MRS. LAURENCE HUTTON
May 29, 1898.
work goes on bravely. Each day is filled to the brim with hard study; for
I am anxious to accomplish as much as possible before I put away my books
for the summer vacation. You will be pleased to hear that I did three
problems in Geometry yesterday without assistance. Mr. Keith and Teacher
were quite enthusiastic over the achievement, and I must confess, I felt
somewhat elated myself. Now I feel as if I should succeed in doing
something in mathematics, although I cannot see why it is so very
important to know that the lines drawn from the extremities of the base of
an isosceles triangle to the middle points of the opposite sides are
equal! The knowledge doesn't make life any sweeter or happier, does it? On
the other hand, when we learn a new word, it is the key to untold
CHARLES DUDLEY WARNER
Mass., June 7, 1898.
am afraid you will conclude that I am not very anxious for a tandem after
all, since I have let nearly a week pass without answering your letter in
regard to the kind of wheel I should like. But really, I have been so
constantly occupied with my studies since we returned from New York, that
I have not had time even to think of the fun it would be to have a
bicycle! You see, I am anxious to accomplish as much as possible before
the long summer vacation begins. I am glad, though, that it is nearly time
to put away my books; for the sunshine and flowers, and the lovely lake in
front of our house are doing their best to tempt me away from my Greek and
Mathematics, especially from the latter! I am sure the daisies and
buttercups have as little use for the science of Geometry as I, in spite
of the fact that they so beautifully illustrate its principles.
bless me, I mustn't forget the tandem! The truth is, I know very little
about bicycles. I have only ridden a "sociable," which is very
different from the ordinary tandem. The "sociable" is safer,
perhaps, than the tandem; but it is very heavy and awkward, and has a way
of taking up the greater part of the road. Besides, I have been told that
"sociables" cost more than other kinds of bicycles. My teacher
and other friends think I could ride a Columbia tandem in the country with
perfect safety. They also think your suggestion about a fixed handlebar a
good one. I ride with a divided skirt, and so does my teacher; but it
would be easier for her to mount a man's wheel than for me; so, if it
could be arranged to have the ladies' seat behind, I think it would be
MISS CAROLINE DERBY
September 11, 1898.
am out of doors all the time, rowing, swimming, riding and doing a
multitude of other pleasant things. This morning I rode over twelve miles
on my tandem! I rode on a rough road, and fell off three or four times,
and am now awfully lame! But the weather and the scenery were so
beautiful, and it was such fun to go scooting over the smoother part of
the road, I didn't mind the mishaps in the least.
have really learned to swim and dive--after a fashion! I can swim a little
under water, and do almost anything I like, without fear of getting
drowned! Isn't that fine? It is almost no effort for me to row around the
lake, no matter how heavy the load may be. So you can well imagine how
strong and brown I am....
MRS. LAURENCE HUTTON
Newbury Street, Boston,
is the first opportunity I have had to write to you since we came here
last Monday. We have been in such a whirl ever since we decided to come to
Boston; it seemed as if we should never get settled. Poor Teacher has had
her hands full, attending to movers, and express-men, and all sorts of
people. I wish it were not such a bother to move, especially as we have to
do it so often!...
Keith comes here at half past three every day except Saturday. He says he
prefers to come here for the present. I am reading the "Iliad,"
and the "Aeneid" and Cicero, besides doing a lot in Geometry and
Algebra. The "Iliad" is beautiful with all the truth, and grace
and simplicity of a wonderfully childlike people while the "Aeneid"
is more stately and reserved. It is like a beautiful maiden, who always
lived in a palace, surrounded by a magnificent court; while the
"Iliad" is like a splendid youth, who has had the earth for his
weather has been awfully dismal all the week; but to-day is beautiful, and
our room floor is flooded with sunlight. By and by we shall take a little
walk in the Public Gardens. I wish the Wrentham woods were round the
corner! But alas! they are not, and I shall have to content myself with a
stroll in the Gardens. Somehow, after the great fields and pastures and
lofty pine-groves of the country, they seem shut-in and conventional. Even
the trees seem citified and self-conscious. Indeed, I doubt if they are on
speaking terms with their country cousins! Do you know, I cannot help
feeling sorry for these trees with all their fashionable airs? They are
like the people whom they see every day, who prefer the crowded, noisy
city to the quiet and freedom of the country. They do not even suspect how
circumscribed their lives are. They look down pityingly on the
country-folk, who have never had an opportunity "to see the great
world." Oh my! if they only realized their limitations, they would
flee for their lives to the woods and fields. But what nonsense is this!
You will think I'm pining away for my beloved Wrentham, which is true in
one sense and not in another. I do miss Red Farm and the dear ones there
dreadfully; but I am not unhappy. I have Teacher and my books, and I have
the certainty that something sweet and good will come to me in this great
city, where human beings struggle so bravely all their lives to wring
happiness from cruel circumstances. Anyway, I am glad to have my share in
life, whether it be bright or sad....
MRS. WILLIAM THAW
December 6th, 1898.
teacher and I had a good laugh over the girls' frolic. How funny they must
have looked in their "rough-rider" costumes, mounted upon their
fiery steeds! "Slim" would describe them, if they were anything
like the saw-horses I have seen. What jolly times they must have at --! I
cannot help wishing sometimes that I could have some of the fun that other
girls have. How quickly I should lock up all these mighty warriors, and
hoary sages, and impossible heroes, who are now almost my only companions;
and dance and sing and frolic like other girls! But I must not waste my
time wishing idle wishes; and after all my ancient friends are very wise
and interesting, and I usually enjoy their society very much indeed. It is
only once in a great while that I feel discontented, and allow myself to
wish for things I cannot hope for in this life. But, as you know, my heart
is usually brimful of happiness. The thought that my dear Heavenly Father
is always near, giving me abundantly of all those things, which truly
enrich life and make it sweet and beautiful, makes every deprivation seem
of little moment compared with the countless blessings I enjoy.
MRS. WILLIAM THAW
Newbury Street, Boston,
realize now what a selfish, greedy girl I was to ask that my cup of
happiness should be filled to overflowing, without stopping to think how
many other people's cups were quite empty. I feel heartily ashamed of my
thoughtlessness. One of the childish illusions, which it has been hardest
for me to get rid of, is that we have only to make our wishes known in
order to have them granted. But I am slowly learning that there is not
happiness enough in the world for everyone to have all that he wants; and
it grieves me to think that I should have forgotten, even for a moment,
that I already have more than my share, and that like poor little Oliver
Twist I should have asked for "more."...
MRS. LAURENCE HUTTON
Newberry Street, Boston.
suppose Mr. Keith writes you the work-a-day news. If so, you know that I
have finished all the geometry, and nearly all the Algebra required for
the Harvard examinations, and after Christmas I shall begin a very careful
review of both subjects. You will be glad to hear that I enjoy Mathematics
now. Why, I can do long, complicated quadratic equations in my head quite
easily, and it is great fun! I think Mr. Keith is a wonderful teacher, and
I feel very grateful to him for having made me see the beauty of
Mathematics. Next to my own dear teacher, he has done more than any one
else to enrich and broaden my mind.