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SCHOOL DAYS.

and prolonged experience. My brother Vernon hearing me once complain of my dress, got me three suits of clothes, one in black with an Eton jacket for best and a tall hat and the others in tweeds: he gave me shirts, too, and ties, and I began to take great care of my appearance. At our evening parties the girls and young women (Vernon's friends) were kinder to me than ever and I found myself wondering whether I really looked "nice" as they said.

I began to wash and bathe carefully and brush my hair to regulation smoothness (only "cads" used pomatum, Milman said) and when I was asked to recite, I would pout and plead prettily that I did not want to, just in order to be pressed.

Sex was awakening in me at this time but was still indeterminate, I imagine; for two motives ruled me for over six months: I was always wondering how I looked and watching to see if people liked me. I used to try to speak with the accent used by the "best people" and on coming into a room I prepared my entrance. Someone, I think it was Vernon's sweetheart, Monica, said that I had an energetic profile, so I always sought to show my profile. In fact, for some six months, I was more a girl than a boy, with all a girl's self-consciousness and manifold affectations and sentimentalities: I often used to think that no one cared for me really and I would weep over my unloved loneliness.

Whenever later, as a writer, I wished to picture a young girl, I had only to go back to this period in my consciousness in order to attain the peculiar view-point of the girl.