and personal attention which he will not be able to give to it – He will be through with his work at Eagle Pass this month and I am endeavouring to get him two or three months employment with Cambie at Burrard Inlet the extension of the line but the prospects are not cheering as Cambie (who is the Company’s engineer) has so many assistants and so many applications – we have had continuous very warm weather for about five weeks – some nights so hot I could sleep with even a sheet over me – and all windows open There are no signs of a change but as the nights are getting longer they become cooler and within a fortnight or three weeks we may expect to feel the effect of the equinoctial gales – Down on the coast there has been no rain since February saving a few light showers – which is phenomenal as it generally rains so much there –
When does Arthur go back to the University and what are the girls doing? my love to them all.
P.S. Arthur must not on any account go on the river with a canoe, nor even on the canal with any young men who are frolicksome or fond of what is called “larking” such as rocking the canoe. This is the most dangerous possible plaything and the exercise in paddling only strengthens the arms but cramps the legs and chest – I cannot think what on earth made him think of a canoe I fancy I must have mistaken the word you wrote.