Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson

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Robert Louis Stevenson by Walter Alexander Scott

Published:

1906

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Robert Louis Stevenson

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Book Excerpt

and iron-founding. In a 'Letter to a Young Artist,' contributed to a magazine years ago, he compares the artist in paint or in words to the keeper of a booth at the world's fair, dependent for his bread on his success in amusing others. In his volume of poems he almost apologises for his excellence in literature:

'Say not of me, that weakly I declined The labours of my sires, and fled the sea, The towers we founded, and the lamps we lit, To play at home with paper like a child; But rather say: IN THE AFTERNOON OF TIME A STRENUOUS FAMILY DUSTED FROM ITS HANDS THE SAND OF GRANITE, AND BEHOLDING FAR ALONG THE SOUNDING COASTS ITS PYRAMIDS AND TALL MEMORIALS CATCH THE DYING SUN, SMILED WELL-CONTENT, AND TO THIS CHILDISH TASK AROUND THE FIRE ADDRESSED ITS EVENING HOURS.'

Some of his works are, no doubt, best described as paper-games. In THE WRONG BOX, for instance, there is something very like the card- game commonly called 'Old Maid'; the odd card is a superfluous corpse, and each dismayed recip

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