Davis, Richard Harding, 1864-1916.. Adventures and Letters of Richard Harding Davis
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PHILADELPHIA, February 15, 1892.
[MY DEAR OWN DICK:]
I have not been the complete letter writer I should have been, as I told you on Saturday, but I know you
will understand. Your two good letters came this evening, one to Mamma and one to Nora. They were a good deal to us all, most, of course, to your dear mother and sister, who have a fond, foolish fancy or love for you -- strange -- isn't it? Yes, dear boy, I liked the new story very, very much. It was in your best book and in fine spirit, and I liked, too, the dedication of the book -- its meaning and its manner. I am glad to be associated with my dear boy and with his work even in that brief way. You may not yet thought about it after this fashion, but I have thought a good deal about it. Reports come to me of you from many sources, and they are all good, and they all reflect honor upon me -- Upon me as I'm getting ready to salute the world, as our French friends say. It is very pleasant to me as I think it over to feel and to know that my boy has honored my name, that he has done something good and useful in the world and for the world. I have something more than pride in you. I am grateful to you. If this is a little prosie, dear old fellow, forgive it. It is late at night and I am a little tired, and being tired stupid. You saw The Atlantic notice of your work. I wish you could have heard Nora on the author of it, who would not have been happy in his mind if he had unhappily heard her. She went for that Heathen Chinee like a wild cat. No disrespect to her, but, all the same, like a wild cat. To me it was interesting. I did not agree with it, but here and there I saw the flash of truth even in the adverse praise. I should have had more respect for the author's opinion if he had liked that vital speck, Raegen. If he could not see the divine, human spark in that -- a flash from Calvary, what is the use of considering him? My greatest pride in
you, that which has added some sweetness and joy to my life, has been the recognition that something of the divine element was given you, and that your voice rang out sweet and pure at a time when other voices were sounding the fascinations of impurity. That, like Christ, you taught humanity. Don't be afraid of being thought "fresh," fear to be thought "knowing." Life isn't much worth at best, -- it is worth nothing at all unless some good be done in it -- -the more, the better. Don't make it too serious either. Enjoy it as you go, but after a fashion that will bring no reproach to your manhood. Don't be afraid to preach the truth and above all the religion of humanity. Good night, dear boy. I'm a little tired to night. With great love,