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Mildred Barnes Bliss to Elisina Tyler, undated [4] (after February 15, 1914)

4, Avenue Henri Moissan, Paris.

Saturday night.

Elisina dear your letter distressed me keenly.This is a direct response to the letter February 15, 1914. Since you felt the “shadowy things”See letter of February 15, 1914: "I have no fear of light, but a horror of shadowy things." I suppose you did well to say so, but I so wish you had not let yourself stray into feeling them. You are clear before me—as clear as from the beginning.See letter of February 15, 1914: "Why am I no longer clear before you?" And you realize, I know, that I saw through what would blind many and took you entirely on my instinct for the woman in you and for the man in Royall. To doubt my faith now seems unlike you. It mars my picture of a beautiful relationship to have you want it explained, as it were. The trust and understanding between us has always been its essence as it has been its expression and I never thought to define for either you or for me, the friendship I offered and you returned beyond what I put into the letters I sent you and Royall from Argentina. Judgment often differs widely in natures even more closely attuned than yours and mine and on judgment, one does not pronounce—when it is honest. I foresaw dark days for your Mother’s heart and head. You wrote you had counted all the cost—and so there was nothing but the hope of prevision refuted and of waiting for one. The dark days are commencing to challenge you and I cannot go back of [sic] my apprehensions of Life. I can share your anxiety foster your splendid hold on circumstance and help with whatever grace I have, when you need me. This I do unreservedly and you know it so, dear, dear Elisina, why search in me for the body that casts the shadow? I have tried with all my Light to be Light for you. It hurts me that I have failed, but I think you voiced a mood and no more: a mood that should have had for answer, my arm under your tired head and my hand in yours. I wanted to go to you and cheer you back to steadiness of heart by your own little absurdity. But I couldn’t—neither could I write. You have the answer later than I wished but no less full. Be of stout heart and unfailing confidence in the lantern I keep burning for you.

I have read the letters and will tell you what I think when we meet—tomorrow perhaps between 3 and 3.30. Can you and Royall come then? We have to go out at 5. Also I am full of eagerness to hear of your London letter. It was a great cross to me not to be able to see you at once or even speak with you by telephone. I hope it [word or words not transcribed from the original letter].The autograph copy of this letter of Mildred Barnes Bliss was not included in William Royall Tyler’s gift of the Bliss-Tyler correspondence to Harvard University (see The Early Letters (1902–1908), note 1). At Harvard, this letter exists only in a typed transcription where, presumably, foreign words from the original letter are not transcribed.

A good night to you, my dear and my love and blessing.


Associated People: Royall Tyler
Associated Places: Paris (France)