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F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) - page 28 / 51

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He smiled understandingly—much more than understandingly.  It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life.  It faced—or seemed to face—the whole external world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor.  It understood you just so far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.  Precisely at that point it vanished—and I was looking at an elegant young rough-neck, a year or two over thirty, whose elaborate formality of speech just missed being absurd.  Some time before he introduced himself I’d got a strong impression that he was picking his words with care. (52-53)

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