Letter from May-ling Soong Chiang, 1917-08-16, Shanghai, China, to Emma Mills
May-ling Soong Chiang
491 Avenue JoffreShanghai, China16 August, 1917Dearest Dada, Two letters from you just came! They were like an oasis to a [shauper] lost in the desert! Now do not think from this that I am unhappy or dissatisfied with my home life. Far from that! Only I still feel that I am in a dream; for I haven't quite found exactly where I am. Your good advice to lose myself in the lives of my people here is well-timed, for you know I am a very in-dependent soul who for two years has lived only according to her own will. It is hard, therefore, to re-member that I must think of others. And I am afraid too that I am not so patient as I should be. We are a very happy family [page break] here. Until a few days ago, my second sister Mrs. S. was also in Shanghai. She is now in Canton with her husband. We have notheard from her directly as any communications from her would involve us who have no connection at all with affairs now. We do know however from messengers that she is well; and that is all we know. Because of all this war and trouble in the country, you understand, all our letters to America and Europe are likely to be censored. I shall therefore entertain you only with my private affairs for the present. The Shanghai weather does not agree with me. I keep on getting ill inter-mittently. We have been to a great many dinners and teas, [page break] though, and we have given quite a number ourselves. H.K. returned to Peking two weeks, but has returned now to Shanghai again. He has been here quite often. I fear, however, that I care nothing for him. I may be mistaken, but since my return, I feel that he is so very immature, and while I like him, I have to ad-mit that that is as far as it goes on my side. Of course with him it is as it used to be. A Swiss whom I met on board ship has been here quite often, and we have great fun speaking French. Of course he speaks beauti-ully. As to seeing other men, I am rather indifferent. At dinners, I meet mostly [page break] prominent men who are already married. And as I am still a "Jeux fille," and as I have 2 married sisters, all I do is to sit still and try to look pleasant. My sisters are planning to give me a large reception this fall - a sort of coming out party. Of course everything will depend upon the state of affairs in the country then. Mother and Father object to my seeing men very much as they don't want me to get married for the next three years. As I myself am quite contented at home, I do not want to marry either, - especially as I told you that I met "my fate" on the boat. Since [page break] I cannot marry someone I really care for, I shall not marry for anything else except fame or money. I know you think I am mercenary; but after allDada dear, now all men are alike to me. I know I sound world-weary: but isn't it just my luck though not to meet him until on my way home! The way the family scorns him because he is a foreigner would make you think that he is a Barbarian! Oh, Dada, we have ordered our Buick car - but tough luck, - the next shipment won't be in until another week. Miss Kendall is supposed to arrive today; but her ship has not come. I expect to meet it: I was hop- [page break]ing to get our car by then; however I suppose I'll have to take Mother's carriage instead. Oh, I have just received my last semester's report. A Philosophy 9 A Philosophy 16 A International Politics A Literature (Young must have changed his opinion that I am superficial!) B History (English) B French This is a fairly good report. I wished I had done as well Freshman and Sophomore year. Were this the case, I would have been a Phi Beta. But [Piffle]! I shall take some picturesof this house tomorrow, and [page break] send them to you. The family except me are on the lawn playing croquet. My brother-in-law Mr.Kung will be here in a few days. He has been unable to come on account of the floods up north,and law suits on his property. As it is now, be-cause the roads have been washed, out he telegraphs that he is com-ing on foot. I haven't written to any of the other kids yet. And to you twice! You see, old Dada, I think a whole lot of you. I am afraid that I am not a very successul house- [page break]keeper; I keep on forgetting so many things. And it is so hot, - and we do have so much company. I wish you were here in our beautiful garden with me. It is lovely! Oh, please for heaven's sake send me some magazines! I feel stagnation here. The society people read only  fiction. I want Scribner's, the Atlantic, the Saturday Evening Post, and The Digest. Please sub-scribe anything else you think I will like, and please try to get me club rates. Oh yes, please also send the Ladies' Home Journal & some sort of magazine on children for my sister. Send bill for I have plenty of pocket money.Love,Daughter
Papers of Emma DeLong Mills, MSS.2, Wellesley College Archives.
Since July 31, 2013