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<br><br>PAGE was not methodical in keeping diaries. His documents,
however, reveal that he took many praiseworthy resolutions in
this direction. They include a large number of bulky books, each
labelled &quot;Diary&quot; and inscribed with the year whose events
were to be recorded. The outlook is a promising one; but when
the books are opened they reveal only fragmentary good intentions.
Entries are kept up for a few days, and then the work comes to
an end. These volumes contain many scraps of interesting writing,
however, which are worth preserving; some of them are herewith
presented in haphazard fashion, with no attempt at order in subject
<br><br>PETHERICK may he be immortal; for he is a man who has made
of a humble task a high calling; and without knowing it he has
caused a man of a high calling to degrade it to a mean level.
Now Petherick is a humble Englishman, whose father many years
ago enjoyed the distinction of carrying the mail pouch to and
from the post office for the American Embassy in London. As father,
so son. Petherick succeeded Petherick. In this remote period (<I>the
</I>Petherick must now be 60) Governments had &quot;despatch agents,&quot;
men who distributed mail and whatnot, sent it on from capital
to capital---were a sort of general &quot;forwarding&quot; factotums.
The office is really out of date now. Telegraph companies, express
companies, railway companies, the excellent mail service and the
like out-despatch any conceivable agent---except Petherick. Petherick
has qualities that defy change, such as an unfailing courtesy,
a genuine joy in serving his fellows, the very genius of helpfulness.
Well, since a governmental office once established acquires qualities
of perpetuity, three United States despatch agents have survived
the development of modern communication, one in London, one in
New York, and the third (I think) in San Francisco. At any rate,
the London agent remains.
<br><br>Now in the beginning the London despatch agent was a mail messenger
(as I understand) for the Embassy. He still takes the pouch to
the post office, and brings it back. In ordinary times, that's
all he does for the Embassy, for which his salary of about * *
* is paid by the State Department---too high a salary for the
labour done, but none too high for the trustworthy qualities required.
If this had been all that Petherick did, he would probably have
long ago gone to the scrap heap. It is one mark of a man of genius
that he always makes his job. So Petherick. The American Navy
came into being and parts of it come to this side of the world.
Naval officers need help when they come ashore. Petherick was
always on hand with despatches and mail for them, and Petherick
was a handy man. Did the Captain want a cab? Petherick had one
waiting. Did the Captain want rooms? Such-and-such a hotel was
the proper one for him, Rooms were engaged. Did the Captain's
wife need a maid? Petherick had thought of that, too. Then a Secretary
from some continentaI legation wished to know a good London tailor.
He sought Petherick. An American Ambassador from the continent
came to London. London yielded Petherick for his guidance and
his wants. Petherick became omnipresent, universally useful---an
American institution in fact. A naval officer who had been in
Asiatic waters was steaming westward to the Mediterranean. His
wife and three babies came to London, where she was to meet her
husband, who was to spend several weeks here. A telegram to Petherick:
they needed to do nothing else. When the lady arrived a furnished
flat, a maid and a nurse and a cook and toys awaited her. When
her husband arrived, a pair of boots awaited him from the same
last that his last pair had been made on, in London, five years
before. At some thoughtful moment $1,000 was added to Petherick's
salary by the Navy Department; and a few years ago a handsome
present was made to Petherick by the United States Naval Officers
all over the world.
<br><br>But Petherick, with all his virtues, is merely an Englishman,
and it is not usual for an Englishman to hold a $3,000 office
under appointment from the United States Government. The office
of despatch agent, therefore, has been nominally held by an American
citizen in London. This American citizen for a good many years
has been Mr. Crane, a barrister, who simply turns over the salary
to Petherick; and all the world, except the Secretary of State,
knows that Petherick is Petherick and there is none other but
<br><br>Now comes the story: Mr. Bryan, looking around the world for
offices for his henchmen, finds that one Crane has been despatch
agent in London for many years, and he writes me a personal and
confidential letter, asking if this be not a good office for some
<br><br>I tell the story to the Naval Attach&eacute;! He becomes riotous.
