CHARACTERS: Laura and Isabel, dressed very stylishly, both with hats on. Enter hand in hand.

Laura. My dear Isabel, I was so afraid you would not come. I waited at that horrid station a full half hour for you. I went there early on purpose, so as to be sure not to miss you.

Isabel. Oh, you sweet girl!

L. Now, sit right down; you must be tired. Just lay your hat there on the table, and we'll begin to visit right off. (Both lay their hats on the table and stand near by.)

I. And how have you been all the ages since we were together at Boston?

L. Oh, well, dear; those were sweet old school days, weren't they. How are you enjoying yourself now? You wrote that you were taking lessons in philosophy. Tell me how you like it. Is it real sweet?

I Oh, those I took in the winter were perfectly lovely! It was about science, you know, and all of us just doled on science.

L. It must have been nice. What was it about?

I. It was about molecules as much as anything else, and molecules are just too awfully nice for anything. If there's anything I really enjoy, it's molecules.

L. Oh, tell me about them, dear. What are molecules?

I. They are little wee things, and it takes ever so many of them, you know. They are so sweet! Do you know, there isn't anything but that's got a molecule in it. And the professors are so lovely! They explained everything so beautifully.

L. Oh, how I'd like to have been there!

I. You'd have enjoyed it ever so much. They teach protoplasm, too, and if there's one thing that is too sweetly divine, it's protoplasm. I really don't know which I like best, protoplasm or molecules.

L. Tell me about protoplasm. I know I should adore it!

I. 'Deed you would. It's just too sweet to live. You know it's about how things get started, or something of that kind. You ought to have heard the professors tell about it. Oh. dear! (Wipes her eyes with handkerchief) The first time he explained about protoplasm there wasn't a dry eye in the room. We all named our hats after the professors. This is a Darwinian hat. You see the ribbon is drawn over the crown this way (takes hat and illustrates), and caught with a buckle and bunch of flowers. Then you turn up the side with a spray of forget me-nots.

L. Oh, how utterly sweet! Do tell me some more of science. I adore it already.

I. Do you, dear? Well, I almost forgot about differentiation. I am really and truly positively in love with differentiation. It's different from molecules and protoplasms, but it's every bit as nice. And our professor! You should hear him enthuse about it; he's perfectly bound up in it. This is a differentiation scarf--they've just come out. All the girls wear them--just on account of the interest we take in differentiation.

L. What is it, anyway?

I. Mull trimmed with Languedoc lace, but--

L. I don't mean that--the other.

I. Oh, differentiation! That's just sweet. It's got something to do with species. And we learn all about ascidians, too. They are the divinest things! If I only had an ascidian of my own! I wouldn't ask anything else in the world.

L. What do they look like, dear? Did you ever see one?

I. Oh, no; nobody ever did but the poor dear professors; but they're something like an oyster with a reticule hung on its belt. I think they are just too lovely for anything.

L. Did you learn anything else besides?

I. Oh, yes. We studied common philosophy, and logic, and metaphysics, and a lot of those ordinary things, but the girls didn't care anything about those. We were just in ecstasies over differentiations, and molecules, and the professor, and protoplasms, and ascidians. I don't see why they put in those common branches; we couldn't hardly endure them.

L. (Sighs.) Do you believe they'll have a course like that next year?

I. I think may be they will.

L. Dear me! There's the bell to dress for dinner. How I wish I could study those lovely things!

I. You must ask your father if you can't spend the winter in Boston with me. I'm sure there'll be another course of Parlor Philosophy next winter. But how dreadful that we must stop talking about it now to dress for dinner! You are going to have company, you said; what shall you wear, dear?

L. Oh, almost anything. What shall you?

(Exeunt arm in arm.)