[Note at top] Mamma went through Hamilton twice last summer & looked anxiously for you--as did I--but we didn't see you!W7611 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from Mary E. MacLeod Moore
Jan 6 1907
To: [Rev.] Calvin McQuesten [Standoff, Alberta]
From: 420 West 20th St., New York.
Dear Mr. McQuesten,
It is just two months since I got your letter. But I scorn to make any apologies. The one fact stands out baldly. I did not answer it when I meant to. Let us drop the subject. Verbum sap.
The charming "Vid Borealis" reached me safely, and I have reviewed it -- not thoroughly read it -- with great pleasure. There is so much fire and delicacy in the verses that I think we ought to be proud of him as a fellow countryman. Many thanks.
In spite of the usual "this time last year," we had a very pleasant Christmas remembered by heaps & heaps of friends in all parts. For New Year's I took advantage of a cheap rate and raced up to my beloved Montreal for three days Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. Having a lovely time with the old crowds (I add the "s" as I have several cliques, some new since your day). However before going into the details of who I saw of what I heard I must answer your letter.
I was awfully sorry to hear that you had been so seedy and so blue. The letter is particularly bad when it takes the form of deciding that no one cares for you and you're not interesting and some day you'll be old and what is going to become of you then! I'm sure the west is the best place for you when you are not up to much. It is so big and free and hopeful. While I think of it I must tell you that "twixt optimist and pessimist, the difference is droll. The optimist sees the doughnut, The pessimist the hole!" Which is really rather neat. My chief's version is that "a pessimist is a man who has a choice of two evils & takes them both."
I suppose by this time you have gone to Toronto for the exam. Good luck go with you. Let me hear how it comes off. And after that? But perhaps that is impertinent curiosity even in an old friend.
I must remember to send you "L'art de la mode." There is nothing literary about it. Apart from the actual editing, make up, engravers, etc., I supervised the work of the artists, criticize, change etc. and keep a watchful eye on the fashion situation. It is good training but even with the prospect of eventually getting $50 per week, I don't want to end my career in a fashion magazine. The Star in the person of B.A. Macnab, renewed their offer to go back but I have a sort of superstitious feeling about "looking backward."
I heard some news about our old pals, Miss Henbach had an offer from the Star, as Mrs. Marston is leaving to go abroad for her health, but Mr. Brierley contrary to precedent, offered her a decent increase to stay, so even when the Star again raised the sum she promised to abide by the Herald. She looks very well & handsome. Mr. Dewar is still city ed. & stout Mr. J.S.B. push the same as ever. Mr. Somerville has gone to the Star. Mr. Lewis & Murray Williams are still at the Star, as well as Mr. Paul who is now city editor. At the theatre New Year's Eve I said "How d'ye do?" to Sandwell, and in the distance saw Jimmie Haunsally of the Gazette. But there are a lot of new ones since our day. I heard Mr. Roe was at the Gazette. And Mr. Patullo at the Boston Herald. Mr. Neil McIntyre was gone to a splendid berth in Vancouver.
When I was in Toronto I saw Burnside Robinson, tel. ed. of the News, also Mr. Atkinson of the Star, and Mr. Mckay of the Globe. Ray Wadsworth was asking for you and again was covered with confusion to remember the time he talked for four hours at a stretch. Even your interest in his conversation didn't quite make things right.
The Herald has a fine building now at Victoria square and seems prosperous and much cleaner than in days of old when we waded through the dust and muddle of ages, so to speak, to reach the telephone, or deposit our copy on the desk! I wonder what became of Mr. Wolf. You know Mr. Holme is on the staff of the Times here, and doing very well. He is clear and conscientious.
Sometimes I wonder what it's all for and what's the end. To make a little more money than someone else and satisfy small personal ambitions but the only thing is life. And yet it seems to be meant to try to tell you something about our [?] -- I don't mean it to be last -- or sit to the "other side," but I simply can't.
If I could have you alone for an evening I fear I would talk you almost helpless, but its impossible in a letter. It was absolutely satisfying and beautiful. No disappointments and the fulfilling of many youthful, hopeful dreams. It is so much what one expects, and so homelike, and yet so fully the unexpected.
My brother was lovely and couldn't do enough for us. Being a partner in a London firm has made him graver and quieter but very dear. This is a terribly long letter. You must groan as you go over page after page. Oh Miss Bray is well & as pretty as ever. She went to the coast this Sept. Miss Harrison who went to Montreal with me, is heart & soul in her settlement work. I contribute one night per week to the girls' Friendly. Mama sends kindest regards in [?] she is joined by her daughter.
M. E. MacLeod Moore1
1 For all references to Mary E. MacLeod Moore, see, W7962, W7411, W7564, W7588, W7611, W8744, W-MCP1-3b.019,
and see Box 04-007 for a footnote on Mary E. MacLeod Moore. Mary E. MacLeod Moore was a fellow-journalist with Calvin at the Montreal Herald in 1902.