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Mary and Isaac on their wedding day, June 18, 1873.W2361 TO MARY J. BAKER [MCQUESTEN] from her fiance, Isaac Baldwin McQuesten
Mar 24 1873
To: Mary J. Baker, Toronto, Ontario
From: Hamilton, Ontario

My own darling one,

It is a shame to bother you with my uncouth presence so often; but, from selfishness or some other cause, it would a thing impossible to go to Toronto and not see my beloved. As I have to be at Osgoode Hall at 10 a.m. Thursday I must go down Wednesday afternoon, especially as I have several Toronto matters to attend to. I will try and be to see you, darling, before time for meeting on Wednesday even; but cannot be sure what time some items downtown can be got through with. Honestly, though, my jewel, I am ashamed to trespass so much on Mrs. Baker's kindness; and think I had better stay at the Queens. It's enough to accept your hospitalities once a month or so. But I feel when people treat me as kindly as you all have done, that it is repaying it in a very poor way to abuse it in this so frequent manner.

Any way, my beloved, I cannot keep away from where you are much of the time, and Toronto has nothing choicer than somebody's kisses. I feared I would not see my sweetheart again till Easter, when I bid her adieu a couple of Sunday nights ago; and scarce expected to look on her dear face again so soon. But it is not like some things and the more I see it the more I want to see it. These long engagements are horrible things. I'm glad I've not got to endure it very much longer. At least I hope I'll not have to. What do you think?1

Goodwin Gibson2 sails for England day after tomorrow, and goes to Japan in a year. He is to spend about six months in Britain visiting his friends, & is then coming back here to finish up before finally leaving. So he will not be at our little show. Old Macdonald wrote woefully the other day. He is grinding up for call next May. His tastes are changing & becoming decidedly sweet. From old rye he is indulging in fresh maple molasses. He, still, however, he adds, shuns maidens. Happy youth! He does not yet know what it is to be anxious, and to feel that she on whom he is staking his little all may at any moment veer around like unto the balmy south wind, and he erstwhile feel the chilling glances from the frozen north penetrate even unto his very bones. Eheu! I am a pilgrim.

Now, my dear, after this little effervescence I must cork my bottle, or thou mayest become intoxicated with the eloquence flowing from my oleaginated [sic] feather. I shall not post this till too late for their afternoon's mail. Lest it might per chance reach Toronto before you have sent me a loving effusion. Mayhap it may in any case; and thou will be sore inclined to chuckle at me when thou lookest at my captive self. Farewell, jewel, keep your spirits up, not, as your paternal sings in his festive moments, by pouring spirits down; but by the speedy prospect of seeing me, who am far more enlivening unto you than Dublin Stout, which causeth you to make unpleasant faces, and hath a not soothing effect upon your at no time too gentle temper. I'll get my hair shingled after this before I present myself before her who always believes me (being decidedly soft) to be hers and hers alone.

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.

2 Goodwin Gibson was a friend of Isaac's, see W-MCP5-6.257, W-MCP5-6.278, W2275.

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The development of this website was directed by Mary Anderson, Ph.D. and Janelle Baldwin, M.A.
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