Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to C.Y. Sun, Tientsin March 16, 1932


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Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to C.Y. Sun, Tientsin March 16, 1932


Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to C.Y. Sun, Tientsin March 16, 1932


March 16, 1932
Mr. C, Y. SUN
44 Cambridge Road
Tientsin. China

My dear Mr. Sun:

Your letter of January 30 reached my office some time ago, but was held there by my secretary in order to protect me as much as possible from the generous good will of my friends. Many others were treated in the same way during recent weeks of my convalescence, but I am glad to say that the time seems now to have come when I can at least let these good friends know how very, very deeply I have appreciated their friendly good will and how grateful I am to then for their kindly thoughts of me.

It was a wholly new experience for me to have to go on the side-lines for a time under the stress of physical disability. Frankly, I don't like the taste of it at all, and while I have many things to be thankful for and am certainly regaining very rapidly my old-time strength, if not adding to it, I must admit that I have been growing increasingly restless at my inability to take hold again and help pull the school team.

Lacking a secretary out in the country where I have been staying, it has been almost impossible for me to do justice to the many letters that have come in on me, and I must offer this as my apology for my very tardy expression of appreciation and gratitude for your wholly unexpected and greatly valued Christmas present. Convalescing as I was at the time, and passing a good many of the hours indoors, the robe -though that may not be the proper name) you sent me came at a most opportune time. I have always thought it would be wonderfully comfortable to loaf around in such a garment, and now I have had the chance. Many, many thanks, but chiefly, of course, for the generous and kindly thought that prompted you to remember me at the Christmas season.

My thoughts have turned again and again to China and my good friends there during these recent weeks, and I have felt at times that if I were only younger I should be tempted to take an early boat and offer my services to your country. It seems unbelievable that Japan - or the Japanese military group, at least - could have gone so thoroughly insane as to indulge in the orgy of brutality end uncalled for aggression that has so shocked the whole world. One good thing has come out of it, however and that is the increased respect that China and the Chinese have won from the world at large, though that this respect should have had to be won at the expense of proving a nation's ability to fight is a sad commentary on the state of the public mind. Certainly we have far, far to go to attain these ideals which we so easily profess and so easily find a way to ignore
when selfish interests control. I do hope that at your leisure you and the children will give me such news as you can from the inner circles, as it were, for it is so difficult to know what to make out of newspaper reports, and I should value more than I can tell you the frank opinions of my Chinese friends who know merand whom I am privileged to know and to trust.

Tom has been good enough to write me and I have rejoiced in his letters, especially in his apparent release from the fears he earlier entertained that he would be unable to readjust himself to China and Chinese ways. Charlie, too, has written me occasionally, and his last letter, received only a day or two ago. delighted me greatly for it breathed so clearly his tremendous joy at the prospect of an early return to his home and family. I am so glad you have decided to let him come. He is a rare boy and ought to prove a source of constant strength and Joy to you.

I have heard nothing from Mary since her return, and have been wondering whether she had not perhaps found a rare opportunity in the recent developments in China to make use of her ability and training in nursing. I do hope that she will let me hear from her before long.

Again thanking you for your many kindnesses, and especially for this lost and most generous Christmas gift, and with greetings and best wishes to all the rest of your family, believe me

Very sincerely yours.


Alfred E. Stearns


Phillips Academy


March 16, 1932


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