The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition, Vol. 3

By Robert Louis

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...THE WORKS OF
ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

SWANSTON EDITION

...

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... 129

VI. FRANCOIS VILLON, STUDENT, POET,...

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...race, history, and religion, but of the growth and liberties
of art. Of the two Americans,...

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...he is forced to view his
subject throughout in a particular illumination, like a studio artifice.
Like...

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...of the case, to write entirely in
that spirit. What he cannot vivify he should omit.

Had...

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...to do right; and the more I reflected, the stranger it
appeared to me that any...

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...better sort of vice, to whom you
must never represent an act that was virtuous in...

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...perhaps the right road; yet I cannot help
feeling that in this attempt to trim my...

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...of less temper and justice, the
difference might have made us enemies instead of making us...

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...flesh and
blood, a mere anodyne to lull his pains. The most temperate of living
critics once...

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...pleasure we take
in the author's skill repays us, or at least reconciles us to the
baseness...

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...torpor;
and even the trial of Joan of Arc, conducted as it was by chosen clerks,
bears...

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...them in their griefs;
and behold, when I came to write of them, my tongue was...

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...know that we have
only to produce them to make the chaos plain: this is continually...

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...of a painter in France who, when he wanted
to paint a sea-beach, carried realism from...

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...novelist throws everything. And from this there results for
him a great loss of vividness, but...

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...the year forty-five,
and that the only use he makes of the rebellion is to throw...

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...and not a little
scandalised. At the time when he wrote, the real drift of this...

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...and exaggerations, effects for which as yet we have no
direct name; nay, for which we...

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...very restrictions and weaknesses of
the man served perhaps to strengthen the vivid and single impression...

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...the city; and any one who should visit it, in the spirit
of the Scott-tourist to...

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...on. In spite of the horror and misery
that pervade all of his later work, there...

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...machinery of law, that we can
hear tearing, in the dark, good and bad, between its...

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...we grow incredulous as we find that every character fits
again and again into the plot,...

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...of forces to some purpose outside our purposes, yet another
character who may almost take rank...

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...famous "first of the fourth,"
and many English words that may be comprehensible perhaps in Paris....

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...not of it, as the full
moon over the night of some foul and feverish city.

There...

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...put us out of the region of such doubt. Like a
doctor who has long been...

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...and fears, as if they were the young men
and maidens of customary romance.

The episode of...

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...many persons learn to speak with a
certain appearance of fluency; but there are few who...

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...as large
a place, playing (so to speak) nearly as important a _role_, as the man,
Gilliat,...

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...not been forgetful or careless of the other, his work is
more nearly complete work, and...

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...us into the tissue of the man's character; those to which we
are strangers in our...

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...man writing on Burns, who likes
neither "Holy Willie," nor the "Beggars," nor the "Ordination," nothing
is...

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...was over, he taught them arithmetic; he borrowed books
for them on history, science, and theology;...

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...particular manner
round his shoulders." Ten years later, when a married man, the father of
a family,...

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...were often enough
touched, but perhaps never engaged. He was all his life on a voyage...

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...the art, to use his own words, of "battering
himself into a warm affection,"--a debilitating and...

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...shame? Was not Richelieu in disgrace more
idolised than ever by the dames of Paris? and...

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...bard of rural
courtships, he was now about to appear as a bound and printed poet...

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...chanced to go by, still accompanied by his dog;
and the dog, "scouring in long excursion,"...

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...Don Juanism to create continually
false positions--relations of life which are wrong in themselves, and
which it...

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...innocent and
gentle Highland nursery-maid at service in a neighbouring family; and he
had soon battered himself...

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...the room without a word. Years afterwards, when
the story began to leak out, his family...

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...acquired nature as a Don Juan; and he, who had
been so much at his ease...

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...to Burns of
this affair may be gathered from the song in which he commemorated its
occurrence....

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...mounting lark in an April morning; and wrote
me an answer which measured out very completely...

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...in terms too warm, for mere acquaintance. The
exercise partakes a little of the nature of...

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...forcible and true
expressions, and the love-verses that he wrote upon Clarinda are among
the most moving...

