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Diary of a Suicide 



i 9 i 3 


Three Dollars Yearly 


By Wallace E. Baker 

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Alfred Kreymborg Leonard D. Abbott Charles Boni, Jr. 
Albert Boni 
Alanson Hartpence 
Adolf Wolff 

Diary of a Suicide 

Diary of a Suicide 


Wallace E. Baker 



96 Fifth Avenue 


76 3^3 

Copyright, 1913 


The Glebe 


DEC 27 1913 


On Sept. 28th, 1913, Mr. B. Russell Herts, of 
The International," received the following letter : 

New York, Sept. 27, 1913. 

Mr. B. Russell Herts, 

c/o International Magazine, 
New York City. 

Dear Mr. Herts: — Under separate cover I am send- 
ing you a record of a young man who is about to com- 
mit suicide. My only object is that it may help, if 
published in part or whole, to ease the way for some 
who come after. 

If you will kindly read it through, especially the 
latter part, you will be able to judge whether you care 
to make any use of it. If not, kindly mail same to 
Mr. , Toronto, Ont. 

I have cut out references to places and people here 
and there for their sake, because naturally I cannot be 
worried about myself after death. 

Thanking you for giving this matter your attention, 
I remain, 

I do not sign this, but you may verify my death by 

communicating with Mr. , whom I am writing 

to-day, so that he may look after my effects in New 

The body of a well-dressed young man was 
found off Manhattan Beach, Sept. 28th. In his 
pockets a torn photograph of Strindberg and receipts 
for three registered letters were found. These re- 
ceipts were traced to Mr. Herts and to friends in 
Toronto, one of whom identified the body on Oct. 2d 
as that of Wallace E. Baker. He was buried on 
Oct. 3d in Evergreen Cemetery, Brooklyn. 


Note: In cutting out his references to places and people, 
Baker marred some of the text. These excisions are in- 
dicated by dots, dashes or stars. 

THE GLEBE is indebted to Mr. Herts and "The Inter- 
national" for the permission to publish the diary. 


— , January 26, 1912. It is with mingled feel- 
ings of hope, discouragement, joy and pain that I 
begin the second book of my diary. 

My hope springs from the fact that my outlook 
seems to be clearer ahead, the old uncertainty is 
more in the background, but there is another side 
to it all. My discouragement comes from my con- 
stant feeling of tiredness, less evident in the even- 
ing and for awhile at night, but exceedingly strong 
during every afternoon with few exceptions. This 
has resulted in my weak yielding to weakness at 
night, and only last night after my confidence that 
I had gained a certain mastery I was overcome. 
This was partly from the fact that I worked at the 
office until nearly ten o'clock, charging a supper 
with wine to the firm. Although I drink very little, 
now and again I have gone out and taken a decent 
meal with wine to get away from the monotonous 
boarding-house fare. A small bottle which I nearly 
emptied (cheap wine) resulted in making me feel 
good — I have never been under the influence of 
liquor more than to feel good, never without full 
possession of my faculties, but on the rare occasions 
when I have taken a little I have sometimes noticed 
a weakening of the faculties, a sort of lack of moral 
restraint. I had enough last night to weaken for 
a time my new found resolutions, but the succeed- 
ing absolute disgust and worry lead me to believe 

that I was not wrong in thinking that the struggle 
is now on a higher plane. 

My salary was increased at the first of the year 
to $22.50 a week. Although glad of this, my old- 
time pleasure at the receipt of more money each 
pay-day is lacking. Money I must have to live, 
further than that it seems a pitiful waste of time 
to spend one's life in a mad endeavor to obtain 
wealth at the price of all that counts. 

Havana, Cuba, February 29, 1912. Leap-year 
and a good opportunity to enter on a bigger fight. 
I must date my beginning this time as February 18, 
being the day after my last fall from grace. The 
week and a half since, however, makes me feel con- 
fident once more, despite that for three or four 
days I have been without a night's rest, owing to 
stomach trouble and the nervousness thereby en- 
gendered, but this is nothing unusual, that is, the 
loss of sleep, for it is long since I have had a real 
good night's rest, and I know a crisis is approach- 
ing and I must get rested ere I collapse. 

I have read during this time "Ibsen, the Man, 
His Art and His Significance," by Haldane Macfall, 
and it has given me great encouragement and 
aroused intense enthusiasm. I feel that I am get- 
ting back my old enthusiasm, that I am recovering 
my ideals on a higher basis, although I am undoubt- 
edly weaker than ever physically. But with in- 
creased moral strength I hope soon to cut down 
the buts, howevers, althoughs, and to stand forth 
with more decision, more firmness, and knowing 
myself, and with my ideas and ideals clarified. 

During the last two months the first step in this 
attempted regeneration has been becoming more 
and more a determination, emerging from a mere 
unsettled idea — must return home for various 
reasons. First, I am played out physically and 
need rest. More important should be the fact that 
my mother is getting old, has been constantly call- 
ing to me to return, worries about me, needs me 
to put my shoulder to the wheel more than I have 
done. True, I have systematically put apart for my 
mother a certain amount every month for a long- 
time and have sent it without fail even when only 
earning $10 a week back in the early part of 1910. 
This at least has kept me in constant touch with 
my dear old home, full of strife though it was. 

While I have at frequently recurring periods 
thought of returning home during the past year and 
a half, my resolution did not crystallize until I be- 
gan to feel the compelling necessity of a rest, bodily, 
mentally, and, I might say, morally. Hot and cold 
by turns, lonely, sleepless, tired and generally run 
down, I have not been able to look at things in 
their true proportion, and I must get away for 
awhile from the daily struggle, keeping up the 
mental and moral one, however. To this end I 
have practically cut out all amusement. Night after 
night I come home tired out, read a little, generally 
till lights are out at 10:30, and then to my dis- 
turbed sleep. Getting up early as to-day (7:00 to 
7:30 being early for me) I either read, study, write 
as to-day, or work on my story which I started last 
August and of which I will write more later. This 
elimination of outside distractions is helping to 

strengthen me, helping me to look forward to a life 
of service without the necessity of foolish excite- 
ment, and the money I am saving by this closeness 
in everything except necessities I hope to enable 
me to go home, rest, think, exercise, and study 
calmly and sanely for a year, paying my mother a 
regular weekly amount; and I hope at the end of 
the year to have sufficiently found myself to go 
ahead on my work with more collected ideas as 
to what I want and what I should want, and all 
to the better interests of my mother, myself and 
the good of others with whom I may come in con- 
tact. By the middle of this year I hope to take 
the first step by returning home. 

Havana, Sunday, March 17, 1912. The 15th 
ushered in a new start, and the 16th was a very 
important day. On the 14th I had been thinking 
very intently about future plans and went very 
carefully over the ground of a possible college 
course. I picked up my Self Educators and looked 
into the various subjects for study, estimated the 
time I would have to spend on a college course ; 
the financial difficulties, my mother's need of my 
help, my temperament and pronounced predilection 
for certain things and as pronounced aversion for 
others, my nervousness and constant mental strug- 
gle; the result of all this was to confirm what I 
wrote on January 8, that I had about given up the 
idea. The only hope, or rather possibility I have 
in view now, is that I may take a course in certain 
special subjects — literature, drama, philosophy, 
logic and sociology, but I hate mathematics. I pick 


up a book of algebra with extreme distaste and, 
although my enthusiasm in New York caused me 
to study this subject fairly assiduously, I see it was 
a mistake. 

I have a distinct tendency and deep enthusiasm 
for literature, gradually awakening from my first 
boyish effusions at the age of 10, and it was a 
waste of time to neglect what I can excel in for the 
sake of a mistaken idea that a college education 
means so much. 

The reason that the 15th of this month was 
an important day is that, following my decision of 
the previous day re college and subsequent weak- 
ness, I made a big step towards finding myself on 
the 15th. While I had known for some time that 
I did not care for mathematics, Latin, Greek, and 
probably several other subjects, I still cherished 
the idea that I wanted to go deep into philosophy 
and possibly biology, and, of course, study soci- 
ology, logic and perhaps economics seriously. This 
was sufficient to cause me to put in considerable 
wasted time on the subjects I did not like, espec- 
ially algebra. 

On the day mentioned, but two days ago, I 
looked into this matter in the view of a special 
college course, eliminating mathematics. Then I 
realized that I liked the subjects as long as they 
did not become too abstruse or mathematical. I 
saw that biology as soon as one gets past the popu- 
lar books on the subject and the "Origin of Species" 
becomes a subject of much mathematics and dry 
science, as evidenced by Huxley's Essays, which I 
unsuccessfully endeavored to digest with enthusi- 


asm. Now I know that I merely want to study 
biology in a general way for the sake of culture 
and because of a thirst for knowledge, which, how- 
ever, is not sufficient to make me go into the dry 
details. I am interested, however, very much in the 
question of heredity, but not to specialize in. The 
realization of this in regard to biology, coming sud- 
denly and sharply, caused a sort of awakening. I be- 
gan to search my other tendencies and realized that 
I did not like the dry, obstruse details of philoso- 
phy either, nor economics, but that by way of work- 
ing out a philosophy of life or conduct and hope for 
future, I was very greatly, more, vitally, interested 
in the subject. I like to read and study philoso- 
phy as giving a basis for a plan of life, but when 
you get to the brain wearying works of Kant and 
the like it is different. For instance, in reading of 
Ibsen and Tolstoy and their philosophy of anarch- 
ism, or their mystic-realism as it has been de- 
scribed, I am intensely interested. I imagine 
Nietzsche would be of great interest to me, possibly 
Schopenhauer and others — I intend to look into 
Bergson's divine impulse, but to go deep into a 
mass of details, no! I am looking for light, for a 
philosophy of life, and I might mention James and 
his Pragmatism as another one to look into. 

About the same applies to psychology. Sociol- 
ogy I am still doubtful of, but all social questions 
and matters of world-wide importance interest me. 

But when I turn to literature and the drama, it 
is no longer a matter of doubt. On March 15, as 
I was in my room thinking over these questions 
and had come to the conclusions above, I realized 


in a flash that my temperament was more artistic 
than scientific, the latter coming from my German 
heredity, and undoubtedly being strong, however. 
The little details of literary work do not bore me. 
Of course, I like the dreams best and lately find 
it great pleasure to sit down and write, write. I 
spend hours collecting scraps of books, authors, 
drama, and also philosophy and psychology, sociol- 
ogy, etc., but principally literature, drama and allied 
branches. Even the details of grammar do not 
seem tiresome any more, and, compared to my 
aversion for algebra, I can see that the worst in 
the pursuit of literature is a pleasure compared to 
the best in other things, especially business. 

Of course, I have much to find out yet, but it 
was a great step to relieve myself of so many doubts 
and make literature my pursuit through thick and 
thin, as I have determined to do, knowing it is my 
one line. I am not sure whether I can write best 
short stories, novels or dramas. Short stories only 
appeal to me as means of expressing myself where 
I have not a big enough idea for something bigger 
and better, but I love to write them just the same. 
(I have only written one of 8,000 or more words, 
but I have taken numerous notes, written many 
articles of various kinds and recorded incidents and 
anecdotes, which I shall use fully later, and all this 
with an enthusiasm and pleasure not gauged by 
thought of profit or even publication in all cases.) 

On the other hand, novels are an unknown 
quantity. I do not know whether I am a good de- 
scriptive writer, whether character drawing is my 
forte, or narration is a strong point with me, al- 


though I find I can write along without hesitation 
in writing of occurrences, and I notice the peculiari- 
ties and little foibles of my fellow boarders and see 
what good material there is here for character 
drawing, but I do not find it so easy to put this 
down on paper with that human touch which makes 
one like to read some authors, notably Dickens. 

Again, the drama has always made a powerful 
appeal to me. I always liked a strong drama, 
enjoyed Shakespeare both in reading and acting, 
eagerly devoured dramatic criticisms and I have 
thought lately very much about this, and I know 
I should like to write strong dramas of our modern 
life. However, I shall have to study Ibsen, Strind- 
berg, Brieux, Shaw, and others before I can come 
to any conclusion as to this. 

However, a sea of doubts are now behind and 
the vista before me is bright. 

Yesterday, however, while a day of great inter- 
est, was also one of misery, which perhaps accounts 
for my optimism to-day, — action and reaction being 
very often equal and opposite with me. 

Havana, Sunday, March 24, 1912. Another be- 
ginning to-day and I hope a good one. The un- 
finished story of the 16th, Saturday, which I failed 
to relate last Sunday, was the burial of the Maine. 
Deciding at the last moment to witness this, I 
boarded the Purisima Concepcion at about 1 o'clock. 
After a short time, while looking overboard at the 
struggling crowds, a lot of rope and tackle came 
down on me from overhead and took half of the 
day's pleasure away in the shape of my glasses. 


