[For critical edition of this letter see Mehew 6, 2214.]
To his Mother [Colvin 1912, pp. 264-5]
Union Club, Sydney, March 5, 1890.
My dear Mother,
I understand the family keeps you somewhat informed. For myself I am in such a whirl of work and society, I can ill spare a moment. My health is excellent and has been here tried by abominable wet weather, and (what’s waur) dinners and lunches. As this is like to be our metropolis, I have tried to lay myself out to be sociable with an eye to yoursel’.
Several niceish people have turned up: Fanny has an evening, but she is about at the end of the virtuous effort, and shrinks from the approach of any fellow creature.
Have you seen Hyde’s (Dr. not Mr.) letter about Damien?
That has been one of my concerns; I have an answer in the press; and have just written a difficult letter to Damon trying to prepare him for what (I fear) must be to him extremely painful.
The answer is to come out as a pamphlet; of which I make of course a present to the publisher.
I am not a cannibal, I would not eat the flesh of Dr. Hyde, – and it is conceivable it will make a noise in Honolulu. I have struck as hard as I knew how; nor do I think my answer can fail to do away (in the minds of all who see it) with the effect of Hyde’s incredible and really villainous production. What a mercy I wasn’t this man’s guest in the Morning Star!I think it would have broke my heart.