Memories and Portraits - Robert Louis Stevenson.
MEMORIES AND PORTRAITS
THIS volume of papers, unconnected as they are, it will be better
to read through from the beginning, rather than dip into at random.
A certain thread of meaning binds them. Memories of childhood and
youth, portraits of those who have gone before us in the battle -
taken together, they build up a face that "I have loved long since
and lost awhile," the face of what was once myself. This has come
by accident; I had no design at first to be autobiographical; I was
but led away by the charm of beloved memories and by regret for the
irrevocable dead; and when my own young face (which is a face of
the dead also) began to appear in the well as by a kind of magic, I
was the first to be surprised at the occurrence.
My grandfather the pious child, my father the idle eager
sentimental youth, I have thus unconsciously exposed. Of their
descendant, the person of to-day, I wish to keep the secret: not
because I love him better, but because, with him, I am still in a
business partnership, and cannot divide interests.
Of the papers which make up the volume, some have appeared already