W-MCP3-5.018 TO THOMAS B. MCQUESTEN from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Feb 25 1904
To: Thomas McQuesten 41 Isabella St. Toronto, Ontario
My dear dear boy:
I was glad to hear from your letter that you had enjoyed a dinner with some of the Faculty, everything of that sort is a distinct help to yourself. From the news I learned the special object of the dinner. To have the Faculty share in the inauguration of The Varsity would doubtless be alright in some ways but I think it would destroy its character as a publication by the students.<1> The professors have already a magazine have they not? In my humble opinion the students should keep control of The Varsity. It is not supposed to be of the same order as a paper edited by experienced and paid men. You see by keeping it free of the faculty it can speak out sometimes as Tucker in the days of old and it did well to speak out that time. Of course I am talking in the dark, somewhat, not knowing the exact nature of the proposals but I think the object of the paper is lost if it is not kept as the students' organ. Most certainly it is well to have the editor continue for more than a year and let the assistant editor be chief editor the following year and keep out offensive personalities, but harmless ones keeps the paper young and fresher. Trying reading them myself, one does not always want instructive papers.
On Tuesday evening went to a lecture with limelight views by Dr. Marsh on the Bermudas. It was very interesting and the photos lovely. One does not realize they are coral rocks, and the roads, fences, houses all of white coral. Dr. M. says it is indescribably beautiful, the houses white as snow with green shutters, even the roofs are made of coral and by order of government they are white washed twice a year, as their only supply of water is the rain, no rivers or springs in the coral structure, the coral is sawn out of the quarry, the graves are hewn out in the cemeteries and the coffin covered with a slab of coral and sealed; the streets are lined with tall cedar trees. The people are extremely black, but well educated and most kind and polite; he had his camera with him and they are always on the outlook to have their "likeness" taken, but must have a penny at least if not a shilling for their trouble. They have a fine dry dock there, which was floated out from England and 2000 mean are employed. Of course, there are the plantations of bananas, onions and flowers.
Mrs. Mullin and Robin have heard from Archie, he gives no explanation in particular of his silence but assures her he has kept his word to her not to touch a drop of liquor. Sometime ago he cabled for money Mrs. M. replied there was no money except for educationary purposes. He cabled again all lost if money is not sent. Heurner has the signing of all cheques so no money was sent, now he has written that he had taken 150 shares in a Irish company, had by his hard work and saving paid a part, then there was a [?] for the balance and he had not the money to make the payment and had lost $600 by it and had even to sell some of his clothes, for board. Of course, Heurner does not believe a word he says and Mrs. M. does not like to disbelieve him. Poor Archie! And it is so hard on his mother.
Cal left a book here by Newell Dwight Hillis "Great Books as Life Teachers" speaking of great leaders he says "Purity has been the crowning quality of all the epoch-making men." "For Lack of righteousness Bacon lost his leadership, while his head was in the clouds, his feet were in the mire."--"Therefore the German poet has never been to his century all that Milton was to his age. During his life Goethe always kept two friends busy-the one weaving laurels for his brow, the other cleaning mud from his garments." I thought this a very striking way of putting it. It is supremely sad to see men of fine gifts who have spoiled their lives.
I am enclosing $10 now and will send ten next week when I get my rent on Tuesday. If you need it before next Friday, just say so and I will post it Tuesday. Have you started yet studying for the scholarship? Are you getting ahead at all with the other work? Poor little fellow! I like to know how you are getting on. Sydney said you did not like the wet on Sabbath evening; you are like the cat in that respect I know. It is very nice of Harry Gooderham to ask you again to dinner. Well dearie, may God bless and keep you! With much love from all.
Your loving mother
1 See W4933 Tom had been the manager of the Varsity beginning in Sept 1903 at $200.00 per year. However that lasted only one year.