Arthur Trevor Haddon (1864-1841), English portrait painter, won a scholarship at the Slade School in 1883. As a young art student he had written to RLS after reading his essay on Walt Whitman (see previous post).
[As usual, for correct and critical edition of this letter, see Mehew 3, 964.]
To A. Trevor Haddon [Colvin 1912, p. 162]
17 Heriot Row, Edinburgh [June, 1882].
My dear Sir,
I see nothing “cheekie” in anything you have done. Your letters have naturally given me much pleasure, for it seems to me you are a pretty good young fellow, as young fellows go; and if I add that you remind me of myself, you need not accuse me of retrospective vanity.
You now know an address which will always find me; you might let me have your address in London; I do not promise anything — for I am always overworked in London — but I shall, if I can arrange it, try to see you.
I am afraid I am not so rigid on chastity: you are probably right in your view; but this seems to me a dilemma with two horns, the real curse of a man’s life in our state of society — and a woman’s too, although, for many reasons, it appears somewhat differently with the enslaved sex.
By your “fate” I believe I meant your marriage, or that love at least which may befall any one of us at the shortest notice and overthrow the most settled habits and opinions. I call that your fate, because then, if not before, you can no longer hang back, but must stride out into life and act. — Believe me, yours sincerely,
Robert Louis Stevenson