Mildred Barnes Bliss to Elisina Tyler, March 10, 1922
March 10, 1922Friday.
For weeks, I may even say months, I have been constantly and increasingly wanting to talk to you about Royall, and a letter to him is actually under way. There has been a vast amount of interesting material this winter,Although it is unknown what “vast amount of interesting material” Mildred Barnes Bliss refers to, the Blisses acquired four paintings by the eighteenth-century French artist Hubert Robert during the winter of 1922: HC.P.1922.02.(O), HC.P.1922.03.(O), HC.P.1922.04.(O), and HC.P.1922.05.(O). Walter Erlich began writing the Blisses about these and other Robert canvases on October 3, 1921, and the Blisses had made payment on them by April 26, 1922. Walter Erlich to Mildred Barnes Bliss, October 3, 1921, and to Robert Woods Bliss, April 26, 1922, House Collection dossier file, Dumbarton Oaks Archives. which we should so have enjoyed discussing with him.
This scrappy, little dictated note goes off to you now, to carry my love, and announcement that the long-meditated volume of Appréciations sur la ConférenceProbably a reference to the Conference on the Limitation of Armament, held in Washington, D.C., in November 1921. See “Conference on the Limitation of Armament, Report of the American Delegation, February 9, 1922,” American Journal of International Law 16 (1922): 159–233. The Appréciations sur la Conférence has not been located. will really get off before too long; and also to send you the enclosed copy of a letterThe whereabouts of this letter are unknown. which I received two days ago from the unfortunate Geizstor.José de Gieysztor (also Giezstor and Geystor). See letters of June 9, 1916; April 27, 1921; and April 18, 1922. This is really distressing! Robert and I feel chagrinned for the poor lad’s distressing circumstances, and for the disappointment that all this must necessarily be to you. We don’t either of us feel that we ought to respond to it, for his dégringolade“Rapid deterioration.” is plainly of his own making, and we know that, through you or through the Oeuvre,Edith Wharton’s wartime charities, of which Elisina Tyler was vice president, were known generally as the Oeuvres and included the Oeuvre des enfants des Flandres (the Children of Flanders Rescue Committee), which operated six large houses, two of which were also lace schools where lace making was taught to older girls according to the methods of the École Normale of Bruges. he would certainly receive help were he deserving of it. The tone of the letter is lamentable, and Robert feels that as there is really nothing we can say, it is best not to respond at all.
Poor Geizstor! What a sad commentary this is on self-indulgence. For if ever a boy had a chance to foster his best elements and thrash some wheat out of a good bit of chaff, Geizstor received it at your hands. And to have proven himself so unappreciative of your kindness and patience with him makes him a pitiable, but unsympathetic war wreck.
Excuse the brevity and uninterestingness of this short note, and give my love to my Bourguignon and to Edith. I so much hope that Gioia is improving steadily, and that you are having a happy visit with her at GourdonElisina Tyler had stayed at the Château de Gourdon; see letter of April 27, 1921. or at Hyères.Sainte-Claire du Château at Hyères in the south of France, the winter home that Edith Wharton began renting in 1919 and purchased in 1927. My love and Robert’s to you both, dear Elisina.