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The Old Folks' Party

Edward Bellamy

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .The fact is," he added, as she looked still more puzzled, "there are half-a dozen of each one of us, or a dozen if you please, one in fact for each epoch of life, and each slightly or almost wholly different from the others. Each one of these epochs is foreign and inconceivable to the others, as ourselves at seventy now are to us. It's as hard to suppose ourselves old as to imagine swapping identities with another. And when we get old it will be just as hard to realize that we were ever young. So that the different periods of life are to all intents and purposes different persons, and the first person of grammar ought to be used only with the present tense. What we were, or shall be, or do, belongs strictly to the third person."

"You would make sad work of grammar with that notion," said Jessie, smiling.

"Grammar needs mending just there," replied Henry. "The three persons of grammar are really not enough. A fourth is needed to distinguish the ego o. . . Read More

Community Reviews

One of the better short stories from the Gilded Age.