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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

did. If we can do the next thing, and have an hour a day to think in, 

we can accomplish marvels, but as far as any high-handed scheme of blind 

dominance is concerned--we'd just make asses of ourselves." 

 

"But, Monsignor, I can't do the next thing." 

 

"Amory, between you and me, I have only just learned to do it myself. I 

can do the one hundred things beyond the next thing, but I stub my toe 

on that, just as you stubbed your toe on mathematics this fall." 

 

"Why do we have to do the next thing? It never seems the sort of thing I 

should do." 

 

"We have to do it because we're not personalities, but personages." 

 

"That's a good line--what do you mean?" 

 

"A personality is what you thought you were, what this Kerry and Sloane 

you tell me of evidently are. Personality is a physical matter almost 

entirely; it lowers the people it acts on--I've seen it vanish in a 

long sickness. But while a personality is active, it overrides 'the next 

thing.' Now a personage, on the other hand, gathers. He is never thought 

of apart from what he's done. He's a bar on which a thousand things have 

been hung--glittering things sometimes, as ours are; but he uses those 

things with a cold mentality back of them." 

 

"And several of my most glittering possessions had fallen off when I 

needed them." Amory continued the simile eagerly. 

 

"Yes, that's it; when you feel that your garnered prestige and talents 

and all that are hung out, you need never bother about anybody; you can 

cope with them without difficulty." 

 

"But, on the other hand, if I haven't my possessions, I'm helpless!" 

 

"Absolutely." 

 

"That's certainly an idea." 

 

"Now you've a clean start--a start Kerry or Sloane can constitutionally 

never have. You brushed three or four ornaments down, and, in a fit of 

pique, knocked off the rest of them. The thing now is to collect some 

new ones, and the farther you look ahead in the collecting the better. 

But remember, do the next thing!" 

 

"How clear you can make things!" 

 

So they talked, often about themselves, sometimes of philosophy and 


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