[SKERRYVORE, BOURNEMOUTH], AUGUST 1887.
DEAR LAD, - I write to inform you that Mr. Stevenson's well-known work, VIRGINIBUS PUERISQUE, is about to be reprinted. At the same time a second volume called MEMORIES AND PORTRAITS will issue from the roaring loom. Its interest will be largely autobiographical, Mr. S. having sketched there the lineaments of many departed friends, and dwelt fondly, and with a m'istened eye, upon byegone pleasures. The two will be issued under the common title of FAMILIAR ESSAYS; but the volumes will be vended separately to those who are mean enough not to hawk at both.
The blood is at last stopped: only yesterday. I began to think I should not get away. However, I hope - I hope - remark the word - no boasting - I hope I may luff up a bit now. Dobell, whom I saw, gave as usual a good account of my lungs, and expressed himself, like his neighbours, hopefully about the trip. He says, my uncle says, Scott says, Brown says - they all say - You ought not to be in such a state of health; you should recover. Well, then, I mean to. My spirits are rising again after three months of black depression: I almost begin to feel as if I should care to live: I would, by God! And so I believe I shall. - Yours, BULLETIN M'GURDER.
How has the Deacon gone?
Letter: TO W. H. LOW
[SKERRYVORE, BOURNEMOUTH], August 6TH, 1887.
MY DEAR LOW, - We - my mother, my wife, my stepson, my maidservant, and myself, five souls - leave, if all is well, Aug. 20th, per Wilson line SS. LUDGATE HILL. Shall probably evade N. Y. at first, cutting straight to a watering-place: Newport, I believe, its name. Afterwards we shall steal incognito into LA BONNE VILLA, and see no one but you and the Scribners, if it may be so managed. You must understand I have been very seedy indeed, quite a dead body; and unless the voyage does miracles, I shall have to draw it dam fine. Alas, 'The Canoe Speaks' is now out of date; it will figure in my volume of verses now imminent. However, I may find some inspiration some day. - Till very soon, yours ever,
R. L. S.
Letter: TO MISS ADELAIDE BOODLE
BOURNEMOUTH, AUGUST 19TH, 1887.
MY DEAR MISS BOODLE, - I promise you the paper-knife shall go to sea with me; and if it were in my disposal, I should promise it should return with me too. All that you say, I thank you for very much; I thank you for all the pleasantness that you have brought about our house; and I hope the day may come when I shall see you again in poor old Skerryvore, now left to the natives of Canada, or to worse barbarians, if such exist. I am afraid my attempt to jest is rather A CONTRE-COEUR. Good-bye - AU REVOIR - and do not forget your friend,
ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON.
Letter: TO MESSRS. CHATTO AND WINDUS
BOURNEMOUTH [AUGUST 1887].
DEAR SIRS, - I here enclose the two titles. Had you not better send me the bargains to sign? I shall be here till Saturday; and shall have an address in London (which I shall send you) till Monday, when I shall sail. Even if the proofs do not reach you till Monday morning, you could send a clerk from Fenchurch Street Station at 10.23 A.M. for Galleons Station, and he would find me embarking on board the LUDGATE HILL, Island Berth, Royal Albert Dock. Pray keep this in case it should be necessary to catch this last chance. I am most anxious to have the proofs with me on the voyage. - Yours very truly,
ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON.
Letter: TO SIDNEY COLVIN
H.M.S. 'VULGARIUM,' OFF HAVRE DE GRACE, THIS 22ND DAY OF AUGUST .
SIR, - The weather has been hitherto inimitable. Inimitable is the only word that I can apply to our fellow-voyagers, whom a categorist, possibly premature, has been already led to divide into two classes - the better sort consisting of the baser kind of Bagman, and the worser of undisguised Beasts of the Field. The berths are excellent, the pasture swallowable, the champagne of H. James (to recur to my favourite adjective) inimitable.