W4686 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Oct 30 1902
To: Calvin McQuesten Montreal Quebec
My dear dear boy,
There is nothing of any account to relate. The weather has been so pleasant that I have been using it to make calls and on Monday walked as far as Locke and Hannah and home again, so you see how strong I am getting1. Yesterday I turned out my closet, which is a great achievement. After tea went over to T.H. & B station as Archie Mullin was going off and I wanted to bring his mother back with me. Archie goes to Baltimore to see Nellie and sails from New York on Saturday. Of course every one hoots at the idea of his having to go to Scotland in order to study but I trust he will make something of himself2. Mrs. Mullin heard that Jean McIlwraith was making $50 a week in New York and I am going to find out how she does it. But of course she has been reading and working for years.
What I am convinced is your best course is to give your mind this winter to reading. If you can get your "Tatler" done in the day time, which you must do, then make a determined effort to read in the evening. I should think history would be of most practical value to you, but you probably know. And you must just feel contented to go on quietly on the present pay and use your spare time to store your mind before you could expect to start out in New York. If you think it over, you do well if you have sufficient to live comfortably whilst you fit yourself by storing your mind for better work. In all these books worth reading the authors are evidently widely read, so that it is absolutely necessary that you take time for this before you go further. Whatever course you pursue in the future you require to have a well-furnished mind so I would just settle down to this and not mind whether you get a higher salary or not. Though it would be very agreeable you would probably have to give more time and might not have so much time to yourself, which I believe is the most important thing for you now. There is going to be a steady demand for good writing.
Hedley has been very slow about packing those things for Ken [Trigge] but he promised to get things off this morning, he took them from here last week. You can tell Ken3. When the pears reach you, [words missing from page] card & you will see "ready" open it. The other can be put in a cool dark place for a while. Have also found hat brush which I will send you. You left the soft shirt too, you will find it at bottom of pear basket.
Mrs. Scott was so pleased with your report of Gen Booth, that she asked for some more of your writings4. Ruby & I both enjoyed "The Tatler" on the Canadian books5. Who writes the "As seen by Her"? After looking at it again I see it is most quotes. I liked a piece in it by Margaret Hall on the way girls spoil young men.6. Must close. Take care of yourself dear with fondest love. Your loving Mother
1 A distance of at least eleven city blocks each way
2 For Mullin family, see W4521
3 For Kenelm Trigge and family, see W4635.
4 Mrs. McLellan Scott of 88 Bay St. S., two blocks from Whitehern, was a member of the WFMS (Latoszek 25).
5 In the "Tatler" article on General William Booth (1829-1912) Calvin reported on Booth's visit to Montreal, where he met and interviewed him (see Box 13-037). Calvin noted that Booth was the English religious leader and founder of the Salvation Army, and was "the greatest modern apostle of practical Christianity. . . . At seventy-four years of age, with him as with Moses of old, his eye is not dim, neither is his natural force abated" (The Montreal Herald, October 25, 1902). In the "Tatler" article on the Canadian books Calvin gave lengthy reviews of three books: The Life of Lord Strathcona by Beckles Willson, The Fight with France for North America, by A.G. Bradley, and Maids and Matrons of New France (1902) by Mary Sifton Pepper, all published by George N. Morank & Co. Ltd (The Montreal Herald, October 18, 1902). A copy of the latter is in the Whitehern library.
6 I have found no record that Calvin wrote a women's column at the Herald, although he had done so at the Toronto Evening News in 1901. It was named "'A Corner for Women Readers,' Conducted by Nina Vivian," which was Calvin's pseudonym for that purpose.
For a selection of these articles, see Box 13-060, Box 13-061, Box 13-062, Box 13-063, Box 13-064, Box 13-065, Box 13-066, Box 13-067, Box 13-069, Box 13-070, Box 13-071, Box 13-072, Box 13-073, Box 13-074, Box 13-075, Box 13-076, Box 13-077, Box 13-078, Box 13-079, Box 13-080, Box 13-081, Box 13-082, Box 13-083, Box 13-084, Box 13-085.