From an Austrian Prison



[THE writer of these letters is the eldest daughter of the life President of Czecho-Slovakia. Her mother is an American lady, and she herself, in preparation for a life of service, spent many months in residence at Hull House, Chicago. Her father, in private life an eminent professor of economics, has given his best years to the enfranchisement of his country. In order to curb his revolutionary activities, since Professor Masaryk was himself beyond its grasp, the Austrian government, in defiance of law and civilized usage, arrested the daughter and kept her imprisoned as a hostage. During the long ordeal Alice Masaryk wrote continually to her mother, and from these letters, which tell their own story and are so full of the spirit that brings Liberty into the world, the Atlantic is privileged to make a selection. — THE EDITORS.1

VIENNA, November 12, 1915.
Well, I have arrived quite without mishap in my native city. The journey was not bad. A beautiful day — a yellow light everywhere — like Worpsvelde — the plain near Wisch! The real thing!
Here it is more according to the Fidelio effect. I am in K. K. Landesgericht (state) prison, but we will not speak about that; one must have character, and I have given my word not to complain; on the contrary, to get the best and most human experience out of my relations here.
And now, how are you, my splendid, noble mother?
A little too much for a mother’s heart? Please, no. Everything is all

right. Every experience helps us in life, and this is truly better than the Ladies’ Home Journal experience which many women have. Even so, I would by no means be opposed to a little piece of garden. I shall have my books, and then I shall be saved entirely.
I had hoped that I would not please them here; that, as soon as they saw me, they would send me back. But they have left me here. However, ‘ Thy will be done!’ A kiss, and an end to these things.
Perhaps I shall get a room for myself and then I shall look still more blooming. Each one of us has his cross, but one must have firm muscles in order to carry it. And so I am a Hercules for my cross, and bear it smilingly. But to see how the people here have taken root in their misery, and with the second step have succumbed with sighs and tears! I shudder! I am oppressed by the deep misery of humanity. Yes, mama, if they free me, I shall live still more intensely, and strive humanly for the simplest and noblest things. The life of Christ!! — But really I must stop.
Send me the books in my black bookcase, the ones I had prepared for the winter session. My work!
I should like to hang up a couple of pictures from the Modern Gallery. — Would it be possible?
Have you found a nurse — a good one?
Please tell my friends to write to me. I shall write in German, for it will be sent quicker if I do. Greetings to all!
I am as always,

[A. G. M. came to the prison from the railroad station on foot, carrying her baggage, and arrived at 11 p.m. The warden led her to the cell, where she received scant welcome from her fellow prisoners because of the already overcrowded state of the room, 12 by 14 feet, in which twelve people were forced to live. In these crowded quarters the mattresses piled in one corner during the day covered the ground at night. The warden, who undressed her, and took away everything that might suggest the slightest bit of comfort or luxury, was most favorably impressed by the silk lining of her coat, which at once established her social position.]

November 23, 1915.
On the 20th 1 I was with you the whole day. I am always. Sixty-five years old and yet you are not alone, mama! I know you better day by day and treasure you unendingly.
When I was traveling to America the sea one day was quite still, like a mirror in which the face of the heavens was reflected; in the distance it was a bit ‘ruffled.’ An endless quiet reigned — it was boundless, full of strength, beautiful. And now I too am quiet and industrious. ‘I do not cry over fate’ — I only do what I can, and stop.
Often I see beautiful pictures before me, very often the sea. The contrast is marked. Here everything is narrow, small; there all is large and open.
I am so sorry that I could not send you any roses. (Here at the utmost I could only decorate a straw pillow with a mouse and send it — and such an expression of reverence would hardly be allowed!) In the night my arms were filled full with lovely roses; then from the Imperial gardens came two women who carried more baskets of them. I chose a couple of long-stemmed buds, wonderfully formed, and added them to my roses. The women said that there was a bower of unbelievably beautiful roses — I should ask the Kaiser for them. I entered the garden and found myself among the loveliest rose-beds; the courtyard had a splendid appearance. I got my roses and promised to come again. ‘Such a dream can only come from contrast.’
I look very well and feel finely. I take care of keeping the house in order.
Indeed, I would not allow the wardens to be discourteous to me, and if it is necessary, I ignore them. The wardens are not so bad as I imagined them to be during the first days. I live, learn, and like everyone — there is nothing else to do. Write, and think of me as well, strong, and happy.
Many, many kisses.

