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Table of contents
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

of James J. Hill and not one of these long office tragedies that harp 

along on the significance of smoke--" 

 

"And gloom," said Tom. "That's another favorite, though I'll admit the 

Russians have the monopoly. Our specialty is stories about little girls 

who break their spines and get adopted by grouchy old men because they 

smile so much. You'd think we were a race of cheerful cripples and that 

the common end of the Russian peasant was suicide--" 

 

"Six o'clock," said Amory, glancing at his wrist-watch. "I'll buy you 

a grea' big dinner on the strength of the Juvenalia of your collected 

editions." 

 

***** 

 

LOOKING BACKWARD 

 

July sweltered out with a last hot week, and Amory in another surge of 

unrest realized that it was just five months since he and Rosalind had 

met. Yet it was already hard for him to visualize the heart-whole boy 

who had stepped off the transport, passionately desiring the adventure 

of life. One night while the heat, overpowering and enervating, poured 

into the windows of his room he struggled for several hours in a vague 

effort to immortalize the poignancy of that time. 

 

The February streets, wind-washed by night, blow full of strange 

half-intermittent damps, bearing on wasted walks in shining sight 

wet snow plashed into gleams under the lamps, like golden oil 

from some divine machine, in an hour of thaw and stars. 

 

Strange damps--full of the eyes of many men, crowded with life 

borne in upon a lull.... Oh, I was young, for I could turn 

again to you, most finite and most beautiful, and taste the stuff 

of half-remembered dreams, sweet and new on your mouth. 

 

... There was a tanging in the midnight air--silence was dead and 

sound not yet awoken--Life cracked like ice!--one brilliant note 

and there, radiant and pale, you stood... and spring had broken. 

(The icicles were short upon the roofs and the changeling city 

swooned.) 

 

Our thoughts were frosty mist along the eaves; our two ghosts 

kissed, high on the long, mazed wires--eerie half-laughter echoes 

here and leaves only a fatuous sigh for young desires; regret has 


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