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Letter to mother about finances, attending Sarah Bernhardt performance, working on play for Crofton girls, perfect skating weather, classes, and an upcoming sermon by Henry Van Dyke.


Wellesley College Library 20 January, 1911. Dear Mamma,- I’m in the library for a little while, so I think I’ll take time to write this before doing my Math. I didn’t have time to [deletion: to] write last night, but I guess it doesn’t matter, for I wouldn't have known where to send it till your letter came this morning. I almost think this would reach you at Tampa, but as you said St. Petersburg I’ll send it there. It seems strange to be addressing you so far off, but I’m so glad that you could go so soon. You doubtless left home with less [page 2] pangs than on the other time to which you referred. I received Papa’s check and letter yesterday, and thank him very much. I will try to make the money last till Easter Time. You see my dividend check we hadn’t counted on. So perhaps you won’t have to send me any more even to come home on. But its hard to keep from spending money in Boston. There are so many tempting things, especially in the theaters. However, now that I’ve seen Bernhardt I don’t know of anything more that is coming. I hope there may be something good along about Feb. 11th, the [mis-spelling: week end] when my exams will be over. After that I intend to retire to the solitude of Wellesley and stay there. Bernhardt yesterday was simply [page 3] wonderful! Esther and I can’t find words to express ourselves. The big Boston theater was full and very enthusiastic, - there were ten curtain calls after the third act and seven after the fourth. The play commenced about two, and we got out at quarter of six. Our seats were good, - 1st balcony, on one side so that we were quite near the stage. The opera glasses were a help as well as a luxury, and we bought a copy of the words, so that we could understand all of the action and quite a little of the French. It was beautiful French too. I went over to Stowell’s afterwards to get my watch, but they were just closing up and wouldn't let us in, so we walked leisurely down to South Station and had two minutes to spare before the 6.05 train. We got something to eat at a little place downtown here and [page 4] spent the evening discussing the divine Sarah. It seems impossible that she can be 67 years old. I don't think she shows her age at all except in her walk,- she almost always hangs on to someone or something. We thought up part of the plot for our little Crofton play on the way to town. It now remains to work it out and write it. The weather today is perfect; I wish I had time to go skating, but my day is full. The ice is thick,- where they are cutting it I think it is about ten inches. The air isn't so sharp as it was yesterday. This morning we had a most interesting lecture on Forestry. It lasted two full periods and included a lot of lantern slides. The last three Botany lectures have all been interesting,- on the care of trees, etc, and the laboratory work has been teaching us to know the trees in their winter condition. [page 5] I had a most discouraging time over my theme the other day. I wrote a very careful one about the “Architecture of Western New York”, comparing the kind of houses we have with those in New England and other places. Miss Hooker had me read it in class, why, I don't know. But when I got it back, here was my perfectly good theme all mutilated and scratched up with red marks beyond recognition, and all manner of corrections written on it,- “off subject,” “I question the fitness of this,” “construction,” “weak ending,” etc. I was so discouraged that I vowed I would never write another theme, and yet I must do a long one tomorrow on “The Roman House. Oh dear, if I ever get my B.A. degree I will cherish it as an end [page 6] in itself. However, there are few things to console me for being here. One of them is, Sunday morning we are to have a sermon by HENRY VAN DYKE and in the evening, musical vespers. Isn't that a lovely dose? I am crazy to see and hear Henry Van Dyke,- I guess it is just as well after all that he has left Princeton. [deletion: illegible] I wonder if we couldn't get him to be our president here? I am reading his story “The Sad Shepherd” in the January Scribner’s. Also, Sunday afternoon, [deletion: G] maybe Gladys Gorman is coming over to see me, and bring another girl from the choir and some music for me to play for them. Another thing is, that last night Esther and I bought a whole half a cake (maple frosting) and it isn't gone yet. So you see I'd lots rather be here than [page 7] anywhere else, even in Florida. Clarence isn't sending me Wellsville news very fast. I haven't heard anything from him for a week or two. I imagine his duties as pastor’s assistant must keep him pretty busy. I suppose Edith Greene would write to me if I answered her letter. But I haven't had time. I owe almost everyone a letter. Helen sent me a postal telling me about Julia’s visit. I think I'll send my laundry tomorrow, then it may reach there Monday morning in time. I can't possibly get it ready today. I think I must stop now and study. Hope this reaches you safely and promptly. With lots of love, Mary.


Wellesley, Massachusetts


Arts, Theater and Music;Religion and Spirituality;Student Life


Money; Theater; Bernhardt, Sarah, 1844-1923; Preaching; Van Dyke, Henry, 1852-1933

Letter from Mary Rosa, Wellesley, Massachusetts, to her mother, 1911 January 20



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