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Elisina Tyler to Mildred Barnes Bliss, August 18, 1913 [1]

Côte d’Or

August 18th 1913.Monday.

Dearest Mildred,

I had just written the enclosed letter,See letter of August 18, 1913. glib enough to seem useless in the face of realities. I will send it just the same so that you shall see how readily I come to you with trifles. But I want you to read this first; and let it tell you that my heart all goes out to you in the anxiety and pain you must be suffering for your twin-sister,Mildred Barnes Bliss and Grace Tytus (née Grace Seeley Henop) (1875–1928) called each other “Twin,” due to the fact that they shared the same birthday. Grace Tytus’s husband, Robb de Peyster Tytus (1876–1913), was an Egyptologist and former Massachusetts state representative, and between 1910 and 1912 had built a Georgian-style mansion, Marble Palace, on his 1,500 acre estate, Ashintully, in Tyringham, Massachusetts. He died on August 14, 1913, the cause of the “anxiety and pain” referred to in the letter. and I thank you heart and soul for wishing to have me with you in an hour of pain. Dearest Mildred, you could give me no greater proof that you understand how deep and true my feeling for you is, than to summon me to you when you need me, and to need me when you are in trouble. I only wish I could shoulder all your burdens for you and leave you free to be your own delightful dear beautiful self untouched by the shadow of sadness. Promise me here and now that you will call me if you ever need me.

I am glad you were wise enough to obey the unknown summons. And I do admire Robert so much! I am always amazed afresh at his sureness of judgment his wisdom and his directness in little and great things. Those are the essential qualities of a leader of men; and how often men are misled by those who possess only the last of the three and lay claim in virtue of it, to the others as well.

I hope you won’t distress yourself if you can’t quite catch up time. I remember the discomfort of the race, and I am sure that you will always be beset with the same difficulty in a lesser or greater degree, because you must always attract people to you whose presence about you must to a certain extent encumber your path. Comfort yourself with the idea that you have the graceful air of leisure, even at your busiest, and that you never show la fretta che I’onestade ad ogn’ atto dismaga;Dante, Purgatorio, canto 3, line 10.

Or, if the archaicisms are unfamiliar to you, let me translate it: “haste, which deprives an act of dignity.”

I will comment at length on Mrs. Dodge’sJosephine Marshall Jewell (Mrs. Arthur) Dodge (1855–1928), an American educator interested in the day nursery movement. She became the president of the National Federation (later Association) of Day Nurseries in 1898; she was president of the National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage formed in 1911 and was the mother of the Blisses’ friend, Geoffrey Dodge. pronunciamiento“Declaration.” as you bid me. Both documents shall be sent together.

Wainwright, my solicitor, is coming to-morrow or Wednesday for a few days. It is particularly nice of him to come just now, and to have made it convenient: to come, because all matters referring to [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. can be discussed here quickly and he can let me sound him on many points which he could not write about.

My dearest Mildred, you have all my thoughts and all my love. Please give some of it to Robert. Bless you, dearest soul.

Ever yours,

Elisina.

 

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