Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson— Volume 2

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Author: Robert Louis Stevenson

Letter: To Henry James, [Saranac Lake, October 1887]

I know not the day; but the month it is the drear October by the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir

MY DEAR HENRY JAMES, - This is to say FIRST, the voyage was a huge success. We all enjoyed it (bar my wife) to the ground: sixteen days at sea with a cargo of hay, matches, stallions, and monkeys, and in a ship with no style on, and plenty of sailors to talk to, and the endless pleasures of the sea - the romance of it, the sport of the scratch dinner and the smashing crockery, the pleasure - an endless pleasure - of balancing to the swell: well, it’s over.

SECOND, I had a fine time, rather a troubled one, at Newport and New York; saw much of and liked hugely the Fairchilds, St. Gaudens the sculptor, Gilder of the CENTURY - just saw the dear Alexander - saw a lot of my old and admirable friend Will Low, whom I wish you knew and appreciated - was medallioned by St. Gaudens, and at last escaped to

THIRD, Saranac Lake, where we now are, and which I believe we mean to like and pass the winter at. Our house - emphatically ’Baker’s’ - is on a hill, and has a sight of a stream turning a corner in the valley - bless the face of running water! - and sees some hills too, and the paganly prosaic roofs of Saranac itself; the Lake it does not see, nor do I regret that; I like water (fresh water I mean) either running swiftly among stones, or else largely qualified with whisky. As I write, the sun (which has been long a stranger) shines in at my shoulder; from the next room, the bell of Lloyd’s typewriter makes an agreeable music as it patters off (at a rate which astonishes this experienced novelist) the early chapters of a humorous romance; from still further off - the walls of Baker’s are neither ancient nor massive - rumours of Valentine about the kitchen stove come to my ears; of my mother and Fanny I hear nothing, for the excellent reason that they have gone sparking off, one to Niagara, one to Indianapolis. People complain that I never give news in my letters. I have wiped out that reproach.

But now, FOURTH, I have seen the article; and it may be from natural partiality, I think it the best you have written. O - I remember the Gautier, which was an excellent performance; and the Balzac, which was good; and the Daudet, over which I licked my chops; but the R. L. S. is better yet. It is so humorous, and it hits my little frailties with so neat (and so friendly) a touch; and Alan is the occasion for so much happy talk, and the quarrel is so generously praised. I read it twice, though it was only some hours in my possession; and Low, who got it for me from the CENTURY, sat up to finish it ere he returned it; and, sir, we were all delighted. Here is the paper out, nor will anything, not even friendship, not even gratitude for the article, induce me to begin a second sheet; so here with the kindest remembrances and the warmest good wishes, I remain, yours affectionately,

R. L. S.

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Chicago: Robert Louis Stevenson, "Letter: To Henry James, [Saranac Lake, October 1887]," Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson— Volume 2, ed. Macaulay, G. C. (George Campbell), 1852-1915 and trans. Curtin, Jeremiah, 1835-1906 in Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson—Volume 2 Original Sources, accessed September 23, 2018, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CJUUQDS3Y835RBR.

MLA: Stevenson, Robert Louis. "Letter: To Henry James, [Saranac Lake, October 1887]." Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson— Volume 2, edited by Macaulay, G. C. (George Campbell), 1852-1915, and translated by Curtin, Jeremiah, 1835-1906, in Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson—Volume 2, Original Sources. 23 Sep. 2018. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CJUUQDS3Y835RBR.

Harvard: Stevenson, RL, 'Letter: To Henry James, [Saranac Lake, October 1887]' in Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson— Volume 2, ed. and trans. . cited in , Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson—Volume 2. Original Sources, retrieved 23 September 2018, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CJUUQDS3Y835RBR.