25 March

N.Y. 25 Mch 1889

My darling Amy,

I was very much surprised when at Lenox last Monday a week ago to receive a letter from Albert my brother, to say that Saturday he had met Mrs. Blaine 2 at a reception & that she had said to him in the most friendly way that you had in writing her expressed the wish that Mr. B could do something for me. That Mr B. had the most kindly feelings toward me & wd be happy to do anything for me. "What did I want." Of course my brother had no idea but with her permission he wd write & inquire. I came back here the next day & came to the conclusion I had better go on to W. at once & see what there was in it. Reflection rather brought me to the conclusion that the thing I wanted I could not have & that the thing I could have I did not want. To make a long story short, I saw Mrs. Blain twice, & Mr. B once. Nothing could have been more friendly, or more courteous, than the attitude & language of both.

Bref, I told them -- first Mrs. B.. & afterward Mr. B. -- in an interview wh. she had arranged -- that I was most fitted by my education & habits of thought for the China Mission, & in that position I did not fear to disgrace my backers. The salary wd enable me to live suitably, & they understand perfectly that with my family that must be a cardinal consideration for me. Mr. Blaine said that in the estimation of the Prest. & himself that was the most important post at present in the gift of the Govt. That the Prest. was looking ???? & meant to take his time in selecting a man who shd strike the country at once as suitable, & meanwhile the present minister wd not be disturbed.

Max Heard in 1888

He then asked me abt a Consulship in the East, Hong Kong or Shangai had full salaries, but I replied that I did not care for a Consulship. I did not wish to be back in China as Consul. If I did not go as Minister I did not want to go at all. Mr. B. said he quite understood my feelings. But how abt Corea? Do you know anything abt it. " No. Corea has come into being since my day." "I dare say," he went on, "that I could control that mission -- There's nothing ??? ??? abt it, a full mission, independent" -- I did not give him any particular answer. I asked him if I should make an application. -- "No, write me a private note to keep on my desk as a memo. --"

I find by reference to the Book that the salary is 7500. & there is a Secy of Legation & an interpreter. But your mother didn't seem to jump at it! -- What do you say? How do you think Max wd enjoy Corean Society? - I suppose that he meant me to understand that if I wanted it, I could probably have it.

I asked Chandler Robbin, before going on what he thought of my accepting the China Mission. Wouldn't look at it, he replied. Youd only have 4 years & then be turned adrift with nothing & have lost all your personal business. I told him I should not look on that loss as very serious. I don't know what he wd say abt. Corea!

But there is also the question of Real Estate ??? in Washington. Sevellon Brown was reported as likely to go back to the State Dept., & I asked him --& I told him I thought if he did it might make room for me. He said he was much obliged -- that he felt he must go back tho it wd be at a great sacrifice, & that he wd write me after thinking it over.

I fancy he will make me some proposition to take his plan & I may get it tomorrow. Then we will see what course to pursue. Meanwhile consider all this private, except of course Russell. I have written a good deal of this to John H.

Tried to see Judge Gray in W  3 but did not succeed. Came back last night.

Yours very affly