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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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(346) Page 330 -
A CHRISTMAS SERMON
pressed by saying that I have to make him happy-
if I may.
Ill
Happiness and goodness, according to canting
moraUsts, stand in the relation of effect and cause.
There was never anything less proved or less pro-
bable : our happiness is never in our own hands ; we
inherit our constitution ; we stand buffet among
friend and enemies ; we may be so built as to feel
a sneer or an aspersion with unusual keenness, and
so circumstanced as to be unusually exposed to
them ; we may have nerves very sensitive to pain,
and be afflicted with a disease very painful. Virtue
will not help us, and it is not m^ant to help us. It
is not even its own reward, except for the self-
centred and — I had almost said — the unamiable.
No man can pacify his conscience ; if quiet be what
he want, he shall do better to let that organ perish
from disuse. And to avoid the penalties of the law,
and the minor capitis diminutio of social ostracism,
is an affair of wisdom— of cunning, if you will — and
not of virtue.
In his own life, then, a man is not to expect
happiness, only to profit by it gladly when it shall
arise ; he is on duty here ; he knows not how or
why, and does not need to know ; he knows not for
what hire, and must not ask. Somehow or other,
though he does not know what goodness is, he must
try to be good ; somehow or other, though he cannot
330

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Early editions of Robert Louis Stevenson > Collected works > Works of Robert Louis Stevenson > Miscellanies, Volume III > (346) Page 330
(346) Page 330
Permanent URLhttps://digital.nls.uk/90460926
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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