Vassar College Digital Library

Bates, Sarah | to Isabel Treadwell, Jan. 26, 1867:

VC 1868
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vassar:24203,,Box 64,VCL_Letters_Bates_Sarah_1868_001
January 26, 1867
1 item
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: VCLLettersBatesSarah1868001001
Vassar College, Pok N.Y.
Saturday Evening Jan 26/67

Dear Auntie Belle
Just imagine your niece Sarah, feeling so tired and stupid that she cannot study, making up her mind to impose some of her stupidity upon her Auntie Belle, and then you'll not wonder at anything you may meet with. But if I wait, I fear you will never hear from me, not a very great catastrophe to you, but the lack of an answer would be a decided one to me. Don't worry now, for fear all this large sheet is to be filled with my sleepy musings for I shall leave a portion for Louise, [Blatchley] who, at the present speaking is, with the other Juniors, taking tea, and spending the evening with Miss Lyman. Dear me! — It's such a long time since we've written to you, that I shudder at the task it would be to tell you of all that has happened, and I feel sure you'd never survive last term to shudder, after worrying through it. — Affairs at Vassar last term jogged on very much in the old way you remember. The programme of the Anniversary Meeting I enclose, with moral reflections thereon. — Chapter Delta ended up before the Holidays with quite a grand theatrical performance. Two plays, "The School for Daughters" and & "Perfection or the Maid of Munster" were really very nicely performed considering the circumstances. Some of the girls did very well & Miss Schuyler, one of the students of this year was superb as a rich widow.


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Laura Gay, as a romping school-girl; Lizzie Williams as a sentimental reader of novels, Susie Wright, as an exquisite young man who must have perfection in a wife; Clara Spaulding as the "Maid of Munster," with whom he was captivated in spite of himself; and Miss Frothingham as a fusty old bachelor; all did splendidly. Moreover Miss F. was the leader of a fine orchestra of combs, and with her gray wig, swallow-tailed coat & white beaver, was quite too much for the gravity of beholders. And so we prepared to go home Christmas. We were told to be good girls, and everything should be arranged perfectly, and we should go hence, to the homes of our respective families, in peace and safety. Louise and I were to start at 6 1/2 A.M. from the Po'k depot. Owing to the "perfect arrangements" we, with about fifty others had the felicity of waiting three blessed hours in that depot. We amused ourselves in various ways. Lizzie Arms fainted and kept half-a-dozen busy until the train started; one of the Curtis' had the hysterics; we wrote a note of thanks to Cyrus Swan Esq., "for the perfect arrangements (these were the great words which had been harped upon) which enabled us to reach the depot for the 6.30 train, at it 6.45 and sent it to that gentleman's mansion (signed by the most of the fifty) by Misses Talbot Goodsell; and finally Miss Pendleton wrote some "verses" - the only verse of which I remember, ran on this wise;
"Perfect arrangement, O Cyrus Swan
Is just the thing to rely upon


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Twill carry you safe, and carry you true
On every stage - way even through -
To - the depot - to the depot!

Our morning's detention was only the beginning of all sorts of adventures for L. and me during the day - but we finally reached home, I, at 8 1/2 o'clock P.M., - just in time to attend a fair the ladies of our church were holding for the benefit of a mission school. I enjoyed it much, as a change from school work, seeing the people etc. — Of course I enjoyed every minute of the vacation. I didn't indulge in any new garments except a "shirt gown and petticoat" which are now so much in vogue. How do you like them? I think they are exceedingly sensible for street and school wear, and like mine much. — Do you remember wishing one of the enclosed cards, when you were in H. - I send it, though you may have obtained one. — And, by the way, I have never thought to tell you, that several weeks after you left H., Sarah Wolcott told me she saw a letter advertised for you, the week after but did not think to speak of it at the time, so I could not obtain it for you. I mention it, that if you ever missed a letter about that time you may know what it means. — You can imagine, it seemed odd enough to have Sarah W. gone from H. I hear from her in Chicago, which she doesn't seem to like amazingly, but perhaps she will like it better now that her mother and sister have gone to spend the winter, and she


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will be less homesick. — I think she told me your cousin Johnny had another scheme of going West, though I do not know exactly where. — I presented the picture a - Du, but it was rather hard on the poor fellow - as the phraseology "the lady who looks like Anna Dickinson", was not his but mine. However, he accepted the picture, though rather disgusted at first, for the sake of the handwriting on the back. — We had a comical enough time getting back to Vassar. The "powers that be" undertook to commence recitations on Friday, but only 104 were present in chapel that morning - and they didn't hurry themselves about getting back either. — I am even busier than last term and hardly get a moment to take a long breath. — I've been reading Livy in Latin and commence Horace Tuesday.


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P.S. 9 1/2 o'clock P.M.
Louise doesn't yet get home from the [??], and it strikes me that in
spite of my promises of good behaviour in the beginning, I may as well fill up the remainder of the sheet, and L. will doubtless write to you just as soon as she can get time. — I should have been at the Observatory this evening, if it had been pleasant, - and you would have escaped this. What with writing a composition every two weeks in addition to all our other cares, Saturdays are no longer the "peaceful days we once enjoyed",
when we could engage in letter-writing for diversion. — To-day we had the regular meeting of a "missionary society", (don't you wonder what organisation will spring up next?) which is to meet once a month. — I'd tell
you the "object", if the preamble wasn't nearly half a rod long which
describes the "aims, ends, and motives", and if I commenced I shouldn't like to be cut short. — The officers for the coming year were elected; Miss Goodsell Pres.; Miss Blatchley V.P.; Miss Pope (new student) Rec. Sec.; Mrs. Miller Cor. Sec.; Miss Shattuck, Treas. — Mrs. Miller ought to have been Pres., for she has been very active in the matter, but some dispensation of Providence prevented, though I'm sure I did my duty, and voted in the orthodox fashion of "early and often". — Chapter Delta elected officers two or three weeks ago. Pres. ditto last term. V.P. Whitney; Sec. Strong; Editor, Gay; Critics, Blatchley & Storke; Corrsp
Sec. Glover & Hoyt. — We've been trying to have lectures before the
Soc. this winter. Louise is chairman of the committee for that purpose.
We expected Rev. Manning of Boston on the 18th but he got snow-bound, - and may come next week. — Gough lectured in Po 'k last night. Many of the girls went in to hear him. He came to the college this morning (there goes the warning bell!) - and spoke a few words to us in the chapel. — Good night — not to say, "Adios, Valete &c"
Yours S.


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—I expect you'll be enraged at me for taking up so much room, but I
think of a hundred things I would like to say to you. So many times we
wish we could see Belle and Ellie and have a good talk. We hear from
Ellie occasionally, and she seems to want very much to hear more of you.
— I hear from Miss Snyder now and then - you can imagine what
Jan. 26, X 867 - 6
interesting letters they are too. - And 1 received a brief note from
Lyra the other day * so sad, poor child! — Mater Rice sends her
love to you and wishes so much to hear from you - and wants to know
• when Lizzie Reynolds is coming?" — I know you must be busy
with all you have to do, — but please try to write a little oftener to
yours with very much love