[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,
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.
I caught a cold on the Banks; fog is not for me;
nearly died of interviewers and visitors, during twenty-four hours in New York;
cut for Newport with Lloyd and Valentine,
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;
caught another cold on the train;
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,
and one of the children, Blair, aet. ten, a great joy and amusement in his solemn adoring attitude to the author of Treasure Island.
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.
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;
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.
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,