[on envelope: "University College," is crossed out
and replaced by:]
W-MCP5-6.246 TO ISAAC MCQUESTEN from his friend William McBride
May 28 1868
To: Isaac McQuesten Hamilton, Ontario
From: Brownhelen, Ohio
Vermillion Topped Saint--
Methinks I see thee squatting in thy easy chair, reprieving in the fact that the agonies are at last over, and counting the days & hours that have yet to pass before the appointed day shall arrive when your refulgent head shall be bowed before the Chancellor and receive the undeserved blessing--thence to the banqueting hall of Alma Mater, to make a beast of yourself with those vile intoxicating liquids which will be placed on the grooming board & and which you know so well how to dispose of into your capacious stomach--and on the morrow you will drag your big carcass saturated with the juice of the grape to the sacred precinct of Isabella St., there to hear the words pronounced that shall make two hearts beat as one. You vile hypocritical saint!
I received your epistle a few days ago containing the usual number of insults characteristic of the writer, which is very likely to meet a violent death if he is not guarded in his language--
Bricktop--I am thinking of riding the goat and becoming a good templar--what are you snickering at--you comet!--It's a fact--A young damsel a native of this village called on me a few days ago soliciting subscriptions for a G. T. Lodge, and delivered a very impressive ovation on the evil effects of intoxicating liquors in all of which I concurred I gave her a 25 ct. shinplaster, received the grip of the sisterhood told her I would give the subject an earnest & prayerful consideration and then proceeded to take a mild potation of fusil oil to assist me in my meditation and by way of having experimental evidence of the evil effects aforesaid.
N.B. The experiment requires to be repeated sine die1--before a satisfactory result can be arrived at.
I have not yet settled down to anything permanent here--I was in Cleveland for four days last week, and went the round of the law offices, but did not meet with much success, all the lawyers here appear to do their own work and as a general thing do not employ clerks--One firm--Milley & Carey--the latter of whom is a Hamiltonian who came to Cleveland at the age of 18--would be very glad to take me into their office, but will not pay any salary first 6 months, but after that they would be willing to pay sufficient $ cover board &c with a gradual increase as I made myself useful to them--Board for 6 months would cost me $175 so that the proposition is out of the question--However they are to give the matter a further consideration & give me a definite answer this week--Cleveland is a magnificent city, and far surpasses Canadian cities. One street--Euclid Avenue--4 miles in length is remarkable for magnificent residences through the entire length.
I have not yet written to the Old pill,2 & will not do so at present--Make my apologies to him when you next write. If I return to Canada I will go around by way of Detroit & stop at Ingersol to gaze on him,--& have optical [?] of his proceedings.
I wish you get Smith's Wealth of Nations3 [sic] from Bickfords and send it to me by Express, with one or two other books--such as you think will be good for my perusal--not too dry--you [simian?], or I will send them back & make you pay Charges.
How is our mutual friend Harvey? Has he taken his acceptance from Toronto? Let me have the latest when you write-Now fire-skull adieu! Adieu! Vale! Vale! [?].
And believe me
Your Sincere Friend
P.S. Send me a Toronto paper once in a while-
[written at bottom of page:]
I.B. McQuesten, Esq. Law B.A.
Univ. Coll. [University College]
1 Latin--"without delay"
2 This refers to William Bickford who was a mutual friend to Isaac and William McBride from law school. In other letters from friends to Isaac mention a Henry Bickford who was appears to be William's estranged brother (W-MCP5-6.247). An H.G. Bickford (W-MCP5-6.296) is also mentioned and it is likely that this is Henry. See W-MCP5-6.256 for more on William Bickford.
3 Adam Smith, born in Kirckaldy, Fife, Scotland (approximately) 1723, died July 17, 1790.
In 1776, he published "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations," considered to be amongst the most groundbreaking works in economics.
Jan. 23, 2004