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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

really to do anything but just sit and be big." 

 

"Then you don't think there will be any more permanent world heroes?" 

 

"Yes--in history--not in life. Carlyle would have difficulty getting 

material for a new chapter on 'The Hero as a Big Man.'" 

 

"Go on. I'm a good listener to-day." 

 

"People try so hard to believe in leaders now, pitifully hard. But we 

no sooner get a popular reformer or politician or soldier or writer or 

philosopher--a Roosevelt, a Tolstoi, a Wood, a Shaw, a Nietzsche, than 

the cross-currents of criticism wash him away. My Lord, no man can stand 

prominence these days. It's the surest path to obscurity. People get 

sick of hearing the same name over and over." 

 

"Then you blame it on the press?" 

 

"Absolutely. Look at you; you're on The New Democracy, considered the 

most brilliant weekly in the country, read by the men who do things and 

all that. What's your business? Why, to be as clever, as interesting, 

and as brilliantly cynical as possible about every man, doctrine, book, 

or policy that is assigned you to deal with. The more strong lights, the 

more spiritual scandal you can throw on the matter, the more money they 

pay you, the more the people buy the issue. You, Tom d'Invilliers, a 

blighted Shelley, changing, shifting, clever, unscrupulous, represent 

the critical consciousness of the race--Oh, don't protest, I know the 

stuff. I used to write book reviews in college; I considered it rare 

sport to refer to the latest honest, conscientious effort to propound a 

theory or a remedy as a 'welcome addition to our light summer reading.' 

Come on now, admit it." 

 

Tom laughed, and Amory continued triumphantly. 

 

"We _want_ to believe. Young students try to believe in older authors, 

constituents try to believe in their Congressmen, countries try to 

believe in their statesmen, but they _can't_. Too many voices, too much 

scattered, illogical, ill-considered criticism. It's worse in the case 

of newspapers. Any rich, unprogressive old party with that particularly 

grasping, acquisitive form of mentality known as financial genius can 


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