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and Queen Margherita and more subtle celebrities that one must have had
some culture even to have heard of. She learned in England to prefer
whiskey and soda to wine, and her small talk was broadened in two senses
during a winter in Vienna. All in all Beatrice O'Hara absorbed the
sort of education that will be quite impossible ever again; a tutelage
measured by the number of things and people one could be contemptuous of
and charming about; a culture rich in all arts and traditions, barren of
all ideas, in the last of those days when the great gardener clipped the
inferior roses to produce one perfect bud.
In her less important moments she returned to America, met Stephen
Blaine and married him--this almost entirely because she was a little
bit weary, a little bit sad. Her only child was carried through
a tiresome season and brought into the world on a spring day in
When Amory was five he was already a delightful companion for her. He
was an auburn-haired boy, with great, handsome eyes which he would grow
up to in time, a facile imaginative mind and a taste for fancy dress.
From his fourth to his tenth year he did the country with his mother
in her father's private car, from Coronado, where his mother became so
bored that she had a nervous breakdown in a fashionable hotel, down to
Mexico City, where she took a mild, almost epidemic consumption. This
trouble pleased her, and later she made use of it as an intrinsic part
of her atmosphere--especially after several astounding bracers.
So, while more or less fortunate little rich boys were defying
governesses on the beach at Newport, or being spanked or tutored or read
to from "Do and Dare," or "Frank on the Mississippi," Amory was biting
acquiescent bell-boys in the Waldorf, outgrowing a natural repugnance
to chamber music and symphonies, and deriving a highly specialized
education from his mother.
"Yes, Beatrice." (Such a quaint name for his mother; she encouraged it.)
"Dear, don't _think_ of getting out of bed yet. I've always suspected
that early rising in early life makes one nervous. Clothilde is having
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