[Once A. G. M.’s fellow prisoners understood who she was, they lost no opportunity to express their respect and admiration for her. They felt the influence of the spirit of freedom that radiated from her, and they loved the artistic grace that her red-and-white striped uniform of a nurse and her red slippers expressed. She had served as a nurse in the hospital in a city in southern Bohemia the preceding summer, and had worn there the uniform and slippers which held the admiration and interest of her fellow prisoners.]

November 25, 1915.
Yesterday I had a very severe headache and then I understood how weak people can suffer here — and it then is hard! But I began to philosophize a little — thought over the meagre relations between body and soul. Then I called on God for help, and now I am quite normal again, quiet —but also with firm faith! I should like to know if all my friends love me and think about me. I write only to you, because I don’t want to bring trouble to anyone.
Listen — I must tell you a wise saying of Buddha: ‘Right faith, right decision, right word, right deed, right life, right endeavor, right thoughts, right self-abnegation.’
There are five political prisoners here and one—God alone knows under what category she comes. She looks like the old woman in [Turgenieff’s] The Spade. It is an art to look on at the inner, individual world from the outside. It is necessary to be very clear and pure. You know that I hate and despise talk which has two meanings, and I have already turned and made a break, and now I have peace. I know a new side of the world. No amount of social pathology gives such an insight as this. At first I felt horror at the injustice of the jail-keeper and nausea at the common criminals. God, how unjust! All, all are human beings, and in each one flickers the divine spark, no matter how miserably small the flame sometimes is, put out t hrough poor education, greed, or a desire for power.
Two sparrows have come to visit me — God bless their warm little hearts! They open their little bills and look pert and happy.

So is it granted to each one
That his spirit may press upward and onward
And lose itself far above us in blue space.

Hurrah, hurrah! it cannot be the lark. It is only the sparrow against the sky and the chimneys. Ah, mama, love me, believe in me, that I may love truth with my whole soul and work once more for unhappy people. I feel power, and I see that my interest will be kindled anew here. Long live social pathology! How necessary it would be in our prisons! But I will not talk about it. For heaven’s sake, write.

[The cell was white-washed, and on the court side had two windows near the ceiling. It was furnished with a long table, three benches, one tiny washstand, two small pails for dirty water, two pitchers and a row of shelves, whereon each prisoner kept her very small store of belongings. Each had a folding bed, consisting of three iron horses covered over with thin wooden slats on which reposed a straw mattress. The cell was designed to admit of no privacy.]

SUPREME COURT, Cell No. 207.
December 1, 1915.
I am afraid that sometimes I write too disorderly. I confess that I have been through a depression which I wanted to laugh away; that is one method, but not the right one. Three days long I suffered physical pains in my heart, and I could not sleep; which is quite excusable, if you consider things as they are in reality.
A great sense of peace came over me to-day. I felt myself to be young, for I was strong and healthy. To-day I feel that I have changed completely. I feel as if I had died physically, and a new human being had come into birth. Can you understand this?
My dear mother, everything seemed to be so dark here. Now, although I see many gloomy sides, I also begin to see the good and the human. One must be and should be just.
I should like to know if our friends remain faithful even in misfortune.
In this peace I consider my whole life. The Slav and the German have melted in me together in this hard test; it has always been fatal for me: on one side the highest exaltation followed by deep depression; on the other side the faithful and the strong — the brain. Now I imagine I have reached a combination where there is a grade of development. This grade, I hope, we shall reach in Bohemia too! I saw so often proofs of it.
With regard to this state of mind I do not expect the impossible, but I take without a shudder what is given to me, hard and bitter as it may seem. I know there are a great many people who give advice without knowing why man really is as he is. ‘Here I stand and I can do no other,’ said Luther; and I feel as he did.
Mail is so slow here, it is possible that you will get this letter only by Christmas. What does Christmas mean? ‘Peace to people of good-will’ — no more and no less. It is much. You, mother, you have the right to this peace, for I do not know any person of better will possessing so much love of truth as you do. — And I? I wish I could go once more through the days of my early development. No, I am still in development, and to-day I still feel a longing for truth. I hope I shall be permitted to have books and to write. It is said about Kant that he took a walk only once a day, but he always had sky over his head. Only good-will, and you can feel even here that there is blue sky over your head.