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...man
who loves you, who has loved you, and who will love you, to death,
through death,...

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...wife. "God
knows," he writes, "my choice was as random as blind man's buff." He
consoles himself...

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...six months, during the remainder of his life rarely found courage for
any more sustained effort...

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...find the old Jacobitism hand in hand
with the new popular doctrine, when, in a letter...

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...and muzzled, when all was said, by his paltry salary as an
exciseman; alas! had he...

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...rather write five songs to
his taste than twice that number otherwise. The battle of his...

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...those English authors whom
we know Burns to have most admired and studied, you will see...

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...in a man of
such deep originality, who left so strong a print on all he...

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...knows appropriate
words for it in poetry. But the dialect of Burns was fitted to deal...

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...the
school from which he proceeded was fortunately not opposed to homely
subjects. But to these homely...

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...the speeches depends for its
existence and effect. Indeed, Burns was so full of his identity...

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...think that,
when a work contains many unforgettable phrases, it cannot be altogether
devoid of literary merit....

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...down
into some more or less unjust compromise as in older nations, but still
in the act...

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...day to day, or suffering ourselves to be gulled out of our moments
by the inanities...

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...and the continual industry of the
mind, produce, in ten minutes, what it would require a...

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...of nature that he can show the
man to his face, as he might show him...

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...faithfully and
smartly pictured? But this danger is all upon one side; and you may
judiciously flatter...

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...natures the wonderful pageant of
consciousness; let us teach people, as much as we can, to...

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...else. If one man can grow
absorbed in delving his garden, others may grow absorbed and...

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...is not one of those who can be deceived by familiarity. He
considers it just as...

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...magnitudes and
velocities of the heavenly bodies. So that he concludes by striking into
us some sense...

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...conviction of himself,
comes the attraction of one person for another, and all that we mean...

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...to be, but to remind us how good
we are. He is to encourage us to...

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...feel more warmly and
act more courageously, the balance of results will be for good.

So far,...

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...knows how to make the heart beat at a brave
story; to inflame us with just...

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...reverential capitals, he loves to call them),
made the war a period of great trial to...

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...a
thing, and never was.' At other times he would fancy himself talking
...

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...wished to hear about was Frank;
and he told her about her Frank as he was.


...

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...will be continually upset, your ears
perpetually disappointed, and the whole book will be no more...

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...of a high-flown rhapsody? And what are we to say,
where a man of Whitman's notable...

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...is solemn in the face of an audience somewhat indecorously
amused.


VI

Lastly, as most important,...

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...prudence to learn, who has learnt to prefer real long-lived things,
and favours...

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..._no_ than _yes_;
and that is a characteristic which depicts the man. It is a useful
accomplishment...

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...and
early rising. But a man may be both coldly cruel in the pursuit of
goodness, and...

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...squirrels have
been seen to nestle in his waistcoat; he would thrust his arm into a
pool...

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...affairs of Rome; but Thoreau is
so busy improving himself that he must think twice about...

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...lodging for practically nothing; and
Admetus never got less work out of any servant since the...

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...vast amount of good if we were wealthy, but it is
also highly improbable; not many...

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...a phrase: "All the day long on the alert, at
night we unwillingly say our prayers...

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...of transcendental Yankeeism. It is
not his frugality which is worthy of note; for, to begin...

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...To live is
sometimes very difficult, but it is never meritorious in itself; and we
must have...

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...keeps
him actively conscious of himself, yet raised among superior interests;
it gives him the profit of...

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..."Areopagitica," and can name no other instance for the moment.
Two things at least are plain:...

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...on
Carlyle, and this time with his meaning well in hand: "No truth, we
think, was ever...

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...a perfectly complete or a perfectly natural
impression. Truth, even in literature, must be clothed with...

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...for a vivid truth of impression and a happy suitability of
language, not frequently surpassed.

Whatever Thoreau...

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...In this, as in his
prose, he relied greatly on the goodwill of the reader, and...

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...is
one who incessantly pays us the compliment of expecting all the virtues
from us, and who...

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...that it endures this
knowledge without change.

It required a cold, distant personality like that of Thoreau,...

