I have another thing coming out

RLS accepted the dedication of Low’s illustrated edition of Keats’s Lamia, and sent him in return the newly published Jekyll and Hyde.

For Keats’s Lamia illustrated by Low, see: https://archive.org/stream/lamia___00keat#page/n0/mode/2up

[As usual, dots between square brackets indicate cuts made by Sidney Colvin. For full, correct and critical edition of this letter, see Mehew 5, 1503.]

To Will H. Low [Colvin 1911, 2, pp. 303-4]

Skerryvore, Bournemouth, December 26, 1885

My dear Low,

Lamia has not yet turned up, but your letter came to me this evening with a scent of the Boulevard Montparnasse that was irresistible. 

https://ia601404.us.archive.org/BookReader/BookReaderImages.php?zip=/8/items/lamia___00keat/lamia___00keat_jp2.zip&file=lamia___00keat_jp2/lamia___00keat_0001.jp2&scale=4&rotate=0

Low’s edition of Keats’s ‘Lamia’.

https://ia601404.us.archive.org/BookReader/BookReaderImages.php?zip=/8/items/lamia___00keat/lamia___00keat_jp2.zip&file=lamia___00keat_jp2/lamia___00keat_0011.jp2&scale=4.719924812030075&rotate=0

 

Self-portrait by the America painter and RLS's friend, Will Hicok Low (1853-1932), 1875, when they first met in France [www.artcyclopedia.org]

Self-portrait by the America painter and RLS’s friend, Will Hicok Low (1853-1932), 1875, when they first met in France [www.artcyclopedia.org]

J. Guiaud, Storage of firewood in Paris, Boulevard Montparnasse, January 1871 [http://media.gettyimages.com]

J. Guiaud, Storage of firewood in Paris, Boulevard Montparnasse, January 1871 [http://media.gettyimages.com]

L’atelier des elèves de Carolus-Duran, attended in Paris by Low, was situated at 81 Boulevard Montparnasse, entered from an alleyway, Passage Stanislaus (now rue Jules Chaplain).

L’atelier des elèves de Carolus-Duran, attended in Paris by Low, was situated at 81 Boulevard Montparnasse, entered from an alleyway, Passage Stanislaus (now rue Jules Chaplain).

  

The sand of Lavenue’s crumbled under my heel;

Lavenue’s was the expensive Paris restaurant which RLS and his friends patronised when they were in funds; it was on the corner of rue du Départ and the Boulevard du Montparnasse.

Lavenue’s was the expensive Paris restaurant which RLS and his friends patronised when they were in funds; it was on the corner of rue du Départ and the Boulevard du Montparnasse.

  

and the bouquet of the old Fleury came back to me,

[http://avis-vin.lefigaro.fr/]

[http://avis-vin.lefigaro.fr/]

and I remembered the day when I found a twenty franc piece under my fetish. Have you that fetish still? and has it brought you luck?

[http://ventesuroffres.free.fr]

[http://ventesuroffres.free.fr]

https://ia601407.us.archive.org/BookReader/BookReaderImages.php?zip=/3/items/chronicleoffriend00loww/chronicleoffriend00loww_jp2.zip&file=chronicleoffriend00loww_jp2/chronicleoffriend00loww_0009.jp2&scale=5.7669172932330826&rotate=0

In ‘A Chronicle of Frendships’ (1908), Low described how when he was down on his luck RLS presented him with ‘a luck-penny, a curious Oriental coin which he had found on the floor of the Parliament Hall in Edinburgh’. This seemed to bring more bad luck and Low said he returned it to RLS some weeks later.

https://ia601407.us.archive.org/BookReader/BookReaderImages.php?zip=/3/items/chronicleoffriend00loww/chronicleoffriend00loww_jp2.zip&file=chronicleoffriend00loww_jp2/chronicleoffriend00loww_0281.jp2&scale=5.7669172932330826&rotate=0

https://ia601407.us.archive.org/BookReader/BookReaderImages.php?zip=/3/items/chronicleoffriend00loww/chronicleoffriend00loww_jp2.zip&file=chronicleoffriend00loww_jp2/chronicleoffriend00loww_0282.jp2&scale=5.7669172932330826&rotate=0

 

I remembered, too, my first sight of you in a frock-coat and a smoking-cap, when we passed the evening at the Café de Médicis;

RLS in smoking-cap, 1876.

RLS in smoking-cap, 1876.

Probable site of the Café de Medicis, 19 rue de Vaugirard, Paris.

Probable site of the Café de Medicis, 19 rue de Vaugirard, Paris.

