My last night at Mentone

[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.


V. van Gogh, ‘Souvenir de Mauve’,1888 []

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.

Prince Lev Golitsyn (1845-1915) []

Rudolf von Jhering (1818-1892), Prince Golitsyn’s professor of Roman Law at the University of Göttingen []

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

The line.


That bit of childishness has made me laugh, do you blame me?

This entry was posted in Letters, Robert Louis Stevenson and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to My last night at Mentone

  1. rdury says:

    Excellent photographs. Who is the ‘dear friend’: Sophie Garschine, do you think? (who writes him a letter in May, reproaching him for having left Paris for Edinburgh).


  2. mafalda says:

    Yes, I think so, even though I’d like to think little Nelitchka, too!


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s