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Royall Tyler to Mildred Barnes, July 20, 1904

Burlington Hotel.Burlington Hotel, located at 30 Old Burlington Street in Westminster, London. W.

July 20th

Dear Mildred.

Miss Sturges very kindly asked me to dine, and it was very pleasant, some very interesting people there. I had not much chance to talk with her. Mrs. Legett [sic] yesterday asked me to come to a dance with them, but I can’t, being in black. They are sailing soon for America. I didn’t notice any especially Roman Catholic atmosphere about Miss Sturges, but I thought her very well informed and bright, and a very nice manner.

I am sailing for America a week from today, so when you get this I shall probably be on the deep, either on the Kaiser Wilhelm II or on the Baltic. I don’t quite know which. I shall be glad to sail, for I am rather tired of festivities, especially now that I am on my own hook there is no excuse left for associating with anyone but “young people” and though I like my contemporaries I enjoy older people more on most occasions. And now I hardly see them, as everyone assumes that the “boy and girl party” is the kind of thing most likely to give me pleasure, and issue invitations accordingly. I wish it were so, rather.

I shall enjoy staying with you at Sharon enormously. I pant for the country and solitude like the proverbial hart. The London season is nice, but I think I have had enough for one year. I had a letter from de Unamuno (rector of the university of Salamanca) yesterday, in which he tells me he will send me an essay he has written, suggested by a conversation we had while on a journey to Zamora, called “Plenitud de Plenitudes, todo plenitude.” Miguel de Unamuno, “¡Plenitud de plenitudes y todo plenitud!,” 1904, in Obras completas, ed. Manuel Garcia Blanco (Madrid: Escelicer, 1966), 1:1171–82. I won’t offer to translate it (the title) but if he does send it to me before I sail, I should enjoy going over it with you ever so much. Also he is going to preach a sermon at a place called Gijón on the 23rd which I hope you may see. Please consider what the man is like. Since I have returned he and I have formed a sort of cooperative society. We write to each other for the books we want, without bothering about the money. The books he has received are

Emil Reich—“Success among Nations” Emil Reich, Success Among Nations (New York and London: Harper and Brothers, 1904).

Mathew Arnold—Poems

A. J. Balfour “Foundations of Belief” Arthur James Balfour, The Foundations of Belief, Being Notes Introductory to the Study of Theology (New York and London: Longmans, Green, 1895).

Phillips Brooks—SermonsAfter publishing his first volume of sermons in 1878, Phillips Brooks periodically issued other volumes, including Sermons Preached in English Churches (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1883).

General Gordon—“Reflections in Palestine.”Charles George Gordon, Reflections in Palestine (London: Macmillan, 1883).

My maestro, Juan José de Lecanda. as you call him, is writing a treatise upon the New Catholic Cathedral at Westminster, which he wishes me to translate into English. This treatise, if written, has not been identified. This cathedral was designed by John Francis Bentley (1839–1902) in a neo-Byzantine style. See Robert S. Nelson, Hagia Sophia, 1850–1950: Holy Wisdom Modern Monument (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004), 116–17. He has never seen the building, and goes by photographs I have sent him. It was very kind of you to have sent him pictures of the New York thing. See letter of June 14, 1904.

I went to Harrow the other day, and dined with my tutor. Probably J. C. Moss. See Autobiography, 2:2. He was kind as always, and asked me to come and stay when I would. I am very fond of him, but I could not stay at Harrow. It nearly kills me even going there. I so wish I was there with my contemporaries. The object of my visit was to enter my brother for my tutor’s. I don’t know whether he will be sent to school at Harrow, Eton or Groton, but hope it will be in England. I should be sorry for him if he missed as delightful a time as my last two years at Harrow were to me.

I shall send you a wire when I arrive in New York, and will come to Sharon immediately if you will have me. I don’t think there will be anyone in New York at this season that I’ll wish to see. I have been intensely interested in the convention at Saint Louis, but shall not go to the Exhibition. Louisiana Purchase Exposition, informally known as the Saint Louis World’s Fair, an international exposition held in Saint Louis, Missouri, in 1904. My stepfather I hope will be free a good deal of the time I am there.

Yours sincerely

Royall Tyler.

 
Associated Things: Autobiography

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