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Full text of "Selected Essays Of Robert Louis Stevenson"

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gentleman had taken it with a wry face ; and that being
accomplished, sat with perfect simplicity, like a child's,
munching a ' barley-sugar kiss.3 But when my aunt,
having the canister open in her hands, proposed to let me
share in the sweets, he interfered at once. I had had no
Gregory; then I should have no barley-sugar kiss: so
he decided with a touch of irritation. And just then the
phaeton coming opportunely to the kitchen door—for
such was our unlordly fashion—I was taken for the last
time from the presence of my grandfather.

Now I often wonder what I have inherited from this
old minister. I must suppose, indeed, that he was fond
of preaching sermons, and so am I, though I never heard
it maintained that either of us loved to hear them. He
sought health in his youth in the Isle of Wight, and I
have sought it in both hemispheres; but whereas he
found and kept it, I am still on the quest. He was a
great lover of Shakespeare, whom he read aloud, I have
been told, with taste; well, I love my Shakespeare also,
and am persuaded I can read him well, though I own I
never have been told so. He made embroidery, designing
his own patterns ; and in that kind of work I never made
anything but a kettle holder in Berlin wool, and an odd
garter of knitting, which was as black as the chimney
before I had done with it. He loved port, and nuts, and
porter ; and so do I, but they agreed better with my
grandfather, which seems to me a breach of contract. He
had chalk-stones in his fingers ; and these, in good time/
I may possibly inherit, but I would much rather have
inherited his noble presence. Try as I please, I cannot
join myself on with the reverend doctor; and all the while,
no doubt, and even as I write the phrase, he moves in
my blood, and whispers words to me, and sits efficient
in the very knot and centre of my being. In his garden,
as I played there, I learned the love of mills—or had I an
ancestor a miller 1—and a kindness for the neighbourhood
of graves, as homely things not without their poetry—or
had I an ancestor a sexton ? But what of the garden
where he played himseK ?—for that, too, was a scene of
my education. Some part of me played there in the