[As usual, dots between square brackets indicate cuts made by Sidney Colvin. For full, correct and critical edition of this letter, see Mehew 5, 1667.]
To his Father [Colvin 1911, 2, p. 345]
[Skerryvore, Bournemouth] July 28, 1886
My dear Father,
We have decided not to come to Scotland, but just to do as Dobell wished, and take an outing.
I believe this is wiser in all ways; but I own it is a disappointment. I am weary of England; like Alan, ‘I weary for the heather,’
if not for the deer.
Lloyd has gone to Scilly with Katharine and C., where and with whom he should have a good time.
David seems really to be going to succeed, which is a pleasant prospect on all sides. I am, I believe, floated financially; a book that sells will be a pleasant novelty. I enclose another review; mighty complimentary, and calculated to sell the book too.
Coolin’s tombstone has been got out, honest man! and it is to be polished, for it has got scratched, and have a touch of gilding in the letters, and be sunk in the front of the house.
Worthy man, he, too, will maybe weary for the heather, and the bents of Gullane, where (as I dare say you remember) he gaed clean gyte [= went completely mad], and jumped on to his crown from a gig, in hot and hopeless chase of many thousand rabbits.
I can still hear the little cries of the honest fellow as he disappeared; and my mother will correct me, but I believe it was two days before he turned up again at North Berwick: to judge by his belly, he had caught not one out of these thousands, but he had had some exercise.
[…] I keep well. – Ever your affectionate son,