Vassar College Digital Library

"Mary" — to sister, "Mollie," November 24, 1872

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24 Nov 1872

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vassar:55110,Folder 64.11; VCL_Letters_Mary_1872-11-24_064_011_001
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: VCL_Letters_Mary_1872-11-24_064_011_001_001
Vassar College, Nov. 24, 1872.

My dear Mollie:
I have wished today that I should be at home and have a real Sunday once more. Sundays here are not so very different from other days. After silent time we had our Bible class which was quite interesting and then I dressed for chapel and finished a letter to Lillie. A gentleman from [...] preached today on the “communion of saints.” I believed all he said about it, but I did not like the way he talked about it very well. After dinner I took my half hour walk, and as it was muddy on most of the paths, and all the girls had on their best clothes you might have seen quite an array of Vassar beauty and fashion promenading


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up and down the path to the lake which is hard and dry. I went there too, although I usually go up on the hill, for I have on my black silk for the first time since I came. I am now seated in Miss Lords’ room by the window, where I have a fine view of the college in all its length and breadth. Miss Ellen Lord, the elder one, is asleep on the sofa, and Miss [...e] has gone to see some of her scholars for a little while. This week has been rather eventful, for I have made the acquaintance of several new people and new parts of the college also. Now don’t be frightened when I tell you where I have been because I had a real jolly time. It was in the south east corner of the fourth floor, in a place known as the Infirmary, and of my short stay in it and of my acquaintance with the [...ful] Dr. Avery, I will proceed to tell you. You need not be at all alarmed about my sickness, for the whole performance was a perfect farce. Last Monday was a very


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chilly day, and while walking with Myra after dinner I felt cold. I presume I took a sudden cold, for when I went in I shivered all the afternoon, and the flesh all over my body was very sore even to touch it. About [..] time I felt very hot, but I went to supper, chapel and corridor meeting Miss [Dagget?] spoke to me and told me not to study a moment after study hour, but to go to bed, and tell her if I felt no better. About nine o clock I went to her room, and she told me to lie down on her sofa, while she went away a moment. I tell you the whole story, so you may know what good care they take of us here. She soon returned with Miss Terry, who sat down beside me, felt of my pulse and talked with me very kindly about how I felt, and about my studies. She finally said that she thought she had better send for Dr. Avery. I begged her not to, and told her I should be all right in the


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morning, but she persisted in doing it. Now, thought I to myself, I am in for a time if that old doctor gets hold of me. Miss Terry and Miss Dagget withdrew and the doctor entered. I could hardly keep from laughing all the time she was there. She seated herself at quite a distance from me, and said, “How long have you felt so?” I told her, and after asking a few questions about my insides, she said, “Did you go to tea?” “chapel?” “corridor meeting?” “Get your night dress and go to the Infirmary”.

She departed, and after getting the necessary things, Miss D. escorted me up stairs. Miss [Eddy?], she [...], met me at the door, and marched me solemnly into a room and told me to lie down, and then went away. The room was dark, and I could hear other girls breathing around me [crossed out: each] and lay there shaking with laughter, until Miss Eddy returned. She soon had me tucked up in bed, with a bottle of hot water to my feet, and


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I slept quite well. The next morning, I found who my companions were. One was Miss Rhodes, the president of the Freshman class, a very nice girl. another a Miss Williams who has been in the Infirmary for a week or two, and the others were girls I had met. She had a cozy little breakfast, after which the doctor called. She found my throat was a little sore, and so bound it up in flannel, as mother always told me not to do, told me to gargle with hot water and then milk [potassium?] once every hour, and drink all the lemonade I could. She was very amiable that morning, and asked me where my home was, and had quite a talk about my eyes, and advised me to try looking at objects at at a distance first without my glasses and then with them. I wrote a letter in the morning, and at three in the afternoon we were put to bed for


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an hour, which of course made me rebellious. The doctor called again in the evening, and Myra came to see me before her. She had ever so much fun at our meals. It was so nice to sit at a little table and have [china?] dishes and toast and tea and [wine?] jelly. We had to retire at eight. The next morning the doctor ran a [huge?] spoon down my throat, and asked some questions, but did not let me go down stairs. That evening we all agreed we would ask the doctor if we could go and visit someone, which we knew was against the Infirmary rules. I went in first and asked if I could go and see Miss Lord, and you ought to have seen her look at me. [] she laughed and said I must be cuddled up in bed [in?] half an hour. I like Dr. Avery ever so much. I spoze she really does love folks, but it would not hurt her to show it a little more. Tuesday morning she gave me my paper of dismissal, with excuses


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for the lessons I had missed. I found the classes were not far ahead of me, and had little difficulty in preparing my lessons for Friday. It was nonsense keeping me up there for a cold, but I believe the rest has done me good.

Polly, I am afraid I am getting selfish here. I don’t love the girls as much as I ought. I get so tired of them, seeing them in such [masses?] that it is hard work to love them. I have been discontented and cross today. I forgot that God has put me here and I ought to do all the good I can. I do keep the rules, and do right as well as I can, but I fear I am too solemn about it, and do not act as if I enjoyed the Christian life much. It is so very hard, Polly, not to have some one you can talk to about Christ whenever you want to. I do so long to have Eli to room with me and sympathize with me in every thing. It is hard work to see so many people, and make allowances for their different


: VCL_Letters_Mary_1872-11-24_064_011_001_008
bringing up, and get yourself into sympathy with them. Girls in a mass are awfully disgusting, and sometimes I long so to get away from them all.

Next Thursday is Thanksgiving Day, and it will seem so strange not to be at home. Then pretty soon Christmas will come, and I expect Frank, Myra and I will have a nice time together. I should like to go home Christmas, then the year would not seem very long, but I may as well make up my mind to stay here until June. I mean to take up my work more cheerfully tomorrow, there is no sense in grumbling because everything does not really suit me. Sometimes I find it hard in silent time to fix my thoughts where I want them, because I am so busy all the time that thoughts of other things will rush in. Pray for me that I may not be swallowed up in the great [whirl?] of life here, but keep my thoughts steadily fixed on Christ, and be brave and cheerful in my duties. [crossed out]. I forget too often that I can go to Christ with every thing, when


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I have not friends to sympathize with me as at home. I guess He means to make me put my entire trust in Him.

I will write to Lucy and Nellie as soon as possible, but I can not find a moment’s time except on Sunday. Please remember to give ever so much love to Miss Allison, and tell her I am just longing to write to her. It would do me a morsel of good to see that woman. I have not told you half I want to, but I must close.

Your loving sister,

Polly, I guess you are my Sunday sister, because I like to write to you better than any one else on that day.