December 2, 1915.
Last salute of fire, heavy drums, music going home, a gay march — formerly it was a melancholy funeral march. There are often funerals in Olser Street. I find my identity in music. So often I long to hear the harp and piano — to listen to some pieces and forget myself entirely. Orpheus was a happy man; he gave deep peace to men and animals.
I find peace only in work. Often I see very sad things.
Goethe says: ‘A miserable state of mind is the consequence of cowardly thoughts.’ — Yes, miserable—this is the right word.
I should be much better physically even than I am; but please be convinced that I have always aimed for a better life and do so from day to day.
Olser Street! What a fate for me! When I was standing at the threshold of my life in the Public Hospital,21 had no notion how my life would turn out! I do not mind the hard situation for myself — I am only very sorry for my friends, because they feel for me. I am rather indifferent for my own sake.
I am thinking of you so often: —

Oh, what about the love of a mother!
In the mountains you do not extinguish it,
In the sea you do not drown it.3

Now au revoir!

December 11, 1915.
DEAR MOTHER, — William Shakespeare was a fellow! Two Gentlemen of Verona:

Cease to lament for that thou canst not help,
And study help for that which thou lamentest.

To-day was such a fine day. At four o’clock we went for a walk. O mother, the sky! I look at it, and forget everything, everything. It is surrounded by the square frame of the prison roofs; from one side you may see the top of a high birch tree, in the background the fine tissue of branches; otherwise, only the Renaissance sills of the Court of Justice, and even this gets a reflection of the sky — yes, even the prison is surrounded by the sky. At four o’clock we took a walk, three soldiers watching us. But the clouds! They were light pink on the night-blue heaven. The sky did not light. Then suddenly I discovered the silver moon among the pink clouds, and not far from this the lovely evening star. Everything was so free.
Music in the afternoon: a funeral — a beautiful funeral march, beautifully harmonized. I went for a walk with a poor woman, evidently paralytic. What contrast between her and the clouds!
In this meditation I have forgotten where I really am. When I awake, I cannot remember; all at once I find the way, but I cannot understand why I am here. At the end I remember all. So, —

Cease to lament for that thou canst not help,
And study help for that which thou lamentest.
Time is the nurse and breeder of all good.

Yes, now I have courage to stand alone in the world. Alone — there is such a great force in it. The right to love you all — that is my birthright.
Good-night, dear mother.

[The prisoners were expected to take a walk every afternoon. No regular time was set: it might be between one and two o’clock, between two and three, between three and four. It all depended upon the whim of the soldier who had charge of the prisoners at the time. He came to the cell-door, and shouted,

‘Spazieren gehen’ (Go to walk!). Prisoners from about four cells went for this walk at the same time. In the yard, which was only about forty feet square, grew several chestnut trees; also one birch in which a blackbird had her nest. Three soldiers guarded this yard, and the prisoners had to walk two by two, going round in a circle, thirty at one time. The period was as long as the soldier who took us out decided it should be — a half hour, three quarters, or a full hour.]

