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Full text of "Selected Essays Of Robert Louis Stevenson"

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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 ?