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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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(343) Page 327 -
A CHRISTMAS SERMON
microscopic fineness, and the heroism required is
that of patience. There is no cutting of the Gordian
knots of life ; each must be smilingly unravelled.
To be honest, to be kind — to earn a little and to
spend a little less, to make upon the whole a family-
happier for his presence, to renounce when that
shall be necessary and not be embittered, to keep
a few friends, but these without capitulation — above
all, on the same grim condition, to keep friends with
himself — here is a task for all that a man has of
fortitude and delicacy. He has an ambitious soul
who would ask more ; he has a hopeful spirit who
should look in such an enterprise to be successful.
There is indeed one element in human destiny that
not blindness itself can controvert : whatever else
we are intended to do, we are not intended to
succeed ; failure is the fate allotted. It is so in
every art and study ; it is so above all in the con-
tinent art of living well. Here is a pleasant thought
for the year's end or for the end of life ; Only self-
deception will be satisfied, and there need be no
despair for the despairer.
II
But Christmas is not only the mile-mark of another
year, moving us to thoughts of self-examination :
it is a season, from all its associations, whether
domestic or religious, suggesting thoughts of joy.
A man dissatisfied with his endeavours is a man
327

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Early editions of Robert Louis Stevenson > Collected works > Works of Robert Louis Stevenson > Miscellanies, Volume III > (343) Page 327
(343) Page 327
Permanent URLhttps://digital.nls.uk/90460890
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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