Thereafter I witnessed all the events with my one 
remaining lense held over one eye and tied to a 
handkerchief covering the other and tied behind 
my ear. It was a miserable subterfuge, and to add 
to it all I had a beautiful headache ; cold, and the 
fear of glass in my eye — for one lense was smashed 
right over my eye. However, a day's strain was 
all that happened, and when it was all over I voted 
that the day's pleasure was worth it. 

The sea was very rough and many people were 
sea-sick, but I enjoyed it very much. About 5 
o'clock we were all lined up, the United States 
naval vessels, North Carolina and Birmingham, the 
Maine in between, and beyond on the side opposite 
us the diminutive Cuban navy. The sea cocks were 
opened and we all looked with intense interest, I 
straining my one eye with everything forgotten. 
For twenty minutes the Maine did not seem to be 
filling very rapidly. At 5 :20, however, the sinking 
was noticeable ; then as we stared she settled deeper 
and deeper, the stern, where the bulkhead was, sink- 
ing first; then suddenly she turned, the stern went 
under, the forward was up in the air at an angle 
of 45 degrees or more; it was a thrilling sight. 
Then with gathering momentum she went down. 
At 5 \27 the waters of the gulf covered the last 
vestiges of one of the great tragedies of history. 
It was a grand sight; Nature herself seemed in 
mourning ; for the day, bright and clear in the fore- 
noon and early afternoon, had gradually become 
darker, and she disappeared with the sky overcast 
and a solemn hush over everything. I know this 
was the way it impressed me, and all my petty 


troubles were forgotten in the grand scene before 

In an endeavor to discover my feelings of a 
day, from the 10th to the 15th, I kept a short record 
by way of finding out how much I could count on 
myself in my struggle, and the result showed me 
that I lack exercise, am too nervous and over- 
strung to put forth my best efforts, all of which 
confirms the wisdom of my decision to return home 
to find myself after a rest. 

Sunday, March 10 — Fair in morning; depressed 

Monday, March 11 — Fine until middle of after- 
noon, then tired and nervously depressed. Night, 
cheerful again; bedtime, terribly nervous, depressed, 
wakeful, worried and despairing. 

Tuesday, March 12 — Tired from previous night's 
depths of gloom ; calm later, fair night. 

Wednesday, March 13 — Calm and enthusiastic; 
tired, but not depressed, later restless in bed. 

Thursday, March 14 — Quiet and calm, exhausted 
from previous flurries ; later, storm again, very bad, 
and depths of morbid despair. 

Friday, March 15 — Ambitious and determined — 
fine all day — restless night. 

The above pretty well represents my struggle 
for a long time, but through it all I have had a 
confidence in the final triumph and a constant re- 
turn to my ideals and ambition, and I am noticing 
a gradual elimination of some weaknesses. The 
blue moods I am beginning to check before going 


too far, and the ecstasy I am also holding in an en- 
deavor to preserve a calm, ceaselessly persistent 
demeanor, neither too hot nor too cold. 

To-day I hope to be a model one, one of steady 
work, writing, studying, arranging papers ; no time 
for self-consciousness, worrying or anything else. 
So far, from 6:25 to 8:25, it has been ideal. 

— , March 24, 1912, 9:53 P. M. After another 
despicable fall following on a good and bad day, I 
am almost desperate and realize that the fight for 
life must come to a head soon. I wrote the pre- 
ceding from 7:35 to 8:25 this morning. Following 
that I started in on my scraps and about 11 o'clock 
my plan for a hard day's work came to naught, 
because of a disturbed mind due, as I know, to too 
much of one thing. I simply have not the capacity 
to stick to one thing very long, although the 
things I like are always fresh after diversion. Go- 
ing out for a change, some of the boys asked me 
to cross the river for a good walk. I consented, 
and after dinner (almuerzo or breakfast here), we 
took bum boat to landing near Morro, walked to 
Cojimar, across country, along shore and on roads, 
and thence to Regla. The hot sun and dusty roads 
tired me, and to-night, tired and wearied, I fell. 
Too much is killing for me. I must hold off, and 
simply cannot stand any day too much of anything. 
There simply has got to be a readjustment or I 
shall go crazy or become desperate. Below all this 
I feel the fight welling up in me, however, and to- 
morrow must hold forth better promise. 


Havana, Tuesday, April 9, 1912, 12:30 A. M. 

Somebody has said, "War is hell." I say, "Life is 
Hell," with a capital H. God ! but I would not 
have believed it possible a few years ago that a 
man could go through such prolonged mental agony. 
Am I a degenerate? Is there some insidious form 
of insanity slowly creeping over me? Gautier has 
said that nothing is beyond words. I deny this — 
I could be as eloquent as ever man was, have as 
fine a command of language, be as fluent, brilliant 
as the best of the masters ; but I could not describe 
the agony of the past few weeks. 

It is not alone the nervousness, loneliness, and 
the old tired feeling; the sudden bursts of enthusi- 
asm, followed by strange periods of peculiar calm- 
ness, now peaceful, now raging, now with an un- 
holy joy in I know not what; then black despair 
seemingly without cause, it is more than this. Self- 
consciousness to an extreme, fight it as I will, and 
yet a deep absorption in anything which really in- 
terests me so that I lose my identity in it. Thus 
my deep love for the theatre, even moving picture 
dramas, for the strong stories of love, passion and 
mental states of the French writers, little as I have 
read of them. If I could always find something 
to interest me the solution might be at hand, but 
with the same dreary prospect of day after day of 
hell, hell, hell (the other word for business to an 
artistic temperament), how can I get a night's 
rest? I lie awake and go through all the hot pas- 
sions, wild enthusiasms, ecstatic feelings, morbid 
thoughts, wrath at the existing order of things. I 


damn everything, and yet I realize how futile my 
scheme of life would be for others. 

Since I last wrote I had started afresh. I have 
three times lost control over myself, and but an 
hour ago, the last time. It is terrible. With such 
noble thoughts that come upon me sometimes, such 
beautiful ideas when I feel in tune with everything 
in the world, and then always the hellish reaction. 
Oh, God ! what a sorry mess you have made of 
things. How could you do it? You have made a 
terrible mistake — to make me such a shattered 
wreck before I was out of my youth; to take from 
me everything, strip me naked so that I can say 
now that I am absolutely indifferent to everything 
except to express myself before I die. That idea 
has taken possession of me. If only I can write 
such a book as will express all these mad imagin- 
ings, hopeless longings, the void in my life, com- 
plete absence of feminine companionship, doubly 
trying to one of my hot passionate moods. Harlots 
disgust me increasingly. It is not morality, for I 
have come to the state where things are not moral 
and immoral — they are just so. I would not con- 
sider it immoral to-night, for instance, to have in- 
tercourse with a girl who pleased me, but I cannot 
sacrifice what I have in me on the couch of one 
who sells her passion. I want love, if I under- 
stand it aright. And yet this is not an ever-con- 
suming passion. I had just as much, or nearly so 
much, longing for education up till lately, and have 
only dropped the idea of going to college because I 
feel the approach of dissolution unless I can get up 
north, rouse my physical self and mayhap feel for 


once physically fit. Lately I have realized that 
there is something deeper than I before realized in 
all these things. My brain is over-tired, fagged 
out, wearied with too much thought, worry, read- 
ing, hate, fear — I know not what — but a change 
must come soon. It cannot go on. Perhaps there 
is something organically wrong with me — God, if 
you exist, you should have given me some manly 
vigor commensurate with the mental strength I 
imagine I have, and after all, is my mind weak or 
has my poor, weak body and abuse merely dragged 
it down, and is it capable of resurrection? It 
seems impossible that I should be born to get so 
near to some things which touch the deepest strings 
of human conduct, the deepest emotions of heart 
and brain, to have such a keen sense of humor, to 
see the tragedy underlying it all, to feel a sympa- 
thetic note with the foibles and weaknesses of 
others, even as I laugh at them or become cynical 
about them, to walk by the sea and drink in her 
varying moods, the misty ethereal early mornings, 
the calmness of gradually settling twilight on a 
day when the waves scarcely ripple, the blood-red 
sunsets with ever-changing cloud effects ; the deep, 
mysterious shadows on a dark night, with the moon 
reflected from behind the clouds; the night when 
the moon is in her glory; the day when an over- 
cast sky symbolizes my overcast soul. These and 
more have I thrilled with, and all for naught. Give 
me but strength for a few more years and I will 
vindicate myself; but I must break away from this 
agony soon, overpowering, overwhelming — Why, O 


— , April 19, 1912, 9:10 P. M. It is just ten 
days since my terrible night of agony, and I now 
hope again. Following that night I had almost a 
week of peace, a nervous sort of calm which, how- 
ever, was better than the other. Then another fall, 
and the last one to-night, I really hope the last. 
It certainly has been my salvation that I always 
come back strong in the fight again after a blow, 
but there are several things which have weakened 
me, and it is in spirit only that I recover; the 
physical weakness remains and increases. Nerves, 
as a strong man mentally I should hesitate to con- 
fess it, but I am worse than the average woman 
in my hysterical nervous state lately, and, more- 
over, I feel very often that there is something 
vitally wrong deeper, either that, or I am consider- 
ably run down, so much so, in fact, that a good 
night's sleep is a Godsend ; a calm, quiet day — joy ; 
and yet I would not want too many of the latter, 
for my adventurous spirit defies my body and says, 
"Be up and doing." Now, to-night I am feeling 
calm and hopeful and I must win out on one thing 
at least. This will help me with others. 

True, I have by no means found myself yet. I 
still am pulled in many directions, but a hopeful 
sign is the abhorrence nearly always with me now 
of the low, common and vulgar. I could overlook 
in myself a little laxness in many things, but I 
never forgive myself the vulgar act and speech, de- 
spite my lack of moral code at present and my 
artistic indifference, to which is added lately, but 
only temporarily, I hope, a lethargic indifference, 
born of that ever-recurring tired feeling. 


An idea which has gradually been forming in 
my mind I hope to begin to put into definite form 
just four weeks from to-night, and I then hope to 
have four clean weeks behind me as a start for my 
year's abstention from passion. During this time, 
while endeavoring to obtain a foothold in the maga- 
zine field with short stories, my big idea is to write 
a novel of the various struggles and emotions of 
an ambitious, erratic youth, with a premature 
weariness, and unless pre-empted by another, I shall 
very probably call this "A Youth Who Was 
Prematurely Tired," suggested by a criticism of 
Mademoiselle de Maupin, but this is to be alto- 
gether different, and is to touch the depths of 
agony and despair contrasted with the heights of 
ecstasy and the fierce, hungry longings, terrible dis- 
appointments, unrelieved passion, loneliness, am- 
bition, morbidity, deep poetic feeling, and the other 
emotions of a sensitive, over-nervous youth of 
artistic temperament and large insight tempered by 
many paradoxes in character. 

I have found myself enough to see the necessity 
of one course at least, that is, to preserve a dignified 
silence. The coarse, vulgar familiarity of the fel- 
lows I have met has jarred on me more and more, 
and I see that my only escape in the future is to 
maintain a reserve and a dignity beyond which no 
man may penetrate. Anything I reveal will be 
by writing, not by speech. I have made consider- 
able progress, but still have to fight a foolish talka- 
tiveness on occasions. 

Another policy I expect I will follow later, at 
least, will be the cultivation of courtesy and a more 


gentlemanly treatment of others, friends and other- 

I only have to overcome one or two little weak- 
nesses, and to recover what I have lost physically 
to be able to win out — and I will. 

— , Sunday, April 21, 1912. After another re- 
lapse last night, I am beginning to think that much 
of my so-called idealism is merely a pitiable, boy- 
ish, conceited foolishness. This has often come to 
my mind, but I hesitated to express it ; but if I am 
sincere I must record the other side of the question. 
To-day may or may not be the beginning of a 
more sensible outlook as far as my erratic, artistic 
temperament will permit. In any case this strain, 
self-imposed for the most part, must stop even if 
I have to throw over a few pet theories. I must 
be human even at the expense of virtue. I almost 
congratulate myself that I can at least laugh at my 
own foibles and enjoy the joke, just as I cannot 
help, cynically to a certain extent, pointing out 
others' foolish earnestness over nothing. My sense 
of humor is indeed my saving grace. 

Havana, Friday, April 26, 1912. Hope dis- 
pelled, but I am making progress. Since my 
awakening the last few months of last year and 
the first of this year, the reactions have been short 
and sharp for the most part. Probably the worst 
one began a little over a week ago and culminated 
yesterday. During this week, while I have not 


had more than one very bad night, there was a 
perceptible diminution of my spirit of fight and I 
temporarily slipped back into the old mood of in- 
difference. However, I have recovered, stronger I 
hope, from the temporary weakness. 

