Being favourite passages from the works of Stevenson.

By Robert Louis Stevenson


When you have read, you carry away with you a memory of the man himself;

it is as though you had touched a loyal hand, looked into brave eyes,

and made a noble friend; there is another bond on you thenceforward,

binding you to life and to the love of virtue.


It is to some more specific memory that youth looks forward in its

vigils. Old kings are sometimes disinterred in all the emphasis of life,

the hands untainted by decay, the beard that had so often wagged in camp

or senate still spread upon the royal bosom; and in busts and pictures,

some similitude of the great and beautiful of former days is handed

down. In this way, public curiosity may be gratified, but hardly any

private aspiration after fame. It is not likely that posterity will fall

in love with us, but not impossible that it may respect or sympathise;

and so a man would rather leave behind him the portrait of his spirit

than a portrait of his face, FIGURA ANIMI MAGIS QUAM CORPORIS.


The pleasure that we take in beautiful nature is essentially capricious.

It comes sometimes when we least look for it; and sometimes, when

we expect it most certainly, it leaves us to gape joylessly for days

together, in the very homeland of the beautiful. We may have passed a

place a thousand times and one; and on the thousand and second it will

be transfigured, and stand forth in a certain splendour of reality from

the dull circle of surroundings; so that we see it 'with a child's first

pleasure,' as Wordsworth saw the daffodils by the lake-side.


But every one sees the world in his own way. To some the glad moment may

have arrived on other provocations; and their recollection may be most

vivid of the stately gait of women carrying burthens on their heads; of

tropical effect, with caves and naked rock and sunlight; of the relief

of cypresses; of the troubled, busy-looking groups of sea-pines, that

seem always as if they were being wielded and swept together by a

whirlwind; of the air coming, laden with virginal perfumes, over the

myrtles and the scented underwoods; of the empurpled hills standing

up, solemn and sharp, out of the green-gold air of the east at evening.

There go many elements, without doubt, to the making of one such moment

of intense perception; and it is on the happy agreement of these many

elements, on the harmoniousvibration of many nerves, that the whole

delight of the moment must depend.


You should have heard him speak of what he loved; of the tent pitched

beside the talking water; of the stars overhead at night; of the blest

return of morning, the peep of day over the moors, the awaking birds

among the birches; how he abhorred the long winter shut in cities; and

with what delight, at the return of the spring, he once more pitched his

camp in the living out-of-doors.


It was one of the best things I got from my education as an engineer:

of which, however, as a way of life, I wish to speak with sympathy. It

takes a man into the open air; it keeps him hanging about harbour-sides,

which is the richest form of idling; it carries him to wild islands; it

gives him a taste of the genial dangers of the sea; it supplies him with

dexterities to exercise; it makes demands upon his ingenuity; it will go

far to cure him of any taste (if ever he had one) for the miserable life

of cities. And when it has done so, it carries him back and shuts him

in an office! From the roaring skerry and the wet thwart of the tossing

boat, he passes to the stool and desk; and with a memory full of ships,

and seas, and perilous headlands, and the shining Pharos, he must apply

his long-sighted eyes to the pretty niceties of drawing, or measure his

inaccurate mind with several pages of consecutive figures. He is a wise

youth, to be sure, who can balance one part of genuine life against

two parts of drudgery between four walls, and for the sake of the one,

manfully accept the other.


No one knows the stars who has not slept, as the French happily put

it, A LA BELLE ETOILE. He may know all their names and distances and

magnitudes, and yet be ignorant of what alone concerns mankind,--their

serene and gladsome influence on the mind. The greater part of poetry

is about the stars; and very justly, for they are themselves the most

classical of poets.


He surprised himself by a sudden impulse to write poetry--he did so

sometimes, loose, galloping octosyllabics in the vein of Scott--and when

he had taken his place on a boulder, near some fairy falls, and shaded

by a whip of a tree that was already radiant with new leaves, it still

more surprised him that he should find nothing to write. His heart

perhaps beat in time to some vast indwelling rhythm of the universe.


