Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to Arthur Sun, Boston, January 19, 1927


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Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to Arthur Sun, Boston, January 19, 1927


Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to Arthur Sun, Boston, January 19, 1927


Dear Arthur:

I have read with deep interest your last letter. It is one of the best you have ever written me, for it indicates careful thought and deliberation on your part. Further, in spite of quite a few grammatical errors, you have expressed your thought well.

I am immensely interested in your problem but hardly know what to advise. Of course I can’t blame you for wishing to go home at the end of this year: nor can I blame Mary, for, as I think you and I both realize, it is really much harder for a girl to endure this long separation from home than it is for us of the other sex. Naturally I can understand your father’s desire that Mary should finish her college course before going home. On the other hand, I am inclined to think that a break and visit in the old home, even if it were for only the summer months, would freshen Mary up a lot and tend to offset her present discouragement. I realize only too well that she can't do justice to her studies if she is going to continue in her present frame of mind.
Again, in your own case I don't, of course, know what to advise, for this is clearly your father's responsibility, and I have no doubt he has given the matter long and careful thought. I sometimes wonder whether he is not more concerned than he is willing to admit to you over the chaotic conditions now prevailing in China and the possibility of further and more extended troubles in the near future. Under such circumstances it would be only natural if he preferred to have you postpone the home-coming until things had settled down a bit, for, if conditions are anything approaching what the reports indicate them to be, an engineer, or any other professional man for that matter, would certainly find it more than difficult to make a good start. I don't feel that I can properly urge your father to take any action which does not commend itself to him as wise, but if he gives me the opportunity to do so, I shall be ready and glad to stress your side of the matter and explain why I can't help feeling a good bit of sympathy with your position.

No, I have not heard from your father yet. Indeed I have received no word from him for many months. I can only hope that he will send me a word in the not distant future to indicate a little more clearly what he has in mind, so that I will have some ground on which to discuss the matter further with him.

What you say about Tom interests and pleases me immensely, for I had come to have something of the same feeling about him myself, though I

really saw very little of him when he was here. His letters, however, and the way he has been handling his money would seem to indicate that he had been developing better balance and judgment than were his in times past. I have not yet received his scholarship report for the first semester but am hoping for the best. Tom assures me that the report is going to be an excellent one, but I can’t trust too much to his hopes, for, as you know, he has always been an optimist in his predictions, though the predictions were rarely fulfilled in the actual reports from the office.

Don’t hesitate to run out here some evening if you care to discuss matters further and more intimately. I am eager to do everything I can to help but naturally feel my limitations.

Faithfully yours,


Alfred E. Stearns


Phillips Academy


January 19, 1927


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