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Royall Tyler to Robert Woods Bliss, July 26, 1931 [1]

29, rue d’Astorg
F Anjou 16–88

Dear Robert

It’s over a year since I last sent you a balance sheet,See letter of May 16, 1930. and as I hope in a few days to get away to Antigny for a month (a crazy hope, no doubt), I thought I’d better send one along, to date.

I’m bearing up fairly well, all things considered, which I partly attribute to my practice of continuing, whatever happens, to give much time to art & archaeology. There’s nothing like it as a freshener, I find.

The way the old pound sterling responded last week to the classical move, in times of stress: increase of bank note, was a reassuring spectacle. The French cannot get used to the idea that in times of panic the best thing to do may be to sell your gold to all comers.On July 16, 1931, the Bank of London sold off £5,140,000 (about $25,000,000) in gold, the largest sell off ever recorded in a single day at that time. See “London is Cheered Despite Gold Loss; Withdrawals Reach $25,000,000, Greatest for One Day, but General Situation is Hopeful,” New York Times, July 17, 1931; and “London Calm Amid Slump. Gold Shipments are on Way to Protect Pound Sterling,” New York Times, July 16, 1931. But their admiration, if grudging, is no less sincere when they or their neighbors do it, & get away with it.


R. T.