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Mildred Barnes Bliss to Royall Tyler, March 4, 1931

The American Embassy
Buenos Aires
March 4th, 1931Wednesday.

Dearest GrowlerMildred Barnes Bliss’s nickname for Royall Tyler.—so heavily missed:

Of all the lucky parents! I really hate to send back Bill’s letters. They are like a breath of fresh air, and make us both jealous of the evening spent with the new Toreador friend,This person has not been identified. and listening to LuisitoThis person has not been identified. and Niño Salibas.This person has not been identified. Bill certainly has the ‘feu sacré’“Sacred fire.” in regard to Spain, and, as you say, the position you will be in when he wishes to eschew all academic life in favour of the hidalgo“Nobility.” Hidalgo is a traditional title of persons of the Spanish nobility or gentry. will be more than a little awkward!—the turn of the screw!In 1904, Royall Tyler had left his studies at Oxford and gone to Spain to study informally at the University of Salamanca. See The Early Letters (1902–1908): An Introduction. I see myself going backwards—how many years is it now? About twenty-five isn’t it? Please send me more letters from my Bourguignon, and unless ordered to return them you shall never see them again.

Your letter of February 5th came on the 16th, while that of the 3rd was only received March 2nd. In order to clear the decks I will lead off by saying that I remember the Tiger’s Head,See letter of February 3, 1931. and am enchanted by your prompt action—bravo! The cheque will be sent (aqui está)“Here it is.” and our gratitude increased. Also, congratulations on your begging for the Byzantine Show. I hope the Committee will get out a catalogue raissoné [sic], and well illustrated, so that the poor victims of fate who cannot see the show will have a compensatory pis-aller.“Last resort.”

If only we sentimentalists could do as we liked, we should round up all the portions of the royal cloister and re-install them at St. Genis, shouldn’t we?See letter of January 6, 1931 [2].

Extremely interested by Miguel Utrillo’sMiguel Utrillo y Molins (1862–1934), a Spanish painter and friend of Royall Tyler. prognostication regarding the Spanish Cura. You may notice that our last little upset here also involved a priest, and the Church is apparently politically active in Peru as well. Your description of Galán’s trialSee letter of February 3, 1931. and commencing of the firing squad is so dramatic that one feels the man deserved a chance to put his will-power to a better cause. Just why do you assume that the only possible source of the £40,000 was Soviet Russia? I should think that sum could have been got from mal-contents and the ambitious in Spain. No?

Turning to your February 5th letter, you have thrown us into an unholy commotion, as I wired you; but now comes a letterSee letter of February 6, 1931. from Bill to us, as well as the description he wrote you, and we find ourselves completely unnerved. His reasoning is first-rate, his descriptive powers very telling, and I hear the voice of his Father twenty years ago, and feel strangely confused! Directly your cable is received giving your first-hand impression we shall respond, but I agree with you that delivery should be made in France. No complications must come out of it in any way. We are so excited over the thing now that it would be bitter blow should your opinion not be as good as expected from Bill’s hyperbole. On the other hand it is very bad for us to be so stirred!

Thanks for your wire.See telegram of March 1, 1931. By now you will have had the cheque (Stora) which actually did leave on February 14th in my magnum opus.See letter of February 14, 1931, and telegram of March 2, 1931.

This is, of course, not a letter, but I send you, to eke out its thinness, some clippings from the local papers that may give you an idea of the kind of fare we get. Poor LasserrePierre Lasserre (1867–1930), a French literary critic, journalist, and essayist who was director of the École Pratique des Hautes-Études of the University of Paris. is no more, and the one Conférence his ebbing vitality permitted him to give here was a gem, which I am glad to have heard.

Robert asked me to say that one of these days he is going to send you a political treatise himself. It is a never failing source of amusement and interest to me that his mind should so completely work in terms of the western hemisphere, while mine dwells with far more pleasure on the eastern side of the ocean.

Love to Elisina, and to Bill very mixed emotions, in which predominate a legitimate and very fond price.

Yr. devoted Mildred.

Will Stora keep the relief & you & Elisina the Tiger’s head? Gracias.

The enclosed copy of a letter will interest you because of its objective impartiality.Royall Tyler, in his letter of March 30, 1931, calls this letter a “very interesting and vivid account of Russia.” The author is the young sisterThis person has not been identified. of Robert’s private sec.,This person has not been identified. fine Pa. Quaker stock curiously free fr. prejudice & material sensitiveness. Immature as is her manner of expression, she gives one a vivid impression of wrong-headed, fanatical stirring. Tell me what you think of it?

Associated Places: Buenos Aires (Argentina)
Associated Artworks: BZ.1931.1; BZ.1931.3