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Middle Ages and the last of a distinguished, patriotic, and brilliant
"He comes here for a rest," said Monsignor confidentially, treating
Amory as a contemporary. "I act as an escape from the weariness of
agnosticism, and I think I'm the only man who knows how his staid old
mind is really at sea and longs for a sturdy spar like the Church to
Their first luncheon was one of the memorable events of Amory's early
life. He was quite radiant and gave off a peculiar brightness and
charm. Monsignor called out the best that he had thought by question and
suggestion, and Amory talked with an ingenious brilliance of a thousand
impulses and desires and repulsions and faiths and fears. He and
Monsignor held the floor, and the older man, with his less receptive,
less accepting, yet certainly not colder mentality, seemed content to
listen and bask in the mellow sunshine that played between these two.
Monsignor gave the effect of sunlight to many people; Amory gave it in
his youth and, to some extent, when he was very much older, but never
again was it quite so mutually spontaneous.
"He's a radiant boy," thought Thornton Hancock, who had seen the
splendor of two continents and talked with Parnell and Gladstone and
Bismarck--and afterward he added to Monsignor: "But his education ought
not to be intrusted to a school or college."
But for the next four years the best of Amory's intellect was
concentrated on matters of popularity, the intricacies of a university
social system and American Society as represented by Biltmore Teas and
Hot Springs golf-links.
... In all, a wonderful week, that saw Amory's mind turned inside out, a
hundred of his theories confirmed, and his joy of life crystallized to
a thousand ambitions. Not that the conversation was scholastic--heaven
forbid! Amory had only the vaguest idea as to what Bernard Shaw was--but
Monsignor made quite as much out of "The Beloved Vagabond" and "Sir
Nigel," taking good care that Amory never once felt out of his depth.
But the trumpets were sounding for Amory's preliminary skirmish with his
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