She arrived in the port of New York, without beer, porter, soda-water, curacoa, fresh meat, or fresh water; and yet we lived, and we regret her.
My wife is a good deal run down, and I am no great shakes.
America is, as I remarked, a fine place to eat in, and a great place for kindness; but, Lord, what a silly thing is popularity! I envy the cool obscurity of Skerryvore. If it even paid, said Meanness! and was abashed at himself. - Yours most sincerely,
R. L S.
Letter: TO SIDNEY COLVIN
[NEW YORK: END OF SEPTEMBER 1887.]
MY DEAR S. C., - Your delightful letter has just come, and finds me in a New York hotel, waiting the arrival of a sculptor (St. Gaudens) who is making a medallion of yours truly and who is (to boot) one of the handsomest and nicest fellows I have seen. I caught a cold on the Banks; fog is not for me; nearly died of interviewers and visitors, during twenty-four hours in New York; cut for Newport with Lloyd and Valentine, a journey like fairy-land for the most engaging beauties, one little rocky and pine-shaded cove after another, each with a house and a boat at anchor, so that I left my heart in each and marvelled why American authors had been so unjust to their country; caught another cold on the train; arrived at Newport to go to bed and to grow worse, and to stay in bed until I left again; the Fairchilds proving during this time kindness itself; Mr. Fairchild simply one of the most engaging men in the world, and one of the children, Blair, AET. ten, a great joy and amusement in his solemn adoring attitude to the author of TREASURE ISLAND.
Here I was interrupted by the arrival of my sculptor. I have begged him to make a medallion of himself and give me a copy. I will not take up the sentence in which I was wandering so long, but begin fresh. I was ten or twelve days at Newport; then came back convalescent to New York. Fanny and Lloyd are off to the Adirondacks to see if that will suit; and the rest of us leave Monday (this is Saturday) to follow them up. I hope we may manage to stay there all winter. I have a splendid appetite and have on the whole recovered well after a mighty sharp attack. I am now on a salary of 500 pounds a year for twelve articles in SCRIBNER'S MAGAZINE on what I like; it is more than 500 pounds, but I cannot calculate more precisely. You have no idea how much is made of me here; I was offered 2000 pounds for a weekly article - eh heh! how is that? but I refused that lucrative job. The success of UNDERWOODS is gratifying. You see, the verses are sane; that is their strong point, and it seems it is strong enough to carry them.
A thousand thanks for your grand letter, ever yours,
R. L. S.
Letter: TO W. E. HENLEY
NEW YORK [SEPTEMBER 1887]
MY DEAR LAD, - Herewith verses for Dr. Hake, which please communicate. I did my best with the interviewers; I don't know if Lloyd sent you the result; my heart was too sick: you can do nothing with them; and yet - literally sweated with anxiety to please, and took me down in long hand!
I have been quite ill, but go better. I am being not busted, but medallioned, by St. Gaudens, who is a first-rate, plain, high- minded artist and honest fellow; you would like him down to the ground. I believe sculptors are fine fellows when they are not demons. O, I am now a salaried person, 600 pounds a year, to write twelve articles in SCRIBNER'S MAGAZINE; it remains to be seen if it really pays, huge as the sum is, but the slavery may overweigh me. I hope you will like my answer to Hake, and specially that he will.
Love to all. - Yours affectionately,
R. L. S.
Letter: To R. A. M. STEVENSON
SARANAC LAKE, ADIRONDACKS, NEW YORK, U.S.A. [OCTOBER 1887].
MY DEAR BOB, - The cold [of Colorado] was too rigorous for me; I could not risk the long railway voyage, and the season was too late to risk the Eastern, Cape Hatteras side of the steamer one; so here we stuck and stick. We have a wooden house on a hill-top, overlooking a river, and a village about a quarter of a mile away, and very wooded hills; the whole scene is very Highland, bar want of heather and the wooden houses.