STEVENSON, ROBERT LOUIS. 1850-1894.
"I HAVE HAD MY FUTURE TOLD: I AM TO BE VERY HAPPY AND GET TO BE MUCH ON THE SEA..."
Autograph Letter Signed ("R.L. Stevenson"), 4 pp recto and verso, 8vo (conjoined leaves), Argyll Hotel / Dunoon, April 29, 1870, to his mother, outer pages toned, short fold split.
Long, revealing letter from the 19-year old Stevenson to his mother, in which he relates having had his fortune told. Stevenson also offers good-natured criticism of both parents as correspondents and of the art in the hotel he is visiting. In part: "For the first time, I receive a little news but even that of a somewhat slender extent. My father's correspondence is characterized by a laconic brevity: he hits the nail on the head perhaps, but he never attempts more than one nail in the same letter. Ink I opine, is growing scarce in 84. Your own epistle is of the lugubrious order, consisting mainly of a long Jeremiad of grievances. Who is Tin, whose absence you regret so much? / I am pretty jolly ... I wear my Jersey under my pilot-coat, a conjunction of raiment which gives me somewhat of a Methodist fisherman or a revivalistic canoist. / The people here thought Adam Sedgewick and me, divinity students: partly from my face, and partly from our high-flown language, and our strictures on a huge drawing in the coffee room. This work of art contains the whole of the bible in illegible characters and a good many blasphemous portraits into the bargain. It was the work of one industrious human being & a fellow creature, Mrs S, but weak! / For further adornment we have the picture of a paralytic pointer, which (the picturenot the dog) is suffering from an aggravated small-pox ... Shakespeare illustrated by Kenny Meadows lies on the table. If I looked at these profuse tableaus my opinion of Shakespeare would keep to the level of Harriet's. Tell the latter that I saw a German. I have had my future told: I am to be very happy and get to be much on the sea: two predictions which my queasy stomach will hardly consider as agreeable with each other...."