Monday, December 10, 2007

They all say

[Robert Louis Stevenson to W.E. Henley]

Skerryvore, Bournemouth

August 1887.
Dear Lad,
I write to inform you that Mr. Stevenson's well-known work, VIRGINIBUS PUERISQUE, is about to be reprinted. At the same time a second volume called MEMORIES AND PORTRAITS will issue from the roaring loom. Its interest will be largely autobiographical, Mr. S. having sketched there the lineaments of many departed friends, and dwelt fondly, and with a m'istened eye, upon byegone pleasures. The two will be issued under the common title of FAMILIAR ESSAYS; but the volumes will be vended separately to those who are mean enough not to hawk at both.

The blood is at last stopped: only yesterday. I began to think I should not get away. However, I hope - I hope - remark the word - no boasting - I hope I may luff up a bit now. Dobell, whom I saw, gave as usual a good account of my lungs, and expressed himself, like his neighbours, hopefully about the trip. He says, my uncle says, Scott says, Brown says - they all say - You ought not to be in such a state of health; you should recover. Well, then, I mean to. My spirits are rising again after three months of black depression: I almost begin to feel as if I should care to live: I would, by God! And so I believe I shall.

Bulletin M'Gurder.
How has the Deacon gone?
-from the Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson, vol. 2

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