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Collected works > Edinburgh edition, 1894-98 - Works of Robert Louis Stevenson > Volume 11, 1895 - Miscellanies, Volume III

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(325) Page 309 -
LETTER TO A YOUNG GENTLEMAN
son looks somewhat out of place in that assembly.
There should be no honours for the artist ; he has
already, in the practice of his art, more than his
share of the rewards of life ; the honours are pre-
empted for other trades, less agreeable and perhaps
more useful.
But the devil in these trades of pleasing is to fail
to please. In ordinary occupations, a man offers to
do a certain thing or to produce a certain article
with a merely conventional accomplishment, a design
in which (we may almost say) it is difficult to fail.
But the artist steps forth out of the crowd and
proposes to delight : an impudent design, in which
it is impossible to fail without odious circumstances.
The poor Daughter of Joy, carrying her smiles and
finery quite unregarded through the crowd, makes
a figure which it is impossible to recall without a
wounding pity. She is the type of the unsuccessful
artist. The actor, the dancer, and the singer must
appear like her in person, and drain publicly the cup
of failure. But though the rest of us escape this
crowning bitterness of the pillory, we all court in
essence the same humiliation. We all profess to be
able to delight. And how few of us are ! We all
pledge ourselves to be able to continue to delight.
And the day will come to each, and even to the
most admired, when the ardour shall have declined
and the cunning shall be lost, and he shall sit by his
deserted booth ashamed. Then shall he see himself
condemned to do work for which he blushes to take
payment. Then (as if his lot were not already cruel)
309

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Early editions of Robert Louis Stevenson > Collected works > Works of Robert Louis Stevenson > Miscellanies, Volume III > (325) Page 309
(325) Page 309
Permanent URLhttps://digital.nls.uk/90460674
Volume 11, 1895 - Miscellanies, Volume III
DescriptionContents: Virginibus Puerisque; Later Essays: Fontainbleau, Realism*, Style*, Morality*, Books which have Influenced Me, Day after Tomorrow*, Letter to a Young Gentleman, Pulvis, Christmas Sermon, Damien.
ShelfmarkHall.275.a
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Dates / events: 1895 [Date published]
Subject / content: Essays
Anthologies
Edinburgh edition, 1894-98 - Works of Robert Louis Stevenson
DescriptionEdinburgh edition. Edinburgh: Printed by T. and A. Constable for Longmans Green and Co, 1894-98. [28 volumes in total, only some of which NLS has digitised.]
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Form / genre: Written and printed matter > Books
Dates / events: 1894-1898 [Date printed]
Places: Europe > United Kingdom > Scotland > Edinburgh > Edinburgh (inhabited place) [Place printed]
Subject / content: Collected works
Person / organisation: Chatto & Windus (Firm) [Distributor]
Stevenson, Robert Louis, 1850-1894 [Author]
T. and A. Constable [Printer]
Longmans, Green, and Co. [Publisher]
Colvin, Sidney, 1845-1927 [Editor]
Collected works
Early editions of Robert Louis Stevenson
DescriptionFull text versions of early editions of works by Robert Louis Stevenson. Includes 'Kidnapped', 'The Master of Ballantrae' and other well-known novels, as well as 'Prince Otto', 'Dynamiter' and 'St Ives'. Also early British and American book editions, serialisations of novels in newspapers and literary magazines, and essays by Stevenson.
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Person / organisation: Stevenson, Robert Louis, 1850-1894 [Author]
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