January 20, 1899

Jan 20- [18]99

Dear Mama,
Received your letter tonight, but had rather expected one from you before. Thought you would worry so, you would write straight off to learn more particulars etc. though no more were necessary. But you can stop your worrying immediately as I am feeling much better. There is very little muscular pain now that the rash has appeared the rash is about the only thing that hurts at all. That rather burns and throbs at times though I do not notice it so much during the day when my mind is directed from it. It hurts most under my arm and when I move it suddenly or do some such thing. I am decidedly aware of its condition. It’s a handsome sight, I assure you, broken out on the underside down to my elbow. The affair doesn’t seem to be going around my body at all. It is half way across the front and half way across the back but does not seem to spread around any further on my left side. Hope it won’t either! My right arm tingles and these are all the affects I feel, so you see it’s not so bad after all. It used to trouble me quite a little at night but I guess that’s a thing of the past as I slept beautifully last night. First time since I got back. Guess I had got to the stage where I had to sleep. I am now quite anxious to get to bed again so as to have some more of that blessed sleep.
I would not think for a minute either of coming home or of having you come here. It would be ridiculous as I am to all appearances perfectly well except that I do not fly around quite so lively – and surely you would not regret that change! Maybe I’m somewhat stately as I sail along the corridors in my nice long green skirt. I have gone to all my recitations and have kept up with the work in most cases. I have still a little work to make up but not much.
Dr. Roberts was just lovely about my Chemistry paper and said I could have all the time I want. I shall have plenty of time to do it during Midyears if I can’t manage to do it before then. The examinations begin Feb. 2 & last for two weeks and I shall have quite a little time to recuperate in. I do not of course know definitely as exams are not yet posted, but am reasonably sure that all I shall have will be – one examination in Economics – one paper in Chemistry 8 – 2 papers here if I count the one I have not yet done – a bibliography to prepare for Literature and a little laboratory work in Chemistry 4. As all regular work is suspended during Midyears you see I will not have such an awful lot to do and a relief it will be as I have usually had from 4-7 examinations.
Have you heard anything from Miss Clark? I have not yet received my waist* and she said she would send it the first of this week.
As Fraulein couldn’t come, Lillian asked Alice Russell and she is coming tomorrow to stay until Tues at least.
Well, I have written so much this week there won’t be anything to write Sunday. N.B. If you want any more letters you had better send some stamps. How’s Flossie? Am surprised Elsie is not going to the Fish Fry. Why don’t she tell about Johnnie’s party? How is the new waist made? Stitched in red? Neither worry nor work.

Most lovingly,
Mabel

*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.