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Dedication


DEDICATION TO CHARLES BAXTER, _WRITER TO THE SIGNET_.

MY DEAR CHARLES,

It is the fate of sequels to disappoint those who have waited for them;
and, my David having been left to kick his heels for more than a lustre
in the British Linen Company's office, must expect his late reappearance
to be greeted with hoots, if not with missiles. Yet, when I remember the
days of our explorations, I am not without hope. There should be left in
our native city some seed of the elect; some long-legged, hot-headed
youth must repeat to-day our dreams and wanderings of so many years ago;
he will relish the pleasure, which should have been ours, to follow
among named streets and numbered houses the country walks of David
Balfour, to identify Dean, and Silvermills, and Broughton, and Hope Park
and Pilrig, and poor old Lochend--if it still be standing, and the
Figgate Whins--if there be any of them left; or to push (on a long
holiday) so far afield as Gillane or the Bass. So, perhaps, his eye
shall be opened to behold the series of the generations, and he shall
weigh with surprise his momentous and nugatory gift of life.

You are still--as when first I saw, as when I last addressed you--in the
venerable city which I must always think of as my home. And I have come
so far; and the sights and thoughts of my youth pursue me; and I see
like a vision the youth of my father, and of his father, and the whole
stream of lives flowing down there, far in the north, with the sound of
laughter and tears, to cast me out in the end, as by a sudden freshet,
on those ultimate islands. And I admire and bow my head before the
romance of destiny.

R.L.S.

VAILIMA,
UPOLU,
SAMOA,
1902.

Robert Louis Stevenson

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