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Full text of "Selected Essays Of Robert Louis Stevenson"

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64                  MBMUIKB OF AN BUST

look forward; the future summoned me as with trumpet
calls, it warned me back as with a voice of weeping and
beseeching; and I thrilled and trembled on the brink of
life, like a childish bather on the beach.

There was another young man on Earraid in these days,
and we were much together, bathing, clambering on the
boulders, trying to sail a boat and spinning round instead
in the oily whirlpools of the roost,  But the most part oi
the time we spoke of the great uncharted desert of our
futures; wondering together what should there befall us;
hearing with surprise the sound of our own voices in the
empty vestibule of youth.  As far, and as hard, as it
seemed then to look forward to the grave, so far it seems -
now to look backward upon these emotions; so hard to
recall justly that loath submission, as of the sacrificial
bull, with which we stooped our necks under the yoke of
destiny,  I met my old companion but the other day; I
cannot tell of course what he was thinking; but, upon my
part, I was wondering to see us both so much at home,
and so composed and sedentary in the world; and how
much we had gained, and how much we had lost, to attain
to that composure; ani which had been upon the whole
our best estate; when we sat there prating sensibly like
men of some experience, or when we shared our timorous
and hopeful counsels in a western islet.