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...only be
that by the way, and to some extent unconsciously; and if Thoreau had
been a...

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...melancholy, lean degeneration of the human
character.

"As for the dispute about solitude and society," he thus...

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...although he were a prig, it will
be owned he could announce a startling doctrine. "As...

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...I feel confident, is the disciple of the other; it
is what Thoreau clearly whispered that...

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..."it is only expressing to men feebly your desire that it
should prevail." For his part,...

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...suffering they cause; but when we see them wake an active horror
in our fellow-man, when...

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...the consonants in the English manner--except the _j_, which
has the French sound, or, as it...

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...been fighting for the best. One thing leads naturally to another
in an awakened mind, and...

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...Daimio of Choshu, which I cannot
thoroughly explain. Certainly, he became a _Ronyin_, a broken man,...

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...purpose,
returned to Yeddo on foot, as he had come.

It was not only his youth and...

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...a profusion of materials for writing; his dress
was literally stuffed with paper which was to...

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...and
that which cannot be broken by misfortune you shall seek in vain to
confine in a...

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...that he even grudged himself
natural repose; and when he grew drowsy over his books he...

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...the years went by, and the scholars of Yoshida continued in vain to
look around them...

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...all who were concerned.

In Yeddo, to which he was taken, Yoshida was thrown again into...

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...the rulers of Japan. And when we see all round us these brisk
intelligent students, with...

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...M. Longnon on the obscure existence of
Francois Villon[6]. His book is not remarkable merely as...

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...man's existence, which can lie in abeyance for centuries
and then be brushed up again and...

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...University of Paris; in 1450 he took the degree of
Bachelor, and in 1452 that of...

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...preceptor.

At some time or other, before or during his University career, the poet
was adopted by...

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...At this rate the house
with the red door may have rung with the most mundane...

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..."Small Testament"
immediately on the back of the occurrence, and the time when he wrote
the "Large...

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...Royal, who went about at fair-time with
soldiers and thieves, and conducted her abbey on the...

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...difficulty of the case
springs from a highly virtuous ignorance of life. Paris now is not...

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...big stone, and then, leaving him to his
fate, went away to have his own lip...

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...as we shall see, a man with a few crowns in his
pocket, and perhaps some...

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...is common among modern thieves. They were ready for anything, from
pitch-and-toss to manslaughter. Montigny, for...

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...the keyhole. In the walnut
coffer--a joyous sight by our thieves' lantern--were five hundred crowns
of gold....

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...soon as he had properly
studied the ground, the others were to go over in force...

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...generalities and gave him no information as to their exploits, past,
present, or to come. I...

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...to the shrine of St. James
in Galicia. Alas! the document was incomplete; it did not...

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...come upon some nuggets of fact. For
first, he was put to the question by water....

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...son plaisir sans cesser nous charie,
Plus becquetez d'oiseaulx que dez a couldre.
...

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...money; and his route would be traceable across France and
Burgundy by housewives and inn-keepers lamenting...

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...a part of the formality on such occasions for the new
King to liberate certain prisoners;...

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...so eloquent, so picturesque, stands out in
an almost miraculous isolation. If only one or two...

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...His eyes were indeed sealed with his own filth. He dwelt
all his life in a...

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...Villon, who had not the courage to be
poor with honesty, now whiningly implores our sympathy,...

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...It is in this that the mixed texture of his thought enables
him to reach such...

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...but with a look in his eye, and the
loose flexile mouth that goes with wit...

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...august Caesar to the king's dwarf;
and all sorts of portraits, from a Titian treasured in...

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...which his fancy might
busy itself of an afternoon, or at morning as he lay awake...

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...this princess
was herself the most industrious of poetasters, that she is supposed to
have hastened her...

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...funeral solemnities."[22]

When he was no more than thirteen, his father had him affianced to
Isabella, virgin-widow...

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...he did not profit quietly
by his rival's death. The horror of the other princes seems...

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...a reader, somewhat as the footprint startled Robinson Crusoe. A
human voice breaks in upon the...

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...dishonesty was possible for a man of culture is not, it will be
granted, a fortunate...

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...From that time forth,
throughout all this monstrous period--a very nightmare in the history of
France--he is...

