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Table of contents
AMORY, SON OF BEATRICE
SPIRES AND GARGOYLES
THE EGOTIST CONSIDERS
NARCISSUS OFF DUTY
THE DEBUTANTE
EXPERIMENTS IN CONVALESCENCE
YOUNG IRONY
THE SUPERCILIOUS SACRIFICE
THE EGOTIST BECOMES A PERSONAGE

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 

ninety-six. 

 

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. 

 

"Amory." 

 

"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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