March 19, 1897

Mar 19, 1897, [postmark]

Dear Mamma,
I find that I forgot to tell you about our breakfast last Sunday morning. We laid in provisions the day before and the next morning we had an elegant repast. We had got tired of the baked beans and brown bread Sunday morning breakfasts and so decided to have a change. And a royal change it was! First on the programme – or rather menu – was oranges, large, ripe, luscious oranges. Next came Shredded Wheat cakes with sugar and cream. By the way do you know what wheat cakes are? They are fine. Guess I shall bring you home some. Next came the cooked part of our repast. We had two chafing dishes* and made them both full of scrambled eggs. This was so good. We had elegant success and it tasted fine. We had bread to eat with it. Then there was saltines with elegant blackberry jam for whoever wanted it and we finished up with cups of delicious chocolate. Now wasn’t that a scrumptious meal and the best part of it was that it cost only 18 cents apiece. Oh and we had apples too.
Monday was an eventful day. In the afternoon there was an entertainment and candy sale given under the auspices of the Christian Association. A farce was given, “First Aid to the Injured”. You remember it, ‘twas in the Cosmopolitan I think. There was also a scene from “Alice in Wonderland” repeated by request from one of the Barn Swallows entertainment. The candy was awfully good, home made fudge, stuffed dates, chocolate creams, mounted English walnuts, etc. They also sold frappe, three kinds, coffee, lemon and orange. They cleared about $110.00. Wasn’t that pretty good? In the evening I went to hear Mr. James Lane Allen read from his unfinished novel “The Choir Invisible.” I liked both it and him exceedingly. After the reading I went to the Phi Sigma Reception – Phi Sigma had Mr. Allen come and give his reading to the college at large – I went with Mabel Eddy, the girl you admired so much, and had an elegant time. Met Mr. Allen and lots of other nice girls that I had always wanted to meet. And Miss Hart was there, she is Associate Professor in English. I had her last year, you know, and she invited me over to Stone Hall to take dinner with her Tuesday evening!!! Wasn’t that a treat and an honor? Everybody thought ‘twas. Needless to say I went and had a perfectly elegant time. I know you will be interested in the criticism I got on my German paper. I had a “Gut” on it and also “To be used in class.” The Agora had been invited to attend the Yale Harvard debate, but only the girls who live near Boston will be able to go and it comes the 26th, in vacation. Went to the Barn Swallows last night. They gave a series of shadow pictures. One was the poem “Zukel cupt up quit ensdeknom” and peeked in through the window etc. That was awfully good. Then they acted two other poems. The whole thing was great sport and a great success. Tomorrow afternoon we are invited to witness a dress rehearsal of the Junior Play to be given in honor of the Freshmen later. You remember I was at home with the measles last year when ’97 gave us a play so I am quite anxious to see it. I have a cold now but trust ‘twill be all well by Thursday. Where shall I meet you? Shall you come if it rains? Unless your next letter contains other orders, say I meet you in Brown Thompsons* lunch room at 2:45. I shan’t have had any lunch. Is quarter of one too late for your lunch? You can begin say at half past twelve and I will be with you before you finish. Think of it! Tomorrow Antoinette Schuminska – the only pupil of Paderewski* who played here last year, is going to give another concert. I now have springs on my bed and am so comfortable and sleep much better. To think that they would make so much difference. Robert Benon lectured yesterday on Rudyard Kipling.
Good night, see you all soon.

Mabel L. Bishop

*Brown Thompson Building – also known as the R. and F. Cheney Building is located on 942 Main Street, Hartford, Connecticut. It is currently listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It was designed by American Architect H. H. Richardson. Construction began in 1875 and was competed in 1876. Originally it was a multi-purpose building that housed five small shops including the Brown Thompson Department Store on the ground floor with offices and apartments above. In later years it housed the G. Fox and Company department store. In 2007 it was renamed the Richardson Building.
*chafing dish – a metal pan or dish mounted over a heating device. It is used to cook or keep food warm at the table.
*Paderewski – Polish pianist and composer. (Nov18, 1860 – June 29, 1941)

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