The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 23

The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 23

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The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 23 by Robert Louis Stevenson

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The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 23

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Book Excerpt

eeling that he has been throughout in the company of a spirit various indeed and many-mooded, but profoundly sincere and real. Ways that in another might easily have been mere signs of affectation were in him the true expression of a nature ten times more spontaneously itself and individually alive than that of others. Self-consciousness, in many characters that possess it, deflects and falsifies conduct; and so does the dramatic instinct. Stevenson was self-conscious in a high degree, but only as a part of his general activity of mind; only in so far as he could not help being an extremely intelligent spectator of his own doings and feelings: these themselves came from springs of character and impulse much too deep and strong to be diverted. He loved also, with a child's or actor's gusto, to play a part and make a drama out of life: but the part was always for the moment his very own: he had it not in him to pose for anything but what he truly was.

"When a man so constituted had once mastered his craf

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