AT CANNES I received a telegram which had been forwarded to me from Monte Carlo, and with it came another telegram which was a message of congratulation from Mr. and Mrs. Tuck, the Monte Carlo Telegraph Office having communicated to them the purport of the first telegram knowing that they were close friends of mine. That first telegram was an announcement of the fact that The President of the Republic had awarded me the Cross of a Chevalier of the Legion of honor; it asked me to be in Paris on the 23rd of January when "Ministre Justice vous fera Chevalier Honneur" (Minister of Justice will make you Chevalier). The Minister of Justice at that time was the brilliant orator Monsieur Viviani. I felt compelled regretfully to reply that I could not return to Paris for the 23rd, as some days of rest were obligatory if I were to avoid a serious illness. I lay the break in my health which eventually compelled my leaving France in 1918 to the exposure and fatigue of that night in the snow in January 1917, for I never fully regained my strength after that. It was at Nice when returning from that visit to Monte Carlo that I heard the news of the break in diplomatic relations between the United States and Germany; and it was at Cannes that I received my first decoration. Madame Brett came to the train to see us as we passed through, and brought me a little bow of red ribbon. The formal ceremony of Decoration took place at the American Relief Clearing House on the 8th of February, 1917. It was Monsieur Gabriel Hanotaux, one time Minister of Foreign Affairs, who gave me the accolade. In transmitting to me the Cross of the Legion on behalf of the Government, he "gratefully acknowledged the exceptional services which Dr. Watson had rendered to the French nation by his generous activity, tireless labour, conscientiousness and tact"; and, continued Monsieur Hanotaux, "every time we have had a delicate mission to carry out we have always turned to you to act as our ambassador; and your perspicacity and the confidence your personality and your sacred office inspired have invariably crowned your efforts with success." Monsieur Hanotaux is a member of the French Academy, the President of France-Amérique, and he was Président du Comité Central Français des Secours Américains. A man of charming personality, a brilliant writer and historian, his History of Cardinal Richelieu is considered generally to be his outstanding literary work; but, for me, it is his Life of Jeanne d'Arc which best reveals the man, and shows the sensitiveness of his spiritual nature as well as the charm of his literary style. I have a letter addressed to Monsieur Hanotaux, Membre de l'Académie Française, which is signed "BRIAND," and which reads:
"You have kindly recommended to me for the Cross of Chevalier of the Legion of Honor Monsieur le Docteur Watson, recteur de l'église américaine de Paris. I take great pleasure in informing you that the President of the Republic has just conferred on him this distinction. I have been most happy to second the interest which you have taken in Monsieur le Docteur Watson, and I will be grateful to you if you will transmit to him the emblems of our Nation's Order which accompany this letter, as well as the Official Notification enclosed."
This Notification was in the form of a letter addressed to me and signed "Briand Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs," and conveyed to me Monsieur Briand's official and personal congratulations. As statesman, orator, political leader, France has had few sons who were Monsieur Briand's equal. As member of several Ministries, as Minister of Foreign Affairs, as Prime Minister, then as representing France at Geneva, and crystallising by authoritative declarations the peace-loving instincts which are deep in the heart of France, he made himself a place and an enduring place in French history and in world history; and I am grateful to have his name among the many who sent me their tributes of regard when France awarded me the distinction which a Frenchman values above all others. From every side, from every rank and station in life, from priest and pastor, from noble and peasant, from the Army and from the Bourgeosie, from educators and writers and from artists congratulations came.
I have a book beautifully bound in Neapolitan leather entitled Livre D'or de la Legion D'honneur which holds them, and as I run through its pages I am moved deeply as I find this evidence which tells me the pleasure of my friends, in that France had enrolled me as one of her sons by adoption, as I am in fact by far-off lineage. The first letter in this book, after that of the Prime Minister, is one from Madame Baudouin written shortly after the death of her husband who was Premier Président de la Cour de Cassation (Chief Justice of the Supreme Court), which says: "How my dearly loved husband would have been happy! He was awaiting with impatience the realisation of his desire, to see you receive this distinction so merited." There is a letter from the son of this family, himself Président du Tribunal de la Seine; and again another from a daughter of the family which says: "This decree realises his dearest desire. How happy he would have been to have given you the accolade!"
Among the many names there recorded are Henriette Duchesse de Vendôme, Princesse de Belgique; the Princesse Geneviève d'Orleans; the Marquise de Mun; the Marquise de Talleyrand; the Marquise de Scribot de Bons; the Comtesse de Cossé-Brissac; the Comtesse de St. Gilles de Raymond; the Comte du Pavillon; the Baron and the Baronne de Beyens; the Baronne d'Hangouwart; the Comtesse de Reinach; General de Lacroix; General Dubail, Military, Governor of Paris; the Colonel and Madame Philippe Bunau-Varilla; the General Major Frans, of the Belgian Army; Monsieur Laurent, Préfet de Police de Paris; Alfred Dumaine, Ambassadeur de France; Emile Ogier, Directeur du Contrôle, Ministère de l'Intérieur; Jean Branet, Directeur Général de Douanes; Monsieur Ternaux-Compans, Président des Médailles Militaires; Hugues Leroux, Sénateur de France, and Madame Leroux; Fernand Bordas, Directeur Ministère Travaux Publics; Alphonse Deville, Ancien Président Conseil Municipal; André Payer, Conseiller Municipal; Alfred Roll, Président Association Nationale des Beaux Arts; Louis Liard, Vice-Recteur de l'Université de Paris; Louis Mill, of le Temps; Fernand Laudet, Directeur de la Revue Hebdomadaire; Xavier Léon, Directeur de la Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale; André Weiss, Professeur à la Faculté de Droit; Edouard Champion, Editeur; Maurice Roman, Conseiller à la Cour des Comptes; Etienne Grosclaude, of le Figaro, and l'Illustration; E. Lavignon, Président, Oeuvre des Orphelins, Ville de Paris; Charles Voigt, Agent General des Eglises Réformées; les Docteurs Collin; le Docteur René Gaultier; le Docteur Antony Rodiet; Rachel Bayer, Présidente l'Union des Arts; Emile Deutsch de la Meurthe, Trésorier Fraternité Franco-Américaine; Pasteur Charles Wagner. And to complete the list would take pages more just for the French names.
To these should be added, as a further part of this record, the names of some of the many Americans who sent me their appreciative remembrances at this time: Madame Waddington; Mrs. John Mackay; Mr. and Mrs. Robert Woods Bliss; Percy Peixotto; Bertram Winthrop; James H. Hyde; Wm. S. Dalliba; J. Leroy White; Maj. F. A. Mahan; Jas. H. Perkins; Ridgway Knight; Arthur Hugh Frazier; Bishop Brent; Bishop Tuttle; Bishop Gailor; Bishop C. D. Williams; Mr. and Mrs. J. J. Hoff; Mr. and Mrs. Labouchère; Mr. and Mrs. Walter Gay; George Munroe; Cleveland Coxe; James Mark Baldwin; Charles and Susanne Carroll; Helen Baird; Florence Matthews; Alice Hubbard; Julia Depew; Mr. and Mrs. Whitney Warren; Mr. and Mrs. Edward Tuck; Geraldine Millet; Stuart Knott; Endicott Peabody; Mrs. D. Cameron. In addition to these names and many others who sent written messages, there were numbers of friends who came to bring their greetings in person.
And last but not least I want to record the tributes of our personnel at the Presbytère. Gabriel wrote with characteristic humour: "I have learned of your nomination to the Legion of Honour. But who in the-world worded the citation? It is as cold as this winter weather is; it talks of honouring the President of this and of that, whereas it is the man that you are which has won the honour. Happily, all those who know you will interpret it aright." Alexis wrote from the Front: "I am both proud and happy to congratulate you. I have shared the good news with my comrades in the trenches, who are glad with me that France takes to her heart one who has devoted himself to us since the beginning of the War." And his wife Louise, our housemaid wrote to me at Cannes: "Since Sunday the mail has been voluminous; and there has been a constant stream of visitors coming to congratulate Monsieur on his Decoration."
My promotion to the grade of Officer of the Legion of Honour was by a Decree dated the 19th of November, 1926. This gift from France, coming to me as it did some years after my return to America, was peculiarly gratifying as being an eloquent witness that the memory of my work for France during the War lasts on in the hearts of the men of the Government with whom I worked and served. It is as if France had said, Nous autres français, nous n'oublions pas (We French folk, we do not forget). I have a letter addressed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs to Monsieur le Sénateur Brangier of Les Deux Sèvres saying: "I have the honour of advising you that the President of the Republic has conferred, on my proposition, the Cross of Officer of our National Order on Monsieur le Révérend Watson whom you were good enough to recommend for this distinction. And I am sending you herewith the Brevet of this rank which I will ask you to forward to him." The letter bears this endorsement, "Merry Christmas et meilleurs souvenirs, P. A. Brangier." I owe much to Senator Brangier for his initiative in this matter; and I also have reason in this connection to remember Messrs. Poincaré, Painlevé, Barthou, and Herriot, who were members of the Council of Ministers when this action was taken.
I have a letter from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium saying: "Monsieur le Docteur, it has pleased the King, my august Sovereign, on the proposition of the Minister of the Interior and of mine, to confer on you the Cross of Chevalier of the Order of Leopold. I have the honour to send you herewith the emblems of this Order as also the Royal Decree of date of the 20th of May, 1918. This Decree is signed, "Donné en Notre Quartier Général le 20 mai, 1918,---ALBERT."
It was the Comtesse de Reinach who sent me word from Salonica that the King of Serbia had conferred on me the Decoration of Chevalier of the Order of Saint Sava. Later, in 1918, I received an Official Brevet from Serbia to the effect that I had been promoted to the rank of Commander of this Order. I had met the King at the Serbian Legation in Paris while he was Crown Prince; and I had been able to be of service to la Mission de Co-ordination de Secours aux Armées d'Orient, and also to the Relief of the Serbian Orphans. When in Paris in 1918, I went to the Serbian Legation again to greet our devoted friend Milenko Vesnitch, Serbian Minister to France, and I gave him a communication which I had received, to the effect that the emblems of the recent promotion had been sent me. Monsieur Vesnitch opened the safe in his office and took out the Collar and Cross of a Commander of Saint Sava, and said, "I have them here, and I am most happy to confer them on you, assuring you of Serbia's gratitude." Shortly before a visit which Monsieur Vesnitch was to make to America in the interest of Serbia's cause, he asked me if I would do him a favour, viz:, to translate from the Serbian into liturgical English the National Prayer of the Serbian people. He wished to make use of it when speaking in America, and while his conversational English was sufficiently exact for ordinary conversation, he hesitated somewhat as to the wording of such a liturgical form as the Prayer. I at once expressed to him my readiness to comply with his request, but said that my only difficulty would be that I knew no Serbian. "I will translate it for you from Serbian into French," he said, "and you can then make the translation from French into English." All of which came duly to pass. On crossing to America one of my companions at the Captain's table was Mrs. George Blumenthal; and one day at luncheon she passed a piece of paper across the table to me saying, "I would like you to read that, Doctor." I read it, and smiled my reply. "But why are you laughing," she said; "that is one of the most beautiful things which I ever read." "I am smiling because I wrote it," was my reply. "But," she said, "it was given to me by Monsieur Vesnitch the Serbian Minister; it is the National Prayer of Serbia." Then I told her of how it came about that I had furnished the wording for it.
The nations of the Allies paid their own tribute to the work which Jeannette had done in the War. She received the Médaille de la Reconnaissance Française from France; la Médaille de la Reine Elizabeth from Belgium; and la Médaille de la Pitié from Serbia. My own work was most largely official and in connection with governmental agencies of Relief; while the personal and direct ministrations to the suffering, the needy and the helpless which centred at the Avenue de l'Alma were all under Jeannette's direction. She also was primarily responsible for the creation of l'Oeuvre du Soldat Belge and its co-ordinated branch l'Oeuvre des Orphelins Belges de la Guerre. I was one of the Vice-Presidents of l'Oeuvre du Soldat Belge; but in all that great work of Relief for Belgium, which meant principally relief for Belgian refugees, and which was administered by that little group, headed by King Albert's sister the Princesse Henriette Duchesse de Vendôme, and which met weekly in the Sacristy of Holy Trinity my work was chiefly that of financier and counsellor at large. The actual administration of the countless largesses of Relief came chiefly from an ouvroir which Jeannette organized in the first month of the War, and of which she was the efficient manager. The first weeks of the War saw the dress-making shops of the Rue de la Paix closing their doors, and their little midinettes were obliged to seek work, which meant bread, elsewhere. We took in fifty of them; borrowed sewing machines; and put them to work in the big upstairs hall of the Parish House. At first we gave them a fixed wage in cash with a supplément for their déjeuner; but we soon found that they would often eat nothing or next to nothing at noon in order to save the money. So I arranged with a little restaurant in the neighbourhood that I was to have the restaurant and its entire service for half an hour each day from 11:30 on, and we sent our Mimi Pinsons over there, and I paid for the luncheons in one sum for the group. As they would file out on to the Avenue de l'Alma at the noon-hour, accompanied by their directrice and their première, the neighbours would smile and say Voilà le couvent de Madame Watson! (there go the girls from Madame Watson's Convent).
One great service which that couvent rendered is something which I look back to with deep feeling, which was this, the making of shrouds for our soldier dead at the American Ambulance Hospital. The decent disposal of the dead was a problem which confronted us soon after the first wounded men came in; first some arrangement of the bodies so that they were presentable when their relatives came for one last look; and later, for their interment. Coffins were too costly, even if they could have been gotten, which they could not; and at first we were obliged to use sheets; then later at the Ouvroir there was designed a beautiful shroud in the form of the robe and hood worn by the Prophet Hosea in Sargent's mural in the Boston Public Library, and thereafter every one of the brave fellows who left his body in our Ambulance Hospital was given for it a decent robe of fair cloth with a great cross in violet on the front of it. That especial work Jeannette took charge of personally; and in addition she saw to the preparation of the layettes which went out day by day and every day; with her own hands she arranged more than 2500 of them. This was a difficult task at one time, this making of layettes, for finding the material for them in Wartime Paris was not easy. But one day a glorious gift came; Mrs. Levi P. Morton asked what we needed most, and in response to our reply, she sent us beautiful white flannel to the value of $1,000; and another $1,000 worth of dried milk; soft white flannel for baby clothes, and milk to feed the babies with-that was a princely gift.
And one day a Princess came when the flannel was being unpacked, saw it and felt its fine texture, then said, "You know, we cannot get soft white flannel any longer in France; these children of the poor will be more softly clothed than will be the little grandchild whom I am expecting soon to come to my daughter, the Princess"; the answer to that was that Jeannette made up the layette for the little princeling. Here is another touching story about a layette from the ouvroir. The son of the Marquise de Scribot de Bons came in one day, to ask if one of his men in the trenches could have an imperméable (rain coat); and when that was readily offered he asked if he could have one thing more, a layette for the same soldier's wife, who was expecting a little one very soon; they were people who had once been well off, but the War had taken all they had. So a beautiful layette was packed and made ready to send, and in another package by its side in the shipping room was the rain coat, but by some jest of fortune the packer mixed the addresses: the expectant mother received the rain coat, and the soldier in the trenches got the layette. A week or so later the officer came in to tell us what had happened, and instead of regretting the mistake he was overjoyed at it. "It was a jest of the Good God," he said; "my men were weary, they were homesick, long hours in the mud and the cold had almost crushed their courage, and by nightfall they were hopeless; then in the morning comes the sergeant bringing the mail; he calls the name of the man to whom you sent the package: the poor fellow was not listening for he was not expecting anything; his comrades called him,-'A package for you!', and he came up wearily to get it; he unwrapped it, the tarred paper first, then the heavy wrapping paper, then the tissue paper, and he stood amazed as the comrades crowded around him saying, 'What is it? What is it? Put it up there!', and they point to the shelf of clay dug into the side of their cagibi (refuge); and there it was put, the soldier's package; and the grimy men looked and saw little baby clothes, and little knitted baby-socks, and a little blue blanket with little white rabbits scampering over it; and they fell on their knees as before an altar shrine, and they kissed the little things tenderly; and with shining eyes which spoke as eloquently for their feelings as any words could they said, 'That is what we are fighting for; for the little ones who come after us; for the France of to-morrow.'"
Magali Besnard heard the story in the ouvroir and wrote some lovely lines which begin:
"Deux chaussons de bébé, si légers, si laineux,
Faits de neige attiédie ou de toisons celestes,
Mettant leur chaleur blanche entre ses doigts calleux
Qui pour les effleurer, trouvent de nouveaux gestes.
Et l'homme, ce soldat, demain sera Vainqueur
Puisqu'il ne se bat pas rien que pour des paroles.
Mais pour les petits pieds portant chaussons, sabots,
Pour tous les petits pieds d'enfants de la Patrie
Dont il est le gardien: . . . et des ineffables mots
Aux lèvres du soldat montent, dans la féerie" (10)
Of Jeannette's Decorations there is a worth-while story to tell. We were in New York in the autumn of 1918 after several months of resting and speaking, and we were awaiting notification from the authorities of the ship by which we were to return to Europe, whether to France direct or to France by way of England we did not know. You went to a hotel, then left your address at the shipping office and were told "you will go on No. 25," or some other number which meant nothing to you as to what the boat was or where it was going; and you were told, "We will telephone you where to find the ship; keep within reach of the telephone, for the hour of embarking will not be made known long in advance";---no information as to ship or sailing being given out on account of submarine dangers. Our passports were ready; at the French Control my Legion of Honor got me a quick visa; but at the British Control Office it was another story. There we waited a long time before we were admitted to the august presence of the potentate who controlled our destinies and destination. He was a grim old seadog of a Vice-Admiral, and after questions at length which he put to me, he said: "I will endorse your papers, Sir; but Madame cannot go." Whereat I demurred, and I argued, only to be met with a still more positive refusal to endorse the papers for Jeannette. About this chilly time in our interview a valet came in and addressing the officer, said, "Tea, Sir?"; and he said, "You'll have tea, of course." With tea the atmosphere grew less chilly, and Jeannette loosened her heavy coat and threw it back, thus exposing the ribbons of France, of Belgium, and of Servia which she wore on her dress. The Admiral looked at them in surprise and said, "What are those ribbons which you are wearing, Madame? Decorations which you received in France? Why the devil didn't you say so before, Madame? Of course, you can go. I didn't know that you were a Warworker; I thought that you were a lady." And the papers were signed without more ado.
Jeannette's own story, Our Sentry Go, which was published in 1924, tells more than I can possibly tell her of what her work was; she was the personal side of the work, which supplemented with life and heart my tasks which were so largely official.
At Easter time of 1918 I was completely exhausted, after nearly four years of incessant strain and responsibility. The Church had an increasing duty to the Americans who were arriving in numbers, a duty which I knew that I was unable to cope with in my state of worn heart and nerves. Furthermore, I could not abandon the French and Belgian responsibilities which had accumulated on my hands during the years before the Americans arrived. As a consequence I made a quick decision to return to America. The following document is self-explanatory:
"Paris, March 20th, 1918
"To the Reverend S. N. Watson, D. D.,
"Reverend and dear Sir;
"Your unalterable decision to sever your connection with the Church of the Holy Trinity has left the Vestry no alternative.
"We can only express to you once more our deep regret, and endeavour to put into words our high appreciation of the invaluable services which you have rendered to the Church during the past six years.
"At the beginning of your Ministration you were confronted with serious problems. For these, your wide experience and efficient administration were assuring us of an early and successful solution.
"War came; and with it a wholly new and disturbing situation, which threatened to greatly imperil the activities and usefulness of the Church.
"Looking back, it is even now more than difficult to see how such a result could have been avoided but for your presence which may legitimately and reverently be described as Providential.
"Not only has the work suffered no break, in spite of financial and other impediments, but its scope has been greatly extended without regard to the heavy additional burden.
"The Church has become widely known by your initiative, and the active and far-reaching work for relief and usefulness in various directions, especially from your devoted and efficient service, side by side with the French Authorities, in connection with the Relief Work both French and Belgian necessitated by the War, and for which both you and the Church have received such distinguished recognition.
"We are glad that our happy associations are not to be entirely severed, and that you have accepted the honorable position of Rector Emeritus.
"You will understand our wish to add our further tribute of respect and gratitude for the untiring devotion with which Mrs. Watson has supported and facilitated the execution of your plans.
"We hope that you may soon find needful rest and fresh energy for the work which you may next undertake; and we beg to offer to Mrs. Watson and to yourself our very sincere wishes for your welfare and happiness.
"J. LeRoy White, Sr. Warden
G. Munroe, Jr. Warden
John Ridgely Carter Robert Turner Chas. H. Whiting Andrew D. Lihie G. Schlatter F. G. Fenton"
In 1919 I received the following letter:
"HOUSE OF BISHOPS
"October 25, 1919 "My dear Dr. Watson:
"It is my pleasant duty to inform you that the following Resolution, offered by the Bishop of Erie, was adopted by the House of Bishops in Session on October 21st, by a unanimous vote:
"'Whereas, the Reverend Samuel N. Watson, D.D., former Rector, and now Rector Emeritus, of the American Church of the Holy Trinity, Paris, France, by his self-sacrificing and arduous labors during the late War presented to Europe the all-embracing compassion of this Church: Be it resolved, that this House desires to place on record its appreciation of the work of the Reverend Dr. Watson.'
"May I avail myself of this opportunity to express to you my hearty congratulations on the noble record which you have made in Paris.
"With best wishes, faithfully yours,
Geo. F. Nelson,
The Bishop of Erie was Bishop in Charge of the European Churches during the later period of my work in France, and was my intimate friend and adviser; and it was with his consent and collaboration that I made arrangements for the transfer of the work of the Church in Paris to my successor.
It had been my great privilege to have with me as a colleague at the Church the Rev. Dr. F. W. Beekman, who had come over to France to take the direction of the American Soldiers and Sailors Club, a foundation of Mr. Rodman Wanamaker; and in that work both Dr. and Mrs. Beekman had done valued service. At my request the Vestry asked Dr. Beekman to take a position on the staff of Holy Trinity; and when I found it necessary to transfer the responsibility of the ministrations at the Church to other hands it was a most opportune aid to have with me at the time one already familiar with the work and who was already attached to the Parish. With the approval of the Bishop of Erie, this transfer was made; and so, with no break in administration, Dr. Beekman took up the Church's service in Paris where I relinquished it.
I knew many fine, brave, devoted men who came to France to work during the War, and my heart holds them all in gratitude; but of them all I cherish most the memory of Rogers Israel, Bishop of Erie. His wisdom, his deep spirituality, his recklessness of all save God and His Service (he would walk out on the street from my house on an evening when the sirens were howling their warning and the bombs beginning to fall and he would laugh at our urgent pleas that he stay with us and not return to his hotel that night); and but for him and his understanding faith and his constant devotion I do not see that I could have carried on. The tribute which I know that he likes best that I should pay him here can best be rendered in the words of a wounded soldier in a hospital where Bishop Israel gave his last service in France: "Oh! Bishop, I know I could not keep on living without you here, and I sure could not die without you."
Bishop Israel had a keen sense of humour, and he so valued the power of the French to mix, almost in a breath, the sublime and the amusing, that I must tell a story of him as it was told to me. He was at the Front; he went there whenever he could get there, sometimes with "passes," and sometimes with his uniform as a Red Cross Chaplain as his only voucher---(he was waiting for his Hospital Unit to come across from Pennsylvania). At Headquarters it had been arranged that he should be convoyed back to Paris for supplies which he needed by a staff car which was to meet him at a small village near-by; but the Staff Car missed connections, so the Bishop went to an auberge (French Inn) in the village to find food and shelter. It was the hour of the evening meal when he came in to the common living room, which served as dining room as well; and at one end of the room was the fourneau-de-cuisine (cooking-stove), and at the other end there was a sink where a boy and a cat were washing and licking up the dishes as fast as they were being used. The Bishop was in interesting company; there were several young French officers; several commis-voyageurs (what we would call "drummers," travelling salesmen); and also some members of a Variety troop who had come out from the City to entertain the soldiers when they should be off duty; and the Bishop's neighbour at the left when they sat down at table was a jolly girl (jolie quite likely), a little soubrette from the theatre. When the café was served it was put on the table in bowls before each guest, and the sugar was passed down the table from one to another. When the sugar came to the little lady who was the Bishop's neighbour, she passed it first to the American officer (the Bishop), with the intention of showing courtesy to a foreigner; and the Bishop declined it, saying, "Merci, pas sucre," in a French which he said afterward was none too good either as French or as pronunciation. The little lady insisted, thinking that he did not know that it was sugar meant for the coffee, and she took a spoonful and tried to put it in his cup; but the Bishop pushed her hand back gently saying, "À la guerre"; it was a common expression, "à la guerre, comme à la guerre," to indicate "the necessity of war"; and what the Bishop meant was that he was not taking sugar on account of the War; but his pronunciation of à la guerre must have sounded like à la Gare (which in Americanese might be rendered, "Beat it, You baggage!"). The little actress showed quick signs of being both hurt and offended; but one of the French officers across the table from them, who had been watching this by-play with amusement, explained to her that the American officer had not said what she thought, but that he was such a friend of theirs that he would not eat sugar which might be needed for the men who were fighting. Whereon she put her arm about the Bishop and patted his cheek and told him that he was un brave garçon (a fine fellow).
What the dying soldier said to Bishop Israel in the hospital brings me a realisation to-day, at this long distance from the scene, of something which I often thought of while the War was going on; viz: the fineness of character which the War brought out into the open where, otherwise, it would have been little likely that it might ever have been known that the men possessed it. And I realise again that there is nothing on this earth which is wholly good or wholly bad; nothing wholly bad, not even war. I am thinking of the sublime songs which came from human hearts out of the dismal depths of conflict; of the superb faith and aspirations which men showed, and which that breaking of old inhibitions (which was war) called into utterance, with the result that all human life thereafter is immeasurably richer. I am thinking of Alan Seeger, of Charles Peguy, and of a host of others who dreamed such lovely dreams of life when they were down there dans la boue (in the mud); and my meaning is well illustrated by some words of a letter written by one who came of a fine race and of a fine family. And as I record them here I pay a tribute of gratitude on my own part to his father and mother also, to whom I am indebted for many kindnesses. In October 1918 Lieut. Kenneth MacLeish, U.S.N.R.F.C., was brought down above Schoore, in Belgium; he was one of the "flying-men" who dared all and who gave all; and in March 1918 he wrote:
"If I find it necessary to make the supreme sacrifice, always remember this: I am so firmly convinced that the ideals which I am going to fight for are right and splendid ideals that I am happy to be able to give so much for them . . . . So you see I have no fears, I have no regrets; . . . I have only to thank God for such a wonderful opportunity to serve Him and the world. The life which I lay down will be my preparation for the grander, finer life that I shall take up. I shall live."
Peace has its triumphs, its moments of splendour, when the spirit out-leaps the placid stream as the trout leaps up into the sunshine; but there are soul-revealing moments in war which let the God who is in man come forth, and we see and know that there is no more two, God and Man, but just ONE, God, and man in God.
"Car la mort n'est rien dans la somme des choses,
Et la vie n'est rien dans la somme des choses,
Et la chair n'est rien dans la somme des choses,
Mais l'homme en Dieu est tout, et Dieu dans l'homme." (11)
We sailed from France shortly after Easter of 1918, and on landing in New York went directly to White Sulphur Springs for medical care and for rest. While there we had the pleasure of visiting with Myron Herrick and Mrs. Herrick; and later in the year we were their guests in Cleveland. Invitations to speak came in great numbers, but with the sole exception of making the Memorial Address at the Commemorative Service for James Gordon Bennett which was held in Grace Church, New York, I was unable to accept any of them. After some weeks of care at White Sulphur I was able to move on, and we settled in Glencoe (Chicago), Illinois, for the summer. During that time I spoke at the City Club in Milwaukee, where I was a guest together with an old friend, Edward S. Van Zile and his wife who was May Bulkeley of Hartford and whose charming hospitality at the family home on Washington Street "under the Elms" I remember so well. It was Ed Van Zile who wrote those thrilling lines, "The Battle Hymn of Democracy":
"What hear we in the world today?
A paean wild and sweet,
The peoples' song of Victory:
And where the nations meet
Not King shall call to brother-King,
But race shall call to race,
And man no longer slave to man
Can look God in the face.
"'T is a Marseillaise so wonderful
The world is singing now,
As the peoples find their power and fulfil a sacred vow,
That the stars that dance along the sky
Its rhythm seem to feel
And the universe is throbbing with
A glad triumphant peal."
My touch with the Church in Paris was kept up by letters from John Ridgely Carter who was one of the Vestrymen and a member of the Finance Committee, and who had been a close friend of mine in College days. He wrote me in June of the financial needs of the Church and "to express the hope that we can still rely on you, as Rector Emeritus, not only to continue to help us with your appeal for the Church, but also with your advice." As I regained my strength I spoke in many places for the Church and its work in Paris, and also for the Relief Work which we had carried on in France and in Belgium and in Serbia. I also published statements of what work had been done and what its needs continued to be, and the response to these statements was immediate and most generous. Then in October I was able to send Mr. Carter checks for $7,050; in acknowledging which he wrote me, "Your work in America for the Church has been quite extraordinary; the Vestry should be deeply grateful for your brilliant achievement; which I am sure they are." In addition to gifts made specifically for the Church in Paris, generous contributions came in for Relief of American Soldiers in France; Relief of American Civilians in France; The Pauvres Honteux ("ashamed to beg"); French Children; French Orphans; The Poor Gentle-folk of Belgium; Belgian Orphans; Serbian Orphans.
It amazed me to find the widespread interests of which we were made trustees by friends in America. These gifts were so large and many of them so personal in their character and requiring such personal administration, if we were to discharge our responsibility both to the donors and the beneficiaries. There were gifts such as Frs. 35,842. for the Pauvres Honteux in France; Frs. 14,295. for the Pauvres Honteux of Belgium; Frs. 14,845. for French Children; and Frs. 35,310 for Belgian Orphans, that we felt that our responsibility as trustees was imperatively engaged, and that we must go to see personally to the distribution of these gifts, although that meant an added strain for which we were not physically ready. We sailed for France then in the autumn, going by way of England; and we went up to London in a railway carriage whose windows were largely missing as they had been recently shattered by an air bombardment. In Liverpool we had great difficulty in finding a hotel which would house us as the city was very crowded; but finally, in company with a Quaker friend and his wife who were on their way to work in the Belgian trenches, we found rooms in a dingy kind of a doggery, a sort of 2nd class "Pub." When we went to the station to register the baggage in order to make an early start in the morning, the old porter said, "And did ye find a room for the night?" I told him where we had put up, and noticing a quizzical look in his eye, I said, "It's an all right enough kind of place, isn't it?" To which the old boy replied humourously, "Oh, h'anny port in a storm, Sir!" Liverpool was dreary, as always; and Liverpool was cold and hungry, and London was both; and as, for so short a stay as we hoped to make, it hardly seemed worth-while to go to the Police and register for Food Tickets. We followed an ancient example:
What was put on his plate;
He ate it because it was 'chow "
The provender as provided "by the Laws of this Realm" was meagre indeed.
The only possible crossing for civilians at the time was by way of Southampton and Havre, and one boat each night was the extent of the service. So I spent much time going back and forth, to and from booking-offices, to see it anything had been given up in the way of reservations. On my last visit to Cook's a gentleman who just preceded me at the counter laid down two tickets for the Southampton-Havre crossing and asked to have them redeemed; and as he looked good-natured I covered the tickets with my hand and said, "These are for me, are they not, Sir?" "They certainly are, if you want them," said he. So that was settled. It was then eleven o'clock of a Saturday morning, and I had to get visas from both French and American officialdom, and the offices closed at noon on a Saturday. At the American office my way was made smooth by a good-natured coloured porter who got me an immediate hearing. I then rushed off to the French Control, reaching there at a quarter to twelve, only to be told by a sous officier who was acting as Cerberus that Monsieur le Commandant was just leaving, and that the office was closed for the day. I saw my last chance to use those coveted passage tickets going glimmering, unless I could in some way "rush the gate"; so I uttered such an emphatic protest that Monsieur le Commandant himself came to the fore. When he saw the red of my Legion of Honour he was most courteous; but so far as the visa was concerned he was adamant; my papers must go to Paris. I finally got myself invited into his private office and got him to look over the papers in my brief case, but the result was nil; even a letters which I had from the Archbishop of Canterbury drew only a respectful but interested comment. However, in an inner pocket of that brief case I found a letter which won me the day; and again I have to thank the gracious writer of that letter for another courtesy. It was the letter which Madame Poincaré had written while we were in Bordeaux last, sending us as cadeaux d'adieu signed photographs of herself and of President Poincaré, together with personal messages. That letter was enough; I got the visa; and that same evening we went to Southampton, got supper aboard the boat---everything which we had wanted in London and could not get, good bread and butter, fine cold roast beef, cheese and jam and clotted cream, and then with some "central heating" in the way of tea ("central heating" in London had been vox, et praeterea nihil, which is defined in the dictionary as "sound without sense"), we were warm for the first time since setting foot on my ancestral soil of Britain. I was just tucking in under the blankets when there was a tap at the door, and to my "Come in there appeared the duckiest kind of a little Welsh maid in cap and apron, who said, "What time shall I bring your tea in the morning, Sir?" And to my query of, "What time do we dock at Le Havre?," she said, "Well, Sir, if we get across, we should be in by seven." "Then I'll have some tea at six, please":-"Thank you, Sir," said she; and how I relished that British politeness! In due time the boat got away, and for an hour and then another hour, she twisted and turned and backed and crawled around the mines, and when she reached the open water we were off with such a burst of speed as I had never felt-the boat fairly leapt in the water; and, we went duly to sleep, and reached Le Havre as we expected; and in due time we arrived in Paris again.
My first errand was to the Ministry of the Interior to ask my friend Monsieur Ogier, le Directeur du Contrôle, to arrange for our permis de séjour, which he readily agreed to do. Two days later, not having heard from these most necessary documents I went again to the Ministry to receive from Monsieur Ogier a most welcome piece of news, viz: that he had taken up the matter with the Sûreté (Secret Police); that both the Sûreté and the Préfecture had been advised, that we could go and come as we pleased in France. It was like feeling ourselves a sort of Diplomatic guests of the country. In due course, all matters of Relief Distribution were arranged; the Armistice had come and gone: President Wilson had established himself in Paris; and the new regime had begun.
It was a regime which was strange to us, and I was glad that we could be free to leave it all and to return to America; to leave that sad series of tragedies; the tumultuous rejoicings, then the changing attitude of the people; the heroic struggle of the American Idealist, a struggle which began in a sublime belief that HE could bring Peace to the world, and which ended in the slow realisation that he and they "over there" did not see "eye to eye" and never could, did not speak the same language, and never would; that they were not seeking the same ends, he and they; then the sadly slow acceptance of the dreary compromise which was the prelude of his return to America, to disillusionment, and to heart break. It had all been foretold to me by French statesmen long before, just what would happen and how. They were world students, those men, not men of one land or one language; they knew that no man, however sublime his courage or however divinely true his visions of Humanity's Utopia, could bring a world peace then; and more than that they knew Europe; they knew the background of its peoples; they were skilled in the methods of the Chanceries; they knew that it would be long, very long before peoples, who were still mentally compelled by the thought methods of the monarchical regimes from which they had but partially emerged, would welcome a Peace of Democracy, such as that of which Ed Van Zile had sung. And it was with the sad knowledge which was born of bitter experience that they realised beforehand that in the end they, the idealists of France, and that greater idealist from the New World would find the only possible outcome of Councils and Conferences to be, not a Treaty which should establish a lasting Peace, but instead of that only another "Scrap of Paper," which could not long stand unviolated because between the lines of its crafty verbiage there could be read the motif of it all, which was not an intent toward peace, but rather that old maxim of material prudence: "Let him take who may, and let him keep who can."
Our second home-coming after the War was not with the "Au Revoir, but not Good-bye," which was James Gordon Bennett's farewell to us. This time we knew that we were leaving friends whom we would probably not see again, such friends as one makes rarely in a lifetime. And friends have always meant more to me than places; it is the friends who have hallowed and endeared the places whose memories I cherish. Chiefest among those friends in France, among our own compatriots were the Tucks, the Hoffs, and the Carters. John Ridgely Carter was the friend of my boyhood; and that friendship renewed in manhood and in times of stress and strain took on a deeper meaning than a boyhood friendship could ever have. The charm of our walks together on the Avenue du Bois after working hours were over lingers with me yet; and his wise counsel and his courteous understanding in difficult moments were an invaluable help to me. To have a friend in difficult hours who always takes you for granted, who asks for no explanations, whose world experience has schooled him in restraint of expression-that meant more to me than I can set down in words; and all of that John Carter was. When policies clashed and other men were impatient he was the one who always kept his equilibrium. At the Clearing House and in the councils at the Church my interests were his; and one cannot ask more of a friendship than that.
Our visits to Mr. and Mrs. Tuck in summer at the Château de Vermont, and at Christmas time at Monte Carlo are delightful memories. These interludes of rest and refreshment made the load of the work lighter always; and we could not have done what we did in France but for the ever generous sharing of it with us by Mr. and Mrs. Tuck. I have known many men of large wealth in my long lifetime, but I have never known one to whom possession meant less, in and of itself, and to whom money meant more simply just that finer spiritual something into which wealth of things may be transmuted.
Among those Americans who have given France full reason to appreciate their country's meaning and worth John J. Hoff and Grace Whitney Hoff hold high place. They are so lovable in themselves, and they radiate a soul quality which makes their friendship precious to those who are honoured by it, and we were of those elect ones. I always think of them at Bréau, or at Peyrieu, where we were so often their guests. Le Château de Bréau sans Nappe, to write it at full length, and so to distinguish it from the other Bréaux, was a former hunting lodge of Henry IV; it is a foursquare ivy-grown manoir with tourelles on its four corners pierced by meurtrières which overlook the moat; and there is a fine old pigeonnier in the park. Under the feudal regime in France the right to construct and maintain pigeonniers was reserved to the nobles; and the pigeonniers of that period were usually built in the form of cyclindrical towers which covered with a conical roof; and such is the form of the pigeonnier Le Bréau; more than once I have been shown with pride by the châtelain of an old place his ancient pigeonnier. Of Le Bréau sans Nappe it is told that the King on coming in one day from hunting and passing on the way an old stone table which still stands in the centre of a carrefour (cross-roads) in the forest, told his lackeys to throw the game down around this old table, saying nous déjeunerons ici sans nappe (we will lunch here without a tablecloth, without ceremony), hence the name of the property. I have one brilliant memory of Le Bréau which outshines the others; it is of a day when we went out there to bring in some of the fruits and vegetables which were at our disposal for the relief of our Paris poor and which the old caretaker, Monsieur Thouzé, had gathered for us. In the garden there were some trees of mirabelles (unfortunately we here in America do not know, apparently, what mirabelles are; they are a cherry-plum, and they merit their name of "wonderfully beautiful"); and under the trees the ground was thick-covered with the lovely pink and golden fruit, and the bees and the wasps were drinking their fill of the honeyed sweetness of the juice which oozed from the fruit cracked by the sun and by their fall from the tree.
Le Château de Peyrieu has also its fair memories. In going there we often went by way of Bourg-en-Bresse and Monsieur Rebière's hospitable Hôtel de l'Europe; and that meant also a visit to one of the loveliest architectural treasures of France, the Church of Brou which was begun in 1506, but which was completed in its present form by Marguerite of Austria who was the daughter of the Emperor Maximilien the First. Marguerite was one of the Grandes Dames who brought about what was known as La Paix des Dames or the Treaty of Cambrai in 1529, when Queens brought about a Peace which Kings and Councils could not arrive at. As a child, Marguerite was a pawn in the game of statecraft. She was first betrothed to a king's son in France and sent to Paris to be educated in Court ways; and from that peril she escaped by the death of the old king. Then she was sent to Spain to be betrothed to the Infante; and he died; and so she escaped that. At last she made a love match of her own with Philibert le Beau, the Duke of Savoy; and he was killed by a fall from his horse while hunting. It was while on her voyage to Spain and when the ship which was carrying her thither came nearly being crushed on the rocks of the French Coast, that Marguerite wrote an epitaph to be used for her resting place in case of need, humorously worded in order to amuse her terrified companions; and these were the lines:
"Ci-git Margot, la gentille demoiselle;
Qui eut trois maris, mais mourut pucelle"(12)
When Philibert was killed Marguerite built herself a little house and oratory at Brou, and gave up her life to building its exquisite Church, the rood-screen of which is like a piece of lace in stone. I persuaded the gardien that I was persona grata to the Ministry of Beaux Arts and so I succeeded in getting some remarkable photographs, inaccessible to the ordinary public. A world at strife would not let Marguerite rest in peace; it insisted that she should come back to the North and rule her principality of Flanders; and when she died there her gentlemen-in-waiting carried her body on their shoulders all the way in the snow to Brou (as Queen Eleanor's body was carried; and where it rested in the City there King Edward built a Cross, La croix de la Chère Reine, Chère Reine Cross,---Charing Cross). And in the Church of Brou Marguerite has a lovely tomb just where she can look across and see the tomb of Philibert, the most beautiful of all the tombs there in the centre of the Choir.
From Bourg and Brou we would come by an easy drive to the country of the Bugey and, all its little towns which end in "ieu"; Belley is its chef-lieu d'arrondissement (county-town). And it was at the railway station at Belley that the Hoffs had their Christmas tree set up, for the soldiers who passed through Belley on the trains on their way to or from the Front, so that every soldier who came that way might have his bit of Christmas cheer. Then on a little way from Belley we came to Peyrieu and its Château perched up on the hilltop overlooking the Valley of the Rhone; this is the home of the Hoffs in the Department of the Ain; and in all the countryside about the châtelains de Peyrieu are loved and honoured. The poor and the sick are their special charges; and the picture is clear in my memory of Mrs. Hoff starting out in the morning with her dog and her stick, ('Mulus stayed at home to look after me) on her way to the nearby villages where she was a special Providence. Among Mrs. Hoff's treasures there is a great roll of cyclamen coloured silk, woven for her specially by the people of the silk mill in the village; and on each metre of the silk her name is woven in the selvedge. It was always hard to leave Peyrieu and its atmosphere of rest and charm; something of the spiritual vision of the châtelaine seemed to pervade the atmosphere of the place. * * * was hard to leave France. * * *
It is hard now to stop this Memory wandering when there is so much more that I could tell, and which I would like to tell. But I have told enough to give a vision of La France Vièrge, La France Guerrière; still the vision seer like Jeanne d'Arc amongst the apple trees of Domremy; and like la Pucelle still often misunderstood.
I have not written this story with any set purpose; I have let it tell itself. I have let the dream unroll itself from my Memory book, just as the pictures came to my mind day after day, like England's poet who "lisped in numbers, for the numbers came." But as I re-read its pages I sense a conviction that I have all unconsciously repaid in some slight measure all that France gave to me by painting a picture in words of what it means in a nation's life to have a clear consciousness of its meaning in history.
So now, To Bordeaux and the Boat!
IT WAS in January 1919 that we came to America again, and after landing in New York we came straight out to sunny California, and again we were too worn to do anything but sit in the sun. We took a little house in Montecito Park and there we stayed for four months; and then we started Eastward. After another summer spent in Glencoe (Chicago), I accepted the offer of the Vestry there and became the Minister of the Congregation, but with no idea of remaining there longer than a year, and with a tenure of office which was limited at my request to a service of month by month. It was five years before we moved again. In Glencoe, as elsewhere the place meant the friends we made; and the people there were very good to us.
First of all there were the Brighams: no clan of old Europe had a stronger sense of belongingness than that family had: you felt it; you admired it when you were privileged to be a guest," when good men get together," at one of those re-unions of the blood which Henry so loved to call around him; and for all the fact that you could not help realising that you were not a Brigham but only a grafted-in twig on the tip end of a Brigham limb, that feeling really meant, as you saw them all together and knew what they meant to each other and to life, that you could not help honouring their pride of family, simply because its outward fruitage was a compelling sense of noblesse obilge. Fine men all, the men of that family; Douglas with his capacity for effective administration; George with his wide sympathies, his unreckoning generosities, his "unco" rigid respectable prejudices, and his dry wit and sense of humour; and Henry, the acting head of the Clan, a doer of great things and a dreamer of great dreams, with the sweep of an oldtime patriarch in his feeling of responsibility for the well-being of the youngsters of his generation; a man whom one would have liked to see dowered with years on years to enable him to carry into effect "a good time to be had by all." I am grateful for what they all gave me of welcome and of affection; and for George I have a deep feeling of kinship because of 'Rilla who shared her life with ours from her early childhood. She came to Glencoe one summer's day to ask that words of blessing might be said on her life, and on another life to be joined to hers. Jeanne, then a little girl, was to be the bride's attendant; she had carefully practiced her "step" to the rhythm of "Dum,-DUM--de Dum" before she left Saint Louis; but 'Rilla had refused to come in as a "Dum, DUM-de---Dum," and had chosen a real wedding-y kind of a thing. As George said in a tone of annoyance which faintly veiled his paternal pride, "Wouldn't you know that she would do something like that!" And when someone asked, "But, Jeanne's step? she's practiced it for that old march!" "Let her alone," said George, "Jeanne will invent one of her own"; and Jeanne did just that. "Trust it to Jeanne," as Jim would say.
The Cassels and the Sutherlands come together in my Glencoe memories; there was something in our comradeship which found its source in far-off Scotland. Mr. Sutherland was first degree Scotch; