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Royall Tyler to Mildred Barnes Bliss, July 2, 1938



Here I am once more back on the bench, dearest Mildred.

Elisina is starting northwards on Monday the 4th; the doctor wants her to do the journey by slow stages.Elisina Tyler had suffered “apolplexy,” probably a stroke, in May 1938. See also letters of June 18, 1938; June 28, 1938; July 10, 1938; July 13, 1938; and July 29, 1938. I hope to spend the 9th–10th week-end with her at Antigny. It has been very hot of late, and I hope the change to Burgundian air will do her good.

I’ve fallen into a fearful amount of work here. The trouble is, in fact, not that the allowance of leave is meager, but rather that there is so much to do that one doesn’t see how one is going to manage to take the leave one is formally entitled to. I’ve just had flung at my head a tangled skein in the shape of minutes of meetings, (at which I wasn’t present), lawyers’ memoranda, experts’ opinions, on the vexed question of international loan contracts: these gentlemen don’t seem to be in agreement as to what they really think of most of the questions involved, and I’ve got to try to produce a draft report conciliating their views—the two and seventy jarring sects,A reference to quatrain 59 of Khayyám, as translated in the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (1889) by Edward FitzGerald: The Grape that can with Logic absolute / The Two-and-Seventy jarring Sects confute: / The sovereign Alchemist that in a trice / Life's leaden metal into Gold transmute. not confute, but reconcile.

And it one hadn’t this casse-tête“Puzzle.” to beguile one’s summer days with, there are a hundred and one current financial and economic questions one ought to keep up with. Well, it’s just a question of selection, of course, as one can’t do all. But it will take some shrewd decision to know where to draw the line.

The doctor’s last letter about Elisina adds nothing to what one knew already. The case developed normally. I can’t accustom myself to the idea of what has happened, and that nothing can un-do it.

Bless you, dearest Mildred; much love to you both


R. T.

Associated People: Elisina Tyler