January 18, 1897

Jan. 18, 1897, [postmark]

Dear Family,
Our Mother Goose party was last night and such fun as we had! I found a black silk quilted skirt at the last minute. One of the girls happened to be in my room just before I began to dress and when I mentioned the fact that I wanted a skirt to complete my toilette she said that she had such an article. To my great delight she produced the same and ‘twas just the thing. Then I made myself a tall hat. I sent into Boston for half a yard of the brightest red felt that they had. I thought that would be plenty but I didn’t know how wide it came although I knew that ‘twas pretty wide, but when I received a piece 1/2 yd. by 3 yards, I was astonished. To be sure I had plenty and also got enough to cover the two sofa pillows. (One of my pillows is getting shabby & so I shall cover one and sell the rest to Anna Wolfson.) I did my hair on the top of my head, powdered it and put my hat over the pug. I really looked quite well as several people said. It has just occurred to me that I forgot to wear my black mitts that Louise sent me. Martha Griswold our president was the Old Woman who lived in a shoe. Miss Woolley our Honorary Member was Mother Goose and was perfectly stunning. But the Goose was the best of all. He was a white goose made of sheets draped over a frame on a girl. But he had a real head and wings that is a mask with a long bill. We talked to him and he said “Quack.” We fed him by sticking something between his bill, then he would throw back his head, swallow it and say “Quack.” He hopped around, and put his head on Miss Woolley’s shoulder with such a confiding air. He was wheeled around in the wheelbarrow in which the little man brought his wife from London and toward the end of the evening he danced with the girls. He was the greatest fun and also the greatest mystery. No one knew who he was. At first everybody thought ‘twas Dr. Roberts, Miss Woolley’s friend the Prof. of Chemistry. But that story was denied so we didn’t know who it was. At the very end of the evening the suspicion was turned upon Mary Haskell, our loving Senior, and so it proved to be. All the girls looked so fine. About ten I guess had hired costumes (paid $2.00) but the rest were all fixed up. Sossie was so cute, Simple Simon was great fun, and Jack & Jill kept falling down to amuse the company. Mother Hubbard had a real live dog and Mary had a huge wool lamb. Jack Horner was so cute. He was the smallest girl in the class and had a huge pie. It was a great pan covered with paper marked like a pie. One piece was cut out and in the hole thus left you put in your thumb and pulled out a popcorn ball. We had great sport exercises each other and dancing. Then came our Freshmen Class History. Bernice Kelly read it and it was illustrated by living pictures. The first one was so pretty. ’99 as a pretty little girl was protected loving by an angel, ’97. (Juniors always help the Freshmen.) ’99 was shrinking from ’98 presented in the form of a little devil with real horns etc. The tableau was so pretty. Another one was the Midyears. An advertisement read “Wellesley Exam” Warranted to reduce size.

Miss ‘99

Before After Weight 230 lbs. 104 lbs.

There were lots of other class skits and tableaus and the last one was ’99 looking back on her Freshmen year, just entering Sophomore year. A booth was erected draped in green cheesecloth and Mary Miller, a very pretty pale girl, dressed in classical folds of white cheesecloth looked backward. The room was darkened and lighted only by burning salt and alcohol near the booth. It was so very, very pretty. I wish you might have seen it. In short we had a fine time.

Sunday P.M.
Have been down to Fiske to dinner with Ethel Moody, niece of Dwight Moody, and a friend of Miss Learoyd. I had a very pleasant time. Is Mamma still alone. Oh I do hope that she is not. I wish I could come home for a week say to do the work and let Mamma rest, but of course ‘twould be most foolish. Still I hope she will get some one soon, very soon. We have had some fine skating in this past week. Had a letter for Callie this week. She didn’t say much, “my very last old lady died the day before Christmas and New Year’s Day I came to another of the same doctor poor old souls. He says that he has so many such cases that he is nearly distracted.” This case is not as pleasant so she considers it only as “money earned.” I really must stop and write some more letters. Send $150 before Feb 8.

Much love to all.
Mabel L. Bishop

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