Robert Louis Stevenson

Margaret Moyes Black

Louis Stevenson, by Margaret Moyes Black

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Title: Robert Louis Stevenson
Author: Margaret Moyes Black
Release Date: August 10, 2007 [EBook #22294]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
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ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON
FAMOUS SCOTS SERIES
The following Volumes are now ready:--
THOMAS CARLYLE. By HECTOR C. MACPHERSON.
ALLAN RAMSAY. By OLIPHANT SMEATON.
HUGH MILLER. By W. KEITH LEASK.
JOHN KNOX. By A. TAYLOR INNES.
ROBERT BURNS. By GABRIEL SETOUN.
THE BALLADISTS. By JOHN GEDDIE.
RICHARD CAMERON. By Professor HERKLESS.
SIR JAMES Y. SIMPSON. By EVE BLANTYRE SIMPSON.
THOMAS CHALMERS. By Professor W. GARDEN BLAIKIE.
JAMES BOSWELL. By W. KEITH LEASK.
TOBIAS SMOLLETT. By OLIPHANT SMEATON.
FLETCHER OF SALTOUN. By G. W. T. OMOND.
THE BLACKWOOD GROUP. By Sir GEORGE DOUGLAS.
NORMAN MACLEOD. By JOHN WELLWOOD.
SIR WALTER SCOTT. By Professor SAINTSBURY.
KIRKCALDY OF GRANGE. By LOUIS A. BARB.
ROBERT FERGUSSON. By A. B. GROSART.
JAMES THOMSON. By WILLIAM BAYNE.
MUNGO PARK. By T. BANKS MACLACHLAN.
DAVID HUME. By Professor CALDERWOOD.
WILLIAM DUNBAR. By OLIPHANT SMEATON.
SIR WILLIAM WALLACE. By Professor MURISON.
ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON. By MARGARET MOYES BLACK.

ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON
BY MARGARET MOYES BLACK
FAMOUS SCOTS SERIES
PUBLISHED BY CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS NEW YORK

PREFACE AND DEDICATION
In so small a volume it would be somewhat hopeless to attempt an exhaustive notice of R. L. Stevenson, nor would it be desirable. The only possible full biography of him will be the Life in preparation by his intimate friend Mr Sydney Colvin, and for it his friends and his public look eagerly. This little book is only a reminiscence and an appreciation by one who, in the old days between 1869 and 1880, knew him and his home circle well. My earlier and later knowledge has been derived from his mother and those other members of his mother's family with whom it was a pleasure to talk of him, and to exchange news of his sayings and doings.
In the actual writing of this volume, I have received most kind help for which I return grateful thanks to the givers. For the verification of dates and a few other particulars I am indebted to Mr Colvin's able article in the Dictionary of National Biography.
It is dedicated, in the first instance, to the memory of Mr and Mrs Thomas Stevenson and their son, and, in the second, to all the dearly prized friends of the Balfour connection who have either, like the household at 17 Heriot Row, passed into the 'Silent Land,' or who are still here to gladden life with their friendship.
MARGARET MOYES BLACK. August 1898.

CONTENTS
CHAPTER I
Page HEREDITY AND ANTECEDENTS 9
CHAPTER II
CHILDHOOD 22
CHAPTER III
BOYHOOD AND COLLEGE DAYS 33
CHAPTER IV
AS I FIRST KNEW HIM 45
CHAPTER V
HIS HOME LIFE 57
CHAPTER VI
HIS CHOICE OF A LITERARY LIFE AND HIS EARLY BOOKS 70
CHAPTER VII
WANDERINGS IN SEARCH OF HEALTH 83
CHAPTER VIII
HIS MARRIAGE AND FRIENDSHIPS 92
CHAPTER IX
HIS ESSAYS AND VERSES 101
CHAPTER X
HIS STORIES 117
CHAPTER XI
HIS LIFE IN SAMOA 131
CHAPTER XII
HIS DEATH 141
CHAPTER XIII
HIS LIFE-WORK 150

ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON
CHAPTER I
HEREDITY AND ANTECEDENTS
'These are thy works, O father, these thy crown, Whether on high the air be pure they shine Along the yellowing sunset, and all night Among the unnumbered stars of God they shine. Or whether fogs arise, and far and wide The low sea-level drown--each finds a tongue, And all night long the tolling bell resounds. So shine so toll till night be overpast, Till the stars vanish, till the sun return, And in the haven rides the fleet at last.' --R. L. STEVENSON.
In no country in the world is heredity more respected than in Scotland, and her hard-working sons freely acknowledge the debt they owe, for the successes of to-day, to the brave struggle with sterner conditions of life their ancestors waged from generation to generation. We of the present are 'the heirs of all the ages'; but we are also in no small degree the clay from the potter's hands, moulded and kneaded by the natures, physical and mental, of those who have gone before us, and whose lives and circumstances have made us what we are.
Robert Lewis Balfour Stevenson--for so the writer whom the world knows as Robert Louis Stevenson, was baptised--valued greatly this doctrine of heredity, and always bore enthusiastic testimony to the influence his ancestry and antecedents had exercised in moulding his temperament and character. He was proud of that ancestry, with no foolish pride, but rather with that appreciation of all that was noble and worthy in his forefathers, which made him desire to be, in his own widely differing life-work, as good a man as they.
... 'And I--can I be base?'--he says; 'I must arise,
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