Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson— Volume 2

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Author: Robert Louis Stevenson

Letter: To Mrs. Charles Fairchild, Union Club, Sydney [September 1890]

MY DEAR MRS. FAIRCHILD, - I began a letter to you on board the JANET NICOLL on my last cruise, wrote, I believe, two sheets, and ruthlessly destroyed the flippant trash. Your last has given me great pleasure and some pain, for it increased the consciousness of my neglect. Now, this must go to you, whatever it is like.

. . . You are quite right; our civilisation is a hollow fraud, all the fun of life is lost by it; all it gains is that a larger number of persons can continue to be contemporaneously unhappy on the surface of the globe. O, unhappy! - there is a big word and a false - continue to be not nearly - by about twenty per cent. - so happy as they might be: that would be nearer the mark.

When - observe that word, which I will write again and larger - WHEN you come to see us in Samoa, you will see for yourself a healthy and happy people.

You see, you are one of the very few of our friends rich enough to come and see us; and when my house is built, and the road is made, and we have enough fruit planted and poultry and pigs raised, it is undeniable that you must come - must is the word; that is the way in which I speak to ladies. You and Fairchild, anyway - perhaps my friend Blair - we’ll arrange details in good time. It will be the salvation of your souls, and make you willing to die.

Let me tell you this: In ’74 or 5 there came to stay with my father and mother a certain Mr. Seed, a prime minister or something of New Zealand. He spotted what my complaint was; told me that I had no business to stay in Europe; that I should find all I cared for, and all that was good for me, in the Navigator Islands; sat up till four in the morning persuading me, demolishing my scruples. And I resisted: I refused to go so far from my father and mother. O, it was virtuous, and O, wasn’t it silly! But my father, who was always my dearest, got to his grave without that pang; and now in 1890, I (or what is left of me) go at last to the Navigator Islands. God go with us! It is but a Pisgah sight when all is said; I go there only to grow old and die; but when you come, you will see it is a fair place for the purpose.

Flaubert has not turned up; I hope he will soon; I knew of him only through Maxime Descamps. - With kindest messages to yourself and all of yours, I remain,

ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON.

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Chicago: Robert Louis Stevenson, "Letter: To Mrs. Charles Fairchild, Union Club, Sydney [September 1890]," 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 21, 2018, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CMT1CC4VB7XNTIR.

MLA: Stevenson, Robert Louis. "Letter: To Mrs. Charles Fairchild, Union Club, Sydney [September 1890]." 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. 21 Sep. 2018. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CMT1CC4VB7XNTIR.

Harvard: Stevenson, RL, 'Letter: To Mrs. Charles Fairchild, Union Club, Sydney [September 1890]' in Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson— Volume 2, ed. and trans. . cited in , Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson—Volume 2. Original Sources, retrieved 21 September 2018, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CMT1CC4VB7XNTIR.