SEPTEMBER 6, 1937
HYDE PARK, Sunday—I wrote a word the other day in praise of Eve Curie's life of her mother, but I had not entirely finished it. I have finished it now, and I must speak of it again, for it seems to me that no one should miss reading it. The tears were in my eyes as I read her diary written to her husband after his death, and yet she went on with her work and did it as well as she could to make it worthy of him.
One other thing I hope many people will note, the little conversation on whether they should keep their secret as regards the process used in finding radium or give it to the world. The instinctive reaction of both of them that to give all the knowledge they had was the only scientific way, is an illuminating revelation of their thought. Their shrinking from the mere meeting of people for the sake of saying you had met them their dislike of the mere empty formalities which were offered them as honors, strikes me as a lesson many of us should learn. These people who were busy with such great things could not spare the time to be praised, they could spare the time for genuine love and friendship and helpfulness.
The little story of the dinner with the French President when Madame Curie was asked by Madame Loubet if she would like to be presented to the King of Greece, and answered frankly that she saw little use in it, made me chuckle and yet sigh, for how many people have been presented to the kings and queens of the world when there was little use in it! But how few people look at it from this point of view!
I can not help hoping that this life will be shown on the screen. Last year when I saw the Life of Pasteur I felt it was a great picture and I feel that the material in this story is even more arresting and moving.
This being a holiday I have to write you a little ahead of time, so I will tell you that while my husband is cruising on the water, I am cruising a little on the land, visiting one or two of my friends and having a very pleasant lazy time.
I was much amused to see a photograph in one of the papers of three ladies sailing for Europe and under the picture the names of the ladies and one of them designated as my secretary. I fear the lady must be much annoyed for she much prefers the gentlemen to the ladies and her affiliation with the White House staff is on the President's side. On the other hand, my real secretary is ticking away at her typewriter day after day. I haven't been able to drive her away for a holiday though she certainly deserves it. These little inaccuracies are apt to occur but they amuse me a little when I know how many people accept the printed word as gospel truth! I will be getting letters for days now saying that of course my secretary being away I can not have received such and such information which has been sent me or my correspondents will regret that they wrote my secretary for she is in Europe and they must now write again!