Letter to Angus McKay from William Kennedy:
Letter reading "April 5th 81 - My dearest old chum, As work is utterly out of the question for me to night I thought that I might profitably employ myself for the remainder of the night by writing to all my old friends whose old and treasured epistles I have just been perusing over and over again for the last hour or so - And finding that all of you without exception express in each of your letters the pleasure that you ever derive from receiving a letter from an old school mate. I thought that I could not possibly do better than write you all a few lines in turn although after having read through your old letter I feel that I justly deserve to be [?] by one and all of you for my neglect and laziness in not writing to all of you more frequently than I have done in the past and although I might plead a heavy pressure of work as my excuse for not writing you [?] I do not think such and excuse would exculpate me in the least bit. Now please do not be disgusted at this dry and hard style of writing old fellow. You remember we are told somewhere in scripture if I mistake not, that out of the fullness of the heart proceed the words of man, or something to that effect. Well just so it is with me All the old letters which I have been reading, coming as they do, from all parts of the world you may say - from yourself at Carlton, from Mowat at Edmonton, from Larry at Toronto, from Rorie in South Carolina, from San Francisco and from Machray at Cambridge, and all of them teeming as they do with warm and kindly sentiments as well as those from old "Scout" in British Columbia have made my manly though tender heart full ever to overflowing. When I had finished the perusal and the re-perusal of them all the first thing that I said to myself was "by jove, I'll write to dear old Angus". Well enough of this - call it by whatever name you please. I must be getting on to the real gist and substance of this epistle, or you will at length be saing "Aut insanit homs, aut versus facit" - Have you forgotten your Latin? And first of all I must tell you that in accordance with your instructions to your brother James, which be delivered to me, with respect to the collar for your dog of famous name and fame I racked thoroughly the poetical departments of my brain and by [?] perseverance, mingled at the same time with talent for poetical composition to acclaim degree, I managed to turn out some couplets which I thought to be extremely suitable for a Doz collar, and which I handed over to James for inspection and I desired him to select one of them but alas! His criticism proved too severe for my verses - they were all repudiated - and all deemed equally unsuitable for the Collar of so distinguished a day as "Suabs or Nibs". From that time the poetical and our within me has completely died out, it having been, I thin previously exhausted by my two [?] "to the moon" of which you may probably have heard. But while [?] on this subject I must thank you for the high compliment you paid me in selecting me to write the verses I would [?] I had been more worthy of the high honour paid me! Jimmie is see is your frequent correspondent and from him I suppose you get all the current news at this place, so I will refrain from wearying you with a rehash of the same old story. To a fellow who is staying all along at this place, there does not appear any change though perhaps to an old boy like you (pardon me you are a man now) a very great change might be visible, were you to revisit the scenes of your boyhood once more. There is always the same routine day after day without any intermission at which one is apt to repine, at any rate I often do I know; I sometimes long for change. I suppose I do not fully realize that a persons school-days are really the happiest days of this life, although even now I look back with [?] pleasure on the days when you and I were in the noble old 5th form together, the prestige of which we managed to keep up wonderfully well. We have a Debating Society formed, in which we all take a very great interest. We have one or two very good speakers especially one a Mr [?] whom you possibly may have seen last summer out there as he was coming in from the North - he takes rank as a speaker with Mr McKenzie who used to take a leading part with Debates of our old society...."
letters (correspondence)friendscolleges (institutions)
385 Corr - William Kennedy
Univesity Library, University of Saskatchewan
2 physical items; 25.5 x 20.5 cm, folded in half
Winnipeg Capitol Region
Written over black in red ink to complete letter: "Your brother James also appears to be taking after you - or rather to have your [?] in some degree - for he has the makings of a orator in him, which these Debates will probably bring out - altho' perhaps not in such a striking manner as in your own case. Are the reports that are in circulation here, true or not that Angus McKay Esq of the humble H.B. Co. is about to take to himself a spouse? I sincerely hope such is not the case. I would advise you to wait a little longer until the blooming daughter of your boss arrives at Carlton. Then indeed will be the time for you to make love in real earnest. But see to it that Davidson doesn't "cut you out", or if he does, you will be certain to lose something worth winning. How is your brother Gilbert's little affair getting along? You ought to let me know - I hear that Miss B. [?] and Mr Hughes are to be married about the 15th next. Your old Harriet is still eligible; whom it appears you have entirely forgotten or does your manly heart still throb for her? As it is getting on into the small hours of the morn I must close this stupid and uninteresting epistle. Ever your most affectate friend W.T.B. Kennedy - P.S. Excuse mistakes and blotches please as this is a very bad pen - write soon W.K."