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Elisina Tyler to Mildred Barnes Bliss, January 15, 1913 [1]

January 15th 1913.Wednesday.

Dear Mildred,

Am I ever harsh? and especially to you? I feel I ought to say I trow not. The gravity of the case requires it. But the Evil Fate is active indeed. I can hardly contain myself because we have committed a signal piece of extravaganceThis is probably a reference to the Tylers’ acquisition of an Early Byzantine silver chalice (BZ.1955.18). for the noblest and worthiest of causes,—and my one idea was to reveal it to you first before all other mortals. So don’t forget to come soon.

Will you ask Delia to hunt in your rubbish basket for the two chapters of contemporary memoirsThis is likely a reference to Royall Tyler’s draft Autobiography, which chronicles his life up to the First World War. which I gave you to read? The Great Man is getting to think that they have receded into nothingness. “To him very tragic and mournful” as CarlyleThomas Carlyle (1795–1881), a Scottish essayist, satirist, and historian. used to say of trifles.

I am very glad you think his prefaceThe preface to the Calendar of State Papers. In 1914, Royall Tyler published vol. 9, Edward VI 1547–1549, begun by Martin Hume, who died in 1910. admirable. It contains hard work and much knowledge, and will be very useful to historians about to consult the volume. We are going to surprise the Deputy-Keeper of the Records by sending in the first part of a new volumeVol. 10, which completed the reign of Edward VI. almost at once. They will not be able to say that the cloak of MartinSt. Martin of Tours (316–397), who cut his military cloak in two and gave half to a beggar. Elisina Tyler’s reference alludes to Royall Tyler’s predecessor, Martin Hume. has fallen on his successor. It was perhaps greedily divided among beggars, who must have found it scanty if I am a judge at all.

I do want you to see our new acquisitionThis is probably a reference to the Tylers’ acquisition of an early Byzantine silver chalice (BZ.1955.18). and christen it fine. So come soon. Saturday perhaps? And would Robert come too if we made it dinner? But what about Fabian?

William sends his love to his Marraine“Godmother.” and we both send ours too.


Associated Artworks: BZ.1955.18

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