“Like an Italian cinque-cento medallion”

[As usual, dots between square brackets indicate cuts made by Sidney Colvin. For full, correct and critical edition of this letter, see Mehew 6, 1885.]

To Sidney Colvin [Colvin 1911, 3, pp. 8-9]

[Hotel St. Stephen, New York, 24 September 1887]

My dear S.C.,

Your delightful letter has just come, and finds me in a New York hotel,

Place of the Hotel St. Stephen, 46 to 52 East 11th Street, NY.


waiting the arrival of a sculptor (St. Gaudens) who is making a medallion of yours truly and who is (to boot) one of the handsomest and nicest fellows I have seen.


Augustus Saint-Gaudens at work, by Kenyon Cox, 1887. Saint-Gaudens, American sculptor of Franco-Irish parentage and friend of W. Low, was to become a devoted admirer of RLS [https://babylonbaroque.files.wordpress.com]

I caught a cold on the Banks; fog is not for me;


Fog on the Grand Banks [http://chamorrobible.org]

nearly died of interviewers and visitors, during twenty-four hours in New York;


Composing room of the New York Herald [https://cdn.cjr.org]

cut for Newport with Lloyd and Valentine,


Newport, Rhode Island, 1878 [www.usgwarchives.net]

Lloyd Osbourne (right) and Valentine Roch (left), 1887 [http://robert-louis-stevenson.org]


a journey like fairy-land for the most engaging beauties, one little rocky and pine-shaded cove after another, each with a house and a boat at anchor, so that I left my heart in each and marvelled why American authors had been so unjust to their country;

Newport, Rhode Island [https://scottsdalefiat.files.wordpress.com]

caught another cold on the train;


First elevated train, New York 1878 [www.tenement.org]

arrived at Newport to go to bed and to grow worse, and to stay in bed until I left again; the Fairchilds proving during this time kindness itself; […] Mr. Fairchild simply one of the most engaging men in the world,

Charles Fairchild, Madison, Wisconsin, 1858. Varnished salted paper print.

Charls Fairchild (1838-1910) was a wealthy stock broker [https://it.pinterest.com]

Mrs. Charles Fairchild, née Elizabeth Nelson (1845-1924), was a poet and was often a hostess of parties for artist friends [www.jssgallery.org]


and one of the children, Blair, aet. ten, a great joy and amusement in his solemn adoring attitude to the author of Treasure Island.

Charles Fairchild’s son, J. Blair Fairchild (1877–1933), was to become a composer and diplomat [https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com]

John Singer Sargent (American, 1856-1925) Gordon Fairchild 21 1/4 x 17 1/4in (Painted in 1887.)

Gordon Fairchild (b. 1982), the youngest Faichild, by J. Singer Sargent, 1887 [www.bonhams.com]


Sally Fairchild (1869-1960), 1882 [www.brooklinehistoricalsociety.org]

Sally Fairchild (1869-1860), by J. Singer Sargent, 1885-1887 [www.jssgallery.org]


Lucia Fairchild (1872-1924) in 1882. She was to become a painter [www.brooklinehistoricalsociety.org]

Here I was interrupted by the arrival of my sculptor.―I withdraw calling him handsome; he is not quite that, his eyes are too near together; he is only remarkable looking, and like an Italian cinque-cento medallion; I have begged him to make a medallion of himself and give me a copy.


Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907) [www.azquotes.com]

I will not take up the sentence in which I was wandering so long, but begin fresh. I was ten or twelve days at Newport; then came back convalescent to New York. Fanny and Lloyd are off to the Adirondacks to see if that will suit;

Fanny Stevenson with his son Lloyd Osbourne, 1887 [https://localwiki.org]


William Trost Richards, Autumn in the Adirondacks, 1865 [https://blueridgeimpressions.files.wordpress.com]


Herman Fuechsel, Keene Valley, Adirondacks, 1876 [https://blueridgeimpressions.files.wordpress.com]


Autumn in the Adirondacks [www.outdoorproject.com]


Autumn in the Adirondacks [www.outdoorproject.com]


and the rest of us leave Monday (this is Saturday) to follow them up. I hope we may manage to stay there all winter. I have a splendid appetite and have on the whole recovered well after a mighty sharp attack. I am now on a salary of £500 a year for twelve articles in Scribner’s Magazine on what I like; it is more than £500, but I cannot calculate more precisely.


Scribner’s building at 743 Broadway (1880-1894) [http://library.princeton.edu]


Scribner’s interior, 743 Broadway [http://library.princeton.edu]


You have no idea how much is made of me here; I was offered £2000 for a weekly article―eh heh! how is that? but I refused that lucrative job. […] The success of Underwoods is gratifying. You see, the verses are sane; that is their strong point, and it seems it is strong enough to carry them.


A thousand thanks for your grand letter. Ever yours,

















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