Havana, Wednesday, May 1, 1912, 4:20 A. M. 
Slowly but surely the net is tightening. The past 
few months have been such a hell as I hope few 
young men in their bare majority have passed 
through. Day by day the work at the office be- 
comes more of a burden, a yoke. Come 11:15 or 
time for lunch (almuerzo or breakfast here), and 
I feel as if I were leaving prison. Strive as I may 
to concentrate my mind on routine work I look for- 
ward to getting away soon after arrival. Break- 
fast and an hour's (more or less) reading revive me 
temporarily, and I generally manage to get in an 
hour or two hours in the afternoon before the utter 
weariness, brain fag and nervous fatigue, takes 
possession of me, and the previous day's ordeal is 
repeated. The strain of this and the necessity of 
showing a semblance of interest in the work (which, 
lately, however, I have not done to any great ex- 
tent), repeated day after day in monotonous regu- 
larity is only part of the hell, but a part of such 
deadliness that I doubt if I am able to complete 
my allotted time of contract, which I had made up 
my mind to force myself to do for the sake of the 

This has been another potent cause of general 


decline. Having made up my mind to return home 
to work out my future, I began to retrench more 
and more, eliminating amusement for the most 
part — almost the sole one now is moving pictures, 
which takes my mind away from myself for two 
or three nights a week. I enjoy them here for one 
reason, i. e., they present long pictures in a number 
of parts which present good dramas of life. These 
pictures are French for the most part, and now I 
hardly understand how I ever took any interest or 
received pleasure from the prevailing American 
pictures, as I always loved drama and continued 
story, vaudeville never appealing to me. But for 
this one little thing, present conditions would be 
unbearable, which is why I touch upon it at greater 
length than the story of these days would seem to 
warrant. One of the principal pleasures of my life 
has been the theatre. I always had an abiding and 
ever-present liking for dramatic action and situa- 
tion, as well as good comedy — burlesque, vaude- 
ville, moving pictures, farce, and the like, only had 
a limited appeal, although I must say that "Seven 
Days" was a farce which I greatly enjoyed. Com- 
ing to Havana I had to drop the theatre entirely, — 
not that I was such an inveterate theatre-goer be- 
fore (owing to financial circumstances) — because of 
lack of understanding and lately lack of energy to 
exert myself to attempt to understand, my hearing 
not being any too good at best; a greater reason 
was the absence of good plays and the outrageous 
prices. I ignore entirely the numerous small the- 
atres devoted to pandering to the lowest instincts 
of the ignorant black, mulatto and even white. 


Under these circumstances I turned to the moving 
picture theatre, and by only attending when there 
is at least one longer picture which promises 
dramatic action, I managed to derive considerable 
pleasure from this class of entertainment, no doubt 
to a great extent due to the fact that that was the 
only thing which took me out of myself, so that 
I lived in the play — except my reading. These two 
have kept me going during these months — when I 
tire of reading or by reason of a peculiar nervous- 
ness do not feel like reading, if there is a good 
picture I go, otherwise I make myself read and 
am soon reconciled for the evening. Sometimes a 
walk by the sea during the evening helps me much. 
Even with this, however, through it all lingers 
that sense of utter weariness, almost to the point of 
exhaustion. During the day I manage to escape 
the worst consequences by keeping my mind busy 
when absent from the office, and the early evening 
or night generally also is passed without too much 
worry. This leaves the periods of dull care at the 
office, hoping and waiting for the hour of getting 
away and bedtime and later night. A proof of how 
much I have retrogressed physically is, that from 
October to December, 1908, during my first few 
months in New York, I was able to work from 
eight in the morning until six at night, and three 
or four nights a week, with only an hour's break 
for lunch and . . . Now, working less than seven 
hours a day, the day every week is longer, more 
tiresome. The weakening of my powers has been 
gradual and to a certain extent unnoticeable, but 
it has been steady, inexorable, and now I am face 


to face with a condition which means the end of 
everything if continued for too long. During these 
years in my heart I have protested against it all. 
Taken away from school when I was leading the 
class, without any great effort either, by circum- 
stances, I began a business career of hope and with 
boundless ambition and half-formed boyish ideals. 
The fact that I left school of my own accord out- 
wardly does not detract from the fact that circum- 
stances were gradually making it more imperative 
and I only took the bull by the horns, as I have 
done many times since. I remember with great 
vividness an incident of my early business career, 
when with . . . store. I used to keep a credit 
book of returned goods, and had considerable 
dealings in this way with the girls of the vari- 
ous departments. I was then rather indifferent 
to feminine charms, although awakening sexual 
passion was entering into my emotional and mental 
states, and had been for a year or so. I was then 
fifteen or sixteen (I do not know whether this hap- 
pened before or after my birthday). One of the 
girls, a rather flippant, but as I look back, a 
shrewd observer, came to my window in the office 
(which was on a similar plan to a bank, I having 
one window and the cashier another) with some- 
thing or about something returned. I scowled for 
some reason or other, probably because I had a 
pressure of work. She then made an observation, 
the prophecy of which has been amply demon- 
strated — "you are a boy now, but you will never 
be a youth," and something about my jumping into 
manhood. She was only a department store girl, 


but she hit the nail on the head exactly that time, 
as subsequent events have proven. In those days, 
after my little stories for ... I liked reading and 
probably looked forward to college at some time in 
the future in an indefinite way. I was very earnest 
and ambitious about my work, which continued 
more or less until some time last year, when the 
increasing tired feeling, nervousness, changing 
ideas, ideals and different outlook combined to bring 
on rapidly my present state, when I positively 
loathe my daily work. The principal reason for 
this, no doubt, is that I have neglected exercise 
almost entirely and now have reached the state 
where exhausted nature will not be denied. 

I have already at frequent intervals commented 
on the disturbances which haunted my bedside, and 
to-night, or rather to-day and last night (for it is 
now a quarter of six and the candle before me is 
rapidly losing its efficacy) is only an example of 
the recurring frequency of my nervousness at bed- 
time ... off all temptation to indulge in sexual 
pleasures from the first of this year, and, although 
I have not succeeded entirely up to the present, 
having only five days of absolute abstention from 
excitement of any kind sexually and possibly sev- 
eral months from direct intercourse, behind me, — 
still I have radically changed from my excesses of 
the first few months in Havana, although even these 
were not excesses compared to the average of a 
vast number here and elsewhere. 

This holding off naturally leaves out a vital 
source of relief for the all-compelling necessity of 
getting away from myself. Sometimes, from my 


twentieth year on, when the prospect of a nervous, 
sleepless night presented itself, sexual intercourse 
brought the much-needed relief, and sleep followed 
And yet, such was the strength of the conventional 
atmosphere that I had been reared in and lived in, 
despite my radical views and supposed freedom of 
mind, I thought it was somehow or other wrong 
and underhand to seek relief in this way. I cussed 
myself for a weakling, fought, staved it off for 
weeks, and then succumbed again. It is only lately 
that I have seen a different light on the subject. 

My views now are that our present system of 
sexual relations is absolutely false. This conclu- 
sion is more due to my own reasoning than to any 
radical literature I have read. First, there should 
be freedom. Any man should be allowed to have 
intercourse with a woman who was willing, as long 
as they did it for love. There should be no such 
thing as an illegitimate child. If a mother was 
not in a position to or willing to bring up her 
child, the State should do it. Of course, when I 
say there should be freedom, I do not say that, if 
one man was living with a woman (legally, of 
course, as all such relations would be legal with- 
out any question), I should be at perfect liberty 
to fool around, but if at any time their relations 
became such that they could not harmoniously keep 
it up any longer, divorce should be automatic. 
Marriage might be for a minimum period, and as 
much longer as the parties concerned cared to keep 
it up. There should be no coercion on either side. 
The woman should have the care of her children 
if she so desired, but if unable to take care of them, 


the State should do so. Even without a socialist 
state this could partly be put into effect. 

The White Slave Trade should be abolished as 
a trade. If a woman was herself willing to become 
the tool of every man who came along, she could 
not perhaps be restrained, but those who profit 
from it other than herself should be vigorously 
prosecuted. All diseased should be prohibited from 
sexual intercourse. 

Even under the present state of society, there 
is a solution to one problem. Many young men, 
like myself, have strong sexual passions, but we 
do not like to consort with those who, starting 
out with a debased idea of sexual relations, have 
debauched it. Now we meet girls who are also 
passionate and who, were it not for the knowledge 
that their life would be ruined, would be only too 
glad to have intercourse with us on the basis of 
mutual sexual attraction and passion. This would 
bring relief to both of us from much of the deadly 
monotony of sordid, every-day affairs, if the girl 
could go on just the same as the man, she being 
allowed to have a child legally, which she could 
either take care of herself or delegate to the State's 
care. This would take care of that large body of 
men who are not in a position to marry for various 
reasons, and that equally large body of women who 
are unable to find suitable husbands, but who feel 
the emptiness in their lives, and those women who 
want children and consider, or would consider if 
society would permit, that it is nobody's business 
who the father is. It should be a crime to have 
intercourse when one is diseased, and the knowl- 


edge that one can with impunity have intercourse 
with a woman for love would deter a large number 
of men from having it with those who only give 
themselves for money and are liable to transmit 
disease. This would then leave those men who are 
morbidly fond of the baser forms of sexual per- 
version to the professional prostitutes and women 
(few comparatively), who naturally are attracted 
by, or are willing to put up with, the drunkenness 
and attendant beastliness of a certain kind of man, 
who we may hope, will be a smaller and smaller 
factor, as radicalism grows. 

Thus, now, with radical views, I am endeavor- 
ing to attain my old state as before my twentieth 
year, for a year at least, so as to work this out 
with other problems, because in my present state 
of physical weakness I cannot afford to risk added 
weakness, and so fight this off every night, and 
hope soon my nature will have become resigned 
to this until my twenty-third birthday, when I hope 
to have a clearer plan of action. 

Starting this with a nervous sleeplessness, I end 
at 6:30 A. M., over two hours later with a clear 
head, but, of course, the tired feeling lies there 

Havana, Friday, May 10, 1912. Another birth- 
day, my twenty-second, and I intend this year to 
be the best yet. The past one has been the worst 
and the best; the worst because of my acute. nerv- 
ousness and self-consciousness and my foolish ac- 
tions during the early months in Havana; best be- 
cause I woke up from a lethargy and blind groping 


in the dark to a conscious effort to find myself and 
be myself; and to this end I have dedicated my 
twenty-second year. I do not expect to work out 
things to a fine point during this time, but hope 
to decide on a broad, general scheme of life policy 
of procedure and philosophy; of necessity the major 
part of the details will take years to work out. 

Hope and ambition, tempered by my experience, 
are dominant, and my calm periods are becoming 
of longer duration and more frequent occurrence, 
in fact, predominate to a gratifying extent lately as 
compared with what has gone before. 

I start afresh on a year's freedom from sexual 
excitement, or such is my plan, for not the least 
of the problems to work out is that of sex. It will 
be hell to hold myself in check entirely in every 
respect, but I feel I must, in order to collect my 
thoughts and feelings which were becoming rather 
confused on this, as on other subjects, owing to my 
changeable moods, passions and feelings. 

I have the advantage of starting out on the 
broadest basis possible, the agnostic position as I 
understand it. I have not studied Spencer nor 
reduced my agnosticism to any dogmatic position 
of knowable or unknowable, but always it has been : 
I neither believe nor deny; my mind is open; I 
am willing to learn ; to give all who have a serious 
message a hearing. True, up to the present I have 
not given much serious study to the problem, hav- 
ing read considerably more about philosophy than 
of it, but I have had that tendency, and, being 
young yet, it is perhaps best that I did not attempt 


to go too deeply into the problem ere this, and 
even now I shall go slow. 

The question has unconsciously, however, nar- 
rowed itself down. I have given enough thought 
to the matter to reject the Christian theory of 
Christ being the son of God, and, leaving out most 
of the minor religions or philisophies which are 
obviously full of error (except as there may be a 
grain of truth here and there among the chaff), 
there is left such religions or philosophies as Theos- 
ophy, Monism, Spiritualism, and those which may 
be classed under the general head of Materialism 
(Rationalism, Free Thought, Positivism, etc., etc.), 
but as I do not see that any have as their basis 
Absolute Truth (that much abused word) I suspect 
I shall end where I began, as a Pragmatic Agnostic, 
denying that we have any Absolute Truth in 
our world, whatever may be beyond which we do 
not know. I have not read James ; but will do 
so; and I think that I shall not give much atten- 
tion to spiritualism, as no satisfactory evidence 
seems to support it, and there is too much char- 
latanism to offer a fair field for a truth-seeker. 

