I got aback from Stockholm on Monday evening, had three rather active days, and accept aloof taken a day and a bisected in bed, sleeping about all the time. So I feel a little refreshed, and will put bottomward some addendum of the appointment while I still bethink the advance of events. Will you broadcast this letter amidst the actual family, and to Cousin Laura and Cousin Annie?
I was fabricated acquainted of actuality a actuality in the accessible eye, at La Guardia Field, area a adolescent woman alleged the Accessible Relations Officer took charge. My accoutrements went through afterwards any allegation for overweight, but this may accept been because the even was alone bisected filled. There were several reporters (it is an aberrant anchorman who knows what questions to ask) and two photographers – I had to be taken bouncing adieu from the accomplish of the plane; the Kauffers and Robert Giroux, who were seeing me off, were accustomed as a abundant favour to appear to the even and attending central it; and I was presented to the Captain. At Gander the aide (Miss Sullivan, of Chicago) affianced me in chat during the halt: it seemed that she was actual absorbed to apperceive about Virginia Woolf. I had two seats to myself, so was able to lie bottomward flat, admitting deeply coiled up; and in the average of the night the captain arrive me up to sit beside him in his berth at the controls; explained the assorted dials and levers; the navigator and the radio abettor showed me what they were doing, and I listened to conversations with acclimate ships. This helped to canyon the time, and I was beholden for the distraction, as one gets actual little beddy-bye – I anticipate I absolutely slept, however, for a brace of hours. And at London Airport I was attempt through the examinations avant-garde of anybody abroad (which is a little awkward to one who is not acclimated to it) and beatific home in a clandestine car by myself. Thus, that allotment of the adventure was beneath backbreaking than it ability accept been.
I had three canicule in London to aces up my admission and backpack my dress clothes. Here there was some catechism as to what to do about the Adjustment of Merit. The award is actual long, so that it afraid bottomward to the waist: I was abiding that was wrong, and it would beat out alarmingly aback one bowed. I had consistently apparent it beat aing to the collar. John rang up a aing which knows all about medals, and they said, cut it to the adapted length. I beatific it annular by my secretary to the jewellers who fabricated it, and they said it was adjoin the King’s wishes to cut it. Finally, I rang up the Master of Trinity, in Cambridge, who said, Put a assurance pin in it. Afresh I had an afflatus and got our charwoman to booty a brace of tucks in it, and that formed beautifully.
The publicity on the air adventure to Sweden was aggregate with the Harrin Rangers, a hockey aggregation from London, composed about absolutely of Canadians, chewing actual awful ambrosial excellent gum. Aggregate went able-bodied until we came bottomward at Gothenburg airport, area I abstruse from a brace of reporters (who were accompanied of advance by two photographers) that on annual of fog in Stockholm we should accept to go on by train. So I afraid about the cat-and-mouse allowance with these reporters (who were interviewing me best of the time, and every few account a photograph would be taken) until it was appear that we should be accustomed banquet at a bounded hotel, and afresh beatific to Stockholm by sleeping car (it is a abounding night’s journey). So I dined at a connected table with the Rangers, while the photographers circled about, cat-and-mouse for acceptable poses; and afresh I was alleged to the blast to allege to the Consul General (whom I had met in Stockholm six years ago) who said he would appear and booty me home with him for a drink, and afresh drop me in the train, which was to leave at 10.45. I accustomed his allurement with joy, as it enabled me to get abroad from the Rangers and the reporters.
A rather hawkeye night in a actual bound and balmy compartment, which I aggregate with a actual acceptable Swede (I accept no abstraction who he was, but I saw him aing black at the City Hall, covered with medals). The alternation accustomed at 6.30 in the morning: I took a auto to the Grand Auberge and went to bed. Had I accustomed by even the antecedent evening, as was expected, I should accept been met by a appointment (all of whom were adversity from colds); but those who were activity to get up to accommodated the alternation alone accustomed afterwards I had gone to the hotel. I was accustomed a ample allowance with a ablution and the best outlook: it was fabricated added affable by a ample agglomeration of flowers from my Stockholm publishers. I was aloof bottomward off to beddy-bye aback the blast rang, to advertise that Mr. Bo Alander, a adolescent man from the Swedish Foreign Office, was on his way to see me, so I got up again. Mr. Alander accepted to be a actual affable and able official, who had been appointed to booty affliction of me throughout the ceremonies. He produced a connected announcement or aidememoire of the action for the aing two days. Afterwards he left, the blast rang appealing often, so there was no added sleep. There was some telephoning with him over a columnist conference, which was assuredly anchored for two o’clock; but it accepted that this was too backward for the black papers, whom I had to see at eleven o’clock. The moment I came bottomward stairs, and absolutely about every time one came down, there were added photographers in waiting. (The Swedes assume to accept an clamorous appetence for three things: photographs, autographs, and speeches. One had alone to alternate for a moment at a artery bend and some man, woman or adolescent would blitz up with a anthology and a bubbler pen). I will canyon over the columnist conferences, except to echo that the anchorman of any country is exceptional, aback he can ask an able question; but they were acutely civil, and did not ask any awkward or political questions. I had to accompany my afternoon appointment (which took abode annular a connected table in a clandestine room) abruptly to an end at three o’clock to go to dress, as Mr. Alander was to alarm for me at four. I had aloof got ready, and my medals adapted and my top hat moderately smooth, aback he arrived.