No man can find out the world, says Solomon, from beginning to end,

because the world is in his heart; and so it is impossible for any of

us to understand, from beginning to end, that agreement of harmonious

circumstances that creates in us the highest pleasure of admiration,

precisely because some of these circumstances are hidden from us for

ever in the constitution of our own bodies. After we have reckoned up

all that we can see or hear or feel, there still remains to be taken

into account some sensibility more delicate than usual in the nerves

affected, or some exquisiterefinement in the architecture of the brain,

which is indeed to the sense of the beautiful as the eye or the ear

to the sense of hearing or sight. We admire splendid views and great

pictures; and yet what is truly admirable is rather the mind within

us, that gathers together these scattered details for its delight, and

snakes out of certain colours, certain distributions of graduated light

and darkness, that intelligible whole which alone we call a picture or

a view. Hazlitt, relating in one of his essays how he went on foot from

one great man's house to another's in search of works of art, begins

suddenly to triumph over these noble and wealthy owners, because he

was more capable of enjoying their costly possessions than they were;

because they had paid the money and he had received the pleasure. And

the occasion is a fair one for self-complacency. While the one man was

working to be able to buy the picture, the other was working to be able

to enjoy the picture. An inherited aptitude will have been diligently

improved in either case; only the one man has made for himself a

fortune, and the other has made for himself a living spirit. It is a

fair occasion for self-complacency, I repeat, when the event shows a man

to have chosen the better part, and laid out his life more wisely, in

the long-run, than those who have credit for most wisdom. And yet even

this is not a good unmixed; and like all other possessions, although in

a less degree, the possession of a brain that has been thus improved and

cultivated, and made into the prime organ of a man's enjoyment, brings

with it certain inevitable cares and disappointments. The happiness of

such an one comes to depend greatly upon those fine shades of sensation

that heighten and harmonise the coarser elements of beauty. And thus

a degree of nervous prostration, that to other men would be hardly

disagreeable, is enough to overthrow for him the whole fabric of his

life, to take, except at rare moments, the edge off his pleasures, and

to meet him wherever he goes with failure, and the sense of want, and

disenchantment of the world and life.




Give to me the life I love,

Let the lave go by me,

Give the jolly heaven above

And the byway nigh me.

Bed in the bush with stars to see,

Bread I dip in the river--

There's the life for a man like me,

There's the life for ever.

Let the blow fall soon or late,

Let what will be o'er me;

Give the face of earth around,

And the road before me.

Wealth I ask not, hope nor love,

Nor a friend to know me;

All I ask, the heaven above

And the road below me.


Every one who has been upon a walking or a boating tour, living in the

open air, with the body in constant exercise and the mind in fallow,

knows true ease and quiet. The irritating action of the brain is set

at rest; we think in a plain, unfeverish temper; little things seem

big enough, and great things no longer portentous; and the world is

smilingly accepted as it is.


For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for

travel's sake. The great affair is to move; to feel the needs and

hitches of our life more nearly; to come down off this feather-bed of

civilisation, and find the globe granite under foot and strewn with

cutting flints. Alas, as we get up in life, and are more preoccupied

with our affairs, even a holiday is a thing that must be worked for. To

hold a pack upon a pack-saddle against a gale out of the freezing north

is no high industry, but it is one that serves to occupy and compose the

mind. And when the present is so exacting who can annoy himself about

the future?



The gauger walked with willing foot,

And aye the gauger played the flute:

And what should Master Gauger play


Whene'er I buckle on my pack

And foot it gaily in the track,

O pleasant gauger, long since dead,

I hear you fluting on ahead.

You go with me the selfsame way--

The selfsame air for me you play;

For I do think and so do you

It is the tune to travel to.

For who would gravely set his face

To go to this or t'other place?

There's nothing under Heav'n so blue

That's fairly worth the travelling to.

On every hand the roads begin,

And people walk with zeal therein;

But wheresoe'er the highways tend,

Be sure there's nothing at the end.

Then follow you, wherever hie

The travelling mountains of the sky.

Or let the streams in civil mode

Direct your choice upon a road;

For one and all, or high or low,

Will lead you where you wish to go;

And one and all go night and day



A walking tour should be gone upon alone, because freedom is of the

essence; because you should be able to stop and go on, and follow this

way or that, as the freak takes you; and because you must have your own

pace, and neither trot alongside a champion walker, nor mince in time

with a girl. And then you must be open to all impressions and let your

thoughts take colour from what you see. You should be as a pipe for any

wind to play upon.