Havana, Wednesday, May 22, 1912, 12: 12 A. M. 
It is no use — I have to acknowledge defeat. Born 
with such a Jekyll-and-Hyde disposition that I 
am never normal, either so filled with ideals that 
everything good and noble seems possible, or so 
black that I shrink from myself in horror — even 
though it has been in thought rather than deed 
that I have transgressed or been an idealist. It is 
not that I have contemplated deeds of violence, but 


one thing, sex, is the cause of the perfect hell my 
life has been. During the past year I have fool- 
ishly thought I could make myself what I willed, 
could be consistent and normal ; vain hope and it 
needed to-night to show me this. After all my 
noble aspirations, hopes, love of literature, and the 
beautiful things in life, I could not keep my resolve 
of my birthday. Torture is the only word for it. 
My sexual passions, from their first awakening, 
have given me no rest and never will. I have not 
had at any time a girl who loved me, have never 
even kissed. With almost uncontrollable passion, 
and yet the ability to be satisfied with embrace and 
touch rather than final consummation, yet have I 
not had that chance with any but the lowest who 
fill me with disgust, or else attract me in a mad 
passion which for the moment is insatiable. Much 
of this is due to my wretched physical health, 
wrecked nervous force and absolute lack of any 
kind of love for so long that I am too selfish and 
self-centred ever to amount to anything. Who is 
to blame? My father dead, how can I blame him 
for his share? My mother is the only hope left in 
the world. Without her, suicide would seem to 
be the only alternative, and I have . . . what is 
this after all but the imagined courage of a weak- 
ling, my egoism the conceit of a degenerate? A 
month ago I would not have dared to write this, 
but unless this summer serves to recuperate me, 
I must go down rapidly. Having started sinking 
all round, I dare not go in for anything without a 
sleepless night. 

I only write this record now for what use it 


may be as a human document. It may serve as 
a warning- to those who ignorantly bring children 
into the world to suffer. I shall be repaid. In 
case I collapse suddenly it is my express wish that 
such of my letters, papers, including this and my 
other diary, as may bear on my struggles against 
an inevitable fate, may be sent to ... so that, 
without using my name in such a way that the 
family may be involved, he may use such parts of 
this record and the papers as may help to show the 
life-story of a youth who was prematurely tired, if 
I do not succeed in writing this in fiction form or 
otherwise myself before the end. Slowly but surely 
I am coming to the point where nothing matters. 
Something always pulls me back before I go too 
far, but will it always? Once let me go beyond a 
certain point in my dark moods and shame will keep 
me from attempting to get up again. Deep down 
in my heart, however, I have had and still do have 
in my most despairing moment the conviction that 
I have in me the ability to do great things, my 
love of the finer things, keen appreciation of char- 
acter so that I see right through many people I 
meet, wherefore much of my continued unpopularity, 
great care in small details, love of neatness, order, 
strong passions, enthusiasm, many other things in 
my good moods which I cannot quite grasp, but 
my physical weakness annuls everything and leaves 
me a hopeless weakling, vacillating and desperately 

Havana, Wednesday, June 5, 1912. Feeling 
very much chastened, following the deepest disgust 


with myself and everyone, and everything else for 
that matter. I must state most emphatically that 
for the most part all that has gone before (during 
the past six months at least) is due to disease; not 
specific, but generally run-down, nervous, over- 
tired condition of body and mind. Therefore, al- 
though to-day again I start with hope to fight on, 
I do so with less wild enthusiasm, less tenseness. 
After all, the world does not revolve around me. I 
have sometimes thought it did, or at least acted 
as if I thought so. 

Being calmer on my determination, the reactions 
I trust will be less violent. I have the feeling that 
I only have to get over this tired, nervous condi- 
tion to be once and for all on the road to victory 
over myself. 

One thing I will do — throw overboard as it were 
my preconceived half-formed ideas and start as a 
child. Too much have I stuck to convention and 
prejudice while congratulating myself on my radi- 

Of course, everything is dependent on my re- 
covery of health. Without this, life will indeed be 
not worth living, because the very things my heart 
and mind are set on accomplishing will be impos- 
sible, and a conventional, plodding life devoted to 
the accumulation of money is impossible for me. 
Death is much preferable. Art, philosophy, love of 
life in its nakedness, without false convention, must 
be my keyword, not for happiness, for that were 
impossible, but for sufficient interest to carry me 


Havana, Saturday, June 8, 1912. I am gradually 
but inevitably coming to the conclusion that the 
only way to get along is to throw over all that 
I do believe in and pay the price. If I had done 
this before I might have been saved much of this 
petty personal struggle and put my divine energy 
into bigger things. I have let false conventions 
battle with the natural love of freedom and radical- 
ism of an artistic nature, frittered away life forces 
in unholy passions where I might have put it into 
the big struggle. Now I will conquer or die, vic- 
tory or death. Death even by my own hand is 
preferable to frittering the tremendous passion and 
nervous and mental energy I have away in a life 
of conventional ease, despising myself and hating 
others, and being hated. Oh ! if I had only con- 
served instead of wasted, but even now at the 
eleventh hour it is not too late. Now, to-day, I will 
go forward to my fate. 

Havana, Wednesday, June 12, 1912. In further 
thought over my decision of last Saturday, or rather 
that which has been growing on me for a long time, 
I must add that, as I am not any too sure as to 
what I don't believe in, time must be a large fac- 
tor in the matter. 

Then again, due to that tired feeling and nerv- 
ousness, I have during the past six months put too 
much emphasis on the dark side. 

I have never for more than the briefest space 
of time contemplated self-destruction as I have 
hinted at several times. The thought has crossed 
my mind in my darkest moods, but I am not a 


coward and to-day must go a step further and say- 
that I'll fight to the finish against all outside diffi- 
culties, as well as ill health and natural defects of 
temperament and heredity. From now on any de- 
partures from a certain standard until I have 
changed that standard by thought and experience, 
I will consider in their proper light of weaknesses 
to be overcome. 

All of which may be what I have been reiterat- 
ing over and over again, but my awakening of to- 
day is a little broader. I leave the standard fairly 
flexible, but strong enough to be a rock in a stormy 
sea until the waters are calmer, and then my mind 
should be clearer so that I can readjust the various 
uncertainties to a certain point at least. 

Life and a full life rather than mere reason I 
think will be the outcome, but reason and philoso- 
phy presiding over all as a benignant judge I trust. 
Who knows? 

Havana, Saturday, June 15, 1912. My contract 
is up to-day, and for several days earlier in the 
week I thought of leaving suddenly and getting 
away from it all for a rest despite any notice to 
take effect on the 29th. I thought it over, however, 
and from standpoint of unpreparedness, doubt and 
honor perhaps — did not — or rather will not — as boat 
leaves to-morrow. 

In thinking over problem of society it has oc- 
curred to me, or the thought has come to my mind 
of what little use the benefactions of rich men are 
to really help anyone in need in a personal way. I 
remember how I used to have such a passion for 


education — I did so want to know. I wrote Car- 
negie, Patten, Pearsons and E. H. R. Green, not 
begging for money, but telling of my great desire 
for an education and putting it in such a way that 
I asked the secretary to refer me to any board 
which they might have had for helping those de- 
sirous of obtaining an education. My physical 
weakness precluded the idea of working my way 
and studying at the same time. Of course, I re- 
ceived no replies, and I then realized that the most 
ambitious or deserving might be on their last legs 
and all this charity would count for naught. 

The personal aspect of the question has long 
been forgotten; my ideas as to the value of a col- 
lege education in its relation to the larger educa- 
tion of life have changed; whatever rancor I may 
have had against these men has gone; my outlook 
on life is different; the things that count now are 
few, are far between. 

If my health permits, the necessity of making a 
living will cause me to write for money to a cer- 
tain extent, but with a bare living income I think 
I should write from my heart, because of the great 
desire, because I look on it as an art, not a busi- 
ness. However, if my health continues as it is or 
gets worse, I will not sacrifice what little life I 
have left on the altar of the modern god — money. 
I shall write in blood the agony that has been eat- 
ing into my heart and brain and give it to the 
world if it will take it for what it is worth. For 
myself I expect little, but it may help towards a 
better understanding of natures like mine, and in 
the future may help towards a little more forbear- 


ance, attempt to understand on the part of good 
people. But whether or not I will write it. 

Before doing so, however, I intend to see that 
I do not, out of self-pity, fall into the error out- 
lined in the December, 1911 issue of The Interna- 
tional "Upton Sinclair's Delusion." 

Havana, Tuesday, June 25, 1912, 7:10 P. M. 

It is getting tiresome, these moral reformations 
and back-slidings. But even now I can lay down 
a preliminary philosophy which I must subscribe to 
whether I will or not .... gives a general line 
of conduct which leads to progress in a wide sense 
and taking account of human nature, its strength 
and weakness. 

Life, of course, comes first. Unless a man is 
going to deliberately plan suicide he must live. All 
account of death from outside sources must be left 
out of account because they are outside of his 
sphere to influence. By living I mean to touch the 
depths and the heights, each one according to the 
strength of his passions, his temperament. He 
should not be an ascetic except under certain con- 
ditions, and asceticism as a deliberate plan of life 
is absolutely wrong for a young man — whether for 
one who is older time will tell. 

For instance, if a man is of a strongly passionate 
sex nature he should gratify it sufficiently to save 
him from tremendous nervous disturbances due to 
holding himself back. All conventional morality 
or standards to the contrary, gratification is not 
only justifiable, but not to gratify is a crime 
against human nature. If a man be of a cool phleg- 


matic disposition, a limited asceticism in this as well 
as other things may be good rather than otherwise. 

The above is limited by conditions and circum- 
stances. Disease, of course, should be rigidly 
guarded against. This is a matter that calls for 
action by the combined societies of the world. 
Assuming that the man of artistic temperament 
takes these precautions and gratifies his passions, 
he must restrain himself as soon as his gratification 
becomes a source of weakness rather than of 

In other words, as long as gratification of the 
senses does not weaken one appreciably that grati- 
fication is good and moral and conduces to life, 
but when it becomes a weakness and threatens the 
physical and mental strength of a man he must 
restrain himself. Life comes first, but by life I 
mean life with Power. Thus anything that makes 
for power and for a full life and healthy gratifica- 
tion of the senses is good. 

This is my first definite outlining of the philoso- 
phy I have been endeavoring to attain. I have 
come thus far without reading any philosophy ex- 
cept bare outlines and reviews. Now I shall read 
and study life and build from these grounds. My 
philosophy is rather more individualistic than so- 
cialistic, but, of course, it is open to a reconcilia- 
tion between Socialism and Anarchism. Conven- 
tional views are left entirely out of consideration. 
It rests with the individual how far he will be 
guided by precedent and prevailing opinion in a 
given situation. 

As far as I am personally concerned, I have 


reached a state where any sexual gratification is a 
weakness and a strict asceticism for a time is a 
matter of self-preservation. Anything else is a de- 
liberate throwing down of my philosophy and is a 
weakness of the worst type, and I write this after 
having constantly violated my decision to hold off, 
made on my birthday and even before then, and 
which has just culminated in this outlining of a 
general course to follow, holding in view the two 
objects, a full life and a healthy one, power and 
life. Without power life is death. With means of 
gratification lacking, one must hold off from baser 
forms at least until, absolutely necessary, and then 
only on the most infrequent occasions. 

Keeping these in view, life and power, I have 
something to anchor to while I am struggling to- 
wards the light, and I submit this in all seriousness 
as a good workable philosophy for a man who has 
not found himself and has hitherto been groping 
around blindly in the dark with very little prospect 
of light. Starting with this the years must bring 
more light, and the conservation of a love of life 
and at the same time of power will keep one in a 
state to take advantage of any new light on this 
terrible problem of existence, of how to get 
through life in the best way, for in the final analy- 
sis that is what all philosophy teaches. 

Thus, in the future, gratification may be quite 
consistent with my philosophy; in my present weak- 
ened state I must hold off if I am to survive. Other- 
wise it is a case of deliberate suicide, and the only 
thing to do would be to go ahead and gratify until 


disease and weakness made it evident that death 
would be the only relief. Thus I go ahead for the 

my manifest destiny, that of doing something worth 
while in the world, so that the world will be better 
for my having lived in it. 

Since May 10th, my own birthday, although on 
several occasions down to the depths, I have 
strengthened my purpose and the lapses are becom- 
ing less and less, and the increasing disgust after 
each is cementing my determination. One only 
has occurred since Tuesday last, when I outlined 
my philosophy, and I 

. . . . Thus, the fight has resolved itself into this, — 
if I can control myself when tired, nervous and de- 
pressed, the victory is won. On all other occasions 
I have myself pretty well in hand, and in normal 
moods, with good health, the outcome seldom seems 
doubtful, but I must watch the abnormal moods. 