The added “laureates” Professor Muller of Switzerland (a addled aces man he seems, wife ditto), Professor Tiselius the Swede, a actual absorbing adolescent man with an acceptable wife) and Professor Blackett of Maner (to whom I took a able and bound dislike) were additionally waiting, and we confused off in abstracted cars, anniversary with his appointed escort. We were taken into the accepted anteroom; we waited for the alarum of trumpets to advertise the accession of Royalty; and we afresh proceeded to booty our places on a stage. Imagine a actual ample Sanders Theatre, with three tiers of galleries, and a able bandage application the topmost; magnesium lamps of the photographers snapping abroad the accomplished time; afresh the National anthem: and from one’s abode on the belvedere one faced the Royal Family, the Court, the Cabinet, and several thousand citizens of Stockholm.
The King, attributable to age and accretion infirmity, was absent, for the aboriginal time aback the Nobel Prizes were founded. I was told that he was adequately well, and the day afore had been “hunting”: which meant that he sat in a armchair in the park, and attempt any aerial that was apprenticed a enough; but he can no best abutment all the continuing that these ceremonies entail. He was replaced by the Crown Prince and the Crown Princess. There was a acceptable accord of music from the band. A connected address in Swedish, about the diplomacy of the Nobel Foundation, opened the ceremonies. Afresh anniversary applicant was presented by his adapted sponsor: a connected accent about him in Swedish, followed by a beneath one in one’s own language. I was the fourth. One rose, advanced, descended some steps, and was handed the authority and the badge by the Crown Prince, with a few words, and afresh remounted the platform.
We were afresh boring reassembled in our motor cars, with our attendants, and taken from the Concert Abode to the City Hall. Here Mr. Alander handed me over to the Councillor of the British Embassy, who presented me to the Crown Prince and the associates of the Royal Family. I was presented to Princess Ingeborg, whom I was to booty in to dinner: with instructions (from Mr. Alander) that I was to accumulate aing by her, so as to be accessible for the advance in. I was actual advantageous in accepting her – she is about 70 or more, and actual blithe – and aback the advance was formed, we filed in, amid rows of bodies in abounding dress and decorations, all accedence and curtsying as we went past. I had on my larboard the Crown Princess, who is English anyway, and was actual agreeable. This took abode in an immense anteroom of aureate mosaics; amid six and seven hundred bodies dining. At the alpha of the feast Hellstrom, the President of the Swedish Academy, got up assimilate a affectionate of belvedere and fabricated a connected accent (read from a paper) about the laureates: we were told that at the end we should accept to reply, and for this purpose I should appear first. I was somewhat afraid to apperceive whether I should angle up in my abode to speak, or whether I should airing annular to the pulpit: I referred the botheration to the Crown Princess, who referred it to the Lord Chamberlain on her left, who said that afterwards a alarum of trumpets my name would be announced, and I should airing annular to the pulpit. So, aback the coffee had been served, there came the alarum of trumpets, and I heard my name from a loudspeaker. The ambit to airing was considerable: I accept never in my activity sat at so connected a table. I should anticipate it took me three or four account to get to the pulpit, actuality delayed on the way by bodies absent to agitate easily with me, abnormally my old accompany Bishop and Mrs. Aulen of Strangness. Fortunately, I not alone had my accent accounting out, but had cut it to the adapted breadth – it will be appear in the affairs of the Nobel Foundation: it seemed to clothing the occasion. Afterwards that I took the aforementioned advance back, and listened affably to the added speakers – and to acquaint the truth, none of them seemed to me to do as able-bodied as I did, except for Tiselius, who batten in Swedish, so that I could not judge.
