Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/13

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The Centaurians

life was not so difficult when I crushed the romantic nobility of youth. I became resigned to my value and easily tolerated the adulation my wealth inspired. I was extravagantly generous and considered a rare good fellow, who gave rare good times. Occasionally I indulged in spasms of ambition, and when controlled by this feverish sensation, vowed to out-class the associates who imposed upon me. I had a vague idea of Fame, Worth gained through merit, not purchased. These attacks invariably visited me after an evening passed with Professor Saxlehner, the only individual in the wide world who understood me and honestly believed in my possession of brains, and who pronounced my name always with full entirety—Virgillius Salucci. Saxlehner was a man of brilliant mind, quiet, simple, seeking solitude and delving deep in all manner of mysteries.

My gold carried little weight with him, he was sincerely fond of me and consequently rated me soundly for all indiscretions, declaring I would regret wasting the best years of my life and deadening my vast talents—though he failed to state in what particular line my genius lay, I believed him. Frequently I sought him, weary and in need of sympathy, but he regularly refrained giving any, telling me I was simply suffering the dissatisfaction of inferior association and he could not understand my persistence in such a course. He begged me to cultivate seriousness and avoid flattering clowns, frivolity was altogether out of my line, I was born for greater, higher things.