[As usual, dots between square brackets indicate cuts made by Sidney Colvin. For full, correct and critical edition of this letter, see Mehew 6, 2098.]
To Henry James [Colvin 1911, 3, pp. 70-7]
Manasquan (ahem!), New Jersey [28 May 1888]
My dear James,
With what a torrent it has come at last! Up to now, what I like best is the first number of a London Life. You have never done anything better, and I don’t know if perhaps you have ever done anything so good as the girl’s outburst: tip-top.
I have been preaching your later works in your native land. I had to present the Beltraffio volume to Low, and it has brought him to his knees; he was amazed at the first part of Georgina’s Reasons, although (like me) not so well satisfied with Part II.
It is annoying to find the American public as stupid as the English, but they will waken up in time: I wonder what they will think of Two Nations? […]
This, dear James, is a valedictory. On June 15th the schooner yacht Casco will (weather and a jealous providence permitting) steam
through the Golden Gates
and – I hope not the bottom of the Pacific.
It will contain your obedient ’umble servant and party.
It seems too good to be true, and is a very good way of getting through the green-sickness of maturity which, with all its accompanying ills, is now declaring itself in my mind and life. They tell me it is not so severe as that of youth: if I (and the Casco) are spared, I shall tell you more exactly, as I am one of the few people in the world who do not forget their own lives.
Good-bye, then, my dear fellow, and please write us a word; we expect to have three mails in the next two months: Honolulu,
But letters will be forwarded from Scribner’s,
if you hear nothing more definite directly. In 3 (three) days I leave for San Francisco.
Ever yours most cordially,