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Elisina Tyler to Mildred Barnes Bliss, July 22, 1913

Chât. de Genay, Côte d’Or

July 22nd 1913.Tuesday.

Dearest Bountiful One,

I should like to paint a Grizzling Spartan cheered by the arrival of your case of stuffs.See letter of July 13, 1913, in which Elisina Tyler requests Mildred Barnes Bliss to "send me one or two pieces of stuff you so kindly offered to lend me, to cover the barrenness of the land with a semblance of beauty and opulence." Thank you a thousand times. Louis PhilippeLouis Philippe I (1773–1850), king of France between 1830 and 1848. See letter of July 13, 1913, in which Elisina Tyler described the furnishings of the the Château de Genay as "presided over" by "the genius of Louis-Philippe." seems to sit up and tune himself to the airs of a gentler age, and my romantic friendAn English friend "accustomed to a certain amount of comfort"; see letter of July 13, 1913. who is to arrive tomorrow shall have rose-coloured dreams with threads of gold.

I have seen the good Royall off this morning, and I quite envied him because he was coming to see you. It’s a shame that so many other people should see so much more of you than I do. It reminds me I don’t know why, of my vulgar joke about the man in the Lancers to whom poor Queen AlexandraAlexandra of Denmark (1844–1925), wife of King Edward VII of England and queen consort from 1901 to 1910. The 16th Queen's Lancers was a cavalry regiment in the British army, first raised in 1759. It saw service for two centuries. was once passionately attached. Royall innocently asked me “Did she see much of him?” “All of him, I think” I replied. This is of course a cubist dissociation of ideas.

Tell Robert it is deep enough for diving. He is right again. I have so much to say and it isn’t worth writing. I do hope Royall will bring me good news tomorrow, by which I mean that the world is relaxing its clutch upon you. This place is bucolic and very reassuring, and one can rejoice in the knowledge of very fine romanesque things within reach. There is a cream cheese, a local industry, which is hard to beat; and I have made friends with a patissier who makes some very good things, and whose name is le Reposeur.“One who reposes or refreshes.” O well-earned name! And lest his handiwork be threatened by oblivion, let me hasten to tell you that it is called, they are called, des patachoux.Pâté à choux (“cream puff pastry”).

William is getting astonishingly social, and very good company too. I had an attack of the cook earlier in the month, but the housemaid cured me. She is or seems to be a pearl. See how experience has made me sadly wiser. Two years ago I should have said she is, and ever shall be. But I have gone one deeper than my own grandmotherElisina Tyler’s maternal grandmother was Elisa Pasteur d'Etreillis (1826–1894), who married Louis Bonaparte, Comte de Castelvecchio. and learned that even without “des manières de porte-faix”“The manners of porters.” one may have “des [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), note 1). At Harvard, these letters exist only in typed transcriptions where, often, foreign words and phrases from the original letters are not transcribed. de républicain”.“The . . . of a Republican.”

Come soon, do, and we’ll write the novel.The book referred to here is unknown. See letter of June 26, 1913. You shall also read Richard’s [sic]Probably Grant Richards. Because the letter is only preserved in a transcription, it is possible that the transcriber made a mistake and that “Richard’s” should be “Richards'.” essay.The identity of this essay is unknown. I am very eager to hear about the bowl.Possibly the piece of pottery referred to in the letter of June 26, 1913. This was possibly a bowl (Ex.Coll.HC.C.1913.02.[EW]) with a peacock painted on the interior, purchased by the Blisses from the Parisian dealer Dikran G. Kelekian on May 30, 1913, and formerly in the Dumbarton Oaks House Collection. And I am so sorry I can’t come to lunch travestie“Dressed up.” as my father’s daughter to meet your Annie Lou and your Charles. It is such a pretty name that you must excuse me for writing it unconcernedly.

William sends a gros gros baiser,“A big, big kiss.” and I my love to Robert and my most loving greetings and devoted love.

Yours as ever

Elisina.

 
Associated Places: Semur-en-Auxois (France)
Associated Artworks: Ex.Coll.HC.C.1913.02.(EW)

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