It must not be imagined that a walking tour, as some would have us

fancy, is merely a better or worse way of seeing the country. There are

many ways of seeinglandscape quite as good; and none more vivid, in

spite of canting dilettantes, than from a railway train. But landscape

on a walking tour is quite accessory. He who is indeed of the

brotherhood does not voyage in quest of the picturesque, but of certain

jolly humours--of the hope and spirit with which the march begins at

morning, and the peace and spiritual repletion of the evening's rest. He

cannot tell whether he puts his knapsack on, or takes it off, with more

delight. The excitement of the departure puts him in key for that of the

arrival. Whatever he does is not only a reward in itself, but will be

further rewarded in the sequel; and so pleasure leads on to pleasure in

an endless chain.


Nor does the scenery any more affect the thoughts than the thoughts

affect the scenery. We see places through our humours as through

differently-coloured glasses. We are ourselves a term in the equation, a

note of the chord, and make discord or harmony almost at will. There is

no fear for the result, if we can but surrender ourselves sufficiently

to the country that surrounds and follows us, so that we are ever

thinking suitable thoughts or telling ourselves some suitable sort of

story as we go. We become thus, in some sense, a centre of beauty; we

are provocative of beauty, much as a gentle and sincerecharacter is

provocative of sincerity and gentleness in others.


There is nobody under thirty so dead but his heart will stir a little

at sight of a gypsies' camp. 'We are not cotton-spinners all;' or, at

least, not all through. There is some life in humanity yet; and youth

will now and again find a brave word to say in dispraise of riches, and

throw up a situation to go strolling with a knapsack.


I began my little pilgrimage in the most enviable of all humours: that

in which a person, with a sufficiency of money and a knapsack, turns his

back on a town and walks forward into a country of which he knows only

by the vague report of others. Such an one has not surrendered his will

and contracted for the next hundred miles, like a man on a railway. He

may change his mind at every finger-post, and, where ways meet, follow

vague preferences freely and go the low road or the high, choose the

shadow or the sunshine, suffer himself to be tempted by the lane that

turns immediately into the woods, or the broad road that lies open

before him into the distance, and shows him the far-off spires of some

city, or a range of mountain-tops, or a run of sea, perhaps, along a low

horizon. In short, he may gratify his every whim and fancy, without a

pang of reposing conscience, or the least jostle of his self-respect.

It is true, however, that most men do not possess the faculty of free

action, the priceless gift of being able to live for the moment only;

