W-MCP3-5.051 TO THOMAS B. MCQUESTEN, ESQ., B.A. from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Nov 4 1904
To: Thomas McQuesten 22 Grosvenor St., Toronto, Ontario
My dearest boy,
By this time I trust you are home safe and sound from Durham; we went down last night and anxiously watched the bulletin board and went home very sorry to think Aylesworth was defeated; for I thought it would spoil all your fuss. However, I trust none of the company was tempted to drown his disappointment. Here also it was a great disappointment, for Eastwood was the favourite candidate, there was no doubt he would have succeeded if Barker had not been a Catholic. The Catholics had been instructed how to vote. Since the days of your grandfather when the Hon. Sammy Mills lived, Hamilton seems to have had a great partiality for tailors.
It was well for you, that you were not near at hand, when your card instructed me "not to butt in." What in the world was I going to say to Mr. Chisholm? I always thought I had some common sense. Moreover I wasn't at all sure what you were doing except going in for some fuss. Mr. C. sent for you in the morning evidently thinking you were here. When I saw him this morning he did not seem in the slightest annoyed, and said your vote was not needed after all.
If Cal. had not been coming up to address the meeting at our school room for Mrs. Fletcher's W.H.M.S. one would have felt his money and time would have been wasted. Cal's address was a source of great satisfaction to me, he spoke extremely well, his language was beautiful and he spoke out well and with ease. Mr. Cunningham said he should publish it for he never heard it put just in the same way. He described the scenery so well, and the origin of the names and gave incidents, all so interesting; he looked so well too in his new suit. I felt as if a weight had been taken off me, after I had heard Cal., for I was not sure whether he would be able to speak fluently.
I trust, Tom dear, you will be able to give your health and strength to God's service. Try and think of something you can do, in Christian work. Unless one begins when one is young, one never does it, and unless one determinedly goes into some department of real work for God, one is apt to drift away from Him altogether, you lose all sympathy with the followers. You see all your companions are worldly, they may be perfectly moral and well-behaved, but they do not know what it means to believe in Jesus Christ and that all who do not believe are lost and that every true believer must try to save others in the way that one cannot see a man drowning and do nothing to rescue him. I see so many young people who having never set themselves to any regular work for the Church have drifted away from it altogether, that I am very anxious for you. I pray most earnestly, that you may never become one of the hundreds of selfish useless, aimless young men, who care for no one, who are perfectly heartless, [?] at everything that is good, sneering at religion, bound to all the usages of society, with no manly courage to stand up for the right and help some poor weak companion up to a better life. Some of them indeed all of them with few exceptions are to be pitied for they have so faint an idea of what is right and have never been taught that Christ's life is our great example & we have to be constantly comparing ours with His to find where we are and how we shall be able to account for ourselves when we appear before the judgment Seat of God. It is not so much a question of not doing, as of what are we doing? You will understand dearie, I am not lecturing, I am just having a little talk with you, for you see I am much older than you are and I know that young people do not realize how they are being influenced by those with whom they associate; and if you had just one earnest whole hearted Xtian friend it would be such a help to you, whereas you are constantly with a set who never think of God, who never dream of being guided by Him and whom you probably think Christian people are slow old fogies. Perhaps you could do something in the way of persuading different ones to go to Church with you or the sermons at Varsity.
Last evening I took tea with Rev. McPherson & Mrs. McPh. and Mr. & Mrs. Lazier at Mrs. Mullin's. Mr. McPherson was telling that Durham is his native county; he said Mr. Aylesworth was brave to contest it for it was a strong conservative one, and the people of substantial standing who would not be easily turned. Uncle would not vote, he was too afraid of being challenged.
I think it is a fine idea of yours to write a special thesis for your M.A. and to make preparation for it as you suggest is very wise. Poor Harold Lazier has been ill for weeks with typhoid fever, he is thought to have got it from the water at Rockcliffe and he kept going about & would not give up. Archie Mullin is to sail to-morrow for home, he was in Greenland for six months, went in a fishing smack. Now the question is, what is to be done with him, he asked for $435, which is the last of the money coming from his father's estate. How thankful I am that God gave me two such good boys who have always done their very best. Well, it will soon be Thanksgiving, we hope the turkeys will be plentiful. Try & call on Mr. MacKay. Poor Mr. Colquhoun is very ill, no hope at all.
Your loving mother