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"I've never met him. I'll bet, though, that he's stupid or insane."
"I've met him over and over and he's neither. That's why I think you're
"I'm sure I'm not--and so I don't believe in imprisonment except for the
On this point Amory could not agree. It seemed to him that life
and history were rife with the strong criminal, keen, but often
self-deluding; in politics and business one found him and among the
old statesmen and kings and generals; but Burne never agreed and their
courses began to split on that point.
Burne was drawing farther and farther away from the world about him. He
resigned the vice-presidency of the senior class and took to reading and
walking as almost his only pursuits. He voluntarily attended graduate
lectures in philosophy and biology, and sat in all of them with a rather
pathetically intent look in his eyes, as if waiting for something the
lecturer would never quite come to. Sometimes Amory would see him squirm
in his seat; and his face would light up; he was on fire to debate a
He grew more abstracted on the street and was even accused of becoming
a snob, but Amory knew it was nothing of the sort, and once when Burne
passed him four feet off, absolutely unseeingly, his mind a thousand
miles away, Amory almost choked with the romantic joy of watching him.
Burne seemed to be climbing heights where others would be forever unable
to get a foothold.
"I tell you," Amory declared to Tom, "he's the first contemporary I've
ever met whom I'll admit is my superior in mental capacity."
"It's a bad time to admit it--people are beginning to think he's odd."
"He's way over their heads--you know you think so yourself when you
talk to him--Good Lord, Tom, you _used_ to stand out against 'people.'
Success has completely conventionalized you."
Tom grew rather annoyed.
"What's he trying to do--be excessively holy?"
"No! not like anybody you've ever seen. Never enters the Philadelphian
Society. He has no faith in that rot. He doesn't believe that public
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