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F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby “Much better.” I turned again to my new acquaintance.

“This is an unusual party for me. I haven‟t even seen the host. I live over there ——” I waved my hand at the invisible hedge in the distance, “and this man Gatsby sent over his chauffeur with an invitation.” For a moment he looked at me as if he failed to understand. “I‟m Gatsby,” he said suddenly. “What!” I exclaimed. “Oh, I beg your pardon.” “I thought you knew, old sport. I‟m afraid I‟m not a very

good host.” 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

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