W2364 TO MARY J. BAKER [MCQUESTEN] from her fiance, Isaac Baldwin McQuesten
Mar 28 1873
To: Mary Baker, Toronto, Ontario
From: Hamilton, Ontario
My own sweetest,
Thank goodness, one great bother of my life for the past few weeks is over. I've got a house at last. So your Muslins, Irish Poplan & Tempen, etc. may have a chance of airing themselves I trust before the dog days come. I met Leggo, our late master, on the street today. The house that he had been in he said he intended to keep as he could not find another large enough. But, he said, Mrs. Leslie, (mama to the fair Annie) is going to leave hers on James Street in a few days & is now packing up.1 So I saw the landlord at once. Informed him of the fact--he was not aware of it--I insisted on his going at once to the house with me. Went over at once and agreed to take it. Now, my dear, it is not as large a house as I would like. In some ways it is not what I would choose. But the back room of the two down stairs is a splendid broad dining room the whole breadth of the house, with a dumb-waiter in it, and the front bed room up stairs is also the whole breadth. These two features I particularly like. It is moreover one of these old houses with thick stone walls that will keep it cool in summer and very warm in winter. And, I think that, using a little taste in filling it up.
I couldn't get the confounded landlord to spend a cent on improvements--we can find it not unpleasant for a couple of years. I am afraid, my dear, that neither can you have a sewing room to yourself, nor I a library. However, I'm willing to give up any luxury, even a smoking room & pipe, for the sake of having my loved one. And if we do have to start with a house a little smaller than we would like, probably a good many have commenced with a still smaller one, and when we have a larger there will be all the more enjoyment in it. I think it is full as broad as yours, and considerably deeper. I hope, my darling, you will be pleased with it, for I cannot now help myself, and I acted as I thought for the best, fearing that by waiting longer, I might not fare so well. It is a relief to feel that that part is over. Now to make myself happy as usual I must find something else to fret about. I forgot to state that it is the top one of the row that Mrs. Milroy, Walter McDonald, Calder Melrose, are in. It is high up and airy.
So much for the practical part of the dreary pilgrimage here below. I hope you will get this letter tomorrow, dear one, but I could not write it earlier in the day, having lost a part of it on this aforesaid important mission. I had a note from Dr. O. [Ormiston]. He is not coming over next month--and I'm glad after the way those Central Church people have treated father, that he is putting off his visit on our account. He writes that he has a good many engagements for ecclesiastical meetings in June, and he would consider it a great favor if you could let him know before long at about what time "the event" is to come off. 2
Don't be horrified at the horizon blackening & the storm becoming more certain every hour. Cheer up, my dear, your mother & nearly every woman--all except that dreadful class--old maids--have had to come to their hash 3 [sic] some time. And you know I'm a great deal better then the best of these fellows that have brought them to their hash. Besides, my dear, you are getting old; and you would not have as many chances now as you once had.
Jones is to be hanged in May. So he will not interfere with us. Good-bye, Jewel, as ever yours (modestly).
I. B. McQuesten
[Isaac Baldwin McQuesten]
1 Isaac and Mary did NOT move into this house. Isaac found another, an attached house, No. 1 & 3 Bold Street. Mary's parents eventually moved into the other part.
2 Isaac and Mary were married on June 18, 1873.
Other courtship letters on this site at present are: W2259, W2336, W2337, W2339, W2343, W2344, W2351, W2361, W2364, W2368, W2377, W2380, W2392.
3 Isaac likely means "hash" in the sense of "a new mixture of old matter" (WNCD).