_Vautrin_ is one of the most remarkable characters in several novels of Balzac; see especially _Pere Goriot_ (1834) ... _Steenie Steenson_ in Scott's novel _Redgauntlet_ (1824).]
[Note 10: _No human being, etc_. Stevenson loved action in novels, and was impatient, as many readers are, when long-drawn descriptions of scenery were introduced. Furthermore, the love for wild scenery has become as fashionable as the love for music; the result being a very general hypocrisy in assumed ecstatic raptures.]
[Note 11: _You can keep no men long, nor Scotchmen at all_. Every Scotchman is a born theologian. Franklin says in his _Autobiography_, "I had caught this by reading my father's books of dispute on Religion. Persons of good sense, I have since observed seldom fall into it, except lawyers, university men, and generally men of all sorts who have been bred at Edinburgh." (Chap. I.)]
[Note 12: _A court of love_. A mediaeval institution of chivalry, where questions of knight-errantry, constancy in love, etc., were discussed and for the time being, decided.]
[Note 13: _Spring-Heel'd Jack_. This is Stevenson's cousin "Bob," Robert Alan Mowbray Stevenson (1847-1900), an artist and later Professor of Fine Arts at University College, Liverpool. He was one of the best conversationalists in England. Stevenson said of him,
"My cousin Bob, ... is the man likest and most unlike to me that I have ever met.... What was specially his, and genuine, was his faculty for turning over a subject in conversation. There was an insane lucidity in his conclusions; a singular, humorous eloquence in his language, and a power of method, bringing the whole of life into the focus of the subject under hand; none of which I have ever heard equalled or even approached by any other talker." (Balfour's _Life of Stevenson_, I, 103. For further remarks on the cousin, see note to page 104 of the _Life_.)]
[Note 14: _From Shakespeare to Kant, from Kant to Major Dyngwell_. Immanuel Kant, the foremost philosopher of the eighteenth century, born at Koenigsberg in 1724, died 1804. His greatest work, the _Critique of Pure Reason_ (_Kritick der reinen Vernunft_, 1781), produced about the same revolutionary effect on metaphysics as that produced by Copernicus in astronomy, or by Darwin in natural science.... _Major Dyngwell I know not_.]
[Note 15: _Burly_. Burly is Stevenson's friend, the poet William Ernest Henley, who died in 1903. His sonnet on our author may be found in the introduction to this book. Leslie Stephen introduced the two men on 13 Feb. 1875, when Henley was in the hospital, and a very close and intimate friendship began. Henley's personality was exceedingly robust, in contrast with his health, and in his writings and talk he delighted in shocking people. His philosophy of life is seen clearly in his most characteristic poem:
"Out of the night that covers me, Black as the Pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever Gods may be For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the Horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate: I am the Captain of my soul."
After the publication of Balfour's _Life of Stevenson_ (1901), Mr. Henley contributed to the _Pall Mall Magazine_ in December of that year an article called _R.L.S._, which made a tremendous sensation. It was regarded by many of Stevenson's friends as a wanton assault on his private character. Whether justified or not, it certainly damaged Henley more than the dead author. For further accounts of the relations between the two men, see index to Balfour's _Life_, under the title _Henley_.]
[Note 16: _Pistol has been out-Pistol'd_. The burlesque character in Shakspere's _King Henry IV_ and _V_.]
[Note 17: _Cockshot_.