Havana, Tuesday, July 2, 1912, 12:45 A. M. 
I don't know whether it was a premonition which 
caused me to put morning at the head of my pre- 
vious entry, because now, the same night, or the 
next morning very early I am obliged to repudiate 
it all. It is no use — my philosophy as outlined 


last week would be all right, but for two things, i. e., 
my absolute lack of opportunity of touching life, 
and my absolute lack of strength, physical, mental, 
or moral to cultivate power. Determinism is forced 
on me against my will. As far as possible in my 
good moods I suppose I shall follow my first phil- 
osophy of Tuesday, June 25, but, nevertheless, I 
am fast being forced to a thorough determinism 
because I simply cannot control myself. What I 
might have done had I not been forced to become 
a victim of our commercial system (so that at 
twenty-two I am exhausted, my enthusiasm and 
hope almost killed by deadly routine and no pros- 
pect of relief), I do not know, but I think I would 
have accomplished much under careful training or 
even a fair opportunity to express my individuality. 
To-night everything seems hopeless — whether in- 
sanity is creeping on me I do not know. I simply 
must have sexual intercourse to relieve the strain, 
and it is the lack of it which brings on these moods, 
If for nothing else woman is a necessity for me to 
relieve the great strain when routine becomes so 
deadly as to tempt me to throw everything to the 
winds. If I could come home and have a woman, 
I am sure that I could be saved much if not all this 
— the worst of it at least, but our damnable con- 
ventions keep me from them and keep them from 
me even though many women are enduring tortures 
of unrelieved emotion for lack of what I could give 
them. Oh ! life is indeed hell — why, or wherefore, 
I don't know, and I am fast reaching the point 
where I care less. In an evil moment I consented 
to stay on here for a few weeks longer for a con- 


sideration of my return fare to New York. This 
means three more weeks before I can get away from 
this damnable place which has been getting on my 
nerves more and more so that I never hated any- 
thing as I hate this island and everything and every- 
one on it. 

Havana, July 3, 1912. Well, despite my little 
outburst of early yesterday morning, I am still in 
the fight. After every defeat I arise, chastened, per- 
haps, but with a growing feeling that I will win. 

I must confirm and add to my philosophy as 
outlined on June 25th. As I wrote yesterday, De- 
terminism seems to be true as things are at present, 
but even accepting this does not make me any the 
less a fighter, for it is quite consistent with that 
philosophy that my determinism is to be something, 
and the weak periods are only to strengthen me. 

As to the Life part of it, that is still a little 
doubtful. I have not touched it enough, my experi- 
ences have not been broad enough with the other 
sex for me to throw over all conventions, for I know 
from experience and the experiences of others, that 
when a woman plays fast and loose she loses so 
much that even conventionalism sometimes seems 
preferable to a loosening of the bonds. My idea 
was to idealize the relations, have all children legiti- 
mate. While I think my part would be done all 
right, I doubt other men and women. Besides, I 
have always had an unconscious and sometimes con- 
scious feeling of superiority to women — this has 
been so indefinite, however, that I do not lay too 
much stress on it at present. 


I must reiterate Power as the keynote. Every 
weak yielding .... impossibility to me at least of 
what I will call "The Impulsive Philosophy," i. c, 
philosophy of being guided by emotion and senti- 
ment, to the exclusion of reason. Reason must co- 
ordinate, if not dominate, and at least impulse must 
not dominate. This is my second outline, but I am 
going to disregard the foolish system of dates, — 
time is to attain anything. I realize the folly of 
saying at a certain date I will stop this or that I 
will reform in this or that. All I can do is to at- 
tempt to live up to a certain standard as fast as 
I have decided it to be best and to endeavor to 
drop off everything that pulls me down as soon as 

Havana, July 20, 1912. Last day in Havana. 
At last my counting of each day as bringing nearer 
to my goal is about to end. Whether my return 
.... is productive of results commensurate with 
my expectations or not, my relief at the suspension 
of the agony of the struggle down here is so deep 
and heartfelt that I could shout for joy. 

I at least have several good weeks behind me, 
and every day in which I make the slightest prog- 
ress in any direction whatever is bound to react 

For the present I reiterate my outline of philos- 
ophy of June 25th and July 3d. I intend to ... . 
control pending a readjustment. At any rate for a 
year intend to have nothing to do with fast women 
— I do not say anything about intercourse without 


monetary consideration, but am unlikely to have 
much chance as I will not be looking for it. 

Until I am settled in relaxation will be the 

rule. With the least worry and the line of least 
resistence for a month or so I should be in a much 
better frame of mind to accomplish anything than 
by keeping up this constant nervous strain. Hope 
and confidence mark the last day, and I count the 
year as a leaf in my book of experience and look- 
ing back, do not regret my year in the tropics. 

— , August 1, 1912. 

T T T T 

has a cottage for the summer. 

The month of July was the best one for some- 
time. I have at last realized the futility of expect- 
ing to make great changes in my habits of life in 
a day and, therefore, attach less importance to a 
certain date for this or that as I have done previ- 
ously. Suffice [it that] after a month I can look 
back and notice a slight improvement, more self- 
control and a stronger determination. This I find 
is the case now and with the prospect of a month 
of healthy activity and absence of nervous and 
morbid thoughts the present month should be one 
of the best of the year, and if a quiet determina- 
tion without the passion of heretofore will help me, 
this seems assured. System will be the keynote 
as far as it does not interfere with the rights of 
others, for here I cannot be too selfish in my at- 
tempt to reach a certain standard, and besides I 


have no intention of becoming a slave to system, as 
I heartily dislike red tape. But I can start prepar- 
ing myself for the big fight when I return home next 
month by making each day count. 

— , August 12, 1912. Since the first I have been 
through an [intense] struggle, the worst yet. Be- 
ing greatly disappointed at the unfriendly attitude 
of the family to my ideas, disgusted and tired, day 
by day I became more worried. Heated argument 
resulted in open charges of immorality on their 
part, that is, they considered my views immoral. 
Last night was the culmination of all this — for the 
first time I actually threw over all my plans and 
ambition and contemplated suicide. Many times 
the thought had crossed my mind before, but it was 
always as a possibility in the dim future, but yes- 
terday the thought materialized. 

I carried on a terrific mental struggle in bed and 
the will to live triumphed. I will fight on, but I 
will be more and more egotistical. I realize the 
vast gulf between me and the rest of my family. 
It is insurmountable, and my last hope now centers 
on my return to ... . My mother is pliable and I 
may be able to sufficiently dominate my brother 
and my sister to fight it out there without too 
much interruption, which is the bone of my present 

— , Friday, August 23, 1912. Gradually throw- 
ing off that almost inborn habit we have of acting 
as a pose for others, I must sometimes act in a 
way which must appear immoral when such is far 


from the actual truth. In the endeavor, weak it is 
true as yet, to rise above good and evil, the only 
criterion is sometimes whether such and such an 
act makes for weakness. If it does it transgresses 
against nature, and I make the definition that any- 
thing which does not go against nature is neither 
good nor evil. From this point of view, moral 
issues do not enter into the question to the same 
extent. I am going to put into writing the dis- 
tinction I make between conceit and egoism. Con- 
ceit is exemplified by the young man who, shallow 
of heart and brain, dresses in fancy clothes and 
parades around so that the girls can admire him. 
This is one instance I take to contrast it with. . . . 
With the desire to express myself, to be an artist, 
to live the fullest life possible, or whatever my pre- 
cise object may be, it is absolutely necessary to be 
damn independent. 

I have found the family very impatient, and out 
of accord with my views and rejecting their ideals 
of a man— very conventional — I must of necessity 
make a break, because the petty bickering engend- 
ered is bound to dissipate my energy without any- 
thing being accomplished. Having attained more 
positive views later, I may see fit to resume the 
old status, being safeguarded by grim determination 
and absolute sincerity as far as possible, believing 
as I do, that truth is only relative. 

The conflict is not only between reason and 
passion, but also between naturalism, and if I may 
put it, unnaturalism. That is, I want to act natural 
according to my nature rather than to set up an 
ideal opposed to my nature and endeavor to live 


up to it. The only trouble is that I have various 
moods, and at the time I really believe that each 
one is the right one. However, by gradually drop- 
ping unnatural habits caused by trying to conform, 
I hope to reach an impregnable position insofar that 
I am willing to lose everything for freedom to 
live my own life, believing that this seeming self- 
ishness makes for the best for myself, family and 
all others, because even though wrong in many 
things, if my nature is wrong, it is better to be 
wrong and be myself than to be what I honestly 
believe to be wrong and please others. 

— , Sunday, September 1, 1912. Beginning a 
new month, although full of hope as usual at the 
beginning of anything, I also feel rather humble 
after my previous egoism. Thus I go from mood 
to mood, but the turning point is at hand. I can- 
not be tossed around like a bark without rudder 
or sail much longer and with my tendency to ex- 
tremes, feeling that I have much power for good 
or evil in this world, one course I must enter on 
with the greatest determination. 

Having willed to live at the moment of despair, 
I must needs live with sincerity and without con- 
forming; a little more forbearance will do me good, 
and certainly the events of the past few weeks have 
been a sore trial. I have undoubtedly made a fool 
of myself, but still acknowledging my ideal, feel 
determined as ever, if chastened. 

I candidly must say or write that .... ques- 
tions are still open, but I intend to get right down 
to action towards a literary career, meanwhile grad- 


ually attaining the thing which I have been strug- 
gling for— not peace of mind exactly, but the feel- 
ing that I am doing my best in a sincere manner 
under the circumstances, namely, that I must go 
through life with health impaired to a greater or 
less extent; that I am inclined to extremes, pessi- 
mistic or very cheerful, even childish, by turns; 
that life appeals to me when I think as terribly in- 
evitable that I have a tendency to degeneracy at 
times (which I feel I can overcome to a certain 
extent by heroic measures) ; that the happiness of 
a home and children of my own may be denied 
me. With these prospects before me, my fighting 
blood is up and I simply have got to go on and 
up or disintegrate altogether— there is no halfway 
measure for me, and I would have it so. I write 
with absolute sincerity now. 

— , October 2, 1912. Another month rolls on, — 
despite my having writen that I do not count by 
dates now, I find it convenient to note whether 
or not I have made any progress in this way. 

I have. The same old struggle between passion 
and intellect was continued, at one time intellectual 
and philosophical calmness animating me and then 
low passion, but the net is surely but slowly (faster 
now) closing. 

I came home, loafed around the house, read, 
dreamed, did nothing. Then in a burst of energy 
purchased a typewriter, an unabridged dictionary, 
supplies, taking some $70 from my scanty savings. 
Later I repented of this, why all this preliminary 
to a conventional, routine existence? Why not go 


away, gamble, attempt to gain all by a single 
throw? Why struggle to no end? But deep down 
something always says, "Go on, you have it in you." 

Well, I recovered myself again, calling on Nietz- 
sche as my guide, not that I had read his works, 
but I had read about him and his philosophy of the 
Superman — will to live because it is painful, and I 
will take a fierce joy in life. It is hard to drop 
those passionate dreams born of romance, but I 
know that happiness is not for me, not the happi- 
ness of convention or even sex unconventionally, 
but perhaps a certain amount of intellectual satis- 
faction and the thrill that comes from reading the 
master minds which respond in me, the thrill as I 
feel willing to make any sacrifice for my ideals, 
reaffirmed by a perusal of several of Ibsen's plays 
within the last few days, Schopenhauer's "Studies 
in Pessimism," and a part re-perusal of Haldane 
Macfall's book about Ibsen. 

As I read Schopenhauer to-day I realized sud- 
denly that there are more than one variety of Dolls' 
Houses, and it is indeed one that those who go on 
living in their dreams away from life live in, hoping 
some day to have happiness or pleasure from the 
realization of their dreams. 

No, too long have I postponed facing the situa- 
tion. No longer must I dream. I must act. I 
cannot fail ; worldly honor is not success. If I be 
true to myself I succeed, the world notwithstanding. 

I have a few more studies to make, — rather I 
mean I am just beginning — before I have a definite 
philosophy, subject, of course, always to change as 
new experience or observation serves to confirm or 


reject. Schopenhauer, Ibsen, Tolstoy, Nietzsche 
and others must still give me their message in full 
before I can glean from them sufficient to test my 
own observations, but in the final analysis my own 
individuality, by own judgment must be supreme, 
I yield to none. Schopenhauer is right when he 
says we should not fill up on other men's learning 
before we have experience ourselves .... has been 
one of my great mistakes and the resulting con- 
fusion has paralyzed me, but now I read but to 
learn, not to adopt without searching criticism, and 
meanwhile I may begin working. 

So long as I keep unsullied by any more very 
bad outbursts, forward I must go and if I am car- 
ried off at any time I have not failed, the ideal still 
being nursed with that tender passionate regret 
that Emerson speaks of. A new era is dawning 
for me. In spite of misunderstanding, seeming self- 
ishness on my part, sacrifice of my best nature, 
the spark still lives. A few more months of renun- 
ciation and I have myself in hand and then, what- 
ever the difficulties, ever onward and upward. 

— , December 30, 1912, 6:30 P. M. A hurried 
writing previous to departure for Chicago. The 
past three months, ones of disillusionment and 
blasted hopes. Future uncertain, but atmosphere 
cleared for anything that turns up. 

