January 23, 1899

1-23-[18]99

Dear Mamma,
Were you disappointed not to get a letter from me yesterday? But I just didn’t have a minute’s time so I thought I would wait and write after seeing your letter tonight. You see I didn’t get up until almost dinner time as I was rather tired & thought I would get in a little rest when I could. Then Alice came up to dinner with me and staid until nine at night so you see I had to entertain her all my waking hours. After dinner we went in the Students Parlor and different girls played on piano, violin etc. Then we went around to several of the girls rooms and visited a while. I next took her out and showed her some of the sights. After we came home I had some girls in and made fudge. After tea we went to College Vespers where there was some extra music, Miss Robert Smith singing several of her lovely songs. Then I took her to Society vespers and finally turned her over to Lillian about nine.
I suppose you are wondering how the shingles are getting along. They are getting along in proper style I guess but it’s a rather slow disease you know. Dr. Bancroft said these would probably last several weeks and if others come out it would make it still longer. But it hasn’t been spreading lately and those that appeared first are at last beginning to dry up a bit so they will soon be off out of the way. They trouble me very little now except for the bother of bathing them night & morning. I have some lovely stuff to put on – I don’t know just what it is but it has menthol in it & I just love that. No, except for an occasional pain, I am now as well as new – so rejoice & be glad! As I shan’t see Dr. Bancroft again so I cannot ask him about the phosphate. I have only seen him twice – once when he examined my lungs and once when after having been told of my trouble, he saw me and pronounced it shingles and prescribed for me. Miss Sherrod tends to all our ordinary ills and only calls in the Dr. either in serious cases or for something unusual and I shall not have him called again since I am all well for the simple reason that he charges $2.00 per visit. I am sleeping better now anyhow.
I have got to find out who those Beverly girls were. One was Jennine Wright, a girl I had met at Anna’s & I confess I don’t know the other two. I was supposed to know one of them as Alice said something to that effect & she came up & spoke to me. The other one was a little girl whose name was Woodbury but I don’t know anything more about them. I must apologize to Anna for I felt so chagrined not to know them.
From whom did Jessie have all the invitations to the Masonic Ball? Why did you send me that miserable wintergreen? I thought I was going to find something grand. Many thanks for the stamps. Won’t have to ask for any more for quite a while now. How does it happen that Papa cancelled the stamp before putting it on the train?
I have got a blank to fill out for the Teachers Agency of Wellesley College. Fee is only 25 cents. Among the blanks to be filled is one asking for references. We are required to give names of experienced teachers not connected with Wellesley College. Now who shall I give? Mr. McLean I suppose for one, but who shall I put for the others? How would Miss Penfield’s name go? We don’t seem to have many distinguished teachers.
Had a party at our table tonight. It was Edith Wright’s birthday so we celebrated in the usual manner with flowers, ice cream & cake & a little game.
By the way my birthday is almost here. Wonder what you are going to give me! Should like something silver more than anything else I can think of at present – a nice good pair of embroidery scissors, a silver handled comb & brush, a hat brush or some other such trifle. My wants are very moderate I hope you notice. No, really don’t send me very much because there are so many things I shall need later, so let’s save up until then.
The French play Saturday night was awfully good. There was a crown there and everyone pronounced it a grand success. Alice enjoyed it ever so much.
Carl has sent me some of the results of his photography. He has very good luck indeed, don’t you think? That chiffonier* is so funny. He doesn’t seem to have much in his bedroom. I should think it was a nicer one than he would need. And isn’t that the craziest picture of Louise? Oh that camera is a peach!
How was Elsie’s lecture received? Was there a good criticism?
I positively must stop. You won’t expect anything until next Sunday as I am so nearly well now. Am glad Flossie is better. Have heard that cats are often sick when they miss anyone badly.

Best of love from
Mabel

In picture of his room Carl has picture upside down!

*chiffonier – a tall dresser or chest of drawers, often with a mirror on top. Or a low cupboard with a raised bookshelf on top.

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