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seemed a melancholy happening, now seemed a tiresome anticlimax. He was
dressed at half past, so he sat down by the window; felt that the sinews
of his heart were twisted somewhat more than he had thought. What an
ironic mockery the morning seemed!--bright and sunny, and full of the
smell of the garden; hearing Mrs. Borge's voice in the sun-parlor below,
he wondered where was Isabelle.
There was a knock at the door.
"The car will be around at ten minutes of nine, sir."
He returned to his contemplation of the outdoors, and began repeating
over and over, mechanically, a verse from Browning, which he had once
quoted to Isabelle in a letter:
"Each life unfulfilled, you see,
It hangs still, patchy and scrappy;
We have not sighed deep, laughed free,
Starved, feasted, despaired--been happy."
But his life would not be unfulfilled. He took a sombre satisfaction in
thinking that perhaps all along she had been nothing except what he had
read into her; that this was her high point, that no one else would ever
make her think. Yet that was what she had objected to in him; and Amory
was suddenly tired of thinking, thinking!
"Damn her!" he said bitterly, "she's spoiled my year!"
THE SUPERMAN GROWS CARELESS
On a dusty day in September Amory arrived in Princeton and joined the
sweltering crowd of conditioned men who thronged the streets. It seemed
a stupid way to commence his upper-class years, to spend four hours a
morning in the stuffy room of a tutoring school, imbibing the infinite
boredom of conic sections. Mr. Rooney, pander to the dull, conducted the
class and smoked innumerable Pall Malls as he drew diagrams and worked
equations from six in the morning until midnight.
"Now, Langueduc, if I used that formula, where would my A point be?"
Langueduc lazily shifts his six-foot-three of football material and
tries to concentrate.
"Oh--ah--I'm damned if I know, Mr. Rooney."
"Oh, why of course, of course you can't _use_ that formula. _That's_
what I wanted you to say."
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