Suddenly deciding last night, Sunday, to leave 
for Chicago — slept on more or less irregularly, and 
had trunk packed early this morning (previously 
ready for quick departure), tickets, etc., by noon — 


theatre this afternoon, and everything nearly ready 

Turning point insofar as leaving future to chance 
instead of carefully planned out course .... for 
my temperament to settle down to any such dull 
routine as seems necessary to get on as others have. 
Besides, I have lost a certain grip I had before the 
early part of this year brought on acute nervous- 
ness, and it needs quick action to put me into 
touch with life. Slow and sure is not my forte, 
but fast and intermittent, and I have to face it 
whether I will or not. 

Chicago, January 29, 1913. If I wrote that the 
past month was the worst I had ever experienced, 
I would probably repeat myself, as I have had 
some very bad and frequent worsts, during the 
past year and a half, but nevertheless I never hope 
to feel so utterly despairing this side of eternity. 

I arrived in Chicago on December 31, an hour 
before the new year. I was met by my uncle and 
proceeded to his house with him. He is a vege- 
tarian, a raw food one, an ardent and unmerciful 
propagandist; his wife a chronic invalid, cold and 

There was really no room for me, and I slept 
in an unheated room, where they kept fruit and 
vegetables. It was cold, too cold to dress in with- 
out great discomfort, but uncle said the air was 
good for me, and the fruit had to be taken care of 

Now I am generally open to reason and per- 
suasion, even if I do act on my own impulses and 


ideas eventually. But I will not be forced. I have 
fled from one refuge to another in the hope of being 
free, of being able to be myself, and uncle's in- 
sistence on my not doing this and that, resulted in 
argument, but no open break. 

The result was that everything seemed to fall 
from under my feet, and on January 10th, I made 
up my mind to commit suicide on my twenty-third 
birthday, May 10th, next. 

Of course, this was not the result entirely, or 
even principally, of my trouble with uncle. That 
was only important insofar as it added the last 
straw to my .... misunderstood and, if not per- 
secuted, at least worried beyond endurance, by my 

My reasons, in a few words, for deciding on 
suicide were: 

(1) Disillusionment. What had sustained me 
through the mental and nervous shocks, sleepless 
nights, ecstasies, and despair of the years, since my 
sixteenth (although it began before that) was the 
thought, which I dare not acknowledge to myself, 
much less express to others, that I was, if not a 
genius, at least a talented man, with the ability to 
do big things. Sometimes business success ap- 
pealed to me; at other times, science or philosophy 
— mental and intellectual pre-eminence; then artis- 
tic effort, vaguely the idea of being an author, 
dramatist or literary and social reform leader. 

Up to the day I left Cuba, despite reactions and 
pitiful weakness, I kept my faith in myself, in my 
mission. Reading Ibsen only served to confirm it. 
In .... I still had it. I lost it in .... to a great 


extent. After I had purchased a typewriter and 
sat down to work, my courage failed; I could do 

Reading Bernard Shaw showed me that much 
that I had thought to be artistic temperament, 
ideals, sentiment, was plain romantic illusion, and 
I did not feel that I was called upon then to sac- 
rifice myself for humanity, without the esthetic 
pleasure my illusions had given me. Before this I 
had unwittingly cloaked my own desires and pas- 
sions under the guise of doing something worth 
while, of uplifting and what not. 

Curiously enough, all my ambition, ideas, etc., 
returned on further reading of Shaw in Chicago, 
after I had started going on the assumption of 
suicide on May 10th. I took them back, with the 
idea that now I was through with romantic illusion 
and prepared to face reality. 

Before recurring to this, I shall go on to the 
other suicide reasons. 

(2) The continual moving about trying to find a 
resting place, and consequent disgust and quarrels 
with relatives, and the feeling that I was indeed 
alone and without a home. 

Leaving Cuba in hope I left , swearing they 

would never hear from me again. I left with 

very much the same idea, but before leaving, wrote 
a very short letter to Nellie, informing her that I 
had nothing against her and thought as much of 
her as ever. Uncle was the last straw, although 
I could not have the least doubt of his sincere de- 
sire to benefit me, and when I realized this I tried 
to take advantage of his advice and follow it to a 


great extent, but his wife chilled me, and she really 
didn't want me. Of course, she wasn't well, and 
uncle told me that but for that he would have had 
me stay with them, and take a good room in which 
they had a roomer. Aunt had advised against my 
coming — she did not want to be bothered. 

However, all this only added to my feeling of 
loneliness, of homelessness, and I took a small room, 
after sundry hints from my aunt. 

(3) Related to the above, was the deeper feel- 
ing that I had not place in the world. Forced to 
work myself into a nervous wreck, when I wanted 
to shine in intellect; laughed at by my acquaint- 
ances, for I had no friends, because of my theories, 
impracticality, temperament; inability to get on 
with people socially, due to a peculiar inherent shy- 
ness, not lost by contact with people in business, 
where I had a reputation even for nerve or perhaps 
sometimes impertinence, although I meant no harm. 
I was rather sharp in repartee, and suppose I 
showed a feeling of superiority, whereas said ac- 
quaintances, openly at least, made me feel inferior, 
unsocial, a crank — always in the wrong. What 
was the use, I said time and again, of my bril- 
liance, of my love of study, of esthetics, of my care- 
ful life, if it was turned on me and made into a 
fault, a crime. 

(4) Fearful of gradual approach of insanity, 
brought on by above causes, and degenerate stock 
on my father's side. I have no proof of this, ex- 
cept fact that my father was small, nervous, and 
vacillating, and I am sure it is only my mother's 
blood that has saved me thus far. 


(5) The thought that my ideas, etc., instead of 
being due to higher qualities, due to this degenerate 
tendency or strain, in short, that I was a degenerate 
weakling, doomed to drift on until insanity or 
death ended it all. 

The above caused my resolution to commit sui- 
cide, taken on January 10th. My hand is tired now, 
but I have much to write of subsequent days. 

I leave to-morrow morning for San Francisco, 
and shall fill in details to date either on train or 

Denver, Colo., February 2, 1913. To continue 
where I left off, the sixth reason, the last but not 
the least, to use a hackneyed term, is : 

(6) Sex. I have previously gone into this at 
some length, so little remains to be written. To use 
a medical term, I presume my affliction may be 
called erotomania. 

My passion, ungratified, except with mercenary 
women, has been a terrible thing. If I could have 
had a little satisfaction, even without actual inter- 
course, in my youth, as other fellows have, I might 
have been spared the suffering, mental and phys- 
ical, caused by my random attempts to feed my 
insatiable hunger. 

Not having anything pleasant to look back upon 
in an emotional way, has probably contributed 
more than any one thing, to my despair of the 

When in desperation, just after my twentieth 
birthday, I first had intercourse with a prostitute, I 
made little distinction between moral and immoral 


women, that is, some women I felt naturally at- 
tracted to; others repulsed me, and this attraction, 
physical or mental, I was generally unable to 
follow up more in practically every case. 

With one or two exceptions, every prostitute I 
had intercourse with was a source of bitter disap- 
pointment, and constant recriminations by my bit- 
ter outraged nature. I worried and worried over 
these downfalls, as I invariably considered them 

The one or two exceptions, however, left me 
with no feelings of disgust or disappointment. I 
enjoyed them thoroughly. They were with women 
who had a strong attraction to me, and I would 
not have changed them for many a virtuous woman, 
except for the experience of being the first. 

Altogether, I have not had intercourse with 
more than twenty women, and most of them, of 
the shortest, being generally driven by strong pas- 
sion without a worthy object. 

Many a time have I cursed myself, however, 
for ever beginning. At about the same time as my 
first fall, I first touched liquor. 

I often feel that if I had been told by my 
parents, I might not have taken the first downward 
step and waited until I could give my emotion a 
healthy outlet on honorable terms. 

As it is, I have lost something which is the 
cause of my condition of despair, and it will take 
a long, slow process of upbuilding to give me back 
my enthusiasm and grip on life, but events of to- 
day and yesterday give me hope and encourage- 


Denver, Colo., February 5, 1913. To go back 
to my story, after deciding on January 10th to 
commit suicide on May 10th, my troubles became 
worse instead of better. The will to live rebelled 
against this decision, and I endeavored to drown 
the still small voice, and succeeded in doing so, only 
to have it come up again. 

Only one reaction in Chicago, however, amounted 
to anything. In my usual impulsive, emotional 
manner, after reading Shaw's "Quintessence of 
Ibsenism," my old feelings about art and literature 
returned with force augmented by the depth of the 
preceding condition of pessimism and hopelessness. 
For a week I felt like a genius, went about full of 
esthetic feelings, courage. I exercised twice a day, 
thus conquering an habitual physical laziness, 
walked with a springy step, inhaling the cold air 
enthusiastically. In short, it was the same old 

I fed my esthetic feelings at the art gallery, 
library, and theatre. I attended several perform- 
ances at the Fine Arts Theatre of the Irish Play- 
ers, and enjoyed their simple, honest humor. 

By Friday it began to peter out. Depression, 
unaccountable as usual, began to come over me. 
I shook it off, but it could not be gainsaid, and on 
Saturday night, January 25th, I attended a per- 
formance of Strindberg's "Creditors" and "The 
Stronger" at the Chicago Little Theatre, with ill- 
suppressed feelings of impending disaster, which, 
however, I realized, as of old, were temporary and 
unfounded, perhaps, but nevertheless enough to 
give me hours of hell, hell, hell. 


The circumstance agreed with my mood, and in 
a way awakened my ambition to have my own 
work performed and read, but the realization after 
of the work, utter lack of appreciation of such work 
of genius by the general English and American 
reading public, and moreover, the ever present dis- 
like and fear of going back to office work and 
working on from year to year to no purpose, until 
insanity or death ended it all, — brought on all past 
forebodings, and I went down to the closed district, 
found a woman, more, two, and disgusted myself 
with life to the limit ; went home and cursed, raved, 
and what not, until exhaustion brought on fitful, 
wild slumber, and I awoke with a headache, weak, 
repentant, defiant, and I know not what. 

I might right here give the immediate supple- 
mentary cause of my suicide decision, over and 
above those enumerated. 

As long as I was at work I still had hope. In 
Havana I was weaker, felt more poisoned physically 
and mentally than before or since, but the thought 
of artistic success sustained me. I looked forward 
to dropping the intolerable burden on finishing my 
work there, and going ahead and becoming a writer. 

This kept me on through it all, when I worked 
on sheer nerve and every day was an agony. In 

I still cherished the delusion — I was a genius, 

a superman, and would show them all. 

When I settled down in and bought a type- 
writer I started typewriting my shorthand notes, 
put down in Havana, describing my moods, pas- 
sions and various mental conditions, having in 


mind writing a book, "The Youth Who Was Pre- 
maturely Tired" .... mental struggles and states. 

On getting down to it, however, the thought 
that if I was to do anything it must be done while 
the money I had saved by scrimping, scraping, 
sacrificing social life, amusement, almost every- 
thing, — lasted, which would not be any too long, 
and then, the old agony of uncongenial hellish work, 
— this thought took away everything. 

The bottom fell out, and from that time on, 
last September and October, I have steadily lost 
all confidence and hope in myself, and my grip on 
life. The thought of going back to work .... the 
mental state of which it had been the product, 
haunted me unceasingly. 

I dared not face the situation. I quarrelled at 
home, with reason, however, fled to Arthur's house 

in . The wild idea I had conceived in ... . 

of disappearing, going away secretly and suddenly 
returned. No matter where I turned there seemed 
no refuge from my own diseased mind. Wild 
anarchical schemes entered my head. Now I under- 
stood why men killed, went insane. Before I had 
experienced passion, good and bad, honest and dis- 
honest, clean and sane, and unclean and insane, 
poetic frenzy, glowing emotional enthusiasm, and 
now new ranges of wildness came to me. 

I cursed myself, my parents, heaven and earth ; 
then the reaction brought sorrow and spasmodic 
attempts at reparation. 

I destroyed my books and objects of fond re- 
membrance, the next day repented and endeavored 


to undo the damage. This began in Havana, con- 
tinued in and became worse in . 

Then in a sudden impulse I decided to go away 
from it all, using the excuse of going to California 
with my aunt, then to Chicago, which I really in- 
tended to do. 

In Chicago I at first felt like making a new 
start, but after accepting a position, I had a fore- 
boding I should fall down on it, and I cursed the 
social system and employing class for not offering 
me a living salary for just as much work as I 
could stand, and have leisure for writing, study, 

Death seemed preferable to working, and, dread- 
ing to go back to what it had represented in Havana 
and New York previous to that, I made the suicide 
decision. The reasons enumerated all came to me 
night after night as I lay awake, and I called 
for death .... it was this dread of work that 
finally took the ground away from under my feet. 
I felt in my heart that, with a weekly income of 
$20 to $25 I would persist and fight my mental 
disabilities, finding consolation in reading, study- 
ing, especially philosophy and writing. My idea 
would be not to write with the idea of making 
money, but of making literature. 

