Author Archives: L. G. William Chapman, B.A., LL.B.

About L. G. William Chapman, B.A., LL.B.

Past President, Mississippi Masonic Hall Inc.; Past Master (by demit) of Mississippi Lodge No. 147, A.F. and A.M., G.R.C. (in Ontario) Chartered by the Grand Lodge of Canada July 20, 1861; Don, Devonshire House, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario; Juris Doctor, Dalhousie Law School, Halifax, Nova Scotia; Bachelor of Arts (Philosophy), Glendon Hall, York University, Toronto, Ontario; Old Boy (House Captain, Regimental Sgt. Major, Prefect and Head Boy), St. Andrew's College, Aurora, Ontario.

A Variety of Opinions

Opinions, like mosses, are imperceptibly constructed. They survive upon a modest nutrition of dampness. The progress of their development arises from multiple influences and often unrelated incidents much as the changing weather or other extraneous factors. And further like mosses, opinions grow without roots or flowers; yet their soft, green texture is sufficient to cover rocks, roads, gravel or cement.

Continue reading

Superlative promenade

As I confessed to the giant and frightfully affable auburn-haired and bearded attendant with whom I spoke earlier today at the car wash (deservedly he’s being trained for management), routinely driving my XT4 and getting it washed (whether it needs it or not) is for me a thoroughly pleasing preoccupation, one which exceeds anything else I have to do. And by the same standard, it is a privilege which I believe merits accreditation. My lassitude is I reckon both a favourable and an unfavourable admission by varying accounts; but it is irreconcilably the truth, one for which frankly I am smugly content. Mechanical precision is of no small consequence to me; and, motoring combined with open windows on a sunny day is in my view beyond compare.

Continue reading

Ne décourage pas!

Alexander Pope was born in London on May 21, 1688.

 Accepted almost on his first appearance as one of the leading poets of the day, Alexander Pope rapidly became recognized as the foremost man of letters of his age. He held this position throughout his life, and for over half a century after his death his works were considered not only as masterpieces but as the finest models of poetry.

In a well-known passage of the Epistle to Arbuthnot, Pope has spoken of his life as one long disease. He was in fact a humpbacked dwarf, not over four feet six inches in height, with long, spider-like legs and arms. He was subject to violent headaches, and his face was lined and contracted with the marks of suffering. In youth he so completely ruined his health by perpetual studies that his life was despaired of, and only the most careful treatment saved him from an early death. Toward the close of his life he became so weak that he could neither dress nor undress without assistance. He had to be laced up in stiff stays in order to sit erect, and wore a fur doublet and three pairs of stockings to protect himself against the cold. With these physical defects he had the extreme sensitiveness of mind that usually accompanies chronic ill health.

It seems that about this time, 1713, Pope’s father had experienced some heavy financial losses, and the poet, whose receipts in money had so far been by no means in proportion to the reputation his works had brought him, now resolved to use that reputation as a means of securing from the public a sum which would at least keep him for life from poverty or the necessity of begging for patronage. It is worth noting that Pope was the first Englishman of letters who threw himself thus boldly upon the public and earned his living by his pen.

Excerpts From
Pope, Alexander “The Rape of the Lock and Other Poems”

Continue reading

Wind the clock

Grandfather clocks, mantle clocks, carriage clocks, ship’s bells and complicated watches (all manual of course) have forever been a cherished purlieu of mine.  Not only are they the object of my entertainment and attention (often a weekly mandate for winding or just supervising their remarkable precision and constancy), they represent a reliable, repetitive, predictable, measurable and manifest account of the passage of time rendered in a convenient and stimulating cast.

Continue reading

The sybaritic lifestyle

It soon began to be whispered that Johnson was mad. He accused Burnet of being the author of the report, and avenged himself by writing libels so violent that they strongly confirmed the imputation which they were meant to refute.

Excerpt From
Thomas Babington Macaulay Macaulay
“The History of England, from the Accession of James II — Volume 3

Continue reading

All kidding aside

Being serious about life is for some limited to political theorizing; for others it constitutes a weightier concern about paying the rent and putting food on the table.  But none of these solemn preoccupations competes with matters affecting one’s health. Matters of health are unquestionably a serious point in an otherwise jocular conversation; and, health issues trump almost any monetary or material worry. The reason is simple: health related affairs are an incontrovertible agitation. This is especially so because very often the solution is as indefinable as the problem. At the very least the projected outcome is distant and vague; or sometimes proximate and threatening.  But never certain.

Continue reading

End of Day

This evening we abandoned our custom of sitting on the balcony after dinner to chat and idly gaze upriver. This afternoon’s weather turbulence wrought by the precipitous shift to cooler temperatures upon the retreat of the heat wave had left the patio chairs and floor beneath damp and uninviting. Instead we turned off the A/C and opened the balcony door while positioning ourselves in the small adjacent drawing room overlooking the distant fields and river. It was a moderate accommodation having the advantage of no bugs (which we only ever discover when too late).

Continue reading

Louisiana orders every classroom to display Ten Commandments

Every public school classroom in Louisiana has been ordered to display a poster of the Ten Commandments – a move that civil liberties groups say they will challenge.

The Republican-backed measure is the first of its kind in the US, and governs all classrooms up to university level. Governor Jeff Landry signed it off on Wednesday.

Christians see the Ten Commandments as key rules from God on how to live.

The new law describes them as “foundational” to state and national governance. But opponents say the law breaks America’s separation of church and state.

The first amendment to the US Constitution – known as the Establishment Clause – says that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

In 1980, the US Supreme Court struck down a similar Kentucky law requiring that the document be displayed in elementary and high schools. This precedent has been cited by the groups contesting the Louisiana law.

In its ruling, the Supreme Court said the requirement that the Ten Commandments be posted “had no secular legislative purpose” and was “plainly religious in nature” – noting that the commandments made references to worshipping God.

Continue reading

Squaring our actions

An atmospheric view of our rambling passage today configures a square from Mississippi Mills, Hopetown, Calabogie, Arnprior then home again. Between them were hamlets Middleville, Brightside, Burnstown and Stewartville. But first we paused for breakfast early this morning at the golf club in the Village of Appleton along the Mississippi River.  Normally we would have preferred to sit outside on the patio but by 9:30 am the temperature had already reached close to 30°C so we were more comfortable seated inside, perched upon the high chairs at an elevated table overlooking the first tee.

Continue reading

Just hanging on a hot day…

Two dishevelled young men – probably in their early twenties – corralled on a sidewalk bench next to the Metro grocery store with their meagre belongings and water bottles on the ground next to them. And an upturned hat for donations. One of the fellows sang and played his guitar. He sang songs I didn’t recognize as though the compositions were original. Clipped to a music rack were several pages of paper about 8½” x 11” that fluttered in the breeze and which he occasionally adjusted. The lyrics were predominantly dreary and remorseful, reminding me of Bob Dylan, whinny and wistful words. The  bearded singer stopped to smoke a cigarette or something which he appeared to have rolled himself. His melodic words included, “use my arms to fly higher” and repetitive verses proclaiming “his space and his place”. His teeth were remarkably white and photogenic. His companion appeared agreeably agitated by the music and jumped about, swinging his arms to the music, proffering personal exchanges which were often humorous to the two. He as well had a beard plus a huge mass of curly reddish hair on his head. They both wore long pants on this exceedingly hot day but the singer had partially rolled up the bottoms of his trousers.  When singing he crossed his legs and looked quite relaxed seated in the shade of the overhanging roof of the grocery store.

Continue reading