And mark, for a last differentia, that this quickening of the pulse is, in almost every case, purely agreeable; that these phantom reproductions of experience, even at their most acute, convey decided pleasure; while experience itself, in the cockpit of life, can torture and slay.

*

Into how many houses would not the note of the monastery bell, dividing the day into manageable portions, bring peace of mind and healthful activity of body! We speak of hardships, but the true hardship is to be a dull fool, and permitted to mismanage life in our own dull and foolish manner.

*

But struggle as you please, a man has to work in this world. He must be an honest man or a thief, Loudon.

*

Industry is, in itself and when properly chosen, delightful and profitable to the worker; and when your toil has been a pleasure, you have not earned money merely, but money, health, delight, and moral profit, all in one.

*

'The cost of a thing,' says he, 'is the amount OF WHAT I WILL CALL LIFE which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long-run.' I have been accustomed to put it to myself, perhaps more clearly, that the price we have to pay for money is paid in liberty. Between these two ways of it, at least, the reader will probably not fail to find a third definition of his own; and it follows, on one or other, that a man may pay too dearly for his livelihood, by giving, in Thoreau's terms, his whole life for it, or, in mine, bartering for it the whole of his available liberty, and becoming a slave till death. There are two questions to be considered--the quality of what we buy, and the price we have to pay for it. Do you want a thousand a year, a two thousand a year, or a ten thousand a year livelihood? and can you afford the one you want? It is a matter of taste; it is not in the least degree a question of duty, though commonly supposed so. But there is no authority for that view anywhere. It is nowhere in the Bible. It is true that we might do a vast amount of good if we were wealthy, but it is also highly improbable; not many do; and the art of growing rich is not only quite distinct from that of doing good, hut the practice of the one does not at all train a man for practising the other.

*

We may escape uncongenial toil, only to devote ourselves to that which is congenial. It is only to transact some higher business that even Apollo dare play the truant from Admetus. We must all work for the sake of work; we must all work, as Thoreau says again, in any 'absorbing pursuit--it does not much matter what, so it be honest'; but the most profitable work is that which combines into one continued effort the largest proportion of the powers and desires of a man's nature; that into which he will plunge with ardour, and from which he will desist with reluctance; in which he will know the weariness of fatigue, but not that of satiety; and which will be ever fresh, pleasing and stimulating to his taste. Such work holds a man together, braced at all points; it does not suffer him to doze or wander; it keeps him actively conscious of himself, yet raised among superior interests; it gives him the profit of industry with the pleasures of a pastime. This is what his art should be to the true artist, and that to a degree unknown in other and less intimate pursuits. For other professions stand apart from the human business of life; but an art has the seat at the centre of the artist's doings and sufferings, deals directly with his experiences, teaches him the lessons of his own fortunes and mishaps, and becomes a part of his biography.

*

Farewell fair day and fading light! The clay-born here, with westward sight, Marks the huge sun now downward soar. Farewell. We twain shall meet no more.

Farewell. I watch with bursting sigh My late contemned occasion die. I linger useless in my tent: Farewell, fair day, so foully spent!

Farewell, fair day. If any God At all consider this poor clod, He who the fair occasion sent Prepared and placed the impediment.

The Pocket R. L. S. Page 20

Robert Louis Stevenson

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