iii.; if another volume is out, please add that. There is for a book-box.
I hope you will like the end; I think it is rather strong meat. I have got into such a deliberate, dilatory, expansive turn, that the effort to compress this last yarn was unwelcome; but the longest yarn has to come to an end sometime. Please look it over for carelessnesses, and tell me if it had any effect upon your jaded editorial mind. I'll see if ever I have time to add more.
I add to my book-box list Adams' HISTORICAL ESSAYS; the Plays of A. W. Pinero - all that have appeared, and send me the rest in course as they do appear; NOUGHTS AND CROSSES by Q.; Robertson's SCOTLAND UNDER HER EARLY KINGS.
The deed is done, didst thou not hear a noise? 'The end' has been written to this endless yarn, and I am once more a free man. What will he do with it?
Letter: TO W. CRAIBE ANGUS
VAILIMA, SAMOA, NOVEMBER 1891.
MY DEAR MR. ANGUS, - Herewith the invaluable sheets. They came months after your letter, and I trembled; but here they are, and I have scrawled my vile name on them, and 'thocht shame' as I did it. I am expecting the sheets of your catalogue, so that I may attack the preface. Please give me all the time you can. The sooner the better; you might even send me early proofs as they are sent out, to give me more incubation. I used to write as slow as judgment; now I write rather fast; but I am still 'a slow study,' and sit a long while silent on my eggs. Unconscious thought, there is the only method: macerate your subject, let it boil slow, then take the lid off and look in - and there your stuff is, good or bad. But the journalist's method is the way to manufacture lies; it is will-worship - if you know the luminous quaker phrase; and the will is only to be brought in the field for study, and again for revision. The essential part of work is not an act, it is a state.
I do not know why I write you this trash.
Many thanks for your handsome dedication. I have not yet had time to do more than glance at Mrs. Begg; it looks interesting. - Yours very truly,
ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON.
Letter: TO MISS ANNIE H. IDE
VAILIMA, SAMOA [NOVEMBER 1891].
MY DEAR LOUISA, - Your picture of the church, the photograph of yourself and your sister, and your very witty and pleasing letter, came all in a bundle, and made me feel I had my money's worth for that birthday. I am now, I must be, one of your nearest relatives; exactly what we are to each other, I do not know, I doubt if the case has ever happened before - your papa ought to know, and I don't believe he does; but I think I ought to call you in the meanwhile, and until we get the advice of counsel learned in the law, my name-daughter. Well, I was extremely pleased to see by the church that my name-daughter could draw; by the letter, that she was no fool; and by the photograph, that she was a pretty girl, which hurts nothing. See how virtues are rewarded! My first idea of adopting you was entirely charitable; and here I find that I am quite proud of it, and of you, and that I chose just the kind of name-daughter I wanted. For I can draw too, or rather I mean to say I could before I forgot how; and I am very far from being a fool myself, however much I may look it; and I am as beautiful as the day, or at least I once hoped that perhaps I might be going to be. And so I might. So that you see we are well met, and peers on these important points. I am VERY glad also that you are older than your sister. So should I have been, if I had had one. So that the number of points and virtues which you have inherited from your name-father is already quite surprising.
I wish you would tell your father - not that I like to encourage my rival - that we have had a wonderful time here of late, and that they are having a cold day on Mulinuu, and the consuls are writing reports, and I am writing to the TIMES, and if we don't get rid of our friends this time I shall begin to despair of everything but my name-daughter.