In the country, even angels may be decently welcomed in tweed

[Dots between square brackets indicate cuts made by Sidney Colvin. For full, correct and critical edition of this letter, see Mehew 3, 839 and 840.]

To Edmund Gosse [Colvin 1911, 2, p. 58]

(postcard)

The Cottage, Castleton of Braemar, August 19, 1881.

If you had an uncle who was a sea captain and went to the North Pole, you had better bring his outfit. Verbum Sapientibus.

J. Verne, ‘The Voyages and Adventures of Captain Hatteras’, 1864 [www.online-literature.com/]

I look towards you.

R.L. Stevenson

To Edmund Gosse [Colvin 1911, 2, pp. 58-59]

[Braemar, August 19, 1881.]

My dear Weg,

I have by an extraordinary drollery of Fortune sent off to you by this day’s post a P[ost] C[ard] inviting you to appear in sealskin.

Eskimo sealskin, 1844 [http://c590298.r98.cf2.rackcdn.com/]

But this had reference to the weather, and not at all, as you may have been led to fancy, to our rustic raiment of an evening.

The Cairngorms, near Braemar [http://3.bp.blogspot.com/]

The Cairngorms [http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/]

The Cairngorms near Braemar [http://2.bp.blogspot.com/]

The Cairngorms [http://thegemsstock.com/]

As to that question, I would deal, in so far as in me lies, fairly with all men. We are not dressy people by nature; but it sometimes occurs to us to entertain angels.

E.C. Burne-Jones, The Angel, 1881[www.sai.msu.su/]

In the country, I believe, even angels may be decently welcomed in tweed;

‘Balmoral tweed’, designed by Prince Albert in the 1850s [http://cdns.gentlemansgazette.com/]

I have faced many great personages, for my own part, in a tasteful suit of sea-cloth with an end of carpet pending from my gullet. Still, we do maybe twice a summer burst out in the direction of blacks – and yet we do it seldom.

J. Tissot, ‘Mavourneen’ (Portrait of Kathleen Newton), 1877 [http://uploads8.wikiart.org/]

In short, let your own heart decide, and the capacity of your portmanteau.

Victorian portmanteau [https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/]

If you came in camel’s hair, you would still, although conspicuous, be welcome. […]

[http://upload.wikimedia.org/]

The sooner the better after Tuesday. Yours ever,

Robert Louis Stevenson

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One Response to In the country, even angels may be decently welcomed in tweed

  1. Bellissima questa lettera! 😀

    Like

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