I got cold feet whenever I thought of the sordid 
commercialism of present American authorship. 
My ideas and ideals, delusions, illusions, call them 
what you will, were too strong to face the facts. 

I had wild ideas of laying my case before some 
rich man, or at least some institution endowed by 
one, seeing if they, out of pity, sympathy, or some 


other feeling, could be induced to allow me an in- 
come of $20 to $25 per week, and not require of 
me definite results. 

I thought of going to sociologists, insanity ex- 
perts, those whom we read so much about in the 
papers, who are always talking of reform, eugenics, 
social service; but the realization that these glit- 
tering generalities meant nothing to one poor, weak, 
degenerate individual like me, deterred me. 

Two other reasons kept me back, the first self- 
respect ; for despite my weaknesses and downfalls, 
I still had an inordinate pride, and repulsed pity, 
sympathy, and felt how humiliating it would be 
to depend on some one else like that even were 
such a wild idea possible. 

Wild idea, indeed. I remember the letters I 
wrote in the heyday of my ambition and enthusiasm, 
to Carnegie, Patten, E. H. R. Green, and several 
others, asking for a hearing before some board to 
further education — and the fact of hearing nothing. 

Time and again I had bitterly reflected what 
good is all this charity, social work. It is all gen- 
eral, where does my personal case come in, who 
is there to give me a little human consideration, 
a helping hand, encouragement, sociability, love? 

Reformers, women reformers and social workers 
spend their efforts in closing up districts, scatter- 
ing prostitutes, making it difficult to gamble and 
generally taking away the means for such as me to 
forget our troubles now and again, but not a hand 
is lifted to save me from insanity or death by my 
own hand. 

Outside of this feeling of death being preferable 


to the humiliation and shuddering at the shocks to 
my sensitive nature which would be engendered by 
making public this record, there was the additional 
feeling that instead of freedom from the bondage 
of poverty resulting from such an appeal, confine- 
ment would be the result. 

I dread this about as much as going back to 
work, because the sanctity, jealous regard and fear 
about my personality, my individuality is such that 
if I thought that the result of an appeal would be 
confinement, I would welcome death as a gift from 

I am an agnostic, and, philosophically at least, 
an anarchist. I want to be free, to glory in liberty ; 
to have no boss, to be able to develop my intellect. 
To do this I am willing to pay the price of keep- 
ing within the law, to refrain from indulging sex- 
ually more than seems absolutely necessary, but T 
cannot look forward to being fed and given a place 
to rest in, and otherwise allowed to develop in my 
own way, but not being allowed freedom of action 
and residence. 

I am not insane now, but any attempt at coercion 
or confinement would drive me violently insane. I 
should beat at the doors of my cell, curse every- 
thing and die raving, and it is the fear of confine- 
ment that keeps me from submitting this to those 
who could probably save me if they would. 

Before the day when my last dollar is gone 
comes I may in desperation [decide] to risk this, in 
the hope of being allowed to live in my own way 
rather than commit suicide, but I don't know. 


Denver, Colo., February 6, 1913. After that fall 
in Chicago, after Strindberg, Saturday, January 
25th, hope left me until the 30th. Leaving that 
day for 'Frisco a certain old time grim resolution 
to make another big effort took possession of me, 
but to no purpose as usual. 

At noon of the 31st, I changed trains at La 
Junta for a side trip to Denver. While on the way 
to Denver I became acquainted with the man who 
put me back in fighting mood for several days. 
Our conversation started when he asked permission 
to sit beside me, which was unnecessary, but polite. 
He casually asked if I was going to stay in Denver. 
I said no, that I was merely on a visit. I asked 

to be referred to a hotel. He told me of the 

kept by his brother. 

We talked along, and he painted Colorado in 
glowing colors — said he had left New York twenty- 
two years ago, and with the exception of one year 
in Texas, had lived in Denver ever since. To his 
mind there was no place like it. He told me busi- 
ness was quiet, but that I could undoubtedly get 
something within a short time. He invited me to 
call at his house on Sunday. 

We arrived Friday night, the 31st, and he 
pointed out the hotel from the station, and hurried 
off. Saturday, I took sight-seeing car through city, 
and Sunday foothills trip. The air was fine, as 
he had enthusiastically said, and the bright appear- 
ance of things, despite a snowstorm on Saturday, 
argued well for this as a healthy, bright, beautiful 
city and all he said it was. 

I called on him Sunday, and found he had a 


beautiful house, a pleasant wife and two fine chil- 
dren. The little girl of three took to me right away, 
which surprised them but not me, as children do 
take to me. The boy of thirteen was also very 
enthusiastic, bright and friendly, and after supper 
we three grown-ups had a pleasant talk on various 
subjects. I left with a delightful feeling of having 
had a glimpse of a nice home, which brought back 
all my thoughts of times past of a home, with a 
lovely wife and children on my knee, dreams which 
in my bad periods I had rejected as hopeless for 
me, thus taking away a great spur to work and 

Impulsively the next day I put in my ticket for 
refund, being willing in my enthusiasm to lose $11 
or so for baggage, which had gone on to Frisco, 
to say nothing of freight charges of over $7, includ- 
ing boxing, for return to Denver. Thus I expect to 
pull out $10 of my $49.75 for ticket from Chicago, 
fare to Denver being $22.60, tourist. I give these 
figures to show how great was my ecstasy on Mon- 
day morning, February 3d, perhaps the last time I 
shall feel so optimistic and in love with everything, 
great enough to make me, without work and less 
than $100 in cash, drop $18 carelessly and without 
worry — me, who had skimped and scraped ever 
since started working, although only to lose reck- 
lessly on impulses. 

Then I went after work in the same spirit; 
called on the Chamber of Commerce, was referred 
to two reliable employment agencies, went to the 
typewriter companies, and visited one prospective 
employer. On Tuesday I visited three, and could 


probably have landed one, but my old bugaboo, the 
reaction, had begun to set in, and at 5 o'clock 
Tuesday, after lying down in my room at the hotel 
I got up, hurriedly dressed, rushed to the railroad 
ticket office, and asked to have my baggage stopped. 
My ticket had gone in for refund, and the freight 
agent promised to telegraph immediately to hold 
baggage if not already sent. Yesterday I found it 
had been sent, and now await returns on that and 
my ticket. 

When I got these I thought of going on to 
Frisco and ending it all there. Last night I wrote 
a despairing letter home, offering to return if they 
would send me $50, but did not mail it, and this 
morning tore it up, merely writing saying I would 
be here until the latter part of this month in case 
the family had any proposition to make to me or 
money to send. 

If they ask me to return and send some money, 
I probably will. Otherwise I shall probably go to 
Frisco with a week or two week's expenses in my 
pocket after paying fare, and finishing this story. 
I say probably in both cases because I now realize 
my hopeless lack of will-power, my whole life prac- 
tically being impulse with a delusive current of pur- 
pose running through it. 

— , February 6, 1913, 10: 37 P. M. This morning 
I cast out hope. To-night I feel that beneath all 
my degeneracy and weakness, I am a genius and I 
feel that I cannot die without leaving something 
behind. No, I will fight. It is harder for my yield- 
ing, but I cannot give up without a struggle. Some- 


where and at some time I must prove that I am 
something besides a weakling-. Good and evil pre- 
dominate by turns, love and hate, weakness and 
strength. Reconciliation is the solution. I have 
just read an article in The International for Novem- 
ber, 1911— "J. William Lloyd, Philosopher of the 
Paradox," and it gives me new faith in myself. 

Denver, Colo., February 8, 1913. Yesterday was 
a good day. I went to bed feeling the same way 
as when I wrote the above, and even felt I had made 
a discovery, or rather discovered or realized an old 
truth in its application to my case, namely, mod- 

Instead of going to the extreme in one direction 
as I have done, I said go as far as the conditions 
permit, but cease before the pleasure does. 

Applying this to intellect it would mean study 
philosophy, but don't overwork it — dream with the 
poets, but not too much. In this plan, Strindberg, 
Shaw, Ibsen, and others all have their place. 

Women, well the same here — quit before becom- 
ing weary, and a mental reservation to endeavor to 
hold off more and more, but not to take it to heart 
if not able to. This is a natural weakness, and is 
good if not too much. Can I do it? That is the 
question. If I can tide over that terrible reaction 
that comes several times a week, and sometimes 
night after night, I think I can endure life, or hell, 
as I am coming to regard it. 

Reversing the conventional view I might say, 
"Life is hell, and we have nothing to look forward 
to which is worse, therefore if there is any future 


life, it must' be better." Whether this is logical or 
not, I don't know, but it looks good to me, even if 
not altogether original. 

I have been reading Strindberg at the Denver 
Library the last few days. I have read "Countess 
Julia, the Dream Play, the Link and the Dance of 

I enjoyed them, which is a matter of course, as 
I always understand and enjoy deeply the work of 
genius, especially so-called degenerate genius. 

Last night some time or other I dropped hope, 
only to pick her up again, for she must be a woman 
— she tantalizes me so much. 

Denver, Colo., Monday, February 10, 1913. Yes- 
terday as the day wore on, gloom prevailed, increas- 
ing until last night, but I clenched my fists and 
grit my teeth this morning, and will go on. 

Three months to a day to my birthday, I notice, 
who am always looking for auspicious dates for a 
new start. 

The principal issue is clear, I must crucify my 
perverted hereditary sexual appetites. Absolute 
continence except under favorable conditions. As 
these conditions are unlikely to occur, as I am not 
going looking for them, namely, that a woman yield 
from pure love or passion, and the only other alterna- 
tive is marriage, I have a big fight on, but as the 
issue is life with honor, or death, with or without 
honor, I feel that I shall make this stand at last, 
after which the fight will be easier, if without the 
prospect of happiness, for, after all, I must not 
expect happiness; I must learn to live without it, 


to make my life represented by my work, and finally 
I may attain a degree of peace and rest, if not of 
happiness. Yes, crucify, the devil. 

New York, Sunday, February 23, 1913. Arrived 
here last Tuesday night, the 18th. Thursday on 
bad attack of grippe. Misery, of course, induced 
exceeding pessimism, but .... although physically 
miserable, my mental condition is hopeful. 

Shall endeavor to remain in New York. De- 
pends on whether I get well quick and get work 
quick, as I have just $24 in cash left from the $400 
I saved in Havana, with $10 from railway refund 
coming sometime. If health and work come out, 
then it is only a matter of being able to keep it up. 

If not pride humbled, back to Apropos 

of this, I am not so sure but that I made a bigger 
fool of myself than others whom I consigned to 
that class. 

Have been with old friend , first time in 

five years, with exception of one brief day. He 
has changed considerably. Now is all for experi- 
ence and practicality — theories merely a sideline, 
and, of course, for both of us to live it must be so. 

New York, February 28, 1913. I leave to- 
morrow for , my last trip. On the eve of a 

new month I feel indifferent. Hopelessness took 
possession of me several days ago, and I pretty 
well decided to end it all as planned. 

However, as my money is gone I must work if 
I am to live even until May 10th, and, of course, 
if I work again for ever so short a time in view, 


I cannot say how long I may keep it up, so I say 

I make no grand resolutions for beginning [of 
month], but the usual sexual one, having fallen 
again. Even if I must die because of my weakness 
physically I would like a 

— , Sunday, March 23, 1913. I had not intended 
writing in my diary to-day, but at the end of the 
month. This evening, alone in the house, every- 
thing quiet, the fire gently singing, even the cat 
asleep. I was reading in the kitchen Dickens' 
"Great Expectations." I just heard a sound and 
find my brother Percy asleep on the sofa in the 
next room. A feeling of peace came over me as I 
laid down my book that I was prompted to write in 
my diary, for moments of peace have been so in- 
frequent of late that it was a remarkable contrast 
to my wild vagaries and desperately suppressed 

For I am working again. I arrived here night 
of Saturday, March 1st, and on Tuesday the 4th, 

commenced work with at the fine salary of 

$55 a month, with prospects. They offered $50; I 

suggested it and we compromised on $55. Of 

course, there have been openings in my line at 
higher salaries, but I took the first thing and will 
not change, as it seems good as business goes, unless 
the prospects do not materialize. 

Though I hated to acknowledge it to myself, I 
needed to get back to work more than anything else 


to save me. I had my opportunity, or rather I 
saved up $400 by sacrifices in Havana, and then sat 
down and did nothing until half was gone, after- 
wards wasting the rest in a wild goose chase after 
my destiny. 

However, I entered into my work with a spirit 
of hopeful resignation. Being inevitable, and for 
the first time in my work, acknowledging it, I will 
not say I attend to it more conscientiously, but I 
grip myself when a wave of the old dissatisfaction 
passes over me and work, work. 

At night I sleep, but at intervals during day and 
evening, and in the morning I find it a great effort 
not to fly off the handle in protest of it all, but 
keep on just the same. 

