By Robert Louis Stevenson

The distinguished Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson prepared for his pal the paintings historian Sidney Colvin to pick and organise the essays during this quantity, lots of which had initially seemed in 1888, notwithstanding a few date again to the early Eighteen Eighties. It used to be released in 1892, years sooner than Stevenson's premature loss of life. Colvin bought a few of the items from their unique publishers, together with magazines equivalent to Fraser's, Longman's, The journal of paintings and Scribner's. what's fairly noteworthy approximately this assortment is that even though Stevenson had settled within the South Seas good earlier than it seemed, the entire goods incorporated have been written ahead of his trip there. Colvin mentions that the concluding items specifically have been written in the course of a interval of substantial gloom and affliction for Stevenson, who himself claimed to 'recover peace of physique and brain' after relocating to the Pacific in 1890.

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Sample text

She was not, I think, remarkably veracious in talk, but broidered as fancy prompted, and built castles in the air out of her past; yet she had that sort of candour, to keep me, in spite of all these confidences, steadily aware of her aversion. Her parting words were ingeniously honest. ' I cannot pretend that she put me at my ease ; but I had a certain respect for such a genuine dislike. A poor nature would have slipped, in the course of these familiarities, into a sort of worthless toleration for me.

Upon what food does it subsist in such a land ? What livelihood can repay a human creature for a life spent in this huge sameness ? He is cut off from books, from news, from company, from all that can relieve existence but the prosecution of his affairs. A sky full of stars is the most varied spectacle that he can hope. He may walk five miles and see nothing ; ten, and it is as though he had not moved ; twenty, and still he is in the midst of the same great level, and has approached no nearer to the one object within view, the flat horizon which keeps pace with his advance.

I chafed furiously, and I fear the next time it would have come to words. But suddenly I felt a touch upon my shoulder, and a large juicy pear was put into my hand. It was the newsboy, who had observed that I was looking ill and so made me this present out of a tender heart. For the rest of the journey I was petted like a sick child ; he lent me newspapers, thus depriving himself of his legitimate profit on their sale, and came repeatedly to sit by me and cheer me up. 4O Across the Plains THE PLAINS OF NEBRASKA.

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