Give us courage and gaiety and the quiet mind. Spare to us our friends, soften to us our enemies. Bless us, if it may be, in all our innocent endeavors. If it may not, give us the strength to encounter that which is to come, that we be brave in peril, constant in tribulation, temperate in wrath, and in all changes of fortune and down to the gates of death, loyal and loving one to another.
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.