December 12, 1915.
Sunday. — Behind the grating a pure sky, a soft wind; both windows open.
Depression in my forces; the skull — what a small house for the brain! Sudden change at noon: strong will for life, for love, for truth. Victorious above all - - like the Victory of Samothrace — in the kingdom of truth and soul. Nothing useless — but life.
A man who wants good must not succumb to weakness.
I have always understood Christian duties, the faith and love— but now I see that hope has a place in the life of man.
The anchor, yes, the anchor is on the ship when it is far from shore, when foaming breakers assault the keel in rage. Sailors leave the anchor on the ship when it is not used for the moment. Why cast it away? Many a ship that has passed through a storm has reached the quiet bay in safety by the evening. Then the anchor fastened the ship and the sailors stood in longing, contemplating the windows of their native town, gilded by the evening glow.
And if the anchor should not be used at all? Is there any change in the subject? Sailor to the end. Long live my ship! Cheers to the tempest that sharpens my forces!
For goodness’ sake, don’t stop loving me.

[No date. Received December 17, 1915.]
Only imagine I am standing at the seashore, relating, relating, convinced that you hear me. It does not occur to me even to stop, for it seems to me that you answer me, that you feel with me. All of a sudden I awake from this dream — silence all around me, the gray sky over my head and the sea murmuring, roaring, ignoring completely my presence— that I am standing here with hope and longing, courage and resignation. Waking up is so sad. May be that you, far away, are standing at the sea like that, too, and are longing like me.
Man disappears as a stone in water. We see some rings, which spread to the bank more and more slowly; now that last ripple splashes, and it is silence — deep silence! And so I disappeared here. And now, after resurrection, I seize work again and want to live on with my own life here at the bottom.
I hear that books have been sent to me. It is so hard for me, so hard, that I do not know what is going on out-ofdoors, how you live in Prague, and how you all are! I have had such a fit of anxiety for you that I really thought it was all over with my understanding.
Now I make the decision — for the second time already — to approach the chalice with my lips and drink as if it were honey.
Could I not get some old illustrated American newspapers? It is such a pleasure for me to see people in movement.
I see that I must not be petty. Bells are ringing, ringing, rising from depth toward heaven. How I would love to be changed into the metallic sound, which is vibrating, mounting higher and higher until it melts in heaven. Such longing! It is to be seen that things are not going so badly with me yet.

December 23, 1915.
MOTHER, yesterday I wrote you from the shady side of my existence — I felt so tired. I feel fresher to-day. It is snowing, and I shall take a walk now.
To-morrow is the 24th.4 The thought that you are thinking of me makes the evening quite tolerable: I am thinking so much of you.
You have often mentioned that I shall understand you when we are far from each other. It is not quite true: I always used to love you; but it is true now that I see you free from the petty Prague conditions; it must have been very hard for you to live there and educate us in your own spirit. Your faith is the right one — I acknowledge it fully. Olga5 will probably develop to this spiritual truth, and we all shall live in it united — if I shall be bodily present then; this is another question, but of no importance.
I do not mind that life is a little unpleasant, you may feel quite easy.
In the calm night I was thinking of the following verses: ‘In the midnight sky an angel appeared and sang a quiet song; the moon and the stars and clouds.’ It has so much feeling. I thought of [John] Huss — I must think much of him and admire him greatly.
Good-bye, my dear mother, and write me, if you feel inclined to.

I got 200 crowns. I am not permitted to get any cakes in my cell.


MOTTO: ‘In spite of myself.’

6 o’clock: Getting up. Fixing room. Washing. Gymnastics.

7.30: Coffee. Social pathology.

12: Dinner.

3 P.M.: Coffee. Wardrobe. To keep shoes in order. Gymnastics.

When light made: Belletry.

8 o’clock: Going to bed.

[This letter reached Mrs. Masaryk when she was utterly alone in Prague. The soldier son, Jan, at the last moment was given leave and managed to reach home late Christmas Eve.]

