He had no especial desire to meet or to know any of these people; all he demanded was the right to look on and conjecture, to watch the pageant...He was now entirely rid of his nervous misgivings, of his forced aggressiveness, of the imperative desire to show himself different from his surroundings. He felt now that his surroundings explained him. Nobody questioned the purple; he had only to wear it passively. He had only to glance down at his attire to reassure himself that here it would be impossible for anyone to humiliate him.
~Willa Cather, "Paul's Case," 1905
Epigraph from Sloane Crosley's collection of essays...