Helena Lucy Maria Sickert Swanwick to Jane Addams, September 22, 1923



My dear friend, I am very greatly relieved to hear that you have reached home safely. We here have had nothing but scraps of news about you, first very bad, then optimistic contradictions. You were ill in Japan, it appears & had to undergo an operation, happily not a very big one. I hear that Dr Hamilton came to you & that you did not leave Japan till ten days or so before the earthquake. It must be a strange & awful experience for you to think of those people with whom you so lately lived. You wrote me a dear letter on June 17th & said you would write at greater length shortly. Since then I have lived, as I say, on [rumor] & my thoughts have been very much with you & my wishes that I might have served you when you needed service. I hope now you are regaining strength.

It was interesting to hear of your speaking & doing such a lot of work for the League in Peking. Miss Marshall has recently come back from the Executive at Dresden & she also spent a few days at the Podebrady school. She seems to think that good work was done in both places. You will doubtless have heard that they have arranged for several women of the League to be in the Ruhr. She has just sent off Lady Clare Annesley from London. I don't quite know what -- beyond a gesture of kindness -- [page 2] (not a small thing of course) they hope to do there & I am very much afraid always of giving an impression that we have more power than we actually have.

In June I was in Scotland with my husband & a brother & we had a half-starved German girl with us. She was an overstrung spoilt creature, considerably gifted, with a really glorious voice -- was to have been a singer & had to give up her training on account of poverty. It was heartbreaking to see her grief at having to go back to her own land. She continually writes now of her wretchedness & isolation. Since then I have been exceedingly busy with a number of jobs, lecturing & writing more or less [illegible]. But I hope very much now to be allowed to settle down to a little book I have waited, for years, to write. I think of calling it "The International Mind" but perhaps a better name may turn up in the course of writing.

I heard the other day from a Finnish journalist who had been in Norway & Sweden lately that there were only two important names in for the Nobel Peace Prize, -- yours & Lord Robert Cecil! -- & that, as opinion was running now, you had the better chance. It is very difficult to discover from the newspapers what sort of part he has been playing in the Assembly. Some say a brave & wise part; some say he has run away. But it seems the Scandinavians are disappointed in him. My love to you -- I wish I could look in on you & see for myself how you are & reassure myself by the sight of your dear face -- H. M. Swanwick.