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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

 

Slowly and inevitably, yet with a sudden surge at the last, while Amory 

talked and dreamed, war rolled swiftly up the beach and washed the sands 

where Princeton played. Every night the gymnasium echoed as platoon 

after platoon swept over the floor and shuffled out the basket-ball 

markings. When Amory went to Washington the next week-end he caught some 

of the spirit of crisis which changed to repulsion in the Pullman car 

coming back, for the berths across from him were occupied by stinking 

aliens--Greeks, he guessed, or Russians. He thought how much easier 

patriotism had been to a homogeneous race, how much easier it would have 

been to fight as the Colonies fought, or as the Confederacy fought. And 

he did no sleeping that night, but listened to the aliens guffaw and 

snore while they filled the car with the heavy scent of latest America. 

 

In Princeton every one bantered in public and told themselves privately 

that their deaths at least would be heroic. The literary students read 

Rupert Brooke passionately; the lounge-lizards worried over whether the 

government would permit the English-cut uniform for officers; a few of 

the hopelessly lazy wrote to the obscure branches of the War Department, 

seeking an easy commission and a soft berth. 

 

Then, after a week, Amory saw Burne and knew at once that argument would 

be futile--Burne had come out as a pacifist. The socialist magazines, 

a great smattering of Tolstoi, and his own intense longing for a cause 

that would bring out whatever strength lay in him, had finally decided 

him to preach peace as a subjective ideal. 

 

"When the German army entered Belgium," he began, "if the inhabitants 

had gone peaceably about their business, the German army would have been 

disorganized in--" 

 

"I know," Amory interrupted, "I've heard it all. But I'm not going to 

talk propaganda with you. There's a chance that you're right--but even 

so we're hundreds of years before the time when non-resistance can touch 

us as a reality." 

 

"But, Amory, listen--" 

 

"Burne, we'd just argue--" 

 

"Very well." 

 

"Just one thing--I don't ask you to think of your family or friends, 


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