I have had several passionate weak outbursts 
during the month, several times I have made a 
fool of myself by venting my temper on those 
around me, but generally I hold myself in better 
and am more conscious of having command of 

As for my ideas and ambition. It is still alive. 
The will to live is stronger than any misery as a 
force for life as against death. Taking this as a 
mere basis, I must of necessity have some larger 
view than the mere cramping effect of a clerkship. 

I work, because I must and under protest, but 
I try to do my best, and I work honestly and I 
earn my salary and more, as much as I can under 
the circumstances. 

I am just getting settled and am getting my 
books together. I am now going in for drama and 
I still have a soft spot in my heart for philosophy, 


although I am still at the beginning of Kant's 
Critique. I read a little of it to-day. 

I still feel the call of a larger mission, but I 
feel more like going about it in a practical, busi- 
ness-like way, because I realize I must. I acknowl- 
edge that. Experience has had to push facts down 
my throat before I would face them with the aid of 
Bernard Shaw. 

I feel more sincere now. A tendency I have 
noted to theatricalism I will sternly suppress. I 
sometimes act cruelly after a mental struggle and 
I just hold myself by calling on Neitzsche and the 
philosophy of the superman, and then woe betide 
the one who crosses me. 

While I will not force it, and avoid self-pity, I 
cannot help feeling at bottom the tragedy of life 
to me. It is such an effort to live, there is so 
little to look back on, no youth, no sweetheart, no 
love except that of the children, and the mistaken 
love of a weak mother. The short peace to-night 
stands out but as soon as I became conscious of 
it I said to myself that I must cultivate that frame 
of mind to do the best work and find out the truth 

— , Sunday, June 1, 1913. This morning, the 
beginning of week and month, and the first real 
spring Sunday of the season, I once more start on 
a process of rehabilitation. For three years I have 
been fighting my sexual passions. Previous to May 
21, 1910, as I note from that date in my diary, I 
was clean absolutely, as I have said before. Three 
years of the fiercest action and reaction. Despair 


to the verge of suicide, exultation to such heights 
of ecstasy that Heaven opened its gates almost. 
And in between indifference, or simply dull care, 
daily monotonous, hopeless toil, restless, tired 

I lived over the date set for my suicide, May 
10th, this year. Every month I determined to start 
in anew, practically every month for these three 
years. At the first of the years 1911, 1912 and 
1913, at birthdays May 10, 1911, 1912 and 1913, 
Leap-year, February 29, 1912, and after every de- 
spair I started in anew with the determination to 
not only conquer that weakness, but to restrain 
myself in speech and act sufficiently .... ahead 
and accomplish something. 

Failure has been the result every time. I ask 
myself why, and the answers are many and various, 
according to the last disappointment. 

In a large measure it has been due to that 
emptiness of my life, to the lack of affection and 
a definite ambition, and to my not being more posi- 
tive instead of attempting to be merely negatively 
virtuous or self-controlled (as I don't like the word 
virtuous), combined with nervousness, strong pas- 
sions and emotional qualities with no proper outlet 
for them when they became so put up as to threaten 
to overflow. 

To-day I begin on a new ground, that of being 
positive and rigidly self-controlled until I feel I 
can relax with impunity. I have tried relaxing be- 
fore after a week, two weeks, but one relaxation 
in word or act has been followed by others until 
the circle has been completed by a blind unreason- 


ing yield to the sexual impulse under conditions 
of mental chaos and physical exhaustion, and then 
new resolutions and reaction set in. 

I would go far to state that it is different now, 
but so repeatedly and in such a series of shocks 
has the lesson been driven home, that I have sim- 
ply in desperation put suicide on one side and re- 
straint on the other, and, realizing that it is im- 
possible to go on as I have been doing, I have, 
with all the remaining strength, passion, love, honor, 
or whataver is left in me, ambition and enthusiasm, 
and the like, determined once and for all and for 
one year at least to be absolutely ascetic as the 
first step. To restrain myself all around is, of 
course, the next, and I will succeed fairly well. 

The big questions of sex I leave open. I must 
get an impersonal view away from the conflict first. 

Philosophy I also leave open, tentatively adopt- 
ing the simple formula from that of the superman, 
the will to live because life is painful and the 
will to power, endeavoring to thrust out everything 
that makes for weakness. 

Friday, June 13, 1913. Just writing to-day be- 
cause it happens to be Friday the 13th — 13th more 
because I have nothing but contempt for the silly 

Have maintained my resolution as far as sex 
is concerned easily enough to date, but otherwise 
I am not satisfied with self-control attained, that 
is, in speech and temper, but time will tell. I'll 
pull through a full year on the one thing in any 
case, and I am still fighting for all around control, 


and a settled scheme of work towards becoming a 
successful playwright. 

Saturday, July 26, 1913. Nearly two months 
passed since June 1st, and I have failed to keep my 
good resolutions and also to commit suicide after 
several failures. It seems a silly business all 
around, these writings included, but I must keep 
on for awhile in this strain. 

The only thing is to try again. I only realize 
the more keenly the utter hopelessness of the 
easiest way. Self-control, and the thought as I 
look ahead of giving up things is harder, but the 
other is impossible. I hesitate to express myself 
so confidently as to my ability to be a superman 
and a genius, but I can still fight on for a time at 
least. The end is not yet. What it will be I don't 
know. The depths have been deep and the heights 
might have been higher, but there is a fair middle 
course possible and I'll try to do my best. 

At twenty-three I have to go back to the self- 
consciousness of youth before I can cast it all off 
and face life as it is. I often realize the apparent 
priggishness and silliness of this diary, but I at 
least try to be sincere sometimes, and after the 
shocks of the realization of life I may write as a 
man. Things cannot go on as they have been do- 
ing. Circumstances will force me to sink or swim, 
either to rise from this slough and weakness or 
collapse utterly, and this knowledge will help me. 
I may be silent for a long time now, because I 
am about to cast off my romantic youth and be a 
man, and the break will appear more sudden than 


it is. Up to now this diary does not show the vast 
progress towards disillusioned manhood I have 
taken. In reality they are so big that I have at 
times bridged the gulf and said, "All is illusion." 
I have felt the utter pettiness of this struggle and 
seen things from the impersonal and even tran- 
scendental viewpoint. The difficulty is, after mak- 
ing the jump, to come back to where I left off and 
take up the daily struggle. It is hard after realiz- 
ing that finally one will say, "All is illusion, whether 
it be worldly success — money and honor, or artistic 
success and the personal satisfaction of work well 
done." However, I must come back in order to 
live at all, and if I find it too much and after re- 
peated attempts some day give it up as hopeless, 
then it will be necessary to take the jump at once 
from youth to death and leave out what comes in 

New York, September 27, 1913. Suicide again 
presenting itself as the only way out, I was 
prompted to read over my diaries. As a result my 
sense of humor caused me to destroy the first one, 
dating from 1905, my fifteenth year. Full of 
childish struggles and events, at least until my 
eighteenth year, I could not let it live after my 
death. After my eighteenth year in New York, I 
began to face reality, but yet I could not allow 
even that part of the record to survive. 

True, from my fifteenth year I have been in a 
bad way, but until several years ago a solution 
seemed bound to come. Suicide never entered my 
thoughts in those days. 


Sex worried me, however, from fourteenth or 
fifteenth year. Mentally, only until my twentieth, 
but thinking without acting didn't strengthen me. 

However as this is a sort of last testament I must 
not waste time on those days. I hardly know how 
to begin and what to say, but something seems 

I could not write the greater part of this even 
now, because I have realized since that it is alto- 
gether foreign to the spirit prevailing among the 
Anglo-Saxon, so-called, at least, and I myself am 
sufficiently contaminated with their spirit to feel 
cynical about it. 

If these writings do come to print I can imagine 
cynical and damn foolish newspapermen writing 
about weaklings and degenerates in line with silly 
editorial in New York Times recently about suicide 
and another in the World on occasion of suicide of 
a girl who was tired of 20 cent dinners, to say 
nothing about those arch idiots and hypocrites, the 
Hearst hirelings with their talks about the idle rich 
and the good thing it is most of us have to work 
for little. 

Of course, I do not compare myself ':& the aver- 
age man.. If I had no sense of humor I would 
have persisted and made myself a genius in spite 
of the hell life has been. Nietzsche could never 
have been if he was born in England or the States. 

But I only feel at home when I read men of 
genius. Always without a friend, the average man 
is a stranger to me. Women have killed me, be- 
cause with all my temperament and passion I have 


been too shy to ever have any love or outlet to 
my passion. 

It is hard to say that if things had been different 
that such and such would be the case. Sometimes 
I have thought absolutely sincerely that if I had 
had enough money to be able to dispense with the 
daily grind, which, with its necessity of strong ex- 
citement as a reaction, has so impaired my will- 
power as to bring me from supreme egoism of 
imagining and believing myself to be a genius to a 
miserable death alone and away from home by my 
own hand. 

At other times I have said that if I question my- 
self honestly that with money I would have simply 
degenerated into a good for nothing vicious idler 
of the Thaw class. 

Now, when about to die, I will be honest and 
say that the latter would have probably been the 
outcome, but it is by no means certain. After all 
I have been outraged and disgusted in the past 
after every fall from a certain standard and my 
love of books does die while I live. Who knows 
but that I might have got down to study and work 
and done something? Undoubtedly, I would have 
had affairs with women (had time and money per- 
mitted) under any circumstances, but drink and 
drug has never appealed to me, even in imagination. 

I have been honest and sincere, particularly to 
the fine point on matters of honor, at least until I 
began to lose my grip on life. While I never got 
down and faced things, it was because I was in- 
curably romantic, and when I finally began to real- 
ize life it came to me in such a series of shocks 


that independence would have probably made me 
a Baudelaire, without his creative work to balance 
the scale. With such an impractical, childish 
mother and failure of a father, uncongenial brothers 
and sisters, almost hating each other, with bad 
heredity on both sides and a hellish environment, 
a shy nervous, suspicious disposition, extremes of 
ecstasy and despair, ungratified passions, alone and 
friendless, how could I end otherwise than a 

I claim that any man who commits suicide of 
necessity suffers more than any who continues to 
live. I don't want to die. I cannot make any out- 
sider realize by anything I can write how I have 
tried to avoid this step. I have tried every sub- 
terfuge to fool myself, to kid myself along that life 
wasn't so bad after all. This record does not show 
up my humorous side, but I laugh as much as I 
feel like crying. I enjoy a comedy as well as a 
tragedy, am tickled by the very things that amuse 
the average American, and at a baseball game I 
actually feel like one of the boys, but where I differ 
is in my tragic and morbid side, and my keen 

Things which pass over most men afflict me 
with terrible force. My pride has stood in the way 
of my hope of success under conditions which exist 
in this country at present. I cannot indefinitely 
pretend as I apply for work that I am just like the 
rest. I cannot always conceal the resentment and 
scorn I feel as I interview business men and stand 
or sit before them as a mere stenographer. I, a 
fellow in spirit with men of genius, must show my 


references, call and beg and implore, for a miser- 
able salary which I despise, must haggle for a few 
dollars more, the price of a meal. 

The indignity of it all. I, an aristocrat at heart, 
of the arsitocracy of brains and sentiment, must 
elbow with the ignorant vulgar bourgeois who 
could not for an instant understand if they would. 

What is the use? Death only holds forth relief. 
I cannot look back on a really happy day. Light- 
hearted and merry have I been on occasions, but 
seldom a day without morbid thoughts sometime 
or other, generally at night. If I could have had a 
mistress things might have been different. When 
I have gone out and had sexual intercourse with 
a woman who pleased my imagination I have slept 
well — seldom otherwise. 

Sex has been my Nemesis, and to-day if I had 
money I would continue to live. Without it, the 
whole dreary past and prospective future is too 
much for me. With it I could dispense with the 
grind and do work after my own heart. 

Of course, others have the grind, also ; but the 
;?.ct that they continue to live shows that they can 
stand it much better, and were born to it. I wasn't. 
My whole nature is outraged by the life I have had 
to lead. Empty, cold, dismal, hellish. 

Let the cynical hirelings of the newspaper whom 
Bernard Shaw well shows his contempt for, laugh 
and write editorials. The day will come when men 
will be allowed to live, not rot, the New York 
Times notwithstanding. 


If a thousand men could be persuaded to com- 
mit suicide in protest, the powers that be would 
sit up and take notice. 

Arise you Americans who have some blood in 
you and get rid of your Comstocks, Bryans, re- 
ligious hypocrites and grafters, and let the so-called 
degenerates and insane men have a say, and if you 
do not live bigger and better, then you deserve 
what you get. 

The majority is always wrong, and the minority 
of supermen and degenerates — Zolas, Ibsens, etc. — 
must band together and overthrow the whole damn 
system which drives the best, the most sincere and 
honest to suicide or starvation. 


The December issue of THE 
GLEBE will present "The 
Azure Adder," a one-act com- 
edy by Charles Demuth. 

Subscription price per year, $3.00