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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

conceited?" 

 

"Well--no, you have tremendous vanity, but it'll amuse the people who 

notice its preponderance." 

 

"I see." 

 

"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 

self-respect." 

 

"Centre of target twice, Clara. How do you do it? You never let me say a 

word." 

 

"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 

imagination." 

 

"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. 

It's biassed." 

 

"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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