Poet, wit and epigrammatist, born in Spain 43 A. D., died 104. He lived in Rome from 66 to 100, enjoying a high reputation as a writer.]
[Note 16: _Meditations of Marcus Aurelius_. Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, often called "the noblest of Pagans" was born 121 A. D., and died 180. His _Meditations_ have been translated into the chief modern languages, and though their author was hostile to Christianity, the ethics of the book are much the same as those of the New Testament.]
[Note 17: _Wordsworth ... Mill_. William Wordsworth (1770-1850), poet-laureate (1843-1850), is by many regarded as the third poet in English literature, after Shakspere and Milton, whose places are unassailable. Other candidates for the third place are Chaucer and Spenser. "The silence that is in the lonely hills" is loosely quoted from Wordsworth's _Song at the Feast of Brougham Castle, Upon the Restoration of Lord Clifford_, published in 1807. The passage reads:
"The silence that is in the starry sky, The sleep that is among the lonely hills."
... In the _Autobiography_ (1873) of John Stuart Mill (1806-1873), there is a remarkable passage where he testifies to the influence exerted upon him by Wordsworth.]
[Note 18: _A Nathan for the modern David_. The famous accusation of the prophet to the king, "Thou art the man." See II _Sam_. 12.]
[Note 19: _The Egoist_. See Note 47 of Chapter IV above. Stevenson never tired of singing the praises of this novel.]
[Note 20: _Thoreau ... Hazlitt ... Penn ... Mitford's Tales.._. Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), the American naturalist and writer, whose works impressed Stevenson deeply. See the latter's excellent essay on Thoreau (1880), in _Familiar Studies of Men and Books_.... Hazlitt, See Note 19 of Chapter II above. His paper, _On the Spirit of Obligations_, appeared in _The Plain Speaker_, 2 Vols., 1826. _Penn, whose little book of aphorisms_. This refers to William Penn's famous book, _Some Fruits of Solitude: in Reflections and Maxims relating to the Conduct of Human Life_ (1693). Edmund Gosse says, in his Introduction to a charming little edition of this book in 1900, "Stevenson had intended to make this book and its author the subject of one of his critical essays. In February 1880 he was preparing to begin it... He never found the opportunity... But it has left an indelible stamp on the tenor of his moral writings. The philosophy of B. L. S. ... is tinctured through and through with the honest, shrewd, and genial maxims of Penn." Stevenson himself, in his _Letters_ (Vol. I, pp. 232, 233), spoke of this little book in the highest terms of praise.]
[Note 21: _Mitford's Tales_. Mary Russell Mitford (1787-1855), a novelist and dramatist who enjoyed an immense vogue. "Her inimitable series of country sketches, drawn from her own experiences at Three Mile Cross, entitled 'Our Village,' began to appear in 1819 in the 'Lady's Magazine,' a little-known periodical, whose sale was thereby increased from 250 to 2,000. ... The sketches had an enormous success, and were collected in five volumes, published respectively in 1824, 1826, 1828, 1830, and 1832. ... The book may be said to have laid the foundation of a branch of literature hitherto untried. The sketches resemble Dutch paintings in their fidelity of detail."--_Dic. Nat. Biog_.]
PULVIS ET UMBRA
We look for some reward of our endeavors and are disappointed; not success, not happiness, not even peace of conscience, crowns our ineffectual efforts to do well. Our frailties are invincible, are virtues barren; the battle goes sore against us to the going down of the sun. The canting moralist tells us of right and wrong; and we look abroad, even on the face of our small earth, and find them change with every climate, and no country where some action is not honoured for a virtue and none where it is not branded for a vice; and we look in our experience, and find no vital congruity in the wisest rules, but at the best a municipal fitness. It is not strange if we are tempted to despair of good.