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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

 

"... But wisdom passes... still the years 

Will feed us wisdom.... Age will go 

Back to the old-- 

For all our tears 

We shall not know." 

 

 

Eleanor hated Maryland passionately. She belonged to the oldest of the 

old families of Ramilly County and lived in a big, gloomy house with her 

grandfather. She had been born and brought up in France.... I see I am 

starting wrong. Let me begin again. 

 

Amory was bored, as he usually was in the country. He used to go for 

far walks by himself--and wander along reciting "Ulalume" to the 

corn-fields, and congratulating Poe for drinking himself to death in 

that atmosphere of smiling complacency. One afternoon he had strolled 

for several miles along a road that was new to him, and then through a 

wood on bad advice from a colored woman... losing himself entirely. A 

passing storm decided to break out, and to his great impatience the 

sky grew black as pitch and the rain began to splatter down through the 

trees, become suddenly furtive and ghostly. Thunder rolled with menacing 

crashes up the valley and scattered through the woods in intermittent 

batteries. He stumbled blindly on, hunting for a way out, and finally, 

through webs of twisted branches, caught sight of a rift in the trees 

where the unbroken lightning showed open country. He rushed to the edge 

of the woods and then hesitated whether or not to cross the fields and 

try to reach the shelter of the little house marked by a light far down 

the valley. It was only half past five, but he could see scarcely ten 

steps before him, except when the lightning made everything vivid and 

grotesque for great sweeps around. 

 

Suddenly a strange sound fell on his ears. It was a song, in a low, 

husky voice, a girl's voice, and whoever was singing was very close 

to him. A year before he might have laughed, or trembled; but in his 

restless mood he only stood and listened while the words sank into his 

consciousness: 

 

 

"Les sanglots longs 

Des violons 

De l'automne 

Blessent mon coeur 


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