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The Black Arrow - Robert Louis Stevenson

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The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson

Critic on the Hearth:

No one but myself knows what I have suffered, nor what my books
have gained, by your unsleeping watchfulness and admirable
pertinacity.  And now here is a volume that goes into the world and
lacks your IMPRIMATUR:  a strange thing in our joint lives; and the
reason of it stranger still! I have watched with interest, with
pain, and at length with amusement, your unavailing attempts to
peruse THE BLACK ARROW; and I think I should lack humour indeed, if
I let the occasion slip and did not place your name in the fly-leaf
of the only book of mine that you have never read - and never will
read.

That others may display more constancy is still my hope.  The tale
was written years ago for a particular audience and (I may say) in
rivalry with a particular author; I think I should do well to name
him, Mr. Alfred R. Phillips.  It was not without its reward at the
time.  I could not, indeed, displace Mr. Phillips from his well-won
priority; but in the eyes of readers who thought less than nothing
of TREASURE ISLAND, THE BLACK ARROW was supposed to mark a clear
advance.  Those who read volumes and those who read story papers
belong to different worlds.  The verdict on TREASURE ISLAND was
reversed in the other court; I wonder, will it be the same with its
successor?

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