W4738 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Jan 14 1903
To: Calvin McQuesten Montreal, Quebec
My dear dear boy,
Haven't we been having a freezing time of it? Really it has taken all our endeavours to keep warm and use as little coal as possible for I understand Fairgrieve only intended the low price of coal to refund to what we could get before Christmas, so I am just praying that mine may last out like the widow's cruise. Mr. Chisholm had told me some few days ago about the Bk. of Montreal, since I wrote you last and it was very good news. Though he endeavoured to explain it, I was ashamed to ask him again and cannot tell you exactly how it stands but what we propose to do is to take up as much stock as my shares permit about $1000 worth for at the rate I get it, it will give me 6 per cent on my money. I have $500 waiting for investment now and the rest Mr. C. will arrange for me.
We had such a quantity of snow, that it took a good strong man (Vann was sick) full three hours to dig us out on Monday morning. I had been busy all my spare time till to-day looking up Indian & Buddhism and found a great many interesting things & books in our own & Public Library. Amongst them, Max Mullins "Chips from a German Workshop";1 which means I think a great many selections gleaned from the works of various students of the ancient books on Buddhism. There are 455 millions of Buddhists now. I thought your article on the Persian question most interesting & exceedingly well done. How little we know of what is going on in the various corners of the world! So tantalizing to think of those miserable Persians handing everything over to Russia. I cannot understand why unless the Persian Government had borrowed from Russia. These wretched government people are always standing in there own light. One can scarcely understand why the English bother with them if Russia is to get the benefit. But there is some wheel within wheels I do not understand.
I am glad you are able to enjoy the snow-shoeing. Never lose any opportunity for enjoyment on account of my letter, it can wait. In the Saturday "Herald" 2 amongst the cuttings from the "Herald" of 1828 is a notice as to settlement of Estate of Daniel Fisher with names of executors amongst them John Fisher, John Torrance & William Lunn, and mentions at the foot that a memorial tablet to Dan. Fisher is to be found in St. Catherine St. Methodist Church. If you have a Saturday paper mark all your articles & the notice & send it Miss C. Fisher, Bk. of Montreal, 22 Abchurch Lane, London Eng.
Heurner Mullin was laid up several weeks with what Mrs. M. thinks was a touch of typhoid. On Friday he went to St. Catharines, his mother was nearly worn out waiting on him for which he gave her not one word of thanks. He is a queer stick.
I had such a nice letter from poor Willie to whom I sent "My Days in the orthland."
Well dear, I hope you will keep well. I always think the bitter cold exhausts people, so that they take grippe but I trust you will be kept in health. It strikes me as a very selfish thing of Ken not to go home & see his mother, when he had the money to do it. Has he followed the Doctor's advice? Well my news is exhausted. With much love from all, my dear dear boy.
Your loving Mother
1 MUELLER, F. M. Chips from a German Workshop. London, Longmans, Green and Co., 1867-1875. Friedrich Max Mueller (1823-1900) who studied in Leipzig, Berlin and Paris came to Great Britain in 1846 where he started his work for an English translation of the Rg-Veda. He was an exceptionally versatile thinker, pioneering in many fields like linguistics, comparative religion, indology, mythology and even literature. Later influential theories in these fields have their origin in his work, and he is considered the founding father of the science of comparative religion. When the giant project of publication of the English translation of the Sacred hymns of the Brahmans had been secured in about 1845, Mueller was asked to keep track over the years of his findings on the interpretative process involved. So almost every year Mueller published a few articles 'chips from his workshop' on various subjects that had engaged his attention. Therein he tried to bring out even in the most abtruse subjects the points of real interest that ought to engage the attention also of the public at large. When the last two volumes of the Rg-Veda translation passed through the press, he assembled the most important pieces. Volume I is subtitled: Essays on the Science of Religion; volume II: Essays on mythology, Traditions, and Customs; volume III: Essays on Literature, Biography and Antiquities; volume IV: Essays chiefly on the science of language. Among the advertisements in vol. II is the prospectus for the Rg-Veda translation.
2 It is likely that Mary is referring to the "Montreal Herald" where Calvin was employed as a journalist at this time.