January 16, 1898

Jan 16, [18]‘98

Yes, dear sister, you are a good girl to write to me but why didn’t you tell me some things I wanted to know? Your letter was extremely good as far as it went but that was the trouble, it didn’t go far enough. For instance, Mamma said in her Sunday letter “Elsie went sleigh riding with Louise (she will tell you the circumstances).” Naturally I was curious to know the circumstances but I am still painfully ignorant. Enlighten me at once. Then after asking many times if the cats had been killed yet, I finally got the answer. “The kittens have disappeared.” Which ones? Who disappeared them and how? You people say “Mamma has told it all so I will not today” when you might just as well elaborate upon her statements. For example, why didn’t you go into more detail concerning your visit to the Sem[inary] & Miss Learoyd. All you said was “Miss L. is same as ever.” Another thing you said “Debate last night.” Who debated, who got it & was it interesting? Not that I’m finding fault. Oh no. I am simply suggesting lines of improvement.
You will probably have great sport at the whist* party. How I should like to attend it. I miss whist. You will probably stay to some of the dances, don’t you suppose? The letters on my seal are Sigillum collegii Wellesleiani 1875 and in the corner circle, our motto “Non ministrari sed ministraire.” You know I have a white cord with which to finish the edge. I think it’s in the closet. I am glad Papa is of the right opinion concerning the beginning to the new century. Did he meet any opposition in the family? I saw the statement in a paper the other day and was at first rather astonished but was soon set aright by my common sense. I expect to find a goodly no. of stamps in my next letter for I am already four or five in debt. I am going to write lots of letters today as I owe twelve.
Have you had much skating lately? We had some pretty good Monday & Tuesday and we had a fine time. We have had our last recitation in Eng. III. Not that we have finished with English III (forensics*). By no means. Only that we have no more class appointments to be instructed in the art of writing forensics. We know all we can about writing them, the only thing left to do is to put our knowledge into practice by writing the four remaining briefs and forensics. The last one is due on May 11. Won’t the class have a jubilee!
I went to the board of Chemistry the other day & out of 32 formulas I put on the board only one was wrong. How’s that? Oh I do like Chemistry better than anything I ever took in college & what is better still, I do well in it.
I am intending to go to town tomorrow to read up a special topic “Spenser’s debt to Chaucer” in the Boston Library. Tomorrow night Wood Cottage is to present an opera the proceeds of which – 10 cents admission – will be used for keeping the ice clear for skating.
Now this is addressed to Mamma. I recently received an invitation to Grace Leonard’s wedding to be held in Omaha, Feb. 2. Do you remember her, she was the pretty quiet girl who roomed with Maud Burroughs & who sat next to you at the table. Now what shall I send the lady? Advise me & get it for me if you can – or else send me some money & tell me what to get. Remember wedding Feb. 2. I hope to begin “Quo Vadis” today if I ever get some of my letters written. 1st one is finished. Let the good work continue.

Most affectionately,
Mabel

Please send Phil’s address before next Sunday. Don’t forget baby pictures. Send Anna’s letter back. Florence Converse, Wellesley ’92, is taking P.G. course here now. Anna met her on vacation. Should like to meet the author of “Diana Pistent.”

*forensics – the study or art of formal debate and/or argument.
*whist – a card game

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