He'll have to employ half a dozen clerks to do for the Navy ill
what Petherick does well with ease, if he's removed. Life would
not be worth living anyhow. I uncover Petherick to the Secretary
and show him in his glory. It must be said to the Secretary's
credit that he has said nothing more about it. Petherick, let
us hope, will live forever. The Secretary's petty-spoils mind
now works on grand plans for Peace, holy Peace, having unsuccessfully
attacked poor Petherick. And Petherick knows nothing about it
and never dreams of an enemy in all the world, and in all naval
and diplomatic life he has only fast friends. If Mr. Bryan had
removed him, he might have made a temporary friend of one Democrat
from Oklahoma, and lasting enemies of all that Democrat's rivals
and of the whole naval and diplomatic service.
<br><br><I><FONT SIZE="+1">November, 1914.</FONT></I>
<br><br>We have to get away from it---or try to---a minute at a time;
and the comic gods sometimes help us. Squier(<A NAME="n192"></A><A
HREF="Pagenotes.htm#192">192</A>) has a junior officer here to
hold his desk down when he's gone. He's a West Point Lieutenant
with a German name. His study is ordnance. A new kind of bomb
gives him the same sort of joy that a new species would have given
Darwin. He was over in France---where the armies had passed to
and from Paris---and one day he found an unexploded German bomb
of a new sort. The thing weighed half a ton or thereabouts, and
it was loaded. Somehow he got it to London---I never did hear
how. He wrapped it in blankets and put it under his bed. He went
out of town to study some other infernal contraption and the police
found this thing under his bed. The War Office took it and began
to look for him---to shoot him, the bomb-harbouring German! They
soon discovered, of course, that he was one of our men and an
officer in the United States Army. Then I heard of it for the
first time. Here came a profuse letter of apology from the Government;
they had not known the owner was one of my attach&eacute;s. Pardon,
pardon---a thousand apologies. But while this letter was being
delivered to me one of the under-secretaries of the Government
was asking one of our secretaries, &quot;In Heaven's name, what's
the Ambassador going to do about it? We have no right to molest
the property of one of your attach&eacute;s, but this man's room
is less than 100 yards from Westminster Abbey: it might blow up
half of London. We can't give the thing back to him!&quot; They
had taken it to the Duck Pond, wherever that is. About that time
the Lieutenant came back. His pet bomb gone---what was I going
to do about it?
<br><br>The fellow actually wanted to bring it to his Office in the
<br><br>&quot;Look here, Lieutenant, besides the possibility of blowing
up this building and killing every mother's son of us, consider
the scandal of the American Embassy in London blown up by a German
bomb. That would go down in the school histories of the United
States. Don't you see?&quot; No, he didn't see instantly---he
does so love a bomb! 1 had to threaten to disown him and let him
be shot before he was content to go and tell them to unload it---he
would have it, unloaded, if not loaded.
<br><br>Well, I had to write half a dozen letters before the thing
was done for. He thinks me a chicken-livered old coward and I
know much more about him than I knew before; and we are at peace.
The newspapers never got the story, but his friends about town
still laugh at him for trying first to blow up Westminister Abbey
and then his own Ambassador. He was at my house at dinner the
other night and one of the ladies asked him: &quot;Lieutenant,
have you any darling little pet lyddite cartridges in your pocket?&quot;
Think of a young fellow who just loves bombs! Has loaded bombs
for pets! How I misspent my youth!
<br><br><I><FONT SIZE="+1">February, 1915.</FONT></I>
<br><br>This is among the day's stories: The British took a ship that
had a cargo of 100,000 busts of Von Hindenburg---filled with copper.
<br><br>Another: When Frederick Watts was painting Lord Minto he found
it hard to make the portrait please him. When he was told that
Lord Minto liked it and, Lady Minto didn't and that So-and-So
praised it, he exclaimed: &quot;I don't care a d---n what anyone
thinks about it---except a fellow named Sargent.&quot;
<br><br>And the King said (about the wedding[<A NAME="n193"></A><A
HREF="Pagenotes.htm#193">193</A>]): &quot;I have the regulation
of the dress to be worn at all functions in the Chapel Royal.
