And I could wish in my heart that I had not published this paper, if it troubles folk too much: all have not the same digestion, nor the same sight of things. And it came over me with special pain that perhaps this article (which I was at the pains to send to her) might give dismalness to my GAMEKEEPER AT HOME. Well, I cannot take back what I have said; but yet I may add this. If my view be everything but the nonsense that it may be - to me it seems self- evident and blinding truth - surely of all things it makes this world holier. There is nothing in it but the moral side - but the great battle and the breathing times with their refreshments. I see no more and no less. And if you look again, it is not ugly, and it is filled with promise.

Pray excuse a desponding author for this apology. My wife is away off to the uttermost parts of the States, all by herself. I shall be off, I hope, in a week; but where? Ah! that I know not. I keep wonderful, and my wife a little better, and the lad flourishing. We now perform duets on two D tin whistles; it is no joke to make the bass; I think I must really send you one, which I wish you would correct . . . I may be said to live for these instrumental labours now, but I have always some childishness on hand. - I am, dear Gamekeeper, your indulgent but intemperate Squire,

ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON.

Letter: TO CHARLES BAXTER

UNION HOUSE, MANASQUAN, N.J., BUT ADDRESS TO SCRIBNER'S, 11TH MAY 1888.

MY DEAR CHARLES, - I have found a yacht, and we are going the full pitch for seven months. If I cannot get my health back (more or less), 'tis madness; but, of course, there is the hope, and I will play big. . . . If this business fails to set me up, well, 2000 pounds is gone, and I know I can't get better. We sail from San Francisco, June 15th, for the South Seas in the yacht CASCO. - With a million thanks for all your dear friendliness, ever yours affectionately,

ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON.

Letter: To HOMER ST. GAUDENS

MANASQUAN, NEW JERSEY, 27TH MAY 1888.

DEAR HOMER ST. GAUDENS, - Your father has brought you this day to see me, and he tells me it is his hope you may remember the occasion. I am going to do what I can to carry out his wish; and it may amuse you, years after, to see this little scrap of paper and to read what I write. I must begin by testifying that you yourself took no interest whatever in the introduction, and in the most proper spirit displayed a single-minded ambition to get back to play, and this I thought an excellent and admirable point in your character. You were also (I use the past tense, with a view to the time when you shall read, rather than to that when I am writing) a very pretty boy, and (to my European views) startlingly self-possessed. My time of observation was so limited that you must pardon me if I can say no more: what else I marked, what restlessness of foot and hand, what graceful clumsiness, what experimental designs upon the furniture, was but the common inheritance of human youth. But you may perhaps like to know that the lean flushed man in bed, who interested you so little, was in a state of mind extremely mingled and unpleasant: harassed with work which he thought he was not doing well, troubled with difficulties to which you will in time succeed, and yet looking forward to no less a matter than a voyage to the South Seas and the visitation of savage and desert islands. -Your father's friend,

ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON.

Letter: TO HENRY JAMES

MANASQUAN (AHEM!), NEW JERSEY, MAY 28TH, 1888.

MY DEAR JAMES, - With what a torrent it has come at last! Up to now, what I like best is the first number of a LONDON LIFE. You have never done anything better, and I don't know if perhaps you have ever done anything so good as the girl's outburst: tip-top. I have been preaching your later works in your native land. I had to present the Beltraffio volume to Low, and it has brought him to his knees; he was AMAZED at the first part of Georgina's Reasons, although (like me) not so well satisfied with Part II.

The Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson - Volume 2 Page 40

Robert Louis Stevenson

Free Books in the public domain from the Classic Literature Library ©

Robert Louis Stevenson
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book