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Royall Tyler to Mildred Barnes, January 23, 1903

New College

Jan. 23rd

Dear Mildred

How awfully nice of you to send me Southey’s Journal, Probably Robert Southey, Journal of a Tour in the Netherlands in the Autumn of 1815 (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1902). it is so amusing—and on such good paper. How the taste in Art has changed since his day. He speaks of there being nothing of importance in the Academy of Bruges, “The pictures in this Academy are of little value.” Robert Southey, Journal of a Tour in the Netherlands in the Autumn of 1815 (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1902), 35. and now the Guide Books are full of it. I suppose that in a few years the youth will be taught to admire what he did then. I am sure I don’t know the names of any of the masters that he thought great. They probably will be as ignorant of MemlingHans Memling (ca. 1430–1494), a German-born Netherlandish painter. and Van Eyck.Jan van Eyck (or Johannes de Eyck) (before ca. 1395–1441), a Netherlandish painter active in Bruges.

I passed a very pleasant vacation at Biarritz, After their marriage in 1900, Royall Tyler’s mother (Ellen Frances Krebs Tyler) and stepfather (Josiah Huntington Quincy) kept a house in Biarritz, France. but it was not very profitable, I fear. Good golf and bridge, but everything else rather bad. I fear that our projected journey to Spain will never take place. For it is decided to remain at Biarritz at Easter, largely I fear, for financial reasons.

They are having a tremendous fuss about everything in England now. The Editor of the Spectator calls it a fit of introspection. And they are turning their attention towards the public schools! I have read a good deal of Voltaire’sFrançois-Marie Arouet (1694–1778), better known by his pen name Voltaire, a French writer, historian, and philosopher. correspondence since I saw you, but begin to have doubts as to his sincerity. I like his attitude to Thiriot In 1713, Voltaire entered the office of the attorney M. Alain with the intent of becoming a lawyer. He met there a young clerk, Thiriot, with whom he formed a close friendship and corresponded. Thiriot proved disloyal, however, when Voltaire was later attacked in Desfontaine’s Voltairomanie (1738). very much. Heaven preserve me from becoming a Thiriot! I have just read a letter from a young lady in London who asks me to send her "some little literary sketch" for a magazine she is about to edit. I think the way she puts it is delightful.

I am

Yours sincerely

Royall Tyler

Associated Things: The Spectator