W2351 TO MARY J. BAKER [MCQUESTEN] from her fiance, Isaac Baldwin McQuesten
Mar 20 1873
To: Mary Baker Toronto, Ontario
From: Hamilton, Ontario
My own darling Mary,
Aren't you ashamed of yourself for making such remarks upon my apologies for the poverty of my letter? If you are not, you ought to be. I know that I am generally a very superior sort of epistolatisen [sic], and when I am guilty of sending any common effusion, which from "the pen" (at the use of which some people are more proficient than with the needle) of an ordinary person would appear very good. I feel that my excellence is in danger of being called in question, and so I am bound to make the most profuse excuses. Had my modesty not just gotten the better of me I would add a little more in the same strain. You will observe that there is a little more floweriness in the preceding lines than is my wont ordinarily. This, my dear, arises from having prepared a speech for the jury. But I am doomed to casualties. For yesterday the man that had sued my client came into the office and agreed to our terms and paid expenses and so I was cheated out of my little game and little counsel fee. However it was consoling to know that he thought his chance so slight, owing no doubt to this adversary's skill, that he felt his only safe course was to come to our terms and withdraw.
Oh dear I've said my little say, what more can I put down. You must be amused to the extent of one sheet of notepaper every four or five days. My sweetest, I have been very impertinent so far, and I know and confess it. But I feel just in the mood to take hold of you, and, after kissing you steadily for about half an hour, to tease you in all other conceivable ways. Darling, what a happy, happy time it will be when you are not to be taken away from me nearly all the time, and I can be at liberty to pet you just as much and just as often as I wish.1
Last evening I went with Bell to see his house, you would have been amused if you had beard my advice to him. He had put a gas jet in the middle between the two windows in his bedroom. I advised him by means to have it removed, as that would be the place Mrs. B. would insist on having her dressing table; so as to throw the best light on her back hair fixings. Moreover he was going to turn all four rooms into bedrooms; but on being assured there would be an awful row if her ladyship had not a sewing room to stow away all her gew-gaws, he changed his mind in that respect. Poor fellow! He's in a simple frame of mind. I would never be like him, no, not for a thousand girls. And yet I too am a little affected.
Isn't it first rate that Edith McCord has broken off her engagement with that miserable wretch? I am very glad on your account, pet, as well as her own; and agree with you that it is a very disagreeable thing to have to tolerate these unpleasant people simply because of certain relations between them and those we like. I suppose your next plan will be to lay some little game for Edith. Ah you schemer. Pretend you are so disgusted at being taken in yourself--when you know it is the happiest thing in your whole life (you see I judge you by myself)--and then try and get others in the same box. You may just as well stop talking about that grand banner scene going into the drawing room. Into the library it goes and no place else. There now.
We are going to have George McDonald here week after next. I want to hear him notwithstanding the general verdict that as a lecturer he is a complete failure. Good-bye, my own loved one, would that I could only talk with you for a while, pet. I'm sure my tongue could rattle on for an hour; were it not that that would make you unhappy, usurping your place and privilege.
As ever your own,
I. B. McQuesten
[Isaac Baldwin McQuesten]
1 Other courtship letters on this site at present are: W2259, W2336, W2337, W2339, W2343, W2344, W2351, W2361, W2364, W2368, W2377, W2380, W2392.
Isaac and Mary were married on June 18, 1873.