Underwoods by Robert Louis Stevenson.
Of all my verse, like not a single line;
But like my title, for it is not mine.
That title from a better man I stole:
Ah, how much better, had I stol'n the whole!
THERE are men and classes of men that stand above the
common herd: the soldier, the sailor and the shepherd not
unfrequently; the artist rarely; rarely still, the clergyman;
the physician almost as a rule. He is the flower (such as it
is) of our civilisation; and when that stage of man is done
with, and only remembered to be marvelled at in history, he
will be thought to have shared as little as any in the defects
of the period, and most notably exhibited the virtues of the
race. Generosity he has, such as is possible to those who
practise an art, never to those who drive a trade; discretion,
tested by a hundred secrets; tact, tried in a thousand