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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

through the Victorian era.... 

 

And afterward an out-and-out materialistic world--and the Catholic 

Church. I wonder where you'll fit in. Of one thing I'm sure--Celtic 

you'll live and Celtic you'll die; so if you don't use heaven as a 

continual referendum for your ideas you'll find earth a continual recall 

to your ambitions. 

 

Amory, I've discovered suddenly that I'm an old man. Like all old 

men, I've had dreams sometimes and I'm going to tell you of them. I've 

enjoyed imagining that you were my son, that perhaps when I was young 

I went into a state of coma and begat you, and when I came to, had no 

recollection of it... it's the paternal instinct, Amory--celibacy goes 

deeper than the flesh.... 

 

Sometimes I think that the explanation of our deep resemblance is some 

common ancestor, and I find that the only blood that the Darcys and 

the O'Haras have in common is that of the O'Donahues... Stephen was his 

name, I think.... 

 

When the lightning strikes one of us it strikes both: you had hardly 

arrived at the port of embarkation when I got my papers to start for 

Rome, and I am waiting every moment to be told where to take ship. Even 

before you get this letter I shall be on the ocean; then will come your 

turn. You went to war as a gentleman should, just as you went to school 

and college, because it was the thing to do. It's better to leave the 

blustering and tremulo-heroism to the middle classes; they do it so much 

better. 

 

Do you remember that week-end last March when you brought Burne Holiday 

from Princeton to see me? What a magnificent boy he is! It gave me a 

frightful shock afterward when you wrote that he thought me splendid; 

how could he be so deceived? Splendid is the one thing that neither you 

nor I are. We are many other things--we're extraordinary, we're clever, 

we could be said, I suppose, to be brilliant. We can attract people, 

we can make atmosphere, we can almost lose our Celtic souls in Celtic 

subtleties, we can almost always have our own way; but splendid--rather 

not! 

 

I am going to Rome with a wonderful dossier and letters of introduction 


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