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Full text of "Selected Essays Of Robert Louis Stevenson"

the lives of tens of thousands trembled in the scale, and
the fate of the flag of England staggered. And of all this
he had no more to say than ' hot work, sir/ or * the army
suffered a great deal, sir/ or c I believe General Wilson,
sir, was not very highly thought of in the papers/ His
life was naught to him, the vivid pages of experience quite
blank : in words his pleasure lay—melodious, agitated
words—printed words, about that which he had never
seen and was connataily incapable of comprehending.
We have here two temperaments face to face; both
untrained, unsophisticated, surprised (we may -say) in the
egg ; both boldly charactered :—that of the artist, the
lover and artificer of words; that of the maker, the seeer,
the lover and forger of experience. If the one had a
daughter and the other had a son, and these married,
might not some illustrious writer count descent from the
beggar-soldier and the needy knife-grinder ?