Main  Contacts  
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

everything fine and finished and rich and imaginative; they must bend 

tiny golden tentacles from his imagination to hers, that would take the 

place of the great, deep love that was never so near, yet never so much 

of a dream. 

 

One poem they read over and over; Swinburne's "Triumph of Time," and 

four lines of it rang in his memory afterward on warm nights when he saw 

the fireflies among dusky tree trunks and heard the low drone of many 

frogs. Then Eleanor seemed to come out of the night and stand by him, 

and he heard her throaty voice, with its tone of a fleecy-headed drum, 

repeating: 

 

 

"Is it worth a tear, is it worth an hour, 

To think of things that are well outworn; 

Of fruitless husk and fugitive flower, 

The dream foregone and the deed foreborne?" 

 

 

They were formally introduced two days later, and his aunt told him her 

history. The Ramillys were two: old Mr. Ramilly and his granddaughter, 

Eleanor. She had lived in France with a restless mother whom Amory 

imagined to have been very like his own, on whose death she had come to 

America, to live in Maryland. She had gone to Baltimore first to stay 

with a bachelor uncle, and there she insisted on being a debutante at 

the age of seventeen. She had a wild winter and arrived in the 

country in March, having quarrelled frantically with all her Baltimore 

relatives, and shocked them into fiery protest. A rather fast crowd 

had come out, who drank cocktails in limousines and were promiscuously 

condescending and patronizing toward older people, and Eleanor with an 

esprit that hinted strongly of the boulevards, led many innocents 

still redolent of St. Timothy's and Farmington, into paths of Bohemian 

naughtiness. When the story came to her uncle, a forgetful cavalier of 

a more hypocritical era, there was a scene, from which Eleanor emerged, 

subdued but rebellious and indignant, to seek haven with her grandfather 

who hovered in the country on the near side of senility. That's as far 

as her story went; she told him the rest herself, but that was later. 


Page 9 from 18:  Back   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8  [9]  10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   Forward