W2339 TO MARY J. BAKER [ MCQUESTEN] from Isaac Baldwin McQuesten
Mar 11 1873
To: Mary Baker. Toronto, Ontario
From: Hamilton, Ontario.
My own dearest beloved,
It is a luxury after the unsteadiness of the past month to at last have an office to myself, and not have every Tom, Dick & Harry poking his nose in. Were it not so late that unless this is posted in half an hour you will not receive it till Wednesday, I should like to sit down and write you a real long letter; such an one for instance as I was wont to send, & receive for an answer a lecture for finding fault with you. My darling, it will be a life long wonder to me that you could have ventured to renew an engagement so justly broken off with one who shewed himself such an unreasoning & unreasonable and unappreciative wretch, and who gave you such sufficient cause to jilt him, and that forever.1 However, my sweetest it did me good; and, even if I am very very far from being worthy of you, I don't think I could now be guilty of saying such unkind things to [you] as I did then--unless you get cross talking about six buttoned kid gloves to be worn for walking and not in full dress.
Who should I find waiting patiently at the corner of Yonge & Gloucester St. but Schuck, who coolly told me when I caught up with him that he just wondered whether I would come out at such an unearthly hour. I suppose you had an invitation from Mrs. S. for us on Wednesday evening. He said he intended calling to ask you, as he would be away all day. Do you know he looks a great deal better since his marriage. There isn't such a 'huge' look as there used to be. Perhaps he is 'whaled' occasionally, who knows?
I only trust that will not be my fate. And yet I confess to having no small fear of it. "Now don't talk nonsense Isaac, whatever you do." Well I'll not. I'm just in despair, pet, about a house. It is perfectly abominable how to contemplate the possibility of having to wait till Autum before my darling is to be constantly with me, and I earnestly hope it may not come to that, and yet it seems almost out of the question getting a house. But six months ago there were decidedly grave difficulties in the way than merely finding a house; so probably this will all end well yet.
Aren't you a miserable crowd in Toronto? Patti was to sing there, and went from Hamilton for that purpose; but no hall was to be found, and after being unable to secure one during the next few weeks left in disgust. You might have pitched over one of these Yankee lecturers for the sake of hearing her.
Mary, wouldn't it look very nice if that banner scene were in my office? I think it would don't you? What an attempt at a letter. Upon my word I'm ashamed of it. Have patience, my jewel, only a few months, and this part of the shew will be ended. With kindest regards to Mr. and Mrs. Baker, and--my respects to your sweetest little self.
As ever yours.
[Isaac Baldwin McQuesten]
1 Mary had broken off her engagement to Isaac at least once, the first time in 1869 for approximately a year, likely because of his drinking (W2285, W-MCP5-6.256fn, W-MCP5-6.257). It is possible that she broke off the engagement a second time in late 1872/early 1873.
Other courtship letters on this site at present are: W2259, W2336, W2337, W2339, W2343, W2344, W2351, W2361, W2364, W2368, W2377, W2380, W2392.