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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

You start as a messenger or a teller, I believe, and from that you 

go up--almost indefinitely. I'm sure if I were a man I'd love the 

handling of money; it has become quite a senile passion with me. 

Before I get any farther I want to discuss something. A Mrs. Bispam, 

an overcordial little lady whom I met at a tea the other day, 

told me that her son, he is at Yale, wrote her that all the 

boys there wore their summer underwear all during the winter, 

and also went about with their heads wet and in low shoes on the 

coldest days. Now, Amory, I don't know whether that is a fad at 

Princeton too, but I don't want you to be so foolish. It not only 

inclines a young man to pneumonia and infantile paralysis, but to 

all forms of lung trouble, to which you are particularly 

inclined. You cannot experiment with your health. I have found 

that out. I will not make myself ridiculous as some mothers no 

doubt do, by insisting that you wear overshoes, though I remember 

one Christmas you wore them around constantly without a single 

buckle latched, making such a curious swishing sound, and you 

refused to buckle them because it was not the thing to do. The 

very next Christmas you would not wear even rubbers, though I 

begged you. You are nearly twenty years old now, dear, and I 

can't be with you constantly to find whether you are doing the 

sensible thing. 

 

"This has been a very _practical_ letter. I warned you in my last 

that the lack of money to do the things one wants to makes one 

quite prosy and domestic, but there is still plenty for 

everything if we are not too extravagant. Take care of yourself, 

my dear boy, and do try to write at least _once_ a week, because I 

imagine all sorts of horrible things if I don't hear from you. 

Affectionately, MOTHER." 

 

***** 

 

FIRST APPEARANCE OF THE TERM "PERSONAGE" 

 

Monsignor Darcy invited Amory up to the Stuart palace on the Hudson for 

a week at Christmas, and they had enormous conversations around the open 


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