June 12, 1898

Saturday
[June 12, 1898]

Dear Mamma,
We have at last had our Line Day and a fine time we did have though of course not so much fun as we had our freshmen year. I took ten pictures but they were not very good as the light was very bad. Still some of them may print well.
But the most fun came in burning our forensics* – in name but not in deed as we only burned our first drafts etc. We all wore sheets & carried candles, met secretly, had pass word and admitted none but Juniors. Walked off a long way to an open space & gathered around the cauldron. Salt & alcohol was burned in this and we marched around throwing in our forensics and singing a Latin dirge*. Some of the ashes were taken & put in a fire balloon* and set up. It went finely, didn’t even catch fire in our sight. Think of it!
During the ceremony we had speeches. Agatha had to write & deliver a poem written for the occasion and it was mighty fine. Then after the obsequies* we returned to College Hall, went in around the centre singing our dirge* and giving our class cheer etc. It was all piles of fun and although it may seem rather silly to outsiders, I really never had a better time since I have been here.
I have had three of my four examinations and think I passed in all though am not sure about passing with credit in them all. Then German comes Wed. right after Float. Isn’t that a shame? Horace can’t come out this year either so I have asked Callie & Johnnie and I just received word tonight that they will come. Isn’t that fine? They have never been here and Callie will come out early in the afternoon so I can show her the sights. I am so glad that she is coming.
Monday afternoon I am going to a dress rehearsal of the Senior Play. They are going to give “The Rivals” this year – the same thing that I saw Sol Smith Russell* in this last winter. I am crazy to see it. Then Wednesday evening by moonlight & electric lights etc. the Shakespeare Society is going to give an outdoor performance of “Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Won’t that be lovely? But the tickets are 50 cents and I am not sure whether I shall or go or not. They are giving it tonight to an invited audience but I did not draw an invitation as I do not know many of the girls in this Society. Thursday night we had our Society installation of new officers. Martha Griswold was installed as President and I am Sergeant of Arms. The ceremony was such a pretty one.
Monday evening we (Agora) are invited to go to West Newton & spend the evening with one of our Alumnae members. Then Glee Club Concert comes along with the other Commencement festivities so I shall have the best of times and while I have been invited to some of the Senior teas etc. and think of all the time to play tennis, go boating etc. we shall have. Lots of the girls are going to stay on. Most juniors do anyhow.
The girls have just come back from Shakespeare play and are so enthusiastic that I really must go and what is more I must invite out Amy & her mother. I am sure that they would enjoy it and it is an excellent chance for me to repay them for their kindness to us.
Have been printing all day with remarkable success. I enclose a fine one of us girls. Elsie will know them all but I will label them all in order as they stand. Have you been sweltering all day? We have nearly died and I don’t suppose I shall even get to sleep tonight. I am sleeping all right now from about 11 on till morning and am feeling very well and am having such a lazy lovely time just enjoying myself & studying just enough to break the monotony. After Wednesday will have no more studying to do!!

Lovingly,
Mabel

*dirge – a somber song expressing grief or mourning.
*fire balloon – hot air balloon (it may have been a small replication of one).
*forensics – the study or art of formal debate and/or argument.
*obsequies – a funeral ceremony or rite.
* Sol Smith Russell – American comedic stage actor (June 15, 1848 – August 28, 1902)

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