yet all men laud and reward it. And then when the applause begins, they all begin trying to ape the originator.
An old song, attributed to New York dwellers, carried these lines:
"Of course you may never be like us,
But be as like us as you possibly can!"
People laughed at it, but they obeyed its behest. In America there is a strange worship for what is done and said and approved and successful in New York. Nothing else will make success for a drama, or a fashion, or a slang phrase, or a salad, or a trick doll, or a pipe, or a fad of any sort, like a widespread report that it is a success or a fad in New York. And New York imitates Paris, and Paris imitates Vienna--or did--and styles run in cycles when there is nothing left for style to imitate but itself; and we idolize antiques, and history repeats itself, all for the same reason. And then, along comes a man or a woman who thinks, sees an inward vision, departs from custom, manner, and convention, and is first persecuted, then hailed as a new leader for a new epoch--and becomes something to imitate again.
It has been said that genius is "smashing the rules." That may be an inadequate definition; most definitions are inadequate. But it is a fact that no genius ever observes the rules. The rules? What are they? Summed up, they would read: "Do as I do, and depart not, lest you become conspicuous."
And herein is another marvel. Most of us seek