On a beautiful day in spring as I was running as hard as I could
run pursued by the New York police and a number of excited
citizens, my mind, which becomes brilliantly active under physical
exhilaration, began to work busily.
I thought about all sorts of things: I thought about hard times
and financial depression and about our great President who is in a
class all alone with himself and soon to become extinct; I thought
about art and why there isn't any when it's talked about; I thought
of macro-lepidoptera, of metagrammatism, monoliths, manicures, and
And all the time I was running as fast as I could run; and the
faster I ran the more things I thought about until my terrific pace
set my brain whizzing like a wheel.
I felt no remorse at having published these memoirs of my
life—which was why the police and populace were pursuing me,
maddened to frenzy by the fearless revelation of mighty scientific
truths in this little volume you are about to attempt to read.
Ubicumque ars ostentatur, veritas abesse videtur!
I thought about it clearly, calmly, concisely as I fled. The
maddened shouts of the prejudiced populace did not disturb me.
Around and around the Metropolitan Museum of Art I ran; the inmates
of that institution came out to watch me and they knew at a glance
that I was one of them for they set up a clamor like a bunch of
decoy ducks when one of their wild comrades comes whirling by.
"Police! Police!" they shouted; but I went careering on uptown,
afraid only that the park squirrels might club together to corner
me. There are corners in grain. Why not in—but let that pass.
I took the park wall in front of the great Mr. Carnegie's
cottage at a single bound. He stood on his terrace and shouted,
"Police!" He was quite logical.
The Equal Franchise Society was having a May party in the park
near the Harlem Mere. They had chosen the Honorable William
Jennings Bryan as Queen of the May. He wore low congress-gaiters
and white socks; he was walking under a canopy, crowned with paper
flowers, his hair curled over his coat collar, the tips of his
fingers were suavely joined over his abdomen.
The moment he caught sight of me he shouted, "Police!"
He was right. The cabinet lacked only me.
And I might have consented to tarry—might have allowed myself to
be apprehended for political purposes, had not a nobler, holier,
more imperative duty urged me northward still.
Though all Bloomingdale shouted, "Stop him!" and all Matteawan
yelled, "Police!" I should not have consented to pause. Even the
quackitudinous recognition spontaneously offered by the
Metropolitan Museum had not been sufficient to decoy me to my
I knew, of course, that I could find a sanctuary and a welcome
in many places—in almost any sectarian edifice, any club, any
newspaper office, any of the great publishers', any school, any
museum; I knew that I would be welcomed at Columbia University, at
the annex to the Hall of Fame, in the Bishop's Palace on
Morningside Heights—there were many places all ready to receive,
understand and honour me.
For a sufficiently crippled intellect, for a still-born brain,
for the intellectually aborted, there is always a place on some
editorial, sectarian, or educational staff.
But I had other ideas as I galloped northward. The voiceless
summons of the most jealous of mistresses was making siren music in
my ears. That coquettish jade, Science, was calling me by wireless,
and I was responding with both legs.
And so, at last, I arrived at the Bronx Park and dashed into the
Administration Building where everybody rose and cheered me to the
I was at home at last, unterrified, undismayed, and ready again
as always to dedicate my life to the service of Truth and to every
caprice and whim of my immortal mistress, Science. But I don't want
to marry her.
Magna est veritas! Sed major et longinquo