[As usual, dots between square brackets indicate cuts made by Sidney Colvin. For full, correct and critical edition of this letter, see Mehew 4, 1105.]
To Edmund Gosse [Colvin 1911, 2, pp. 135-136]
La Solitude, Hyères-les-Palmiers, Var [May 20, 1883]
My dear Gosse,
I enclose the receipt and the corrections.
As for your letter and Gilder’s, I must take an hour or so to think; the matter much importing – to me. The £40 was a heavenly thing.
I send the MS by Henley, because he acts for me in all matters, and had the thing, like all my other books, in his detention. He is my unpaid agent – an admirable arrangement for me, and one that has rather more than doubled my income on the spot.
If I have been long silent, think how long you were so and blush, sir, blush.
I was rendered unwell by the arrival of your cheque, and, like Pepys, ‘my hand still shakes to write of it.’
To this grateful emotion, and not to D[elirium] T[remens], please attribute the raggedness of my hand.
This year I shall be able to live and keep my family on my own earnings, and that in spite of eight months and more of perfect idleness at the end of last and beginning of this. It is a sweet thought.
This spot, our garden and our view, are sub-celestial. I sing daily with my Bunyan, that great bard,
‘I dwell already the next door to Heaven!’If you could see my roses, and my aloes, and my fig-marigolds, and my olives, and my viewover a plain,
and my view of certain mountains as graceful as Apollo, as severe as Zeus, you would not think the phrase exaggerated.
It is blowing to-day a hot mistral, which is the devil or a near connection of his. This is to catch the post. – Yours affectionately,