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"John Marvel, Assistant" by Thomas Nelson Page is a novel. Thomas Nelson Page (1853 - 1922) was an American lawyer and writer. He also served as the U.S. ambassador to Italy from 1913 to 1919 under the administration of President Woodrow Wilson during World War I. In his writing, Page popularized the Southern tradition of the plantation genre.
"I shall feel at liberty to tell my story in my own way; rambling along at my own gait; now going from point to point; now tearing ahead; now stopping to rest or to ruminate, and even straying from the path whenever I think a digression will be for my own enjoyment.
I shall begin with my college career, a period to which I look back now with a pleasure wholly incommensurate with what I achieved in it; which I find due to the friends I made and to the memories I garnered there in a time when I possessed the unprized treasures of youth: spirits, hope, and abounding conceit. As these memories, with the courage (to use a mild term) that a college background gives, are about all that I got out of my life there, I shall dwell on them only enough to introduce two or three friends and one enemy, who played later a very considerable part in my life."

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