Tag: Dr. Roberts

April 20, 1899

April 20, 1899

Dear Mamma,
Did you ever hear of having such beautiful weather this time of year? Where have been our April showers? I hope that it doesn’t mean that it will rain all Commencement week. Had such a glorious time all last week. Going over to Haughton & Mifflin’s was so interesting. Saw them make books even from setting up the type to putting gold leaf on binding & gilding the leaves. Continue reading

April 23, 1899

April 23, 1899

Dear Mamma,
I was so disappointed when I heard that Kate hat left you in the lurch. You poor people! You won’t take things easy & I am afraid you will be in no condition to stand all the festivities here in June. Please do just as little as you possibly can & think of the future.
Went in and sat for my pictures again yesterday morning. Continue reading

February 12, 1899

Monday,
February, 12-1899

Dear Mamma,
Haven’t had such a good time this week as I expected to. Thought I would have time to do lots of lovely things since I had only one paper and one exam on my hands. But I had to work all the time. I never had such a time writing a paper. Continue reading

February 26, 1899

Feb. 26-[18]99

Dear Mamma,
Was delightfully surprised at receiving another letter from you last week. It is a good idea about inviting ILA but I just don’t know whether I will or not. I was planning to have someone visit me the 10th but was going to ask Anna. She has expressed a great desire to see Julia Marlowe* so I told her I would meet her in town & go with her to see her. Continue reading

January 15, 1899

Jan. 15 – [18]‘99

Dear Mamma,
How are all you getting along now that the person who made you so much trouble is out of the way? I hope Phoebe is all right and that no one has been taken sick, so you can put in some of the rest you need so much. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

January 29, 1899

Monday, January 29 – [18]99

Dear Mamma,
Shingles don’t bother me any more now. My skin is rather tender and my back aches if I get tired but in other respects I am all well and ready for the “next”.
I’m really going to have quite a vacation during the Midyear season. Exams begin Wednesday the first and last until Saturday the 11 – which is to be a holiday. Now I have a laboratory test in Chemistry IV the first morning and then nothing until Economics the last Friday morning! To be sure I have that Chemistry paper to make up but that won’t take all my time. So I have got lots of little old jobs planned: going to write class letter, shampoo, shine up my tea kettle, do some mending, make the front to my silk waist*, read and have a very nice time generally. It is the Season of the Grand Opera and I am crazy to go at least once. I want to go to hear “Siegfried” next Wednesday but am not sure whether I shall or not. I haven’t been to see or hear anything for over two months now and think it will be a good chance to go when I haven’t any work on hand. Mansfield is coming to play “Cyrano” next week and Julia Arthur is there now but she only plays “Lady of Quality” as matinee and I don’t care specially about that.
You know I expected to have a final paper in Chemistry 8 but we are not to have one and we don’t know what we are to have. Dr. Roberts is so original. She always has a new way of conducting a class. Now she tells us that she wants a biographical review of all the principle men concerned in Theoretical Chemistry and she wants it as an informal discussion, not as a written examination. So she has told us all to come to her room next Tuesday evening – the night before the Chemistry exam. We don’t know just what to expect but I don’t think she will question us more than an hour or so and then serve tea or something. One of the girls suggested that she might place some man’s name in our books and let us find out whom we represented. That game is lots of fun I think and I wish she would do that. I know we shall have a lovely time if we only know about all the men – and there are 75 of them or less. I have got that to study for tomorrow as well as a review in Chemistry 4 covering all the ground we have gone over this year. So Tuesday I shall have this review in Chem 4 – besides Logic, Mathematics & Economics – the biographical social in evening – laboratory exam – working with a grand unknown Wednesday morning and then a little holiday.
My black waist* has come at last – came last Tuesday – and it is very pretty but alas, it doesn’t fit at all!!! The yoke sets horribly, sleeves are too big etc. But the yoke is the worst. Collar must be taken off – shoulder seams ripped etc, & whole thing cut out. The back blouses just the way I hate to have it do. Tell me of the bill she sent you. I just must give up trying to make ivy grow in my room this winter. That was a lovely slip you sent but it died within a week. You see the sudden change in temperature is too much for them as the room is cold all night and hot all day.
Have been reading “Penelope’s Progress” & “Jungle Book” today. Alice left Sunday morning. She gave me a lovely bunch of violets as a parting gift. Goodbye – best of love to you all & don’t work too hard.

Lovingly
Mabel L. Bishop

*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.