I, therefore, declare that the American Ambassador may have any
dress worn that he pleases!&quot;
<br><br>E. M. House went to Paris this morning, having no peace message
from this Kingdom whatever. This kind of talk here now was spoken
of by the Prime Minister the other day &quot;as the twittering
of a sparrow in a tumult that shakes the world.&quot;
<br><br>Lady P. remarked to me to-day, as many persons do, that I am
very fortunate to be Ambassador here at this particular time.
Perhaps; but it isn't easy to point out precisely wherein the
good fortune consists. This much is certain: it is surely a hazardous
occupation now. Henry James remarked, too, that nobody could afford
to miss the experience of being here---nobody who could be here.
Perhaps true, again; but I confess to enough shock and horror
to keep me from being so very sure of that. Yet no other phenomenon
is more noticeable than the wish of every sort of an American
to be here. I sometimes wonder whether the really well-balanced
American does. Most of them are of the overwrought and excitable
<br><br>A conservative lady, quite conscientious, was taken down to
dinner by Winston Churchill. Said she, to be quite frank and fair:
&quot;Mr. Churchill, I must tell you that I don't like your politics.
Yet we must get on together. You may say, if you like, that this
is merely a matter of personal taste with me, as I might not like
your---well, your moustache.&quot; &quot;I see no reason, Madam,
why you should come in contact with either.&quot;
<br><br>My talk with Bonar Law: He was disposed to believe that if
England had declared at once that she would go to war with Germany
if France was attacked, there would have been no war. Well, would
English opinion, before Belgium was attacked, have supported a
government which made such a declaration?
<br><br>Mr. Bonar Law thinks that President Wilson ought to have protested
about Belgium.
<br><br>He didn't agree with me that much good human material goes
to waste in this Kingdom for lack of opportunity. (That's the
Conservative in him.)
<br><br><I><FONT SIZE="+1">Friday, April 30, 1915.</FONT></I>
<br><br>Sir Edward Grey came to tea to talk with Mr. House and me---little
talk of the main subject (peace), which is not yet ripe by a great
deal. Sir Edward said the Germans had poisoned wells in South
Africa. They have lately used deadly gases in France. The key
to their mind says Sir Edward, is this---they attribute to other
folk what they are thinking of doing themselves.
<br><br>While Sir Edward was here John Sargent came in and brought
Katharine the charcoal portrait of her that he had made---his
present to her for her and Chud to give to W. A. W. P.(<A NAME="n194"></A><A
HREF="Pagenotes.htm#194">194</A>) and me. A very graceful and
beautiful thing for him to do.
<br><br><I><FONT SIZE="+1">April 30, 1915.</FONT></I>
<br><br>Concerning Peace: The German civil authorities want peace and
so does one faction of the military party. But how can they save
their face? They have made their people believe that they are
at once the persecuted and the victorious. If they stop, how can
they explain their stopping? The people might rend them. The ingenious
loophole discovered by House is mere moonshine, viz., the freedom
of the seas in war. That is a one-sided proposition unless they
couple with it the freedom of the land in war also, which is nonsense.
Nothing can be done, then, until some unfavourable military event
brings a new mind to the Germans. Peace talk, therefore, is yet
mere moonshine. House has been to Berlin, from London, thence
to Paris, then back to London again---from Nowhere (as far as
peace is concerned) to Nowhere again.
<br><br><I><FONT SIZE="+1">May 3, 1915.</FONT></I>
<br><br>Why doesn't the President make himself more accessible? Dismiss
X and get a bigger man? Take his cabinet members really into his
confidence? Everybody who comes here makes these complaints of
<br><br>We dined to-night at Vs. Professor M. was there, etc. He says
we've got to have polygamy in Europe after the war to keep the
race up.
<br><br><I><FONT SIZE="+1">Friday, May 21, 1915.</FONT></I>
<br><br>Last night the Italian Parliament voted to give the Government
war-powers; and this means immediate war on the side of the Allies.
There are now eight nation fighting against Germany, Austria,
and Turkey; viz., Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy, Japan,
Belgium, Serbia, Montenegro. And it looks much as if the United
States will be forced in by Germany.
<br><br>The British Government is wrestling with a very grave internal
disruption---to make a Coalition Government. The only portfolios
that seem absolutely secure are the Prime Minister's and the Foreign
Secretary's (Sir Edward Grey's)---for which latter, many thanks.
The two-fold trouble is---(1) a difference between Churchill (First
Lord of the Admiralty) and Lord Fisher---about the Dardanelles
campaign and (I dare say) other things, and (2) Lord Kitchener's
failure to secure ammunition---&quot;to organize the industries
of the Kingdom.&quot; Some even declare K. of K. (they now say
Kitchener of Kaos) is a general colossal failure. But the prevailing
opinion is that his raising of the new army has been good work
but that he has failed with the task of procuring munitions. As
for Churchill, he's too restless and erratic and dictatorial and
fussy and he runs about too much. I talked with him at dinner
last night at his mother's. He slips far down in his chair and
swears and be-dams and by-Gods his assertions. But his energy
does interest one. An impromptu meeting in the Stock Exchange
to-day voted confidence in K. of K. and burned up a copy of the
<I>Daily Mail, </I>which this morning had a severe editorial about
<br><br>Washington, having sent a severe note to Germany, is now upbraided
for not sending another to England, to match and pair it. That's
largely German influence, but also the Chicago packers and the
cotton men. These latter have easy grievances, like the Irish.
The delays of the British Government are exasperating, but they
are really not so bad now I as they have been. Still, the President
can be influenced by the criticism that he must hit one side every
time he hits the other, else he's not neutral! I am working by
every device to help the situation and to prevent another note.
I proposed to-day to Sir Edward Grey that his Government make
an immediate advance payment on the cotton that it proposes to
<br><br>Unless Joffre be a man of genius---of which there are some
indications---and unless French also possibly have some claim
to this distinction and <I>perhaps </I>the Grand Duke Nikolas,
there doesn't yet seem to be a great man brought forth by the
war. In civil life, Sir Edward Grey comes to a high measure. As
we yet see it from this English corner of the world, no other
statesman now ranks with him.
<br><br><I><FONT SIZE="+1">March 20, 1916.</FONT></I>
<br><br>I am sure I have the best secret service that could be got
by any neutral. I am often amazed at its efficiency. It is good
because it is not a secret---certainly not a spy service at all.
It is all above-board and it is all done by men of high honour
and good character---I mean the Embassy staff. Counting the attach&eacute;s
there are about twenty good men, every one of whom moves in a
somewhat different circle from any other one. Every one cultivates
his group of English folk, in and out of official life, and his
group in the diplomatic corps. There isn't a week but every man
of them sees his particular sources of information---at their
offices, at the Embassy, at luncheon, at dinner, at the clubs---everywhere.
We all take every possible occasion to serve our friends and they
serve us. The result is, I verily believe, that we hear more than
any other group in London. These young fellows are all keen as
razors. They know when to be silent, too; and they are trusted
as they deserve to be. Of course I see them, singly or in pairs,
every day in the regular conduct of the work of the Embassy; and
once a week we all meet together and go over everything that properly
comes before so large a &quot;cabinet&quot; meeting. Thus some
of us are on confidential terms with somebody in every department
of the Government, with somebody in every other Embassy and Legation,
with all the newspapers and correspondents---even with the censors.
And the wives of those that are married are abler than their husbands.
They are most attractive young women---welcome everywhere---and
indefatigable. Mrs. Page has them spend one afternoon a week with
her, rolling bandages; and that regular meeting always yields
something else. They come to my house Thursday afternoons, too,
when people always drop in to tea---visitors from other countries,
resident Americans, English---everybody---sometimes one hundred.
<br><br>Nobody in this company is a &quot;Spy &quot;---God forbid!I
I know no more honourable or attractive group of ladies and gentlemen.
Yet can conceive of no organization of spies who could find out
as many things. And the loyalty of them all! Somebody now and
then prefaces a revelation with the declaration, &quot;This is
in strict confidence---absolutely nobody is to hear it.&quot;
The answer is--- &quot;Yes, only, you know, I have no secrets
from the Ambassador: no member of his staff can ever have.&quot;----Of
course, we get some fun along with our tragedies. If I can find
time, for instance, I am going to write out for House's amusement
a verbatim report of every conversation that he held in London.
It has all come to me---from what he said to the King down; and
it all tallies with what House himself told me. He went over it
all himself to me the other day at luncheon.---I not only believe---I
am sure---that in this way I do get a correct judgment of public
feeling and public opinion, from Cabinet Ministers to stock-brokers.
<br><br><I><FONT SIZE="+1">December 11, 1916.</FONT></I>
<br><br>The new Government is quite as friendly to us in its intentions
as the old, and much more energetic. The old Government was a
spent force. Mr. Balfour is an agreeable man to deal with, with
a will to keep our sympathy, unless the dire need of ships forces
him to unpleasantness. The Prime Minister is---American in his
ways. Lord Robert has the old Cecil in him, and he's going to
maintain the blockade at any cost that he can justify to himself
and to public opinion, and the public opinion is with him, They
are all eager to have American approval---much more eager, I think,
than a large section of public opinion, which has almost ceased
to care what Americans think or do. The more we talk about peace,
the more they think about war. There is no vindictiveness in the
English. They do not care to do hurt to the German people: they
regard them as misguided and misled. But no power on earth can
stop the British till the German military caste is broken---that
leadership which attacked Belgium and France and would destroy
England. Balfour, Lloyd George, the people, the army and the navy
are at one in this matter, every labouring man, everybody, except
a little handful of Quakers and professors and Noel Buxton. I
think I know and see all the peace men. They feel that they can
talk to me with safety. They send me their pamphlets and documents.
I think that all of them have now become warlike but three, and
one of them is a woman. If you meet a woman you know on the street
and express a sympathy on the loss of her second son, she will
say to you, &quot;Yes, he died in defence of his country. My third
son will go next week. They all die to save us.&quot; Doubtless
she sheds tears in private. But her eyes are dry in public. She
has discarded her luxuries to put money in the war loan. Say &quot;Peace&quot;
to her? She would insult you.
<br><br><I><FONT SIZE="+1">May 10, 1917.</FONT></I>
<br><br>We dined at Lambeth Palace. There was Lord Morley, whom I had
not seen since his long illness---much reduced in flesh, and quite
feeble and old-looking. But his mind and speech were most alert.
He spoke of Cobden favouring the Confederate States because the
constitution of the Confederacy provided for free trade. But one
day Bright informed Cobden that he was making the mistake of his
life. Thereafter Cobden came over to the Union side. This, Morley
heard direct from Bright.
<br><br>The Archbishop spoke in high praise of Charnwood's Lincoln---was
surprised at its excellence, etc.
<br><br>Geoffrey Robinson(<A NAME="n195"></A><A HREF="Pagenotes.htm#195">195</A>)
asked who wrote the <I>Quarterly </I>articles in favour of the
Confederacy all through the war ---was it Lord Salisbury? Nobody
<br><br>The widow of the former Archbishop Benson was there ---the
mother of all the Bensons, Hugh, A. C., etc., etc.---a remarkable
old lady, who talked much in admiration of Balfour.
<br><br>The Bishop of----Winchester(?)---was curious to know whether
the people in the United States really understood the Irish question---the
two-nation, two-religion aspect of the case. I had to say no!
<br><br>There is an orphan asylum founded by some preceding Archbishop,
by the sea. The danger of bombardment raised the question of safety.
The Archbishop ordered all the children (40) to be sent to Lambeth
Palace. We dined in a small dining room: &quot;The children, &quot;
Mrs. Davidson explained, &quot;have the big dining room.&quot;
Each child has a lady as patroness or protector who &quot;adopts&quot;
her, i.e., sees that she is looked after, etc. Some of the ladies
who now do this were themselves orphans!
<br><br>At prayers as usual at 10 o'clock in the chapel where prayers
have been held every night---for how many centuries?
<br><br>At lunch to-day at Mr. Asquith's---Lord Lansdowne there; took
much interest in the Knapp farm work while I briefly explained.
<br><br>Lord Morley said to Mrs. Page he had become almost a Tolstoyan---Human
progress hasn't done much for mankind's happiness, etc. Look at
the war---by a &quot;progressive&quot; nation. Now the mistake
here is born of a class society, a society that rests on privilege.
&quot;Progress, &quot; <I>has </I>done everything (1) in liberating
men's minds and spirits in the United States. This is the real
gain; (2) in arraying all the world <I>against </I>Germany.
<br><br><I><FONT SIZE="+1">Tuesday, January 22, 1918.</FONT></I>
<br><br>Some days bring a bunch of interesting things or men. Then
there sometimes come relatively dull days---not often, however.
To-day came:
<br><br>General Tasker H. Bliss, Chief-of-Staff, now 64---the wisest
(so I judge) of our military men, a rather wonderful old chap.
He's on his way to Paris as a member of the Supreme War Council
at Versailles. The big question he has struck is: Shall American
troops be put into the British and French lines, in small groups,
to fill up the gaps in those armies? The British have persuaded
him that it is a military necessity. If it were less than a necessity,
it would, of course, be wrong---i.e., it would cut across our
national pride, force our men under another flag, etc. It is not
proposed to deprive Pershing of his command nor even of his army.
The plan is to bring over troops that would not otherwise now
come and to lend these to the British and French armies, and to
let Pershing go on with his army as if this hadn't been done.
Bliss is inclined to grant this request on condition the British
bring these men over, equip and feed them, etc. He came in to
ask me to send a telegram for him to-morrow to the President,
making this recommendation. But on reflection he decided to wait
till he had seen and heard the French also, who desire the same
thing as the British.
<br><br>General Bliss is staying with Major Warburton; and Warburton
gave me some interesting glimpses of him. A telegram came for
the General. Warburton thought that he was out of the house and
he decided to take it himself to the General's room. He opened
the door. There sat the General by the fire talking to himself,
wrapped in thought. Warburton walked to the middle of the room.
The old man didn't see him. He decided not to disturb him, for
he was rehearsing what he proposed to say to the Secretary of
State for War or to the Prime Minister---getting his ears as well
as his mind used to it. Warburton put the telegram on the table
near the General, went out, and wasn't discovered.
<br><br>Several nights, he sat by the fire with Warburton and began
to talk, again rehearsing to himself some important conclusions
that he had reached. Every once in a while he'd look up at Warburton
and say: &quot;Now, what do you think of that?&quot;
<br><br>That's an amazing good way to get your thought clear and your
plans well laid out. I've done it myself.
<br><br>I went home and Kipling and Carrie(<A NAME="n196"></A><A HREF="Pagenotes.htm#196">196</A>)
were at lunch with us. Kipling said: &quot;I'll tell you, your
coming into the war made a new earth for me.&quot; He is on a
committee to see that British graves are properly marked and he
talked much about it. I could not help thinking that in the back
of his mind there was all the time thought of his own dead boy,
<br><br>Then in the afternoon Major Drain brought the copy of a contract
between the United States Government and the British to build
together 1500 tanks ($7,500,000). We took it to the Foreign Office
and Mr. Balfour and I signed it. Drain thinks that the tanks are
capable of much development and he wishes our army after the war
to keep on studying and experimenting with and improving such
machines of destruction. Nobody knows what may come of it.
<br><br>Then I dined at W. W. Astor's (Jr.) There were Balfour, Lord
Salisbury, General and Lady Robertson, Mrs. Lyttleton and Philip
<br><br>During the afternoon Captain Amundsen, Arctic explorer came
in, on his way from Norway to France as the guest of our Government,
whereafter he will go to the United States and talk to Scandinavian
people there.
<br><br>That's a pretty good kind of a full day.
