What keeps me here is just precisely the said society

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.

Andrew Lang (1844-1912), by Sir William Blake Richmond [http://janeausteninvermont.files.wordpress.com/]

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

John Ruskin (1819-1900) [http://cdn1.thefamouspeople.com/]

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