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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

 

"This is not a quality that will change when I 'see human suffering' or 

'lose my parents' or 'help others.' 

 

"This selfishness is not only part of me. It is the most living part. 

 

"It is by somehow transcending rather than by avoiding that selfishness 

that I can bring poise and balance into my life. 

 

"There is no virtue of unselfishness that I cannot use. I can make 

sacrifices, be charitable, give to a friend, endure for a friend, lay 

down my life for a friend--all because these things may be the best 

possible expression of myself; yet I have not one drop of the milk of 

human kindness." 

 

The problem of evil had solidified for Amory into the problem of sex. He 

was beginning to identify evil with the strong phallic worship in Brooke 

and the early Wells. Inseparably linked with evil was beauty--beauty, 

still a constant rising tumult; soft in Eleanor's voice, in an old song 

at night, rioting deliriously through life like superimposed waterfalls, 

half rhythm, half darkness. Amory knew that every time he had reached 

toward it longingly it had leered out at him with the grotesque face of 

evil. Beauty of great art, beauty of all joy, most of all the beauty of 

women. 

 

After all, it had too many associations with license and indulgence. 

Weak things were often beautiful, weak things were never good. And in 

this new loneness of his that had been selected for what greatness he 

might achieve, beauty must be relative or, itself a harmony, it would 

make only a discord. 

 

In a sense this gradual renunciation of beauty was the second step after 

his disillusion had been made complete. He felt that he was leaving 

behind him his chance of being a certain type of artist. It seemed so 

much more important to be a certain sort of man. 

 

His mind turned a corner suddenly and he found himself thinking of the 

Catholic Church. The idea was strong in him that there was a certain 

intrinsic lack in those to whom orthodox religion was necessary, and 

religion to Amory meant the Church of Rome. Quite conceivably it was an 

empty ritual but it was seemingly the only assimilative, traditionary 


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