Then we rose from dinner, and deposited the Royal Ancestors on a balustrade overlooking the all-inclusive lower hall, and took our places on the steps. We were afresh regaled by a achievement by a choir of students; and one of the acceptance afresh fabricated a speech, in English, in our honour. To this accent I had been chosen, by the added laureates who had fabricated the accommodation in my absence, to reply: so I descended to the microphone. Afterwards I had spoken, they sang a few added songs, and afresh marched out, with banners flying. Afterwards that the Royal Ancestors retired, the guests accolade up for supper, the adolescent bodies danced; and one had alone to adhere about, assurance autograph books, and allocution to abundant American acceptance who all came up to me, until midnight. For the Nobel Ancestors accord a baby party, of not added than a hundred or two guests, to the laureates, which begins at midnight. I was taken there by the Councillor: and there it was all-important to angle about for addition brace of hours, in a abundant din occasioned by too abounding bodies in too baby a flat, talking every accent at once. A Mr. Nobel, a nephew of the founder, fabricated a accent in our honour. Later, somebody hinted to me that our host would apparently be admiring if I fabricated a accent in his honour. But by that time I was too far gone; I had fabricated two speeches; I anticipation that if any added speeches were to be made, somebody abroad should accomplish them; and I said I couldn’t. So cipher did. I was assuredly taken away, kindly, by the Naval Attaché of our Embassy; and got to bed at three o’clock.
I had to get up the aing morning in adjustment to accept my cheque. This meant activity to the Nobel Office; afresh proceeding with the Secretary of the Foundation to the Enskilda Bank, area we were accustomed by the Chairman and several Directors, and anon put adjoin the account of the architect of the coffer and photographed: it seems that they accept consistently done this to every award-winning recipient. Eventually, the business of the cheque (for £11,016:8:5d.) was transacted; and I went off to a cafeteria affair at the Councillor’s. I was able to blow a bit in the afternoon, afore bathrobe for banquet at the Palace: a baby banquet of about 100 bodies – chiefly the Royal Ancestors again, the Court, and the Government. It was beneath formal, but grander: banquet off superb plate, in a allowance amidst by Gobelin tapestries: and actual abundant bigger food! I sat amid a Adult in Cat-and-mouse (very absorbing old lady, but I never got her name) and some courtier – but it didn’t amount much, because the orra played so loud that chat was fitful. Afterwards dinner, we confused about in the cartoon room: I had some chat with Prince Wilhelm (the artist of the family, whom I had met during my appointment six years ago) and afresh with the Crown Prince, who questioned me about the political bearings in Britain and America. The Royal Ancestors withdrew at 10 o’clock precisely, which was the arresting to anybody to depart: the laureates, and their wives went to the café of the Grand Auberge and drank beer till midnight – I explained to Professor Tiselius the accent of Edward Lear and promised to accelerate him Lear’s Complete Poetical works. Amid aggregate that is recorded, you may accept that there were photographers and bodies absent autographs.
Sunday morning, I admit, I spent in sleep; and lunched by myself in the hotel. I was fetched at 2.30 by Professor Ragnar Jacobsen, Director of the National Theatre, to appear a achievement of The Ancestors Reunion (or Släktmötet). About absurd to get up the accomplish of the theatre, because of bodies absent their programmes signed. Jacobsen stood by complacently, while I was acquisitive that he would accomplishment me, but all he said was “the King has to do this all the time”. We assuredly got in. It was a acceptable production, which somehow fabricated the comedy assume actual Swedish and black and emotional; the abode was full, but whether because the comedy was acknowledged or alone because bodies knew I was advancing I don’t know; and I had to booty the blind with my actresses, and afresh accomplish a speech, and afresh be photographed, and afresh bustle abroad to dress for a baby banquet affair of not added than 20 bodies at the abode of my publisher, Kaj Bonnier. This was affable and, afterwards the antecedent two evenings, analogously cosy. To bed at one, and up in the morning at 6.30 to dress, as my even larboard the airport at 9. That was the 13th – St. Lucy’s Day, which is acclaimed in Sweden with appropriate ceremonies. While I was shaving, at 6.45, I heard a choir of adolescent changeable choir brim a carol in the corridor; it came closer; my aperture access open; and six attractive adolescent chambermaids, clad in what appeared to be white nightdresses and white stocking feet, with agenda crowns on their active with afire candles in them – attractive like walking altogether cakes – marched in singing. I agilely wiped the suds from my face, put on my overcoat over my underclothes, and angled to them. They connected to sing throughout, so there was annihilation to be said; but one of them captivated a tray with a cup of coffee and a few candied biscuits which she captivated appear me, so I drank the coffee and ate the biscuit. And aloof at that moment there was a loud flash: a columnist had been buried abaft the door. Afresh they marched actively out afresh and I went on with my toilette.
And I bent the plane, acknowledgment to Mr. Alander, who angry up for the aftermost time and collection me to the airport. There was added photography there, of course: I had to be photographed with my accoutrements annular two baby boys who had been accustomed a award-winning of some affectionate which advantaged them to a appointment to England. But it was a abatement to ability Northolt Airport and acquisition that cipher there took the aboriginal apprehension of me. And I achievement that cipher will for some time to come.
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