March 25, 1899

Mar 25, 1899

Dear Mamma,
Agatha has decided to spend her vacation in New York. So I was obliged to decline an invitation from Fannie asking us down there for a day or two. Continue reading

March 26, 1899

March 26, 1899

Dear Mamma,
I suppose you are having just such a snow storm as we are having. Did you ever see such blizzards as we have been having this year? I hope it will not storm tomorrow so as to prevent Jess’ going home at noon. Not that I don’t want her to stay any longer but I just can’t spare the time. I am just rushed. Have just in the 2 remaining days two written lessons for which I must do lots of work, lots of laboratory work, then regular lessons and a paper to do. To be sure the paper isn’t due this term but as it is due April 11 at 9 A.M., the first thing after we come back, it behooves me to finish it before I go. Ila came Friday afternoon in due season, looking as pretty as ever. We went to a lecture that evening given to the Art Department by Mr. C. Howard Walker. Then Saturday we went to town. Started at 8:10 and got back at 6:12 so you see we had a day of it. Ila was delighted with everything. We went to see the grand new Union Station, to Public Library, into Madam Celeste’s, a milliner of whom Ila had heard and wanted to see, then into lots of grand stores, to Hylers for hot chocolate, to Adams House for dinner through the Subway, etc. etc. and finally to see Julia Marlowe* in “As You Like it”. Got back to Wellesley for dinner and went right down to the Barn to see the Faculty perform. What do you think they gave? That Handel toy orchestra or whatever you call it which was given up at the Sem. several years ago. Oh I thought we would die with laughing. You see them all dressed up as children with hair over their shoulders & dresses up to their knees. We just couldn’t recognize some of them, and we would just howl when some of them came in. It was positively perfectly killing and you know what the music was though of course it was more of a burlesque than when you saw it. Fraulein Weinhabish was Handel the “director” & she took of Signor Ratski just grandly, brandished her arms etc. The cuckoo was so very funny and the little fifes. Dr. Roberts was of the birds and was so funny. But Miss Balch topped the climax. She was the dancer & was arrayed in kilt & Scotch plaid and at our request came out and danced a Highland fling*. We never laughed so much.
The Junior Play comes tomorrow & I hope to take some fine pictures. Had some beautiful results from the Senior Emigrant Party last Monday. I have got so many orders to fill that I shall be kept busy in vacation. Carl mustn’t forget to bring home his frames & I’ll set him at work.
You know that dance which Ila wants me to come to West Hartford for Wednesday after Easter? What shall I wear? I’m afraid white is not good enough, it’s so simplsy. She says they have sent out 80 invitations – not so very large tis true but I’m afraid it is to be awfully swell. Men coming from New York, Philadelphia etc. Do you suppose my new dress could be finished for me to wear? Though I don’t know as I should exactly like to wear it first there. I have something to suggest for my graduating dress. Several of the girls have them & think they are grand. Irish Swiss Muslin* I think it is. It is a fine & nice organdie* and washes beautifully. Costs about $.60 I think. Are you planning to meet me in Hartford Thursday? I’m afraid I can’t get there until 12:30 as Ila hasn’t said anything about my coming the night before & spending the night with her. But you could get my white dress etc. without me and be looking around etc. and if we waited until the last train I guess we would have time enough to do all we wanted to.
Ila has got a grand new dress to wear at her dance. She gave me a lovely picture frame, and a dear little powder box* for my bureau*. She is having a grand time I am sure. The storm has stopped & sun is shining. Many thanks for the money.
Well good night all. You will see me soon.

Mabel L. Bishop

*bureau – a chest of drawers with a mirror.
*Highland Fling – a Scottish dance. It is performed in one spot in 44 time and consists of a series of intricate steps requiring delicate balance and precision. Characteristically it is a step in which the dancer hops on one foot while the other foot moves in front of and in back of the calf.
*Irish Swill Muslin – a sheer crisp muslin fabric with raised dots or figures. It is also known as dotted swiss fabric.
*Julia Marlowe – was a an English born American stage actress (Aug 17, 1865 – Nov2, 1950)
*organdie – fine thin cotton with a durable crisp finish: often used to make blouses.
*powder box – decorative container used to hold face powder.

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

May 10, 1897

May 10, 1897, [postmark]

Dear Sister,
Many thanks for the “pome.”* It is quite a piece of work. I hope your essay is in so near a state of completion. How is it getting along? And how is the valedictory: Let me offer my hearty congratulations to my smart sister. Continue reading

May 14, 1899

May 14, 1899

Dear Mamma,
Have just come from church where Rev. Henry Van Dyke preached a grand sermon. The chapel was filled – not only girls but loads of strangers were there to hear the famous man. Continue reading

May 21, 1899

May 21, 1899

Dear Mamma,
Did you ever see such weather? No sun for three days! Now I like a rainy day except when I want to print pictures. That’s the trouble just now. All the pictures I took Field Day have been waiting three days to be printed and I am crazy to see what they are going to look like. Continue reading

May 29, 1898

May 29, 1898

Dear Mamma,
I am sorry to begin talking about money but I haven’t got a cent – am in fact 90 cents in debt and have got to buy material for the Line Day gown tomorrow. Thank goodness ‘twill cost only 50 cents I am going to be a butterfly. You know Line Day is a Senior and freshmen affair as Sophomores & Juniors have only to dress in fancy costumes. Continue reading