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

 

"The human stomach--" he began; but the big man interrupted rather 

impatiently. 

 

"I'm letting you talk, you know," he said, "but please avoid stomachs. 

I've been feeling mine all day. Anyway, I don't agree with one-half 

you've said. Government ownership is the basis of your whole argument, 

and it's invariably a beehive of corruption. Men won't work for blue 

ribbons, that's all rot." 

 

When he ceased the little man spoke up with a determined nod, as if 

resolved this time to have his say out. 

 

"There are certain things which are human nature," he asserted with an 

owl-like look, "which always have been and always will be, which can't 

be changed." 

 

Amory looked from the small man to the big man helplessly. 

 

"Listen to that! _That's_ what makes me discouraged with progress. 

_Listen_ to that! I can name offhand over one hundred natural phenomena 

that have been changed by the will of man--a hundred instincts in man 

that have been wiped out or are now held in check by civilization. What 

this man here just said has been for thousands of years the last refuge 

of the associated mutton-heads of the world. It negates the efforts of 

every scientist, statesman, moralist, reformer, doctor, and philosopher 

that ever gave his life to humanity's service. It's a flat impeachment 

of all that's worth while in human nature. Every person over twenty-five 

years old who makes that statement in cold blood ought to be deprived of 

the franchise." 

 

The little man leaned back against the seat, his face purple with rage. 

Amory continued, addressing his remarks to the big man. 

 

"These quarter-educated, stale-minded men such as your friend here, who 

_think_ they think, every question that comes up, you'll find his 

type in the usual ghastly muddle. One minute it's 'the brutality and 

inhumanity of these Prussians'--the next it's 'we ought to exterminate 

the whole German people.' They always believe that 'things are in a bad 

way now,' but they 'haven't any faith in these idealists.' One minute 

they call Wilson 'just a dreamer, not practical'--a year later they rail 


Page 20 from 27:  Back   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19  [20]  21   22   23   24   25   26   27   Forward