This day is published The works of Ludwig van Beethoven arranged and wiederdurchgearbeiteted for two melodious forefingers by, Sir, - Your obedient servant,
That's a good idea? There's a person called Lenz who actually does it - beware his den; I lost eighteenpennies on him, and found the bleeding corpses of pieces of music divorced from their keys, despoiled of their graces, and even changed in time; I do not wish to regard music (nor to be regarded) through that bony Lenz. You say you are 'a spumfed idiot'; but how about Lenz? And how about me, sir, me?
I yesterday sent Lloyd by parcel post, at great expense, an empty matchbox and empty cigarette-paper book, a bell from a cat's collar, an iron kitchen spoon, and a piece of coal more than half the superficies of this sheet of paper. They are now (appropriately enough) speeding towards the Silly Isles; I hope he will find them useful. By that, and my telegram with prepaid answer to yourself, you may judge of my spiritual state. The finances have much brightened; and if KIDNAPPED keeps on as it has begun, I may be solvent. - Yours,
(The authour of ane Threnodie).
Op. 2: Scherzo (in G Major) expressive of the Sense of favours to come.
Letter: TO R. A. M. STEVENSON
SKERRYVORE [BOURNEMOUTH, JULY 1886].
DEAR BOB, - Herewith another shy; more melancholy than before, but I think not so abjectly idiotic. The musical terms seem to be as good as in Beethoven, and that, after all, is the great affair. Bar the dam bareness of the base, it looks like a piece of real music from a distance. I am proud to say it was not made one hand at a time; the base was of synchronous birth with the treble; they are of the same age, sir, and may God have mercy on their souls! - Yours,
Letter: TO MR. AND MRS. THOMAS STEVENSON
SKERRYVORE, BOURNEMOUTH, JULY 7TH, 1886.
MY DEAR PEOPLE, - It is probably my fault, and not yours, that I did not understand. I think it would be well worth trying the winter in Bournemouth; but I would only take the house by the month - this after mature discussion. My leakage still pursues its course; if I were only well, I have a notion to go north and get in (if I could) at the inn at Kirkmichael, which has always smiled upon me much. If I did well there, we might then meet and do what should most smile at the time.
Meanwhile, of course, I must not move, and am in a rancid box here, feeling the heat a great deal, and pretty tired of things. Alexander did a good thing of me at last; it looks like a mixture of an aztec idol, a lion, an Indian Rajah, and a woman; and certainly represents a mighty comic figure. F. and Lloyd both think it is the best thing that has been done of me up to now.
You should hear Lloyd on the penny whistle, and me on the piano! Dear powers, what a concerto! I now live entirely for the piano, he for the whistle; the neighbours, in a radius of a furlong and a half, are packing up in quest of brighter climes. - Ever yours,
R. L. S.
P.S. - Please say if you can afford to let us have money for this trip, and if so, how much. I can see the year through without help, I believe, and supposing my health to keep up; but can scarce make this change on my own metal.
R. L. S.
Letter: TO CHARLES BAXTER
[SKERRYVORE, BOURNEMOUTH, JULY 1886].
DEAR CHARLES, - Doubtless, if all goes well, towards the 1st of August we shall be begging at your door. Thanks for a sight of the papers, which I return (you see) at once, fearing further responsibility.
Glad you like Dauvit; but eh, man, yon's terrible strange conduc' o' thon man Rankeillor. Ca' him a legal adviser! It would make a bonny law-shuit, the Shaws case; and yon paper they signed, I'm thinking, wouldnae be muckle thought o' by Puggy Deas. - Yours ever,
R. L. S.
Letter: TO THOMAS STEVENSON
[SKERRYVORE, BOURNEMOUTH], JULY 28, 1886.
MY DEAR FATHER, - We have decided not to come to Scotland, but just to do as Dobell wished, and take an outing.