All art, it is true, is play of a sort; the ‘sport-impulse’ (to translate a German phrase) is deep at the root of the artist’s power; Sophocles, Shakespeare, Molière, and Goethe, in a very profound sense, make game of life. But to make game of life was to each of these the very loftiest and most imperative employ to be found for him on this planet; to hold the mirror up to Nature so that for the first time she may see herself; to ‘be a candle-holder and look on’ at the pageantry which, but for the candle-holder, would huddle along in the undistinguishable blackness, filled them with the pride of place. Stevenson had the sport-impulse at the depths of his nature, but he also had, perhaps he had inherited, an instinct for work in more blockish material, for lighthouse-building and iron-founding. In a ‘Letter to a Young Artist, ’ contributed to a magazine years ago, he compares the artist in paint or in words to the keeper of a booth at the world’s fair, dependent for his bread on his success in amusing others. In his volume of poems he almost apologises for his excellence in literature.