a short lesson from a master craftsman…

o henry wrote this opening paragraph to his short story…the defeat of the city…a hundred years ago…it would still be true…if it was written tomorrow…

“Robert Walmsley’s descent upon the city resulted in a Kilkenny struggle. He came out of the fight victor by a fortune and a reputation. On the other hand, he was swallowed up by the city. The city gave him what he demanded, and then branded him, with its brand. It remodelled, cut, trimmed and stamped him to the pattern it approves. It opened its social gates to him, and shot him in on a close-cropped, formal lawn with the select herd of ruminants. In dress, habits, manners, provincialism, routine and narrowness, he acquired that charming insolence, that irritating completeness, that sophisticated crassness, that overbalanced poise that makes the Manhattan gentleman so delightfully small in his greatness.”

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