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Royall Tyler to Mildred Barnes, January 26, 1904

Villa Aritzari


Jan 26th

Dear Mildred.

I am writing to tell you how glad I was to receive your telegram, and to tell you my plans, which I am glad to say, were settled before my Mother’s death.

After consulting with the younger men at the Foreign Office, our great friend there, Mr. Synge,Robert Follett Synge (18351920). advised that I should leave Oxford and devote myself to languages, as Scoones, Diptitch Scoones, known as “the crammer,” ran a school in London to prepare candidates for their foreign office and diplomatic service examinations. of whom I told you—the crammer—says that they hardly ever get an Oxford man in, because he has had no facilities for any of the subjects except History and can’t compete with men who have been at the subjects all the time. See also Paul W. Doerr, British Foreign Policy 1919–1939: “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst” (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1998), 138–39. Doerr observed: “Moreover, by 1905 the entrance exams called for a good command of French and German, and it was generally felt that one or two years of study abroad was necessary to attain sufficient competence in these languages.”

So it was decided that I was to leave Oxford. I am not as glad as I thought I might be—and please don’t think I arranged it myself. A week before the whole thing was settled I had never dreamt of its possibility. My stepfather went this evening, and it is very hard without him—together we have been going on very well. The child is here—and I am devoted to him—but J Q will tell you all about it himself soon after this reaches you.

I start tomorrow for Salamanca, where I am going to study at the University. Universidad de Salamanca, the oldest university in Spain and one of the oldest universities in Europe. The university was founded in 1134 and was given the royal charter of foundation by Alfonso IX in 1218. I fear that this will raise the green-eyed monster even more than the idea of my walking through France. See letter of November 8, 1903. My friend who went to Bulgaria has returned and is in the thick of the newspaper strife on the question, Possibly a reference to the “Jewish question” and the establishment of a Jewish state. on the Christian side to my disappointment rather.

Yours sincerely

Royall Tyler.