January 3, 1916.
On the first, in spirit I wished you: Here’s to 1916!
I have not written for a couple of days, for two reasons: first, I was not well; and second, I had no paper. Before me on the table lies Asard’s Welfare and Regrets of Youth — a very practical book; and there are moments when a wave of happiness softly soothes my wounded spirit — that is, when I forget myself in my world of work. The promise of the family life as it goes on in our villages demands regulating, to give the woman who expertly rears a family warmth and happiness. It is true that I always believe in the family, but I take conditions as they are, and I have found my place in just these conditions. Dear mama, it could be an unbelievably pure, helpful, and æsthetic world. When I think about my room, about music, pictures, and sculpture, it is beautiful; when I think about the relation to the children of a great city, it is helpful; and when I think about the relation to God and people, it is pure. Now I have been cruelly thrust out of the world, and I feel forsaken by God and man, because this is not what I have been destined for, and I am powerless, helpless as a child; whereas in my own world I was sure and joyful as a man. May God forgive me that I ever thought of such things at all! But why groan? This sounds like complaining again. Prison, everything, is nothing to me; only my inner struggle tires me to death.
I often think of Jane Addams: I see here her strength, gentleness, better than ever. Oh, if I were only like her!! Funny, I could have worked near her; but it would not do. Home! Home!
I spend a good deal of time thinking about religion. I see that Olga is right, in many things. I often think of her; if I could only press her hand once more! A sister remains a sister. It is a wonderful relation. I am afraid I shall make your heart heavy, but to-day, for instance, I slept only from 7 till 11 o’clock — too little. I look fairly well. How are you, mama? This is to be my last mournful letter! !
I love you. Your praise is too great: I have not yet grown to the aim of my life.

January 7, 1916.
Let ’s have a little visit in Prague, shall we, mother? Are the trees bare already, as here, and does a steady wind blow? And how are you, mama? Peaceful? Have you the complete peace of which you spoke? I can well believe it.
Life here is monotonous. To-day is letter day. We are all sitting around a large table. There are six of us in the cell. Four political prisoners; two seem different. One is a twenty-two-year-old girl — a little angel, always helpful, always good; a Pole, who is clever and has her own sense of humor; a teacher from Moravia, kind and phlegmatic; a pretty young Jewess with pleasant manners; and a woman — Rubens in Viennese dialect. One day is much like the next; there is little to describe. My inner life is not very rich, either. There is always a self-imposed circle. Things which I had no suspicion existed, or were of any importance, become the centre of attraction. The arrest — why? etc.
I am fundamentally somewhat superstitious, and you know that, at the beginning of the war, I felt that I would not survive it. I see myself now as a superfluous back number, and treat myself like a historical factor. The core of man is at the heart; the expression is ‘pierced to the heart.’
It is hard for me; it hurts — physically, it is true.
Your letters are all right. Mama, you prize me too much. I realize that only a tiny little step more is necessary to bring complete, immediate joy of life, but already I have lived for many days in a firm, assured freedom.
I have such great love for you that it almost hurts me.
Now I have still one other request. I should like to have the following books:6 Huss’s Postila; Neruda’s [Cosmic Poems]; Nemcova’s Bavicka; New Testament; Kallab;——; Englis——.

[The hour set for rising was five o’clock in the summer and six o’clock in the winter. No one had a watch or clock in the cell; therefore we had no way of measuring the time; but the bell of the prison church rang the hours for us. The beds, during the daytime, were piled together on the dark side of the room, in order to provide space in which the prisoners could move about. The removal of the dusty straw mattresses raised great clouds of thick dust every morning.
At seven-thirty breakfast was brought on a wooden tray and set outside the cell, on the floor. The woman warden called out, ‘Suppel!’ There were just two varieties of this morning soup. One was thickened with brown flour and was fairly edible. The other was dubbed ‘mattress soup’ by the prisoners. It was made of some sort of preserved meat and was absolutely unedible.
The task of sweeping the floor and of washing the washstand, of carrying out the closet-pail and the dirty water to the hole in the floor that led to the sewer, fell to two different prisoners each day; a duty they gladly accepted, because it meant a walk of some twenty steps out of the cell. Twenty steps seems like a long walk when you are held in a prison cell 12 by 14 feet, with eleven other persons. We used this opportunity to get in touch with people we knew in other cells. One would engage the woman warden in a long conversation, while another ran to the cell of our friends, knocked on the door, and called out ‘Nazdar Jak se Mate’ — Greetings: how are you?]

