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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

often when he raged at himself as an egotist something would whisper 

ingratiatingly: "No. Genius!" That was one manifestation of fear, that 

voice which whispered that he could not be both great and good, that 

genius was the exact combination of those inexplicable grooves and 

twists in his mind, that any discipline would curb it to mediocrity. 

Probably more than any concrete vice or failing Amory despised his own 

personality--he loathed knowing that to-morrow and the thousand days 

after he would swell pompously at a compliment and sulk at an ill word 

like a third-rate musician or a first-class actor. He was ashamed of the 

fact that very simple and honest people usually distrusted him; that 

he had been cruel, often, to those who had sunk their personalities in 

him--several girls, and a man here and there through college, that he 

had been an evil influence on; people who had followed him here and 

there into mental adventures from which he alone rebounded unscathed. 

 

Usually, on nights like this, for there had been many lately, he could 

escape from this consuming introspection by thinking of children and the 

infinite possibilities of children--he leaned and listened and he heard 

a startled baby awake in a house across the street and lend a tiny 

whimper to the still night. Quick as a flash he turned away, wondering 

with a touch of panic whether something in the brooding despair of his 

mood had made a darkness in its tiny soul. He shivered. What if some 

day the balance was overturned, and he became a thing that frightened 

children and crept into rooms in the dark, approached dim communion with 

those phantoms who whispered shadowy secrets to the mad of that dark 

continent upon the moon.... 

 

***** 

 

Amory smiled a bit. 

 

"You're too much wrapped up in yourself," he heard some one say. And 

again-- 

 

"Get out and do some real work--" 

 

"Stop worrying--" 

 

He fancied a possible future comment of his own. 

 

"Yes--I was perhaps an egotist in youth, but I soon found it made me 

morbid to think too much about myself." 


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