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as well. Economics had interested him and he was turning socialist.
Pacifism played in the back of his mind, and he read The Masses and
Lyoff Tolstoi faithfully.
"How about religion?" Amory asked him.
"Don't know. I'm in a muddle about a lot of things--I've just discovered
that I've a mind, and I'm starting to read."
"Everything. I have to pick and choose, of course, but mostly things to
make me think. I'm reading the four gospels now, and the 'Varieties of
"What chiefly started you?"
"Wells, I guess, and Tolstoi, and a man named Edward Carpenter. I've
been reading for over a year now--on a few lines, on what I consider the
"Well, frankly, not what you call poetry, or for your reasons--you two
write, of course, and look at things differently. Whitman is the man
that attracts me."
"Yes; he's a definite ethical force."
"Well, I'm ashamed to say that I'm a blank on the subject of Whitman.
How about you, Tom?"
Tom nodded sheepishly.
"Well," continued Burne, "you may strike a few poems that are tiresome,
but I mean the mass of his work. He's tremendous--like Tolstoi. They
both look things in the face, and, somehow, different as they are, stand
for somewhat the same things."
"You have me stumped, Burne," Amory admitted. "I've read 'Anna Karenina'
and the 'Kreutzer Sonata' of course, but Tolstoi is mostly in the
original Russian as far as I'm concerned."
"He's the greatest man in hundreds of years," cried Burne
enthusiastically. "Did you ever see a picture of that shaggy old head of
They talked until three, from biology to organized religion, and when
Amory crept shivering into bed it was with his mind aglow with ideas
and a sense of shock that some one else had discovered the path he might
have followed. Burne Holiday was so evidently developing--and Amory
had considered that he was doing the same. He had fallen into a deep
cynicism over what had crossed his path, plotted the imperfectability of
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