January 11, 1916.
How good it is that you write so often! To be quite honest, I confess that I have two bright moments in the day: early, when coffee comes; in the afternoon, when the mail is distributed. I probably do not look sick, so you can rest assured as far as that’s concerned. If I could only make a dash for home!
Early this morning, before coffee, we went for a walk. There is a very simple Ruthenian woman here, illiterate, black eyes, a little heaven-reaching nose, bow-legged, little, haggard, miserable. She is always happy when we meet in the yard. Although she is older, she calls me ‘my mother’ and she says I do her heart good. Her voice is like w7eeping — as the Ukrainian melodies are, if you have heard them.
I shall write more to-morrow.
Ah, mama, I hope you are well.

January 14, 1916.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions! Therefore I must confess openly that my road is a broad postroad in this direction — I am big in good intentions. To-day I wished to be up all day; now I will be merry; this evening I shall take my bath, etc., etc., and therefore —
O my mother — to know that I still have you in the world! You know that it is a fact that I am an ass; that an ass in sunny Dalmatia is a useful animal is true, but demand that an ass enter a Derby, and he is out of it. I am an historic example that powerful fathers (and father is that, in spite of everything) have a third or even a fourth as strong children. The world condemns me because I am stupid and awkward. I am. I understand child-protection and child-care to a certain extent, and could do a small but first-class work in that line. In politics, however, I am an ass, and I had better be a funicular railway operator than to bother myself with such things.
So! Strong language! Not womanly. God! if I could only be a woman in my own white room. Do you know that they even attack my honor! You know: ‘Be thou as chaste as ice, as white as snow; thou shalt not escape calumny.’ — My mother! how have I turned to battle, to purity, with my whole soul! You at least believe that I have been an honest person, don’t you?
It seems to me that I have plunged myself into unhappiness through my temperament. I know that if I were a bee in a hive, I would build up cells; so I thought of my life in the state which I recognize, and now!
Mama, good-night. I must sleep. I should like to sleep.

January 21, 1916.
To-day is the 21st, and I received yesterday a letter dated the 18th, so I was very happy.
I now can stay in bed longer; then I wash, and every day in warm water. It is very dirty here, much soot, as is usual in the centre of a large city. Please send the clothes and the blue dress with mother-of-pearl buttons, the black blouse with the white fastenings, summer nightgowns (I have only one here), warm, gray stockings. That is about all.
How are you? If we could only have a week together! You must feel how I love and treasure you. I have entirely other feelings about myself.
Until we meet again! That is my ‘business’!

January 21, 1916.
P.S. I feel that still another change is happening to me. At the bottom of it all, God knows whether I am an arch traitor or not; I trust my judges to find it out, and, if not, God. I am in his hands. I always intended the best, and if I die to-day I have not lived without a little bit of work. I will sleep, live, and then the end. I have the right to rest.

[Little water for washing was available, because the receptacles for carrying were few and too small. The two small pitchers conveyed so inadequate a supply that it sufficed the twelve prisoners only for washing their faces. There was also a lack of clean towels, one of which was served to each prisoner only once in two weeks. Those who had money were permitted to buy soap. Baths were very rare. (Later A. G. M., by dint of persuasion, obtained more water for bathing — even a tiny pitcher of warm water.)
No one had a mirror in prison — that was considered a luxury. The only way we could tell whether our hair was neat or not was by watching our shadows on the wall in winter; in summer, we observed our reflection in the pail of water!
The prison physician had ascertained that A. G. M.’s condition required that she rest a great deal; therefore she was permitted to stay in bed as long as she pleased. She had been wise enough to bring with her a pillow and blanket, and her bed appeared royal beside those of other prisoners.]

