… like two guests at the same dinner, one of whom takes clear and one white soup

[As usual, dots between square brackets indicate cuts made by Sidney Colvin. For full, correct and critical edition of this letter, see Mehew 4, 1176.]

To Edmund Gosse [Colvin 1911, 2, pp. 155-156]

[Hyères, November 1883]

My dear Gosse,

I have now leisurely read your volume; pretty soon, by the way, you will receive one of mine.

147585-004-822a148b

Edmund Gosse (1849-1928) [http://media-2.web.britannica.com/]

immagine

The reference is to Gosse’s volume called Seventeenth Century Studies, published in October 1883 [https://ia700407.us.archive.org]

It is a pleasant, instructive, and scholarly volume. The three best being, quite out of sight – Crashaw, Otway, and Etherege. They are excellent; I hesitate between them; but perhaps Crashaw is the most brilliant.

richard-crashaw

Richard Crashaw (1613–1649), English metaphysical poet, teacher, Anglican cleric and Catholic convert [https://inconversion. files.wordpress.com]

immagine

E. Gosse, Seventeenth Century Studies, beginning of the essay on Crashaw.

bone20otway20l

Thomas Otway (1652–1685) , English dramatist of the Restoration period [www.historicalportraits.com]

immagine

E. Gosse, Seventeenth Century Studies, beginning of the essay on Otway.

sirgeorgeetherege

Sir George Etherege (1636-1692), English dramatist, author of ‘The Comical Revenge or, Love in a Tub’, ‘She Would if She Could’, and ‘The Man of Mode or, Sir Fopling Flutter’ [https://upload.wikimedia.org]

immagine

E. Gosse, Seventeenth Century Studies, beginning of the essay on Ethere[d]ge.

 

Your Webster is not my Webster; nor your Herrick my Herrick.

NPG D27226; Sir John Webster, Bt by Theodor Matham, after Cornelius Johnson

John Webster (1580–1634),English Jacobean dramatist best known for his tragedies ‘The White Devil’ and ‘The Duchess of Malfi’ [http://images.npg.org.uk]

immagine

E. Gosse, Seventeenth Century Studies, beginning of the essay on Webster.

robert_herrick_hesperides

Robert Herrick (1591–1674), English lyric poet and cleric. He is best known for his book of poems, ‘Hesperides ‘[https://upload.wikimedia.org]

immagine

E. Gosse, Seventeenth Century Studies, beginning of the essay on Herrick.

 

On these matters we must fire a gun to leeward, show our colours, and go by. Argument is impossible. They are two of my favourite authors: Herrick above all: I suppose they are two of yours. Well, Janus-like, they do behold us two with diverse countenances, few features are common to these different avatars;

an00559964_001_l

Janus: illustration to the Latin edition of Sebastian Münster, ‘Cosmographia’, c. 1550 [www.britishmuseum.org]

and we can but agree to differ, but still with gratitude to our entertainers, like two guests at the same dinner, one of whom takes clear and one white soup.

3371814-150223204209

[http://static.memrise.com]

2053331763_9812802d7d

[http://farm3.static.flickr.com]

 

By my way of thinking, neither of us need be wrong.

The other papers are all interesting, adequate, clear, and with a pleasant spice of the romantic. It is a book you may be well pleased to have so finished, and will do you much good. The Crashaw is capital: capital; I like the taste of it. Preface clean and dignified.

immagine

E. Gosse, Seventeenth Century Studies, beginning of the Preface.

 

The handling throughout workmanlike, with some four or five touches of preciosity, which I regret.

[…]

With my thanks for information, entertainment, and a pleasurable envy here and there. – Yours affectionately,

R.L.S.

[…]

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

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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