Madame Garschine is one of the two Russian princesses and sisters, wintering at Villa Marina, Menton, close to RLS’s hotel.
Andrew Lang(1844-1912), scholar, folklorist, and man of letters, is wintering at Menton, too.
The paper on Roads, RLS’s first paid publication, has been printed under the name L.S. Stoneven in Portfolio, Dec. 1873.
[Dots between square brackets indicate cuts made by Sir Sidney Colvin. For full, correct and critical edition of this letter, see Mehew 1, 243].
To his mother [Colvin 1912, p. 62]
[Menton], February 22nd, 1874.
My dear Mother,
I am glad to hear you are better again: nobody can expect to be quite well in February, that is the only consolation I can offer you.
Madame Garschine is ill, I am sorry to say, and was confined to bed all yesterday, which made a great difference to our little society. À propos of which, what keeps me here is just precisely the said society. These people are so nice and kind and intelligent, and then as I shall never see them any more I have a disagreeable feeling about making the move. With ordinary people in England, you have more or less chance of re-encountering one another; at least you may see their death in the papers; but with these people, they die for me and I die for them when we separate. Andrew Lang, O you of little comprehension, called on Colvin.
You had not told me before about the fatuous person who thought Roads like Ruskin – surely the vaguest of contemporaneous humanity. Again my letter writing is of an enfeebled sort. – Ever your affectionate son,
Robert Louis Stevenson