[Dots between square brackets indicate cuts made by Sidney Colvin. For full, correct and critical edition of this letter see Mehew 6, 2153.]
To Edward L. Burlingame [Colvin 1911, 3, pp. 132-4]
[Honolulu, c. 2 April 1889]
My dear Burlingame,
This is to announce the most prodigious change of programme. I have seen so much of the South Seas that I desire to see more, and I get so much health here that I dread a return to our vile climates. I have applied accordingly to the missionary folk to let me go round in the Morning Star;
and if the Boston Board should refuse, I shall get somehow to Fiji, hire a trading schooner, and see the Fijis and Friendlies and Samoa. He would be a South Seayer, Mr. Burlingame. Of course, if I go in the Morning Star, I see all the eastern (or western?) islands.
Before I sail, I shall make out to let you have the last of The Master: though I tell you it sticks! – and I hope to have had some proofs forbye, of the verses anyway. And now to business.
I want (if you can find them) in the British sixpenny edition, if not, in some equally compact and portable shape – Seaside Library, for instance – the Waverley Novels entire, or as entire as you can get ’em,
and the following of Marryat: Phantom Ship,
Children of the New Forest,
Dog Fiend (Snarleyyow).
Also Midshipman Easy,
Carlyle’s French Revolution,
Motley’s Dutch Republic,
Lang’s Letters on Literature,
a complete set of my works, Jenkin, in duplicate;
also Familiar Studies, ditto.
I have to thank you for the accounts, which are satisfactory indeed, and for the cheque for $1000. Another account will have come and gone before I see you. I hope it will be equally roseate in colour.
Another account will have come and gone before I see you. I hope it will be equally roseate in colour. I am quite worked out, and this cursed end of The Master hangs over me like the arm of the gallows;
but it is always darkest before dawn, and no doubt the clouds will soon rise;
but it is a difficult thing to write, above all in Mackellarese; and I cannot yet see my way clear. If I pull this off, The Master will be a pretty good novel or I am the more deceived; and even if I don’t pull it off, it’ll still have some stuff in it.
We shall remain here until the middle of June anyway; but my mother leaves for Europe early in May.
Hence our mail should continue to come here; but not hers. I will let you know my next address, which will probably be Sydney. If we get on the Morning Star, I propose at present to get marooned on Ponape,
and take my chance of getting a passage to Australia. It will leave times and seasons mighty vague, and the cruise is risky; but I shall know something of the South Seas when it is done, or else the South Seas will contain all there is of me.
It should give me a fine book of travels, anyway.
Low will probably come and ask some dollars of you. Pray let him have them, they are for outfit. […]
O, another complete set of my books should go to Captain A.H. Otis, care of Dr. Merritt, Yacht Casco, Oakland, Cal.
– In haste,