Sunday, June 17, 2012

Begging tips from Stevenson!

I am always on the look-out for fellow letter-writing enthusiasts. Imagine my extreme delight when I found a charming, witty, beggary-letter written from a 15-year-old Robert Louis Stevenson to his father, asking for more money. I found the letter reprinted in the newest issue of Reader's Digest. :) I've shared it for you, below. Take notes, my fellow writers--it's pure genius:

Respected Paternal Relative,
     I write to make a request of the most moderate nature. Every year I have cost you an enormous--nay, elephantine--sum of money for drugs and physician's fees, and the most expensive time of the twelve months was March.
But this year the biting Oriental blasts, the howling tempests, and the general ailments of the human race have been successfully braved by yours truly. 
Does this not deserve remuneration?
I appeal to your charity, I appeal to your generosity, I appeal to your justice, I appeal to your accounts, I appeal, in fine, to your purse.
My sense of generosity forbids the receipt of more--my sense of justice forbids the receipt of less--than half a crown.
Greetings from, sir, your most affectionate and needy son,
                              R. Stevenson


Always Narnian said...

Hahaha..Don't you love the way they wrote!
R.L.S. is one of my favorite authors (Having read his Kidnapped & The Black Arrow..I've yet to read Treasure Island)

Anonymous said...

I love it!!! "Respected Paternal Relative," It reminds me of Great expectations and "The Aged P". I suppose the real question is, did he get the money?
Wyatt Fairlead

Rachel Heffington said...

I was wondering the same thing! :D

Maria Tatham said...

Rachel, this is both funny and affectionate. I like it!

Have you read Richardson's Clarissa? If you don't know it, it's an epistolary novel, an extremely long one, and the suspense is torturous, but it is so worth reading. You might like it, nourishment for an artistic mind with an unforgettable villain and heroine.

Bookworm said...

This is hilarious! I love it! Perhaps I shall try this sort of appeal one day. ;) @Always Narnian: I love the Black Arrow! Great book!
God bless

Always Narnian said...

Oh I love The Black Arrow too! :) (obviously) :D It is really good.