There were luncheons and dinners here and there at which the visitors met New York’s men of letters and not a few of her men of money as well. But their paths did not cross.
Then, just before Ludwig left the city on his present tour of the country, Mrs. William Randolph Hearst, invitations to whose parties are much sought after, gave a luncheon at her home, 17 Riverside Drive, in honor of the German biographer and his wife, who accompanied him to this country.
Men and women high in political, literary, financial, journalistic and social circles were among the guests. The affair was held Jan. 22 and the invitations were despatched by telegraph because of the limited notice. Among them was one to Count Keyserling at the Park avenue address. Almost immediately there came back from him this reply:
“Dear Mrs. Hearst: Thank you for your invitation but I will be away, at Cincinnati, on Jan. 20. Besides, I have no wish to meet Emil Ludwig. Yours faithfully, “Count Keyserling.
“I just noticed that your invitation is for the 22nd; however, this cannot change my plan.”
No explanation was given by Count Keyserling of this avowal that he did not care to meet Ludwig, but some of those close to Keyserling say that he and the biographer are ## enemies, while others attribute this second-hand snub to anti-Semitic prejudices on the part of Keyserling.
Both men were asked to comment on the occurrence and Count Keyserling, through Mr. Crane, who is also his host in California, declared that he was not in this country to “engage in a war of personalities with other lecturers and their friends.” No reply was made by Ludwig.