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...of
bodies and retailed him to our King Henry. He was the most important
capture of the...

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...For
five-and-twenty years he could not go where he would, or do what he
liked, or speak...

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...your adversary
played it. So that these forms are suitable rather for those who wish to
make...

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...for peace,"
is his refrain: a strange enough subject for the ally of Bernard
d'Armagnac.[33] But this...

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...to lie among his comrades
on the field of Agincourt, as the Psalmist prayed to have...

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...Charles's life has points of some
originality. And yet there is an engaging frankness about these...

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...the honours of the grave. Of
him, as of the dead, it would be ungenerous to...

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...an overweening conceit of his own capacity and
influence. If aught had gone wrong in his...

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...Charles VI. He
signed with enthusiasm that treaty of Arras, which left France almost at
the discretion...

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...to wife, and
have more taste for what is comfortable than for what is magnanimous and
high;...

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...a good pugilist like Captain Barclay.
They were catholic, as none but the entirely idle can...

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...work of Francois Villon; and so far as a
foreigner can judge (which is indeed a...

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...sent
forward to prepare a lodging at the next stage. We find almost
Gargantuan details of the...

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...winter instead of
the inspirations of spring, and he has no longer any appetite for life,
he...

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...shocking to the clemency of his spirit, that sinners should
be hurried before their Judge without...

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...his devoir," without any misgiving as to his conduct in the
previous years, when he had...

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...bald and
uneventful. Little is therein recorded beside sentiments. Thoughts, in
any true sense, he had none...

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...of a man
going to order dinner.

Although they are not inspired by any deeper motive than...

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...by twilight, seeing little,
and that with distracted eyes, and instead of blood, some thin and
spectral...

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...will see that there are facts cited, and expressions
borrowed, in this...

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... "Charles VII.," iii. 85, note 1.

[57] Champollion-Figeac, pp. 383-386.

...

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...a unique light upon the lives of the mass of mankind, he is
surely worthy of...

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...the meaning rather than
the words is eloquent. Such was the account he gave of himself...

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...glorification, in either case we
should have made him out. But no; he is full of...

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...Head" and eat and drink "for remembrance of the old house
sake." He counted it good...

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...*, and so
out again"; or lastly, as here, with more of circumstance: "I staid up
till...

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...so doubtful, and so petty,
that I am ashamed to name them. It may be said...

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...cujusque is est quisque_, said his
chosen motto; and, as he had stamped his mind with...

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...that he can change it for that closely kindred
one of _hungry_, for there is here...

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...a schoolboy. He was a member of
Harrington's Club till its dissolution, and of the Royal...

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...London, with so many pretty faces to be spied for and dignitaries to
be saluted, his...

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...a sterling humanist.
Indeed, he who loves himself, not in idle vanity, but with a plenitude
of...

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...ever I saw in my life. We found a
shepherd and his little boy reading, far...

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...the scale of merit. But a style which is indefatigably
lively, telling, and picturesque through six...

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...the
heroic quality of the verses that our little sensualist in a periwig
chose out to marry...

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...rather follow a priest than what they
call the leaders of society. No life can better...

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...the cream of the story is when Pen publishes his
"Sandy Foundation Shaken," and Pepys has...

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...concerned about
such problems. But such respectability and the duties of society haunt
and burden their poor...

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...story of his
oaths, so often broken, so courageously renewed, is worthy rather of
admiration that the...

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...For a man still, after so many years, the lover, although
not the constant lover, of...

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...recollection of the catastrophe of his married life, what
with the natural influence of his advancing...

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...of the Peasants' War. And yet, as the purely religious question
was inseparably complicated with political...

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...sense than another, it was assuredly Knox; and even in this
very matter of female rule,...

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...how Catherine de
Medici would "laugh her fill just like another" over the humours of
pantaloons and...

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...exception to the rule. He begins by stating the solemn
responsibility of all who are watchmen...

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...opposition,
"not only of the ignorant multitude, but of the wise, politic, and
quiet spirits of the...

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...proclaims all reigning women to
be traitoresses and rebels against God; discharges all men thenceforward
from holding...

