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Royall Tyler to Mildred Barnes, May 6, 1903

New College

May 6th

Dear Mildred.

I have just sent you Calverley’s poems. Charles Stuart Calverley (1831–1884), an English poet. The Complete Works of C. S. Calverley, with a biographical notice by Walter Joseph Sendall, first appeared in London in 1901. You will like them, I think. I remember that you did not know them last summer.Mildred Barnes, Anna Barnes Bliss, and Cora Barnes sailed to London from New York on the Minnetonka on May 31, 1902. Their visit brought about the reunion of Mildred Barnes and Royall Tyler and the beginning of their preserved correspondence. Caverley was an old Harrovian. I think he was expelled. Calverley entered Balliol College, Oxford, from Harrow School in 1850; a year later, to avoid the consequences of a college escapade, he moved to Christ's College, Cambridge. Any way his exploits are still recounted with baited breath at Harrow. I am reading de Tocqueville’sAlexis-Charles-Henri Clérel de Tocqueville (1805–1859), a French political writer and historian. Démocratie en Amérique Alexis de Tocqueville, De la démocratie en Amérique (Paris: Librairie de C. Gosselin, 1835–1840), is a two-volume study of the democratic system of the United States in the 1830s. When published as part of one of the many editions of the Oeuvres complètes d'Alexis de Tocqueville, the study usually appeared in three volumes. for an additional subject this term. It is very nicely written and so interesting. I am trying to make up my mind to write for one of the London magazines or papers. I am waiting until some Spanish question comes into prominence.

I do wish that you would come over this summer. My Mother has taken a house at Dinard, and things are very interesting in France now—the dissolution of the ordersThe May 1902 elections in France brought to power an anticlerical Radical-Socialist government. By late 1903, Prime Minister Émile Combes submitted a bill to the Chamber of Deputies to close all Catholic schools and to forbid teaching by the Catholic Orders.—the complications are really wonderful. I have been reading lots of very low French papers which are supposed to give an idea of the popular feeling. It seems that the government is excessively unpopular, because it is backed by the Jews. See A. G. B., “The Religious Situation in Paris. (July–August, 1903),” The American Journal of Theology 8, no. 1 (January 1904): 1–8. For some reason they seem to have more direct influence in France than else where, though they are less in evidence there.

Not only the peasants there are roused, but the army, and this manifests itself in the following way. The officers go to Mass! Before, they did not go, partly, I suppose through “irreligion” but directly because they were given to understand that it was not pleasing to the government. Every one now says that now the army is united (which it was not over the Dreyfus affairIn 1894, Captain Alfred Dreyfus, an officer of Jewish background, was convicted of treason as a spy for Germany and sentenced to life imprisonment in solitary confinement. Exonerating evidence was obtained in 1896, but high-level military officials dismissed or ignored this evidence and counterintelligence officers fabricated documents designed to uphold his conviction. Dreyfus was exonerated and reinstated as a major in the French Army in 1906.), a leader has only to present himself, and there will be another Revolution. All the best papers, with the FigaroLe Figaro, a French daily newspaper founded in 1826 and published in Paris. at their head have taken a strong position against the government, and a few weeks ago accused it of strengthening the official hierarchy, and quite justly too. The communes were formerly rateable [sic] for educational expenses to a limited amount only. Any further levy had to be voted by the Chamber. The new ActRoyall Tyler is probably referring to the Associations Act of July 1901, which (although it abolished all restrictions on the right of association for legal purposes) was withheld from religious associations because they were directed from outside of France. In 1903, Prime Minister Combes employed this act to refuse authorization to all religious associations, thus bringing about the closing of hundreds of Catholic schools. which was passed easily, gives the power of additional amounts to the prefets [sic]. In fact there seems to be a good chance of my seeing a constitutional monarchy in France. On reflection I think that when I accused VoltaireFrançois-Marie Arouet (1694–1778), better known by his pen name Voltaire, a French writer, historian, and philosopher. of insincerity See letter of January 23, 1903. I called the kettle black. I would not like to have people read a collection of my letters.

Yours sincerely

Royall Tyler