Mildred Barnes Bliss to Elisina Grant Richards, April 22, 1911
April 22, 1911Saturday.
Your letters of Jan. 30 and Mar. 16th have come and each is a proof, were proof needed, that understanding is the greatest blessing of friendship and that we were not mistaken in trusting one another. Had I responded to the first letter promptly you need not have written the second,In her letter of March 16, 1911, Elisina Grant Richards expresses concern that the promised investment by the Blisses in Grant Richards Ltd. had apparently fallen through. but I have been so low in strength, and I may add spirits, these last months, that I have postponed doing everything but the necessary. To write you and 2 other friends just the letters I wanted to, seemed the one effort I had no will power to make, so you must forgive my lapse.
About the time your Jan. 30 letter came, we received from the agents we had asked to make the investment for us,See letter of January 1, 1911. the result of their enquiries into the financial status of Gt. Richards Ltd. This appeared so satisfactory as to actual solvency and potential increase of business that added to the Solicitor’s statement of there being no urgency, we decided to postpone investing until again communicating with you. The tone of your first letter together with its enclosure filled us with pleasure, as it confirmed the information given the agents and corroborated the Solicitor’s statement. From day to day I wanted to write you that the clipping of publications you sent was due entirely to the regular business and had depended in no way upon the extraneous £1000., which we had not subscribed at that time, thinking its usefulness might be greater at some other. As in making the investment our wish was to help you to more ease of mind by aiding the children, it seemed only sensible to place the investment when most needed, and that is for you to say. The £1000 is in London ready to be turned over to Grant Richards Ltd. now or later. If it would so materially aid the business to get on its feet that you feel further delay to be detrimental, just cable “Milrob Baires invest now”. But if, on the other hand, you feel it wiser to withhold the sum for the children against a rainy day, write me what you feel so I can follow your thoughts and remember the New Year’s offer was only postponed from a wish to be as useful as possible and not because of any unfavourable comments or gossip and I return the papers you sent.
All this my dear Elisina, I should have said 8 weeks ago, but I am so tired through and through that I feel as if I had no driving power left and how I am to get through this winter, I don’t see. My parentsAnna Barnes Bliss and William Henry Bliss. by the way will reach Paris about the middle of June. Should either of you see them don’t say more than that I wrote of being very occupied and rather tired. My Mother, poor dear, does so worry about me.
Royall’s Mar. 5th letter has delighted me. The editing of the Record Office Documents would seem work for which he is designed by nature.This refers to Royall Tyler's appointment in 1911 as editor of the Spanish Calendar of State Papers, following the death of Martin Hume on July 1, 1910. We are both keenly interested, and I don’t know where I most hope for you to be when we leave here, in Spain or in Paris! We are still in charge.John Ridgely Carter had been appointed U.S. minister to Argentina in 1911 to succeed Charles H. Sherrill (1867–1936), who had resigned for reasons of ill health. But Carter never took up the post, claiming that the $12,000 salary was insufficient to maintain the dignity of the position. Robert Woods Bliss was in charge of the legation until the appointment of John W. Garrett (1872–1942) late in 1911. See “Living too Dear in Buenos Aires; Carter Told Knox He Could Not Accept Mission There Unless Provided with a House,” New York Times, November 12, 1911. Relief must come soon but it is not yet in sight. Directly a Minister comes, we shall ask for leave to go home via Europe and are praying to receive no new appointment before then, in the hope of subsequently determining it ourselves.
I will write Royall soon and keep you both informed of our plans. Do you do likewise and promptly! the distance is so great here.
Your decision to avoid the baptismal service came as no surprise to me. William will be neither a better nor a lesser man for its performance or omission, nor could a ceremony change either my feeling of responsibility or ready affection for your and Royall's child whom I shall call my godson, without presenting him with a silver porringer! What solid talks we shall have some day!
Always, dear Elisina, yours in loyal friendship