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Elisina Tyler to Mildred Barnes Bliss, May 5, 1914


May 5th 1914Tuesday.

Dearest Mildred,

It was a great disappointment to us all not to come to luncheon with Robert today.See letter of May 4, 1914, in which Elisina explained that she and Royall were having lunch with Eric Maclagan. I am going to London at 4 o’clock tomorrow (Wednesday) and if I can do anything for you, please let me know. I shall be staying c/o Miss de Castelvecchio, 21, Cliveden Place, Eaton Square, S.W.

I hope to be back on Tuesday at the latest.

Dearest Mildred, I remember something you said to me as we crossed the bridge of the AlmaAlma Bridge (Pont de l’Alma), an arch bridge in Paris that crosses the Seine. It was named to commemorate the Battle of Alma during the Crimean War, in which the Franco-British alliance achieved victory over the Russian army on September 20, 1854. one day last winter, and I can’t help being worried and anxious about you.See letter of May 4, 1914, in which Elisina writes to Robert Woods Bliss: "I so hope Mildred isn't ill. I have been feeling sorry and somewhat anxious about her, though I can't give any reasonable excuse." I trust I am entirely wrong, and that you are not ill or in any trouble, but merely being wise and seeking rest from an over-busy life. But now and always, please, please remember that I am here, sound in spirit, and whole of heart, for your service in things little or great. When I think of the possibility of your needing me all weakness seems to fall from me like a cloak, and I am valiant and secure.

My love to Robert, and Royall’s; and our united best love to you.

Ever yours


I have sent off my offering to Mrs. HenwoodSee letters of April 21, 1914; May 18, 1914; June 23, 1914; and November 8, 1914. and I told her at the same time that she was not to fear for the future, as a kind friend of mine had heard of her case through me and had promised to see if she could help us a little. I hope that was the sense of your note.

As for Miss Anna AntocolskyAlexandra (also Alexandrine or Sacha) Antokolsky (or Antocolsky), the daughter of the sculptor Mark Matveyevich Antokolsky (1843–1902). See letters of April 21, 1914, and May 18, 1914. I had a very severe account of her from Countess Tonielli.Olga Tonielli Brusati (née Rostopchine) (born 1837), the Russian-born wife of the Italian ambassador to France, Count Giuseppe Tonielli Brusati di Vergano (1836–1908). But I think it may have been some icy blast from les neiges d’antan.“The snows of yesteryear,” an allusion to the poem Ballade des dames du temps jadis (Ballad of the Ladies of Times Past) by François Villon, in which there is the refrain: Mais où sont les neiges d'antan? (“Where are the snows of yesteryear?”). It sounded sharp indeed.

Associated People: Eric Maclagan; Linetta Richardson