February 26, 1899

Feb. 26-[18]99

Dear Mamma,
Was delightfully surprised at receiving another letter from you last week. It is a good idea about inviting ILA but I just don’t know whether I will or not. I was planning to have someone visit me the 10th but was going to ask Anna. She has expressed a great desire to see Julia Marlowe* so I told her I would meet her in town & go with her to see her. Julia Marlowe will be in town then for an engagement of several weeks so I thought I would have Anna meet me in town, go to see her and then come out to Wellesley for the night. Of course she would have to begin school Monday morning so unless she would travel on Sunday she probably won’t come to Wellesley. If she didn’t come I could have ILA that week, taking them both to see Julia Marlowe. I am planning now to sit for my pictures again that same Sat[urday] go in the theatre and thought it would be nice to have Anna meet me there, perhaps I would be able to have a pleasanter expression. But here again I think it would be nice to have ILA with me when I have my pictures taken, she would look out for little details etc. Or shan’t I have my picture taken now but wait until after vacation when I could have my graduating gown – or wouldn’t that be sent me as soon as twas finished? I should like to know your sentiments thereon. Then again, I am crazy to have Clara Tracy visit me sometime before I graduate. Could I invite her without inviting Jane? I haven’t sent her a definite invitation but I said I hope she (Clara) could come and see me sometime. I want Clara anyway – if I can have her without Jane and could I have ILA too? ($1.00 day you know). If I had ILA, I would of course want her before Easter – ahem – so please tell me right off so I can write to her. I can’t say that I am particularly anxious to have her – would greatly prefer to have Clara. Could see ILA about my hat on my way home, couldn’t I? Can either come home March 29 – reaching Htfd at 7 & staying with ILA that night and meet you next day to do graduating shopping etc. or leave here Thurs. morn – March 30 – reaching Htfd at 1:20 & shopping rest of afternoon. Would that be long enough?
Got a good pair of white gloves in Natick yesterday for $1.25. Will probably go to reception tomorrow. Will you please send me some pieces of brown denim like my chemistry apron? Had a little explosion Fri so now my apron needs patching. I was doing an experiment in which I had to heat some strong sulphuric acid. All of a sudden there was a bang and my test tube broke to smithereens, throwing the boiling acid all over my apron. Although I took it off almost immediately & poured ammonia on it, it was almost in ruin – the acid was so concentrated that it ate right through in no time so that I am forced to patch it up. It nearly broke my heart though to watch the holes growing bigger and bigger. I can almost hear you say “heedless careless child” but really it was not my fault. Dr. Roberts was in the room at the time and was as much surprised as any of us. I asked her if I might use her name as a reference in applying to a teacher’s agency and she gave me permission. She is most lovely. I have also got Prof. Hayes name – of Mathematics. Must get some more soon though I hate to ask for them. We have a new system this year – are to have course cards no longer as perhaps you know, but I am going to try to get the teachers to make them out for me. Dr. Roberts has consented to. We have been having such fun with her. I told you about the exam we gave her when we went to her room that night. Well we thought we would send her a course card. So through Miss Bragg – Asst. Prof of Chemistry we got a card & filled it out, signed all our names as instructors and had Miss Bragg sign it “for Professor of Chemistry.” We sent it out just about the time the credit notes came out and then I thought it an opportune moment in which to ask her if she would fill me out a card in Chem 8, being a Semester course & finished at Midyears. She said she thought she ought to be willing to do almost anything for any member of that class. It was such a relief to her when she received her course card. She said she was going to have it framed in order to preserve the autographs. The Semester course Chem III which I am now taking is organic chemistry and is awfully interesting. We have Miss Bragg in this so that now I have Dr. Roberts only 2 times a week (in Chem 4 – a full year course) whereas I used to have her six times. But Miss Bragg is awfully good too.
Friday afternoon went to an interesting lecture in Pedagogy by Mr. Scudder, present Principal of Hillhouse High School. The lecture was just fine. I have received permission to attend Pedagogy as a hearer so as to have all benefits of class discussion. When I went to ask Mrs. Irvine for permission I asked her about my work in general as compared with average. She said although she hadn’t taken averages she should certainly consider my work of the average if not a little above. You know we did not have credit system my freshmen year but she said I had credit in 11 ½ out of 14 hours that year. So upon calculating somewhat I have found that even if I don’t get credit in nine, then 9 hours this second sem. [ester] I shall have passed 4/5 of my college work with credit. Now I know you like to hear about my work etc. & I have told you a lot about it during the last month, about the only time where there has been anything to tell. So now you must be lenient if I don’t say much about it in future letters because there will probably be nothing to say.
Had an awfully good Barn Swallow meeting last night – Almira Pearce’s Album, living pictures you know. Really can’t write any more now so goodbye.

Affectionately
Mabel

Please answer immediately. Tell my about yourself. Are you getting all tired out? Do you want me to bring Agatha home with me?

* Julia Marlowe – was an English born American stage actress (Aug 17, 1865 – Nov 2, 1950)

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