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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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A CHRISTMAS SERMON
was of this breed, but had (if his biographer is to be
trusted) a certain antique civility now out of date.
A man may have a flaw, a weakness, that unfits him
for the duties of Ufe, that spoils his temper, that
threatens his integrity, or that betrays him into
cruelty. It has to be conquered ; but it must never
be suffered to engross his thoughts. The true
duties lie all upon the further side, and must be
attended to with a whole mind so soon as this pre-
liminary clearing of the decks has been effected.
In order that he may be kind and honest, it may
be needful he should become a total abstainer ;
let him become so then, and the next day let him
forget the circumstance. Trying to be kind and
honest will require all his thoughts ; a mortified
appetite is never a wise companion ; in so far as he
has had to mortify an appetite, he~will still be the
worse man ; and of such an one a great deal of
cheerfulness will be required in judging life, and a
great deal of humility in judging others.
It may be argued again that dissatisfaction with
our life's endeavour springs in some degree from
dulness. We require higher tasks, because we do
not recognise the height of those we have. Trying
to be kind and honest seems an affair too simple and
too inconsequential for gentlemen of our heroic
mould ; we had rather set ourselves to something
bold, arduous, and conclusive ; we had rather found
a schism or suppress a heresy, cut off a hand or
mortify an appetite. But the task before us, which
is to co-endure with our existence, is rather one of
326

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Early editions of Robert Louis Stevenson > Collected works > Works of Robert Louis Stevenson > Miscellanies, Volume III > (342) Page 326
(342) Page 326
Permanent URLhttps://digital.nls.uk/90460878
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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