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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

CHAPTER 5. The Egotist Becomes a Personage

 

 

 

"A fathom deep in sleep I lie 

With old desires, restrained before, 

To clamor lifeward with a cry, 

As dark flies out the greying door; 

And so in quest of creeds to share 

I seek assertive day again... 

But old monotony is there: 

Endless avenues of rain. 

 

Oh, might I rise again! Might I 

Throw off the heat of that old wine, 

See the new morning mass the sky 

With fairy towers, line on line; 

Find each mirage in the high air 

A symbol, not a dream again... 

But old monotony is there: 

Endless avenues of rain." 

 

 

Under the glass portcullis of a theatre Amory stood, watching the first 

great drops of rain splatter down and flatten to dark stains on the 

sidewalk. The air became gray and opalescent; a solitary light suddenly 

outlined a window over the way; then another light; then a hundred more 

danced and glimmered into vision. Under his feet a thick, iron-studded 

skylight turned yellow; in the street the lamps of the taxi-cabs sent 

out glistening sheens along the already black pavement. The unwelcome 

November rain had perversely stolen the day's last hour and pawned it 

with that ancient fence, the night. 

 

The silence of the theatre behind him ended with a curious snapping 

sound, followed by the heavy roaring of a rising crowd and the 

interlaced clatter of many voices. The matinee was over. 

 

He stood aside, edged a little into the rain to let the throng pass. A 

small boy rushed out, sniffed in the damp, fresh air and turned up the 

collar of his coat; came three or four couples in a great hurry; came 

a further scattering of people whose eyes as they emerged glanced 

invariably, first at the wet street, then at the rain-filled air, 

finally at the dismal sky; last a dense, strolling mass that depressed 

him with its heavy odor compounded of the tobacco smell of the men and 

the fetid sensuousness of stale powder on women. After the thick crowd 

came another scattering; a stray half-dozen; a man on crutches; finally 


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