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The very flexibility and ease which make men's friendships so agreeable while they endure, make them the easier to destroy and forget. And a man who has a few friends, or one who has a dozen (if there be any one so wealthy on this earth), cannot forget on how precarious a base his happiness reposes; and how by a stroke or two of fate --a death, a few light words, a piece of stamped paper, a woman's bright eyes --he may be left, in a month, destitute of all.

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A bit about Robert Louis Stevenson ...

Robert Louis (Balfour) Stevenson (November 13 1850 - December 3 1894), was a Scottish novelist, poet, and travel writer, and a leading representative of Neo-romanticism in English literature. He was the man who "seemed to pick the right word up on the point of his pen, like a man playing spillikins", as G. K. Chesterton put it. He was also greatly admired by many authors such as Ernest Hemingway, Rudyard Kipling, Vladimir Nabokov and others. Most modernist writers dismissed him, however, because he was popular and did not write within their narrow definition of literature. It is only recently that critics have begun to look beyond Stevenson's popularity and allow him a place in the canon.

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