January 22, 1916.
Darling MOTHER, —
It is said that women are like our grandmother Eve — they enjoy things that are none of their business. So it is with our lady-wardens—the ‘lionkeepers.’ They read and reread our letters, and are well posted in financial as well as private and intimate affairs of the inmates.
I am healthy, though I sleep little. If I am sad, it is not the prison — more the surroundings. I think of my life, and that I was not prepared for this trial. You know I just began to realize my ideal in life; if it had happened a little later, I would have had so strong a character that I could have laughed most of the time. So do not worry about me. Everybody gets what he deserves, and it is an experience, anyhow.
My soul! It is most of the time dead, and I work like a puppet by brain work. That instinctive overflowing life, which was so strong in me this summer and spring, where I worked and lived simply because I could not help working and living — that’s put out. Well, true history will be a judge of my deficiency — to be in a prison and be sad, is mean. Ah! well, what shall I do? I cannot help it. And it might be such fun!! That’s what kills me.
Be sure, mother, that I do all to keep well. You are right in all your ideas. I remember that last evening, when we took tea in my room. Is my room as it used to be? Pictures, all? Thanks for love.
There is a lady here — about forty. She has been in prison nineteen years. Our cell seems a dream to her; for it’s large, light, well-ventilated, and is not in an overcrowded district. We are only political prisoners, with the exception of one lady, who is here because of her husband. They are all young, twenty-three years the whole group. I used to be young in spite of years: they all thought I was not thirty when I came. Now I look my thirty-six, which is what they call a wise, ripe age.
Well, a kiss!

January 23, 1916.
To-day is an unbelievably beautiful day, isn’t it? ‘Spring sweeps through the birches.’ Is the day just as perfect in Prague? To-day I saw you in a dream — you were in a light-green dress, in Bystricka in our home. I smiled at you — that was all. I had no idea how deeply I love you and what good friends we are.
You must pardon me, — and the honorable Mr. Censor, at least, — if my letters are somewhat confused. It is often very much against my will that my mood rules me instead of vice versa.
I have been reading Goethe. He says that dilettanti put passion in the place of purpose, are always subjective, do not describe the circumstances, but only their own feelings in regard to the circumstances. Well said!
My letters are empty, are n’t they? but heavy with great love.
I often think of America. There the world and a career were so glowingly open to me; it would have been wonderful if I could have been in social work there for ten years and then come back here. Only my love of home and my own brought me back.
I am such a village person.
Many greetings from your loving

[The following note from one of A. G. M.’s students in the Sociological Section throws light on the mother’s condition at this time, of which A. G. M. was entirely unaware.]

January 29, 1916.
Mrs. Masaryk is very ill. I was aware of that before, but not until yesterday did I know the nature of her malady. To-day she has three troubles — hardening of the arteries, heart-disease, and some kind of nervous spells. She is to remain entirely quiet and is not to become excited. How is this possible, with all that she is experiencing? Her relation to Masaryk was so ideal. He always wrote her daily, and in Vienna she acted as his secretary, worked with him, knew everything; and now that they are parted from each other, they may not write. Mrs. M. promised the police, and I believe fully that she keeps her promise. She despises a lie. Moreover, she knows that Alice’s position would become more difficult and that she does not desire. Mrs. M. is a lady before whom one must bow deeply.

(To be continued)

  1. Her mother’s birthday.
  2. She refers to her first experiences when, as a medical student, she worked in the Prague City Hospital.
  3. From the Cosmic Poems of John Neruda, a famous Czech poet, who died in 1899.
  4. The evening of the 24th is the great Czech Christmas celebration.
  5. The younger sister; an active member, before the war, of the World’s Christian Student Federation.
  6. This list was heavily censored.