Identifier

MSS.2.23

Publication Date

1-1-1918

Document Type

Letter

Transcription

491 Avenue Joffre
Shanghai, China
6 March, 1918

My dear Dada:

Time does fly so swiftly that before we
know it, it will be "the good old summer time" again
with the cool famine existing only in our imagin-
ation. From the papers, and your letters, I can
well sympathize with you people. It is a lucky
thing that I left before I had to put on flannels,
for you know how I detest those "itchy" things. This
sounds selfish, I know!

A Mr. [Luik], the bookkeeper in my Brother's
office is leaving for the states in another
month or so. I shall send you something by
him - I'll write you when he is leaving later
on.

Well, you will be glad to know that my face
is smooth as glass now - not a ripple
on it. And my complexion is really quite good
now after all the trouble I had. The skin
is much fairer in texture than before. Heavens
alive, after all these months of outbreak,
I think it ought to have some sort of com- [page break]
pensation, don't you think?

My little brother is now going to school: so
I have much more leisure time now, altho
I am still busy. I am studying Chinese, taking
music, and giving a great deal of time to
the Y.W.C.A. here, being on Committees,
and starting a conversational club in English
for the girls. The duties of the social committee
are quite arduous. We have to plan programs
for the monthly social gathering for all the
members in Shanghai. I rather like the work,
though, for it makes me more interested in
all sorts of people, and in a way forces me
out of my natural tendency of indifference
towards people in general. I am trying so hard to
make others interested that more or less the
contagion of enthusiasm affects me also. Then
of course there is the Censorship Committee, and
my Sunday School class, and all the various
branches of my mother's social work. By the [page break]
have I ever told you that my mother started
a school for the poor children several years
ago. It is a sort of "Neighborhood School,"
only it is a day school and only for girls.
I am interested in that and wish that we
did not live so far away from that dis-
trict, for I should like to be connected with
it. Mother goes there once a week in the
afternoon, and looks over matters.

The "Wellesley News" came a few days
ago. You cannot know how great I
did enjoy them! I can well believe now
the Alumnae's feeling of affection for that
paper. As I am going to give a talk
to a girls' school on "Class Organization"
next week, the paper just came in time
for me to get more intimately in touch
with the "old college spirit."

There is a college club (American) here
in Shanghai. There are 75 members, and the
last time I went there, I met a Wellesley '09. [page break]
Of course we became intimate immediately.
It turned out that she is one of the Y.
W.C.A. secretaries. When I got through
with the "News," I shall hand them over to
her to enjoy. By the way, do you want me
to return the News to you - provided they
are not worn out?

I am doing four or five hours of prac-
ticing a day, and find that the im-
provement is really quite rapid. I wish I
had taken piano all along in college instead
of switching on to violin as I did, for the
weather here in Shanghai is most in-
favorable to an instrument so sensitive
as the violin.

The political situation in China is quite
distressing. With the North & South at such
odds, unity of action as expression of the
people is [] and of the question. I wish
I knew political history well enough to
write what I so strongly feel. China at
present is making no preparation in aiding [page break]
the Allies. What our government really ought
to do (in my humble opinion) is to work
wholeheartedly for democracy, since
we have already cast our lot in
with those nation who are avowedly
anti-autocratic. And the best way
for China to work wholeheartedly is
to have well-trained armies. Of course
we have no good military specialists
but since U.S. has undertaken to
make a loan to us for defraying military
expenses, doubtless if China were to
approach the U.S. in repaid to lending
us a few generals to start training
camps over here using as a model
those established all over America, the
American government would consent to the plan.

A second point which has troubled
me lately is this: granting that for
various reasons, the above suggestions
would not be practicable and would
be inconsistent with China's policy hither- [page break]
to,- granting all this, what prep-
aration is China making for the
after-math of the war. Whichever
side wins, China will still be
facing this question, for she is between
Scylla & Charybdis; i.e. between
Japan on one side and Germany on
the other. While other nations will
have a say in the Peace Conference
owing to their actions on the "War
Board," China because of her in-
decisive and ineffectual position
will be a negligible factor only -
unless of course she has a large
army and navy to enforce her
own demands as an independent
nation. Japan and Germany, then,
and only then will respect her.
You know, while I disagree with
Carlyle that "Might is Right," I [page break]
cannot fail to appreciate that "Might"
inspires wholesome fear in nations
whose ambitions are greater than
their conscience.

I wish I knew political history
well enough to write for papers which
influence public opinion, for I know
only too well that without actual tech-
nical knowledge of such matters,
any attempt to set forth my ideas
would result only in a
miserable failure. And that probably
should any paper consider what I have
to say worth printing, the editor would
in all probability put it in print
for such reason as
"Doesn't she write English well for
a Chinese girl" - a consideration
which knowing me as you do, you
would know to be an insult to my
pride.

Love
Daughter

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