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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

flower something of this to keep, the essence of an hour. 

 

No more to wait the twilight of the moon in this sequestered vale of 

star and spire, for one eternal morning of desire passes to time and 

earthy afternoon. Here, Heraclitus, did you find in fire and shifting 

things the prophecy you hurled down the dead years; this midnight 

my desire will see, shadowed among the embers, furled in flame, the 

splendor and the sadness of the world. 

 

 

 

 

INTERLUDE 

 

May, 1917-February, 1919 

 

 

A letter dated January, 1918, written by Monsignor Darcy to Amory, who 

is a second lieutenant in the 171st Infantry, Port of Embarkation, Camp 

Mills, Long Island. 

 

 

MY DEAR BOY: 

 

All you need tell me of yourself is that you still are; for the rest I 

merely search back in a restive memory, a thermometer that records only 

fevers, and match you with what I was at your age. But men will chatter 

and you and I will still shout our futilities to each other across 

the stage until the last silly curtain falls _plump!_ upon our bobbing 

heads. But you are starting the spluttering magic-lantern show of life 

with much the same array of slides as I had, so I need to write you if 

only to shriek the colossal stupidity of people.... 

 

This is the end of one thing: for better or worse you will never again 

be quite the Amory Blaine that I knew, never again will we meet as we 

have met, because your generation is growing hard, much harder than mine 

ever grew, nourished as they were on the stuff of the nineties. 

 

Amory, lately I reread Aeschylus and there in the divine irony of the 

"Agamemnon" I find the only answer to this bitter age--all the world 

tumbled about our ears, and the closest parallel ages back in that 

hopeless resignation. There are times when I think of the men out there 

as Roman legionaries, miles from their corrupt city, stemming back the 

hordes... hordes a little more menacing, after all, than the corrupt 

city... another blind blow at the race, furies that we passed with 

ovations years ago, over whose corpses we bleated triumphantly all 


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