[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, 256].
To Mrs. Sitwell [Colvin 1912, p. 66-67]
[Menton, April, 1874], Monday.
My last night at Mentone. I cannot tell how strange and sad I feel. I leave behind me a dear friend whom I have but little hope of seeing again between the eyes.
To-day, I hadn’t arranged all my plans till five o’clock: I hired a poor old cabman, whose uncomfortable vehicle and sorry horse made every one despise him, and set off to get money and say farewells.
It was a dark misty evening; the mist was down over all the hills; the peach-trees in beautiful pink bloom.
Arranged my plans; that merits a word by the way if I can be bothered. I have half arranged to go to Göttingen in summer to a course of lectures. Galitzin is responsible for this. He tells me the professor is to law what Darwin has been to Natural History, and I should like to understand Roman Law and a knowledge of law is so necessary for all I hope to do.
My poor old cabman; his one horse made me three-quarters of an hour too late for dinner, but I had not the heart to discharge him and take another. Poor soul, he was so pleased with his pourboire, I have made Madame Zassetsky promise to employ him often; so he will be something the better for me, little as he will know it.
I have read Ordered South; it is pretty decent I think, but poor, stiff, limping stuff at best — not half so well straightened up as Roads. However the stuff is good.
God help us all, this is a rough world: address Hotel St. Romain, rue St. Roch, Paris. I draw the line: a chapter finished. — Ever your faithful friend,
Robert Louis Stevenson
That bit of childishness has made me laugh, do you blame me?