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...hostile; there is no
peace in his life, and little tenderness; he is always sounding
hopefully to...

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...that the "government of women was a deviation from the original
and proper order of nature,...

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...in that
same year Mary died, and Elizabeth succeeded to the throne of England.
And just as...

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...down that a woman should not be a priest, he shows some elementary
conception of what...

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...of thy
sovereign." For himself, his tongue is even more than reverent. Nothing
can stay the issue...

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...country, is an unhomely place
of sojourn; but it makes men lean on one another and...

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...censures the great secretary for having "followed the
world in the way of perdition," characterises him...

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...women is, as
before noted in our work, repugnant to nature, contumely to God, and a
subversion...

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...not amend." Thus did "Plato the philosopher": thus will
do John Knox. "I have communicated my...

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...of Elizabeth's estate, he
is only following the example of those prophets of God who warned...

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...I find no hint
of such an idea in his collected works. Now, the regiment of...

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...whether it was a passion of denunciation
against some of the abuses that vexed his righteous...

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...admiration, by the atmosphere they bear
about them--down to the mere impersonal pleasure of passing happy...

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...in a glory of art; he made himself necessary to troubled hearts
and minds exercised in...

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...that we know nothing of his intercourse with women
(as indeed we know little at all...

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...writing"; and, if they handed his letters about,
writing to them was as good a form...

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...newly escaped from his
captivity in France, after pulling an oar for nineteen months on the
benches...

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...I remember myself so to have done, and that
is my common consuetude when anything pierceth...

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...he tells us, "was not well accepted of the said
Earl."[94] We may suppose, however, that...

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...wicked carcass." "You
shall understand," he says, "that this sixth of November, I spoke with
Sir Robert...

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...be found everywhere" (that is very like Calvin), and
again, as "the most delightful of wives."...

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...herself from this realm."[103] Perhaps some sort of licence
was extorted, as I have said, from...

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...Locke, as I say; but even if it were, we must not
conclude from this one...

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...her
son, and Anne her daughter, and Katharine her maid," arrived in that
perfect school of Christ,...

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...that great family of hers, unless
in leaving her husband she had quarrelled with them all,...

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...indeed
interposed, when there lies between them, instead of the voyageable
straits, that great gulf over which...

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...works: It is no small honour to Mrs. Locke that his affection
for her should have...

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...many others for more humane considerations. "In
this," as Randolph says, "I wish he had done...

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...it
were over their natural children. In the strong quiet patience of all
his letters to the...

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...have gone over in this
essay begins when the Reformer was already beyond the middle age,...

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...Thomasius)
are the "ipsissima verba Schlusselburgii."

[72] I am indebted for...

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...in
idleness. He had come to Debenham years ago, while still young, and by a
mere continuance...

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...one; it were
too much to fancy two. Tell me, landlord, is he old?"

"Well," said the...

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...the stairs.

"Macfarlane!" he said somewhat loudly, more like a herald than a friend.

The great doctor...

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...bar. The presence of so many
witnesses decided him at once to flee. He crouched together,...

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...Fettes studied medicine in the schools of Edinburgh.
He had talent of a kind, the talent...

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...snatch another hour or two of slumber,
to repair the abuses of the night, and refresh...

Page 230

...morning this policy of silence was put sharply to the test.
He had been awake all...

Page 231

...on the
ice or the links with skate or golf-club; he dressed with nice audacity,
and, to...

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...dropped into a
popular tavern and found Macfarlane sitting with a stranger. This was a
small man,...

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...to the door, he was filled with astonishment to find
Macfarlane with his gig, and in...

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...are wrong the more
we must act as if all were right. Where does old K----...

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...am now!"

"My dear fellow," said Macfarlane, "what a boy you are! What harm _has_
come to...

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...look back on these events with an unhealthy pride. Of
his accomplice he saw but little....

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...loose upon a grave in that green and quiet
resting-place. The wife of a farmer, a...

Page 238

...a certain touch of alarm at these unpleasant
words. He may have regretted that he had...

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...lantern down the bank, and its occasional
collision with the trees. A stone or two, which...

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...kindle the remaining lamp. They had by that
time got no farther than the cross-road down...