Friday, March 25, 2011

F Scott Fitzgerald - May Day

There had been a war fought and won and the great city of the
conquering people was crossed with triumphal arches and vivid with
thrown flowers of white, red, and rose. All through the long spring
days the returning soldiers marched up the chief highway behind the
strump of drums and the joyous, resonant wind of the brasses, while
merchants and clerks left their bickerings and figurings and, crowding
to the windows, turned their white-bunched faces gravely upon the
passing battalions.
Never had there been such splendor in the great city, for the
victorious war had brought plenty in its train, and the merchants had
flocked thither from the South and West with their households to taste
of all the luscious feasts and witness the lavish entertainments
prepared--and to buy for their women furs against the next winter and
bags of golden mesh and varicolored slippers of silk and silver and
rose satin and cloth of gold.
So gaily and noisily were the peace and prosperity impending hymned by
the scribes and poets of the conquering people that more and more
spenders had gathered from the provinces to drink the wine of
excitement, and faster and faster did the merchants dispose of their
trinkets and slippers until they sent up a mighty cry for more
trinkets and more slippers in order that they might give in barter
what was demanded of them. Some even of them flung up their hands
helplessly, shouting:
"Alas! I have no more slippers! and alas! I have no more trinkets! May
heaven help me for I know not what I shall do!"
But no one listened to their great outcry, for the throngs were far
too busy--day by day, the foot-soldiers trod jauntily the highway and
all exulted because the young men returning were pure and brave, sound
of tooth and pink of cheek, and the young women of the land were
virgins and comely both of face and of figure.
So during all this time there were many adventures that happened in
the great city, and, of these, several--or perhaps one--are here set

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Book Choice: The Beautiful and Damned

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