Trial Balance: The Education of An American

By Alan Valentine | Go to book overview
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XIV
Angus Emeritus

THUS Angus finally brought himself round, by instinct if not by his own reasoning, to reconciliation with the world. When this happened his usefulness to me was at an end, for he had ceased to be the Angus I had created. Either he had grown beyond me or I had grown beyond him. I began by confessing him only half a man, whose sole warmly human trait was a tendency to dramatize himself. As a screen for my own ego he proved to be transparent, and by peeping out from behind him so often I merely shriveled him without adding an inch to my own stature. To tell the truth, his rationalizations began to bore me. It was time we parted company.

Yet it would be ungracious to leave him without pronouncing those kindly words customarily addressed to men arbitrarily placed in retirement. After all, he taught me much about my own limitations, and his mental autobiography should have some significance for others. The forces that made and confused him are also at work on all Americans of the twentieth cen

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