IT was silent, the city of my dreams, marble and serene, due perhaps to the fact that in reality Iknew nothing of crowds, poverty, the winds and storms of the inadequate that blow like dust alongthe paths of life. It was an amazing city, so far-flung, so beautiful, so dead. There were tracks of ironstalking through the air, and streets that were as cañons, and stairways that mounted in vast flights tonoble plazas, and steps that led down into deep places where were, strangely enough, underworldsilences. And there were parks and flowers and rivers. And then, after twenty years, here it stood, asamazing almost as my dream, save that in the waking the flush of life was over it. It possessed thetang of contests and dreams and enthusiasms and delights and terrors and despairs. Through itsways and cañons and open spaces and underground passages were running, seething, sparkling,darkling, a mass of beings such as my dream-city never knew.The thing that interested me then as now about New York-as indeed about any great city, butmore definitely New York because it was and is so preponderantly large-was the sharp, and at thesame time immense, contrast it showed between the dull and the shrewd, the strong and the weak,the rich and the poor, the wise and the ignorant. This, perhaps, was more by reason of numbers andopportunity than anything else, for of course humanity is much the same everywhere. But thenumber from which to choose was so great here that the strong, or those who ultimately dominated,were so very strong, and the weak so very, very weak-and so very, very many.