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Full text of "Selected Essays Of Robert Louis Stevenson"

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of Stevensons! Another aspect of Stevenson's character
which lends so much charm to his writings is his invincible
boyishness. The boyish spirit, the sympathy with the
child-mind, so prominent in Treasure Island and The
Child's Garden of Verse, is equally apparent in Child's
Play, A Penny Plain and Twopence Coloured and The
Lantern-Bearers, Some one called Addison " a parson in
a tye wig,' The phrase might well be applied to his great
successor in the art of essay-writing.

It is impossible to conclude this brief sketch without
a further allusion to Stevenson's style. With all its arti-
ficiality, it has a rare distinction, an exquisite charm of its
own, which will always remain the most prominent feature
of Stevenson's work. As he tells us himself, it was not a
natural gift: it was no inspiration, but laboriously evolved
by imitation, assiduous reading and constant practice.
Choice of the essential note and the right word; rhythm^
harmony in construction and co-ordination of its various
parts; above all, an elaborate and studied simplicity;
these were his avowed aims. No striking outbursts of
gorgeous eloquence, such as meet us at every turn in
Oscar Wilde or Walter Pater, will be found in Stevenson.
But some of his finest passages, for instance, the inimitable
conclusions to the essays on The Lantern-Bearers or On
- Falling in Love, are a possession for ever, and will, it is safe
to prophesy, live as long as the English tongue endures*