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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

However, blood being thicker than broth, he was pulled through. 

 

The Blaines were attached to no city. They were the Blaines of Lake 

Geneva; they had quite enough relatives to serve in place of friends, 

and an enviable standing from Pasadena to Cape Cod. But Beatrice grew 

more and more prone to like only new acquaintances, as there were 

certain stories, such as the history of her constitution and its many 

amendments, memories of her years abroad, that it was necessary for 

her to repeat at regular intervals. Like Freudian dreams, they must be 

thrown off, else they would sweep in and lay siege to her nerves. But 

Beatrice was critical about American women, especially the floating 

population of ex-Westerners. 

 

"They have accents, my dear," she told Amory, "not Southern accents 

or Boston accents, not an accent attached to any locality, just an 

accent"--she became dreamy. "They pick up old, moth-eaten London accents 

that are down on their luck and have to be used by some one. They talk 

as an English butler might after several years in a Chicago grand-opera 

company." She became almost incoherent--"Suppose--time in every Western 

woman's life--she feels her husband is prosperous enough for her to 

have--accent--they try to impress _me_, my dear--" 

 

Though she thought of her body as a mass of frailties, she considered 

her soul quite as ill, and therefore important in her life. She had 

once been a Catholic, but discovering that priests were infinitely more 

attentive when she was in process of losing or regaining faith in Mother 

Church, she maintained an enchantingly wavering attitude. Often she 

deplored the bourgeois quality of the American Catholic clergy, and was 

quite sure that had she lived in the shadow of the great Continental 

cathedrals her soul would still be a thin flame on the mighty altar of 

Rome. Still, next to doctors, priests were her favorite sport. 

 

"Ah, Bishop Wiston," she would declare, "I do not want to talk of 

myself. I can imagine the stream of hysterical women fluttering at your 

doors, beseeching you to be simpatico"--then after an interlude filled 


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