One of Stevenson's studies of the child-miiid, to be compared
with k Child's Play' and * A Penny Plain and Twopence Coloured.'
Stevenson was * always a boy at heart,' and this is another recollec-
tion, half-humorous, half-wistful, of the long-past days of his
boyhood on the Scottish coast. * I had no design at first to be
autobiographical,' he writes, ' and when my own young face began
to appear in the well as by a kind of magic, I was the first to be
surprised by the occurrence.'
Bass. The Bass Rock is off the entrance to the Firth of Forth.
Tantallon Castle, on the neighbouring coast, was held by Archibald
Douglas, Earl of Angus (1450-1514), who rebelled against James
III and James IV and * belled the cat' by murdering Robert
Cochrane, the favourite of the former. ' Bell the Cat' is a proverb
derived from the old Msop fable of how the mice proposed to hang
a bell on the cat's neck and so render her innocuous to them.
podley, a small sea-fish, the pollack.
Maenad, a devotee of Bacchus; hence a demented or excited
6 By his fireside . . . liking.' Wordsworth, Prelude, vi. 203-4.
Andre", hero of George Sand's novel of the same name.
Antony. Not cowardly put off my helmet to
My countryman. A. and C., iv. xni, 56-7.
Dostoieffsky (1821-81), Bussian novelist, and forerunner of
itur, Aeneid, vi. 179. * To the ancient wood they go.'
A CHRISTMAS SERMON
This, perhaps, is the most typical of Stevenson's essays in his
reflective, moralizing vein. Here we see the Shorter-Catechist at
his best. The whole essay should be compared with Lay Morals,
of which it is an epitome.
Germanieus (15 B.C.-19 A.D.), the hero of the earlier part of the
Annals of Tacitus. He was a brilliant general, and in 12 A,C.
led an expedition against the Germans. He was probably poisoned
laerymae. Tears waken tears and honour honour brings,
And mortal hearts are moved by mortal things.
Vergil, ^CK. 1. 459.
Zola, the great French novelist (1840-1902), famous for tho
brutal realism of his writings. See c A Note on Bealism' in The
Art o/ Writing.
capitis, loss of civil rights.