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Elisina Tyler to Mildred Barnes Bliss, April 13, 1913

Paris.

April 13th 1913.Sunday.

Dearest Mildred,

Eric Maclagan and his bride-electHelen Elizabeth Lascelles (1879–1942). They married on July 8, 1913. are going to be in Paris from Wednesday until Sunday. May they come to tea with you on Thursday, and please may Royall and I come too? They are going to dine with us on Thursday, and they also want to entertain us at luncheon on Friday. This luncheon need not interfere with the heavenly planThe meaning of the reference to heavenly plan is unknown.—you remember?—if it is still your pleasure that it come off.

Eric is arriving first, and is coming here to lunch on Wednesday. He shall see what he shall see. The photographs of the Czar’s Sassanian plates and pitchers have arrived.The interest in these photographs may have to do with a silver bowl, then considered Sassanian, that the Blisses acquired from the dealer Claude Anet in July 1913 (BZ.1913.3). The bowl is now considered to be possibly sixteenth century from Ragusa. See Robert S. Nelson, “Royall Tyler and the Bliss Collection of Byzantine Art,” in A Home of the Humanities: The Collecting and Patronage of Mildred and Robert Woods Bliss, ed. James N. Carder (Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, 2010), 35 and fig. 2.13. I have re-organized my room with the central idea of a [word or words not transcribed from the original letter]Several of the autograph letters of Elisina Tyler were not included in William Royall Tyler’s gift of the Bliss-Tyler correspondence to Harvard University (see The Early Letters (1902–1908): An Introduction, note 1). At Harvard, these letters exist only in typed transcriptions where, often, foreign words and phrases from the original letters are not transcribed. by means of which I can at last see my face steadily and see it whole.

No more news. You charmed and delighted my sister, who left yesterday morning in a gale, poor pet. She has few ripples, but I assure you she is a clear and steady stream flowing constantly from high mountains to the seas nor does she scorn to pass among the dwellers in the plain. (Forgive me the small mess.)

Isn’t it cold, dear Mildred, and heartlessly capricious—I don’t know who it is coquetting with; not with me.This is possibly an allusion to the poem “Capricious May” by Anna M. Williams, first published in Outing Magazine 22 (1893): 114, which contains these lines: “Deep—ankle-deep in buttercups She shivers, and her feet are cold;” “Yet once again a gay coquette, She rides her phaëton car,” and “In muslin frock, or winter tweed, Come, sweet, capricious May!”

Love from Royall and from William, and from your devoted

Me.

 
Associated Places: Paris (France)
Associated Artworks: BZ.1913.3

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