 

and my last when we sat and talked in the Pare Monceau;

Cl. Monet, The Parc Monceau, 1876 [https://upload.wikimedia.org]

Cl. Monet, The Parc Monceau, 1876 [https://upload.wikimedia.org]

Cl. Monet, The Parc Monceau, 1876 [https://lh3.googleusercontent.com]

Cl. Monet, The Parc Monceau, 1876 [https://lh3.googleusercontent.com]

G. Caillebotte, The Park Monceau, 1877 [ttps://lh3.googleusercontent.com]

G. Caillebotte, The Park Monceau, 1877 [ttps://lh3.googleusercontent.com]

Cl. Monet, The Parc Monceau, 1878 [http://images.metmuseum.org]

Cl. Monet, The Parc Monceau, 1878 [http://images.metmuseum.org]

 

and all these things made me feel a little young again, which, to one who has been mostly in bed for a month, was a vivifying change.

[…]

Yes, you are lucky to have a bag that holds you comfortably. Mine is a strange contrivance; I don’t die, damme, and I can’t get along on both feet to save my soul; I am a chronic sickist; and my work cripples along between bed and the parlour, between the medicine bottle and the cupping glass.

[https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com]

[https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com]

Well, I like my life all the same; and should like it none the worse if I could have another talk with you, though even my talks now are measured out to me by the minute hand like poisons in a minim glass.

[http://i.ebayimg.com]

[http://i.ebayimg.com]

A photograph will be taken of my ugly mug and sent to you for ulterior purposes.

Low had asked on behalf of Scribner’s for a photograph of RLS for publication in 'The Book Buyer: A Summary of American & Foreign Literature' [http://product-images.highwire.com]

Low had asked on behalf of Scribner’s for a photograph of RLS for publication in ‘The Book Buyer: A Summary of American & Foreign Literature’ [http://product-images.highwire.com]

RLS in Bournemouth, December 1885.

RLS in Bournemouth, December 1885.

 

I have another thing coming out, which I did not put in the way of the Scribners, I can scarce tell how; but I was sick and penniless and rather back on the world, and mismanaged it. I trust they will forgive me.

The 'other thing coming out' was The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, for Longmans, Green & Co. [https://3.bp.blogspot.com]

The ‘other thing coming out’ was The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, for Longmans, Green & Co. [https://3.bp.blogspot.com]

I am sorry to hear of Mrs. Low’s illness, and glad to hear of her recovery. I will announce the coming Lamia to Bob; he steams away at literature like smoke.

https://ia801008.us.archive.org/BookReader/BookReaderImages.php?zip=/17/items/chronifriends00loww/chronifriends00loww_jp2.zip&file=chronifriends00loww_jp2/chronifriends00loww_0101.jp2&scale=4&rotate=0

Bob with the mumps, sketched by Bob himself, in Low’s book ‘A Chronicle of friendships’.

 

I have a beautiful Bob on my walls,

R.A.M. Stevenson (Bob), Houses in the Snow [http://static.artuk.org]

R.A.M. Stevenson (Bob), Houses in the Snow [http://static.artuk.org]

R.A.M. Stevenson (Bob), Moonrise [https://image.invaluable.com]

R.A.M. Stevenson (Bob), Moonrise [https://image.invaluable.com]

  

and a good Sargent,

RLS and wife in Bournemouth, 1885, by J. S. Sargent [http://www.jssgallery.org]

RLS and wife in Bournemouth, 1885, by J. S. Sargent [http://www.jssgallery.org]

and a delightful Lemon;

Mary Lemon Waller (1851-1931), self-portrait [http://arcadiasystems.org]

Mary Lemon Waller (1851-1931), self-portrait [http://arcadiasystems.org]

Mary lemon Waller, A little girl with a pet rabbit [http://images.plentyofpaintings.com]

Mary lemon Waller, A little girl with a pet rabbit [http://images.plentyofpaintings.com]

 

and your etching now hangs framed in the dining-room.

https://ia801008.us.archive.org/BookReader/BookReaderImages.php?zip=/17/items/chronifriends00loww/chronifriends00loww_jp2.zip&file=chronifriends00loww_jp2/chronifriends00loww_0253.jp2&scale=7.176691729323308&rotate=0

W.H. Low, The village street at Grez, 1876.

https://ia801008.us.archive.org/BookReader/BookReaderImages.php?zip=/17/items/chronifriends00loww/chronifriends00loww_jp2.zip&file=chronifriends00loww_jp2/chronifriends00loww_0259.jp2&scale=7.176691729323308&rotate=0

W.H. Low, Springtime, Lontigny-sur-Loing, 1876.

 

So the arts surround me. Yours,

R.L.S.

 

 

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