W2271 TO ISAAC BALDWIN MCQUESTEN From De Le Noir
Aug 26 1869
To: Isaac Baldwin McQuesten
From: Cacouna ,1 [Quebec]
My dear Isaac,
I have been very neglectful of the pipe filler, & scavenger of the Club, and I now take my pen in hand &c to let you know that I am sorry for it. I intended to write you before leaving Toronto, but circumstances prevented me which it is now unnecessary to explain. If I had seen a certain nameless one, on the streets or heard of her, I should have broken through circumstances, & written at once. But alas! old Pipe filler &c, I did not have that pleasure. The fact is I feel somewhat in the light of a father to you both and if my paternal advice can be of service to you or her at any time, you have only to command me, & enclose my fee. I have not forgotten how your honest countenance fell when I spoke lightly on the subject before, & therefore I must not go on at this rate any longer. Love away Isaac, it is good for you--God gave you a heart for that purpose, & placed an object in your path who is, I am told, worthy of your honest affection. I envy you--not of your swan--but of the luxury of being love sick. I would have been a better man today if I had been smitten with your malady at your age, or rather if I had enjoyed your pecuniary convenience to engage the passion. But I had not time to love & now I am what the french [sic] call blase. There is no security from excess so sure as love, & wine & women play the devil with young men when indulged in without the restraining influence which a Betsy or a Daisy or a some other [sic] swan (alias goose) exerts. God speed you then Isaac in all your good resolutions. I always liked your infernal impudence & now your vows have made me like you better. Stick to them like a man. I am personally in no danger from excess in cups, simply because I am too calculating--You are different Isaac, & your future will be much brighter by your determinations, if kept, to avoid saloons. Pardon this long homily, but I felt that you were taking a good step & I wished to tell you so. Now confound you, I am done with sermonizing. You wished me to send you a salmon from this place. You were always a lover of lush & I should have administrated to your epicurean appetite for once if I could. I made every inquiry but the Salmon season was past before I came here. I have been here now over two weeks & will remain I think another. McCroff is well & wishes to be remembered to the pipe filler, which I have, as you see, kind of communicated. We have jolly times down here. Jolly for me at least. There is no company & no company manners. We eat as we like and as much as we like. We sleep when we like & always as long as we like, & if I could only increase the length of the days from 24 hours to 48, I would be satisfied. If you could only be here a day or [two] to enjoy the heavenly laziness of the place, the fish, the
tobacco & the sea bathing, You could return to the long haired, white-armed,
blue-eyed nymph2 purified and blessed. You don't believe me? Well don't and be hanged. M[rs??]. C. has a horse to herself in this place & upon the parlour wall in which I write I have inscribed the motto of he club. Ah this moment I am holding a protracted meeting of the treasurer of the Club, & the presence of the mutton chopped, pipe-filler would be very advantageous. It is such a nuisance to have to fill one's own pipe & smoke it too. I did not tell you that M[rs??] C. is herself an honorary member of the Club. I elected her myself. She does not smoke it is true but she enjoys my smoking which I like better. I expect we will start for Toronto in about a week and if you write to me immediately your letter will be here in time. If you don't find time to answer at once, address me at Toronto Mifs [sic] Smith & Wood.
I am now done. I hope you will find it convenient to be present at a meeting of the Club, before long. Rem[ember] me kindly to your [worthy??] father & believe me
De Le Noir
1 Saint-Georges-de-Cacouna, located on the E side of the St. Lawrence near Riviere du-Loup and about 100 km NE of Quebec City.
2 The writer may be referring to Mary Jane Baker. Isaac began to court her in 1869 and, after breaking off the engagement twice, she married Isaac on June 18, 1873.