<br><br><I><FONT SIZE="+1">April, 19, 1918.</FONT></I>
<br><br>Bell,(<A NAME="n197"></A><A HREF="Pagenotes.htm#197">197</A>)
and Mrs. Bell during the air raid took their little girl (Evangeline,
aged three) to the cellar. They told her they went to the cellar
to hear the big fire crackers. After a bomb fell that shook all
Chelsea, Evangeline clapped her hands in glee. &quot;Oh, mummy,
what a <I>big</I> fire cracker!&quot;
  <br><br><FONT SIZE="+1"><IMG SRC="thumbnails/2b.gif" WIDTH="25" HEIGHT="24"
  ALIGN="MIDDLE" BORDER="0" ><A HREF="PageTC.htm#TC">Table
  of Contents</A></FONT>

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 <TITLE>Burton J. Hendrick. The Life and Letters of Walter H. Page. 1922. Chapter 27. Appendix.</TITLE>

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PAGE came home only to die. In fact, at one time it seemed improbable that he would live to reach the United States. The voyage of the Olympic, on which he sailed, was literally a race with death. The great-hearted Captain, Sir Bertram. Hayes, hearing of the Ambassador's yearning to reach his North Carolina home, put the highest pressure upon his ship, which almost leaped through the waves. But for a considerable part of the trip Page was too ill to have much consciousness of his surroundings. At times he was delirious; once more he lived over the long period of "neutrality"; again he was discussing intercepted cargoes and "notes" with Sir Edward Grey; from this his mind would revert to his English literary friends, and then again he was a boy in North Carolina. The Olympic reached New York more than a day ahead of schedule; Page was carried down the gangplank on a stretcher, propped up with pillows; and since he was too weak then to be taken to his Southern home, he was placed temporarily in St. Luke's Hospital. Page arrived on a beautiful sunshiny October day; Fifth Avenue had changed its name in honour of the new Liberty Loan and had become the "Avenue of the Allies"; each block, from Forty-second Street north, was decorated with the colours of one of the nations engaged in the battle against Germany; the street was full of Red Cross workers and other picturesquely clad enthusiasts selling Liberty Bonds; in its animated beauty and in its inspiring significance it formed an appropriate setting for Page's homecoming.

The American air seemed to act like a tonic on Page; in a short time he showed such improvement that his recovery seemed not impossible. So far as his spirits and his mind were concerned, he became his old familiar self. He was able to see several of his old friends, he read the newspapers and discussed the international situation with his customary liveliness. With the assistance of his daughter, Mrs. Loring, he even kept track of his correspondence. Evidently the serious nature of his illness was not understood, for invitations to speak poured in from all quarters. Most of these letters Mrs. Loring answered, but there was one that Page insisted on attending to himself. The City of Cleveland was organizing some kind of a meeting dedicated to closer relations with Great Britain, and the Mayor wrote Page asking him to speak. The last thing which Page wrote with his own hand was his reply to this invitation; and it is an impressive fact that his final written word should have dealt with the subject that had been so close to his heart for the preceding five years.


<P ALIGN=CENTER>To Harry L. Davis, Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio

I deeply regret my health will not permit me to attend any public function for some time to come; for I deeply appreciate your invitation on behalf of the City of Cleveland for the meeting on December 7th, and have a profound sympathy with its purpose to bring the two great English-speaking worlds as close together as possible, so that each shall thoroughly understand the courage and sacrifice and ideals of the other. This is the greatest political task of the future. For such a complete and lasting understanding is the only basis for the continued progress of civilization. I am proud to be associated in your thought, Mr. Mayor, with so fitting and happy an occasion, and only physical inability could cause absence.




Page's improvement was only temporary; a day or two after this letter was written he began to sink rapidly; it was therefore decided to grant his strongest wish and take him to North Carolina. He arrived in Pinehurst on December 12th, so weak that his son Frank had to carry him in his arms from the train.

"Well, Frank," said Page, with a slightly triumphant smile, " I did get here after all, didn't I?"

He lingered for a few days and died, at eight o'clock in the evening, on December 21st, in his sixty-fourth year. He suffered no pain. He was buried in the Page family plot in the Bethesda Cemetery near Aberdeen.

He was as much of a war casualty as was his nephew Allison Page, who lost his life with his face to the German machine guns in Belleau Wood.