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dream one of his favorite waking dreams, the one about becoming a great
half-back, or the one about the Japanese invasion, when he was rewarded
by being made the youngest general in the world. It was always
the becoming he dreamed of, never the being. This, too, was quite
characteristic of Amory.
CODE OF THE YOUNG EGOTIST
Before he was summoned back to Lake Geneva, he had appeared, shy but
inwardly glowing, in his first long trousers, set off by a purple
accordion tie and a "Belmont" collar with the edges unassailably
meeting, purple socks, and handkerchief with a purple border peeping
from his breast pocket. But more than that, he had formulated his first
philosophy, a code to live by, which, as near as it can be named, was a
sort of aristocratic egotism.
He had realized that his best interests were bound up with those of a
certain variant, changing person, whose label, in order that his past
might always be identified with him, was Amory Blaine. Amory marked
himself a fortunate youth, capable of infinite expansion for good or
evil. He did not consider himself a "strong char'c'ter," but relied on
his facility (learn things sorta quick) and his superior mentality (read
a lotta deep books). He was proud of the fact that he could never
become a mechanical or scientific genius. From no other heights was he
Physically.--Amory thought that he was exceedingly handsome. He was. He
fancied himself an athlete of possibilities and a supple dancer.
Socially.--Here his condition was, perhaps, most dangerous. He granted
himself personality, charm, magnetism, poise, the power of dominating
all contemporary males, the gift of fascinating all women.
Mentally.--Complete, unquestioned superiority.
Now a confession will have to be made. Amory had rather a Puritan
conscience. Not that he yielded to it--later in life he almost
completely slew it--but at fifteen it made him consider himself a
great deal worse than other boys... unscrupulousness... the desire
to influence people in almost every way, even for evil... a certain
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