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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

Monsignor. Their grief was more than sentiment for the "crack in his 

voice or a certain break in his walk," as Wells put it. These people 

had leaned on Monsignor's faith, his way of finding cheer, of making 

religion a thing of lights and shadows, making all light and shadow 

merely aspects of God. People felt safe when he was near. 

 

Of Amory's attempted sacrifice had been born merely the full realization 

of his disillusion, but of Monsignor's funeral was born the romantic 

elf who was to enter the labyrinth with him. He found something that he 

wanted, had always wanted and always would want--not to be admired, as 

he had feared; not to be loved, as he had made himself believe; but to 

be necessary to people, to be indispensable; he remembered the sense of 

security he had found in Burne. 

 

Life opened up in one of its amazing bursts of radiance and Amory 

suddenly and permanently rejected an old epigram that had been playing 

listlessly in his mind: "Very few things matter and nothing matters very 

much." 

 

On the contrary, Amory felt an immense desire to give people a sense of 

security. 

 

***** 

 

THE BIG MAN WITH GOGGLES 

 

On the day that Amory started on his walk to Princeton the sky was a 

colorless vault, cool, high and barren of the threat of rain. It was a 

gray day, that least fleshly of all weathers; a day of dreams and far 

hopes and clear visions. It was a day easily associated with those 

abstract truths and purities that dissolve in the sunshine or fade out 

in mocking laughter by the light of the moon. The trees and clouds 

were carved in classical severity; the sounds of the countryside had 

harmonized to a monotone, metallic as a trumpet, breathless as the 

Grecian urn. 

 

The day had put Amory in such a contemplative mood that he caused much 

annoyance to several motorists who were forced to slow up considerably 

or else run him down. So engrossed in his thoughts was he that he was 

scarcely surprised at that strange phenomenon--cordiality manifested 

within fifty miles of Manhattan--when a passing car slowed down 


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