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Full text of "Selected Essays Of Robert Louis Stevenson"

This be the verse you grave for me :
* Here he lies where he longed to be,
Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
And the hunter, home from the hill.'

& Whom the gods love, die young.' And in this, at least,
they were kind to Robert Louis Stevenson. It was the
end which he himself had most desired.

4 To the English-speaking world/ says Sir Sidney Colvin,
; he left behind a treasure which it would be vain as yet
to attempt to estimate ; to the profession of letters, one
of the most noble and inspiring of examples ; and to his
friends, an image of the memory more vivid and more dear
than are the presences of almost any of the living.'

II

What will be the permanent place of Stevenson in
Victorian literature? The question is a fascinating one,
and though thirty years have now elapsed since Robert
Louis Stevenson passed away from our midst, it is still
unanswered. The Victorian age was rich in prose-writers,
richer, perhaps, than any period in our history. There
were giants in those days. A moment's reflection, and
the great names come surging up to the memory—Carlyle
^nd Ruskin, Froude and Macaulay, Thackeray and Dickens
and George Eliot, Meredith and Thomas Hardy, to say
nothing of a host of lesser luminaries—less only by
comparison—Matthew Arnold and Walter Pater, Huxley
and Leslie Stephen and Bagehot and Morley, Austin
Dohson and Oscar Wilde. And it is with the latter,
rather than with the intellectual giants of his generation,
that btevenson will be ultimately classed. In his own
days and shortly after his death, Stevenson undoubtedly
suffered nt the hands of enthusiastic hero-worshippers^ and
the resulting reaction was inevitable. His contemporaries
were fascinated by the man himself, his romantic life in
his distant tropical home and his untimely death. The
least scrap of his writing brought before their eyes vivid
memories of the tall, thin, restless figure, with its
picturesque, unconventional garments and wonderful brown.