Tag Archives: humour

“The tales are like the fox, the goose, and the cabbage of the ferryman”

[As usual, dots between square brackets indicate cuts made by Sidney Colvin. For full, correct and critical edition of this letter, see Mehew 5, 1732.] To Lady Taylor [Colvin 1912, pp. 220-222] Skerryvore, Bournemouth [23 December 1886] My dear Lady … Continue reading

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In not many years shall we not all be clay-cold and safe below ground, you with your loud-mouthed integrity, I with my fastidious briskness

This refers to some dispute which had arisen between Henley and the editor W.H. Pollock concerning the refusal of an article on the great Italian actor Tommaso Salvini, who was appearing in plays in London. “Fastidious Brisk” was a name … Continue reading

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Looking forward through the clouds to the sunburst

[Dots between square brackets indicate cuts made by Sidney Colvin. For full, correct and critical edition of this letter, see Mehew 4, 1140.] To William Ernest Henley [Colvin 1911, 2, pp. 157-161] La Solitude, Hyères, September 19, 1883 Dear boy, … Continue reading

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It is the history of our kindnesses that alone makes this world tolerable

The copy of the Monterey paper here mentioned is probably the Monterey Californian of 11 November 1879, containing RLS’s article ‘San Carlos Day’ signed ‘The Monterey Barbarian’, and repulished in Scribner’s Magazine, August 1920. [As usual, dots between square brackets … Continue reading

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I envy you your wife, your home, your child – I was going to say your cat

The ‘humorous friend’ was Charles Baxter: RLS stayed the weekend with the Baxters at Lochcote House near Bathgate, now demolished. Edmund William Gosse used to sign with two initials, E.W.G. The nickname Weg was fastened on him by RLS, partly … Continue reading

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There is one masterpiece fewer in the world

The two following letters refer to the essay on the Spirit of Spring which Sidney Colvin was careless enough to lose in the process of a change of rooms at Cambridge. The Petits Poèmes en Prose were attempts, not altogether … Continue reading

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Merged and mixed up in a quadruple existence

RLS’s cousin and friend, Bob (Robert Alan Mowbray Stevenson, 1847-1900), painter and art critic, is recovering at Swanston, staying there with his sisters Katharine and Dora (the ‘two cousins from Portobello’) and another cousin of RLS’s (on mother’s side), Maggie. … Continue reading

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