April 23, 1899

April 23, 1899

Dear Mamma,
I was so disappointed when I heard that Kate hat left you in the lurch. You poor people! You won’t take things easy & I am afraid you will be in no condition to stand all the festivities here in June. Please do just as little as you possibly can & think of the future.
Went in and sat for my pictures again yesterday morning. Hope they will be good enough so I won’t have to go again but he would only give me two views more – one in my lavender waist* & the other in my new shirt waist* with cap & gown. I had my waist done up again & it looks just beautifully! I will send you the proofs as soon as they come & please send them back by the next mail as I am in a hurry to get them finished up. Have been having the most glorious time since I came back. Last Monday I was in the Chem. lab all day but I just enjoy that work. Tuesday, took first bicycle ride of the season after recitations. Then in the evening we went out for the first row on the lake. The next day 19th was a holiday of course & I had just the best time. Played tennis in morning, took pictures of girls rooms & printed over six dozen pictures in the afternoon and in the evening, as the grandest kind of climax, George Ralph and I went to call on Dr. Roberts. Had just the best time. She was very much interested in a chemistry poem which I had run across & repeated it to her & asked me to give her a copy. So the next day I got some stiff cards, copied it off & tied with ribbon. Illustrated it by figures cut from some of my blue prints. Then your lovely box of arbutus* came at night. I took a big bunch of them, tied them to the poem & hung them on Miss Roberts door knob. Then later in the evening she came down to my room and thanked me. She seemed so pleased. The flowers came at just the right time. I was wishing they had come the night before so I could have taken her a bunch when I called on her, but it was nicer that they came when they did, ‘cause she came down to see me. They were just beauties! Did Kasper get them? You must be sure to tell him how much I appreciated them. I had been working in the lab that afternoon & so I was not at College when the mail was distributed. When I finally looked in my box there was a “Please call for package” notice for me. It was then six o’clock and I couldn’t get it then and had to wait until the next morning. I was quite in despair as I thought it was probably arbutus which might spoil before morning. So I went to Miss Moran and she kindly went & unlocked the place & gave me my posies after dinner. It was awfully good of her. Then I opened it right down by the P.O. where the girls were all coming out from dinner & they all gathered around and I let them help themselves, i.e., about 10 girls took a little piece. Then I carried a bunch up to Miss Roberts & then got up early next morning & put a little spray at each girl’s place at the table. So that within 12 hours after I received them they were all gone.
Speaking of the table reminds me of what I have got to do tonight. Rev. Mr. Jacobus of Htfd Theological Sem. [inary] preached here today. He preached at Mr. Hawley’s ordination you remember, Elsie. Well Miss Locke the head of our table graduated from there & knows him very well. So he is to be at the table tonight & Florence Morse, Claire Morrison & myself being course girls at the table must sit beside the worthy gentleman & his wife. Wish me joy!
Tomorrow I am going to do such an interesting thing. We have got to go over some factory or some such thing for economics and several of us are going to Cambridge to go over the Houghton & Mifflin Publishing House. Won’t that be grand?
Clare Tracy can’t come to see me. She wrote such a nice letter that I am going to send it to you. Return it.
Isn’t it a glorious day today? I suppose Elsie is unhappy because she couldn’t wear her organdie* to church.
I have got quite a good deal of work on hand this week but am expecting a happy time all along. Next Thursday I am going to have such a glorious time. Mr. Luiffler is coming to Boston to lecture on “Liquid Air”* next Thursday evening & I am going to hear him. I have not got the party entirely made up yet but Dr. Roberts is going to chaperone us so of course we will have a fine time. I am glad now that I didn’t get to hear Emma Evans in Lohengrin as I now have that $2.00 to spend on the Liquid Air. I wish Carl could hear it.
Last night we had quite a treat. Miss Ida Belfry – a grand reader – recited selections from “Mill on the Floss”. She spoke about 2 hours & we were all spellbound. She was simply fine.
Next Monday evening Mrs. Litchner, Professor of Psychology at Cornell – who wrote the textbook used in Psychology here – is going to lecture. I hope I can go but there are so many grand things coming on just now that I am afraid I will miss some of them.
Well goodnight. I can write no longer as it’s almost bed time & I must write to my young brother.

Lovingly,
Mabel

N.B. I sat beside Mrs. Jacobus. She is awfully nice. Reminds me of Mrs. Lucian North – only much nicer to hear.

*arbutus –a small tree or shrub with edible red berries and red flaking bark.
*liquid air – air in a liquid state: it is intensely cold and bluish in color and is created by compression and cooling.
*organdie – a slightly stiff cotton fabric used to make dresses.
*shirt waist – a woman’s dress with a tailored button down bodice similar to a shirt.
*waist – is a common 19th century term used throughout the Edwardian and Victorian period to describe the bodice of a dress, a blouse or a woman’s shirt. It was exquisitely designed and usually worn with a fairly plain long skirt.

Letters were made available courtesy of Wellesley College Archives.
Transcribed and footnotes added by Heddy Panik.