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"Well--no, you have tremendous vanity, but it'll amuse the people who
notice its preponderance."
"You're really humble at heart. You sink to the third hell of depression
when you think you've been slighted. In fact, you haven't much
"Centre of target twice, Clara. How do you do it? You never let me say a
"Of course not--I can never judge a man while he's talking. But I'm not
through; the reason you have so little real self-confidence, even though
you gravely announce to the occasional philistine that you think you're
a genius, is that you've attributed all sorts of atrocious faults to
yourself and are trying to live up to them. For instance, you're always
saying that you are a slave to high-balls."
"But I am, potentially."
"And you say you're a weak character, that you've no will."
"Not a bit of will--I'm a slave to my emotions, to my likes, to my
hatred of boredom, to most of my desires--"
"You are not!" She brought one little fist down onto the other.
"You're a slave, a bound helpless slave to one thing in the world, your
"You certainly interest me. If this isn't boring you, go on."
"I notice that when you want to stay over an extra day from college you
go about it in a sure way. You never decide at first while the merits of
going or staying are fairly clear in your mind. You let your imagination
shinny on the side of your desires for a few hours, and then you decide.
Naturally your imagination, after a little freedom, thinks up a million
reasons why you should stay, so your decision when it comes isn't true.
"Yes," objected Amory, "but isn't it lack of will-power to let my
imagination shinny on the wrong side?"
"My dear boy, there's your big mistake. This has nothing to do with
will-power; that's a crazy, useless word, anyway; you lack judgment--the
judgment to decide at once when you know your imagination will play you
false, given half a chance."
"Well, I'll be darned!" exclaimed Amory in surprise, "that's the last
thing I expected."
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