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Royall Tyler to Mildred Barnes Bliss, May 17, 1932

Randolph Hotel,

In my enthusiasm about the Library at The OaksSee letter of May 15, 1932. I forgot, dearest Mildred, to tell you that d’Hennezel,Henri comte d’Hennezel (1874–1944), a curator at the Musée Historique des Tissus, Lyons. keeper of the Musée des Tissus at Lyons, told me that he had made a desperate effort to get enough money together to secure the Nereid TapestryThe Blisses would acquire this textile from the dealer Kelekian in 1932. for his Museum, and that en temps normaux“In normal times.” he would have succeeded, but that Lyons was so badly touched by the crisis etc etc.

The idea of a hommage to French scholarship in the person of Du CangeCharles du Fresne, sieur du Cange (1610–1688), a French philologist and medieval and Byzantine historian. See letter of May 15, 1932. appeals to me, and perhaps will to you, to whom France is so near in so many ways. It would be good to help people in the US to realise that the French achievement isn’t limited to the 3 Fs (food, fashions and fornication) and that Frenchmen set the Germans a standard of scholarship never since surpassed (or equalled, as it happens) before their GregoroviusFerdinand Gregorovius (1821–1891), a German historian who specialized in the medieval history of Rome. and MommsenChristian Matthias Theodor Mommsen (1817–1903), a German classical scholar, historian, and archaeologist who also studied Roman history. were born or thought of.

I find Bill looking very well, and enjoying life at Oxford in a way that I, for my sins, never dreamt of when I was here. Well, as Jeremiah Smith used to say, I was (and am, in petto“Secretly.”) an off ox, and I’m not happy with a whole lot of my fellow beings about with whom one has got to be on familiar terms. Que le vamos a hacer?“What can we do?”

Bless you.
R. T.

Associated Artworks: BZ.1932.1