[Letterhead:] COMMERCIAL BANK OF CANADAW-MCP5-6.303 TO ISAAC BALDWIN MCQUESTEN from his friend Walter Roper
Mar 25 1865
To: Isaac Baldwin McQuesten, Upper Canada College, Toronto, Canada West
From: London, Canada West [Ontario]
Dear Friend Ike,
Do, I pray you, pardon me for my shameful negligence in not having replied to your last kind epistle of 7 February! I have my reasons for not writing to, I may say anybody. Those causes I still have, but I have at last made up my mind to let you hear from me at all events. I don't think I shall write to any other friends until I am more settled, tho' as you are aware, my friends are few, and good & I trust.
You are rather tardy in answering my last, but then of course you have good reasons, for I know when you get thro' studying you prefer doing something else besides sitting down to letter writing. Still I hope in future that any correspondence will be kept up a little better.
I have not known for the last month or two from day to day how long I should be in London, and I am still in that predicament & shall hail with joy the time when I shall know. Address your letter tho' still here.
Sorry was I also, my dear fellow, in not being able to enjoy more of your company while in Hamilton, but you must know I was not my own arranger, but had it all done for me.
Your advice is good concerning study, and I have no doubt but that it is all correct what you say I must "pitch-in" some of these [fine?] days. How are you progressing in the art of "fluting?" Can you play many pieces yet? I have made up my mind to learn the guitar as soon as I get settled down.
I find banking an extremely nice occupation especially the hours. But still do not enjoy them out side as much as I should if I lived in Hamilton or Toronto--you know my only reason for mentioning the latter place.
I like London very well considering. The fun is not very vast. Don't you believe there are many pretty girls here for if you do you will be confoundedly mistaken. When I first arrived here I imagined there was a great concourse of them, but now, I think nothing of the sort.
We have a jolly good fellow at the house in the shape of a love-sick retired British Officer. He was Lieutenant in the 63rd and while stationed here he became smitten with a London gal. Besides this officer we have a regular "loon" of a chap who is attempting to study law, and thinks himself a mighty fellow, but all the rest of us think he is a regular idiot. He blows about Oxford and what he "used" to do when in England.
Your Gibson must be a "heavy" boy if his mind soars no higher than novels. I must say there are some very interesting, tho' I have not read one for a long time.
How many years do you expect to be in Toronto? I wish they would move me there, for we could have sport together. I have never lived in the same place with you since I have been in a permanent situation and reaping the rewards of my labour.
I do not know when I have experienced such a long dreary winter as the present, for it is still snowing, and thawing and freezing, at the same time. O How glad I shall be when it is over, for I am sick and tired of it.
I still call Hamilton my home, altho' Fred and Lizzie are the only relatives I have there, Emily having gone to visit Henry for, I believe, a few months. My mother and Maggie I expect back shortly. I wish to goodness you could come here for a while, but then, as you say the Ge [sic] would be liable to stand in the way of our sport and fun.
Ain't the Southerners getting it at present? I should like to have bought a lot of green backs. They are talking about opening the Gymnasium here again. It kept in vogue last time, I hear, about three days. I hope to hear from you soon, Believe me,
Your sincere friend
Com. Bank of Ca.
London, Canada West