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acted alike as questioner and answerer:
Question.--Well--what's the situation?
Answer.--That I have about twenty-four dollars to my name.
Q.--You have the Lake Geneva estate.
A.--But I intend to keep it.
Q.--Can you live?
A.--I can't imagine not being able to. People make money in books and
I've found that I can always do the things that people do in books.
Really they are the only things I can do.
A.--I don't know what I'll do--nor have I much curiosity. To-morrow I'm
going to leave New York for good. It's a bad town unless you're on top
Q.--Do you want a lot of money?
A.--No. I am merely afraid of being poor.
A.--Just passively afraid.
Q.--Where are you drifting?
A.--Don't ask _me!_
Q.--Don't you care?
A.--Rather. I don't want to commit moral suicide.
Q.--Have you no interests left?
A.--None. I've no more virtue to lose. Just as a cooling pot gives
off heat, so all through youth and adolescence we give off calories of
virtue. That's what's called ingenuousness.
Q.--An interesting idea.
A.--That's why a "good man going wrong" attracts people. They stand
around and literally _warm themselves_ at the calories of virtue he
gives off. Sarah makes an unsophisticated remark and the faces simper in
delight--"How _innocent_ the poor child is!" They're warming themselves
at her virtue. But Sarah sees the simper and never makes that remark
again. Only she feels a little colder after that.
Q.--All your calories gone?
A.--All of them. I'm beginning to warm myself at other people's virtue.
Q.--Are you corrupt?
A.--I think so. I'm not sure. I'm not sure about good and evil at all
Q.--Is that a bad sign in itself?
Q.--What would be the test of corruption?
A.--Becoming really insincere--calling myself "not such a bad fellow,"
thinking I regretted my lost youth when I only envy the delights of
losing it. Youth is like having a big plate of candy. Sentimentalists
think they want to be in the pure, simple state they were in before they
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