“On the whole there are too many amusements going for much work”

This is from his cousin Maude Babington’s house in Suffolk, visited during the summer of 1873.

[As usual, dots between square brackets indicate cuts made by Sir Sidney Colvin. For full, correct and critical edition of this letter, see Mehew 1, 130. For RLS’s visits at Cockfield Rectory, Sudbury, visit http://www.robert-louis-stevenson.org/cockfield-suffolk]

To his mother [Colvin 1911, p. 66]

Cockfield Rectory, Sudbury, Suffolk, Tuesday, July 28, 1873.

My dear Mother,

I am too happy to be much of a correspondent. […] Yesterday we were away to Melford and Lavenham, both exceptionally placid, beautiful old English towns. Melford scattered all round a big green, with an Elizabethan Hall and Park, great screens of trees that seem twice as high as trees should seem, and everything else like what ought to be in a novel, and what one never expects to see in reality, made me cry out how good we were to live in Scotland, for the many hundredth time.

Melford Hall, 1840
Melford Hall, Long Melford
Melford Hall, Long Melford, today
Melford Hall, interor

I cannot get over my astonishment – indeed, it increases every day – at the hopeless gulf that there is between England and Scotland, and English and Scotch. Nothing is the same; and I feel as strange and outlandish here as I do in France or Germany. Everything by the wayside, in the houses, or about the people, strikes me with an unexpected unfamiliarity: I walk among surprises, for just where you think you have them, something wrong turns up.

Malford Park, Long Malford, today

I got a little Law read yesterday, and some German this morning, but on the whole there are too many amusements going for much work; as for correspondence, I have neither heart nor time for it to-day. […]


Cockfield Rectory, Sudbury, Suffolk
Springtime at Cockfield, 1902-1910
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1 Response to “On the whole there are too many amusements going for much work”

  1. Maria Finzi says:

    Bello!A proposito ( non c’entra niente): un bosco pieno di lupi zeno lo definisce un lupatoio.Baci

    Date: Sat, 1 Mar 2014 10:12:55 +0000 To: maria.finzi32@hotmail.it


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