and as they begin to go forward on their journey, they will find that

they have made for themselves new fetters. Slight projects they may have

entertained for a moment, half in jest, become iron laws to them, they

know not why. They will be led by the nose by these vague reports of

which I spoke above; and the mere fact that their informant mentioned

one village and not another will compel their footsteps with

inexplicable power. And yet a little while, yet a few days of this

  • curiosity [,kjuəri´ɔsiti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.好奇;奇事;珍品   (初中英语单词)
  • reality [ri´æliti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.现实(性);真实;逼真   (初中英语单词)
  • circle [´sə:kəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.圆圈 v.环绕;盘旋   (初中英语单词)
  • sunlight [´sʌnlait] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.日光   (初中英语单词)
  • solemn [´sɔləm] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.严肃的;隆重的   (初中英语单词)
  • agreement [ə´gri:mənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.同意;一致;协议   (初中英语单词)
  • overhead [´əuvə,hed] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.当头 a.在头上的   (初中英语单词)
  • sympathy [´simpəθi] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.同情,怜悯   (初中英语单词)
  • miserable [´mizərəbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.悲惨的;可怜的   (初中英语单词)
  • measure [´meʒə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.量度;范围 vt.测量   (初中英语单词)
  • ignorant [´ignərənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.无知的,愚昧的   (初中英语单词)
  • impulse [´impʌls] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.推动(力);冲动;刺激   (初中英语单词)
  • beginning [bi´giniŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.开始,开端;起源   (初中英语单词)
  • hidden [´hid(ə)n] 移动到这儿单词发声  hide 的过去分词   (初中英语单词)
  • constitution [,kɔnsti´tju:ʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.宪法;体格;体质   (初中英语单词)
  • account [ə´kaunt] 移动到这儿单词发声  vi.说明 vt.认为 n.帐目   (初中英语单词)
  • delicate [´delikət] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.精美的;微妙的   (初中英语单词)
  • triumph [´traiəmf] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.胜利 vi.得胜,战胜   (初中英语单词)
  • wealthy [´welθi] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.富有的;丰富的   (初中英语单词)
  • capable [´keipəbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.有能力;能干的   (初中英语单词)
  • costly [´kɔstli] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.昂贵的;费用大的   (初中英语单词)
  • working [´wə:kiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.工人的;劳动的   (初中英语单词)
  • wisdom [´wizdəm] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.智慧,聪明,才智   (初中英语单词)
  • nervous [´nə:vəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.神经的;神经过敏的   (初中英语单词)
  • fabric [´fæbrik] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.织物;结构;组织   (初中英语单词)
  • wherever [weər´evə] 移动到这儿单词发声  conj.无论在哪里   (初中英语单词)
  • failure [´feiljə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.失败;衰竭;破产   (初中英语单词)
  • constant [´kɔnstənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.坚定的;坚贞的   (初中英语单词)
  • temper [´tempə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.韧度 v.锻炼;调和   (初中英语单词)
  • anywhere [´eniweə] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.无论何处;任何地方   (初中英语单词)
  • holiday [´hɔlidi] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.假日,假期,节日   (初中英语单词)
  • compose [kəm´pəuz] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.组成;创作;作曲   (初中英语单词)
  • willing [´wiliŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.情愿的,乐意的   (初中英语单词)
  • gravely [´greivli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.庄重地,严肃地   (初中英语单词)
  • champion [´tʃæmpiən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.冠军 vt.拥护   (初中英语单词)
  • voyage [´vɔi-idʒ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&vi.航海;航程;旅行   (初中英语单词)
  • spiritual [´spiritʃuəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.精神(上)的;神圣的   (初中英语单词)
  • excitement [ik´saitmənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.兴奋;骚动;煽动   (初中英语单词)
  • departure [di´pɑ:tʃə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.离开,出发   (初中英语单词)
  • whatever [wɔt´evə] 移动到这儿单词发声  pron.&a.无论什么   (初中英语单词)
  • reward [ri´wɔ:d] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&v.报答;报酬;奖赏   (初中英语单词)
  • affect [ə´fekt] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.影响;感动;假装   (初中英语单词)
  • harmony [´hɑ:məni] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.调合,协调,和谐   (初中英语单词)
  • surrender [sə´rendə] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.&n.交出;引渡;放弃   (初中英语单词)
  • suitable [´su:təbəl, ´sju:-] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.合适的,适当的   (初中英语单词)
  • sincere [sin´siə] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.真挚的;直率的   (初中英语单词)
  • character [´kæriktə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.特性;性质;人物;字   (初中英语单词)
  • humanity [hju:´mæniti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.人类;人性;仁慈   (初中英语单词)
  • riches [´ritʃiz] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.房地产;丰富   (初中英语单词)
  • freely [´fri:li] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.自由地;慷慨地   (初中英语单词)
  • sunshine [´sʌnʃain] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.日光,阳光   (初中英语单词)
  • conscience [´kɔnʃəns] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.良心;道德心   (初中英语单词)
  • faculty [´fækəlti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.才干;天赋;院,系   (初中英语单词)
  • specific [spi´sifik] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.具体的;特有的   (高中英语单词)
  • emphasis [´emfəsis] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.强调;重点   (高中英语单词)
  • senate [´senit] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.参议院;上院   (高中英语单词)
  • posterity [pɔ´steriti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.子孙;后代   (高中英语单词)
  • portrait [´pɔ:trit] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.肖像;相片;雕像   (高中英语单词)
  • recollection [,rekə´lekʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.回忆;追想;记忆力   (高中英语单词)
  • stately [´steitli] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.庄严的,雄伟的   (高中英语单词)
  • intense [in´tens] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.强烈的;紧张的   (高中英语单词)
  • hanging [´hæŋiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.绞刑 a.悬挂着的   (高中英语单词)
  • ingenuity [,indʒi´nju:iti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.创造性;机灵   (高中英语单词)
  • perilous [´periləs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.危险的;冒险的   (高中英语单词)
  • genuine [´dʒenjuin] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.真正的;真诚的   (高中英语单词)
  • radiant [´reidiənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.发光的 n.光源(体)   (高中英语单词)
  • solomon [´sɔləmən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.所罗门   (高中英语单词)
  • exquisite [ik´skwizit] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.精巧的;敏锐的   (高中英语单词)
  • architecture [´ɑ:kitektʃə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.建筑术;建筑学   (高中英语单词)
  • hearing [´hiəriŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.听力;听证会;审讯   (高中英语单词)
  • admirable [´ædmərəbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.极佳的,值得赞美的   (高中英语单词)
  • wisely [´waizli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.明智地,聪明地   (高中英语单词)
  • enjoyment [in´dʒɔimənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.享受;愉快;乐趣   (高中英语单词)
  • inevitable [i´nevitəbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.不可避免的   (高中英语单词)
  • overthrow [´əuvəθrəu] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.推翻;打倒   (高中英语单词)
  • granite [´grænit] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.花岗岩   (高中英语单词)
  • strewn [stru:n] 移动到这儿单词发声  strew的过去分词   (高中英语单词)
  • alongside [əlɔŋ´said] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.在旁 prep.横靠   (高中英语单词)
  • seeing [si:iŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  see的现在分词 n.视觉   (高中英语单词)
  • landscape [´lændskeip] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.风景;景色;风景画   (高中英语单词)
  • picturesque [,piktʃə´resk] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.似画的;别致的   (高中英语单词)
  • scenery [´si:nəri] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.舞台布景   (高中英语单词)
  • gratify [´grætifai] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.使高兴;满足   (高中英语单词)
  • aspiration [,æspə´reiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.渴望;志向;抱负   (英语四级单词)
  • essentially [i´senʃəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.本质上,基本上   (英语四级单词)
  • perception [pə´sepʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.感觉;概念;理解力   (英语四级单词)
  • harmonious [hɑ:məuniəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.协调的,悦耳的   (英语四级单词)
  • vibration [vai´breiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.颤动;振动;摇动   (英语四级单词)
  • genial [´dʒi:niəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.愉快的;和蔼的   (英语四级单词)
  • thwart [θwɔ:t] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.阻挠 a.横(断的)   (英语四级单词)
  • drawing [´drɔ:iŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.画图;制图;图样   (英语四级单词)
  • justly [´dʒʌstli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.公正地,正当地   (英语四级单词)
  • boulder [´bəuldə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.大石头,卵石;巨砾   (英语四级单词)
  • rhythm [´riðəm] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.(诗的)韵律;格律   (英语四级单词)
  • refinement [ri´fainmənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.精炼;精制;文雅   (英语四级单词)
  • buckle [´bʌkəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.带扣 v.(用…)扣住   (英语四级单词)
  • accessory [ək´sesəri] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.附件;帮凶 a.附属的   (英语四级单词)
  • sincerity [sin´seriti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.真诚;诚意   (英语四级单词)
  • gentleness [´dʒentlnis] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.温和,温柔   (英语四级单词)
  • pilgrimage [´pilgrimidʒ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.朝圣;远游;人生历程   (英语四级单词)
  • far-off [´fɑ:rɔ:f] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.远方的,遥远的   (英语四级单词)
  • jostle [´dʒɔsəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.&n.推,撞,挤(人)   (英语四级单词)
  • consecutive [kən´sekjutiv] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.连续的;连贯的   (英语六级单词)
  • drudgery [´drʌdʒəri] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.苦工;苦役   (英语六级单词)
  • heighten [´haitn] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.增高,加强   (英语六级单词)
  • exacting [ig´zæktiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.苛求的;严格的   (英语六级单词)
  • selfsame [´selfseim] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.完全一样的,同一的   (英语六级单词)
  • equation [i´kweiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.等式,方程式   (英语六级单词)
  • discord [´diskɔ:d] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.不一致;不和谐   (英语六级单词)
  • contracted [kən´træktid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.收缩了的;缩略的   (英语六级单词)
  • priceless [´praisləs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.无价的;贵重的   (英语六级单词)

  • 上传人 欢乐鱼 分享于 2017-06-26 17:07:10
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