W-MCP5-6.252 TO ISAAC MCQUESTEN from his friend William Bickford
May 18 1869 [date determined by postmark]
To: Isaac Baldwin McQuesten University College, Toronto, Ontario
From: Ingersoll, Ontario
To one old Ike McQuesten,
Look here now. Did you get a scratch from me lately you about-to-be-plucked1-cuss you. If so, why do you not scratch likewise. Probably you have forgotten my address you short-minded bummer you. Look here again will you? Had a letter, confidential of course, from a Univ. Coll. professor who informs me that your name will not appear on this class list to be offered to the board of fate hanging on the vestibule of ye Hall. Go it, sinner; fag like the devil: it's of no use after all for you are in for a square, old regimental "pluck."
You have spent too much of your precious time in running after strange women, bibulating [sic], strut promenading, dog grooming &c &c.
Methinks I behold a vision [drawing of a plucked bird]
prepared by the President of Univ. Col.
Feathers--dull--supply great--demand small
Geese, plucked--a good many offering but inferior lots unsaleable. Market overstocked.
Good Malt--unchanged and dull of sale--a rise expected after exams closed.
Some time past I also epistolized ye Lance; but he too hath maintained
a dignified silence, the old saint. I intend to advertize [sic] him with Globe soon; so keep you eyes out for a notice of "lost." Ike, from your negligent habits of late and further information glean e.g. from Mr. Matheson, I discover in you a lamentable leaning toward cussedness. John further added that Isaac is attracted again in the direction of Anglicans. Hallelujah! Lo make it be.
I suppose that you charge a fee of 25 cts. for all persons who wish to get a squint at you in your hermitage these days. It's no use; you have fooled too much time in the beginning of the session. You are in for the pluck. I reiterate. "Old Ike, Cant: B.A."--Plucked sure's the d-l: but if you can translate you will pass. "Loop de colere, et pas assez de dedain . La colere a besoin d' etre partegee, elle est indescrete car elle vous comunniquer. Le dedain est une fine et delicieuse volupte qu'on savoure a sou seul; il est diseret car il se suffit."
I may add in English that it is the same with bumming as with la colere. Try your "moderns" now.
I don't expect a scratch from you till after exams. Is the "Lance" alive? I'll settle his carcass for him pretty soon. "A wise man keepeth his own counsel" Proverbo passim. Lunch not the [drawing of a bottle and cork]. Stick to your [drawing of a book]. Hang your [drawing of a dog], and leave your [drawing of a cane] on its pin. Use the [drawing of pipe] seldom. John told me you had sold "sixpence-worth of dog; so if this is so you must hang him.
Yours trooli [sic]
Old Pill [William (Bill) Bickford]2
N.B. Today's a fine day outside
1 To be "plucked" means to fail an exam.
2 Bickford was a close friend of Isaac's from law school at University of Toronto. He often wrote in a very jovial tone, teasing Isaac about women or failing exams. For more on Bickford, see W-MCP5-6.256.