“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.

https://babylonbaroque.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/dt2583.jpg?w=450&h=320

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;

https://i1.wp.com/chamorrobible.org/images/photos/gpw-20050226-fog-NOAA-wea03119.jpg

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

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

https://cdn.cjr.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/fake-hero.jpg

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

cut for Newport with Lloyd and Valentine,

https://i0.wp.com/www.usgwarchives.net/maps/rhodeisland/citymap/newport.jpg

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;

https://i1.wp.com/www.tenement.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/nyelevated_shadbelly_c1877-7.2.13.jpg

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]

https://i1.wp.com/www.brooklinehistoricalsociety.org/archives/images/MarnieWilliams/SallyFairchild.jpg

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

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

https://i1.wp.com/www.brooklinehistoricalsociety.org/archives/images/MarnieWilliams/LuciaFairchild.jpg

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.

https://i2.wp.com/www.azquotes.com/public/pictures/authors/12/7a/127af0ed2b0c21ca6134111d3854e9b3/5438df37dc50a_augustus_saint_gaudens.jpg

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]

https://blueridgeimpressions.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/scene-1.jpg

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

https://blueridgeimpressions.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/paint-8.jpg

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

https://www.outdoorproject.com/sites/default/files/styles/cboxshow/public/mt._marcy_fall.jpg?itok=S81sSYmP

Autumn in the Adirondacks [www.outdoorproject.com]

https://www.outdoorproject.com/sites/default/files/7577/high_peaks_wilderness_from_mt._van_hoevenberg_0.jpg

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.

https://i1.wp.com/library.princeton.edu/libraries/firestone/rbsc/aids/scribner/743-745broadway.JPG

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

https://i0.wp.com/library.princeton.edu/libraries/firestone/rbsc/aids/scribner/743-745interior2.jpg

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,

R.L.S.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salva

Salva

Salva

Salva

Salva

Salva

Salva

Salva

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