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Full text of "Selected Essays Of Robert Louis Stevenson"

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*v                   UJN  CALLING IN LOVE

mind as something indelicate. To be altogether right
they should have had twin birth together, at the same
moment with the feeling that unites them. Then indeed
it would be simple and perfect and without reserve or
afterthought. Then they would understand each other
with a fullness impossible otherwise. There would be no
barrier between them of associations that cannot be
imparted. They would be led into none of those compari-
sons that send the blood back to the heart. And they
would know that there had been no time lost, and they
had been together as much as was possible. For besides
terror for the separation that must follow some time or
other in the future, men feel anger, and something like
remorse, when they think of that other separation which
endured until they met. Some one has written that love
makes people believe in immortality, because there seems
not to be room enough in life for so great a tenderness,
and it is inconceivable that the most masterful of our
emotions should have no more than the spare moments
of a few years. Indeed, it seems strange ; but if we call
to mind analogies, we can hardly regard it as impossible.

* The blind bow-boy/ who smiles upon us from the end
of terraces in old Dutch gardens, laughingly hails his
bird-bolts among a fleeting generation. But for as fast
as ever he shoots, the game dissolves and disappears into
eternity from under his falling arrows ; this one is gone
ere he is struck ; the other has but time to make one
gesture and give one passionate cry; and they are all the
things of a moment. When the generation is gone, when
the play is over, when the thirty years' panorama has
been withdrawn in tatters from the stage of the world,
we may ask what has become of these great, weighty, and
undying loves, and the sweethearts who despised mortal
conditions in a fine credulity; and they can only show us
a few songs in a bygone taste, a few actions worth remem-
bering, and a few children who have retained some happy
stamp from the disposition of their parents.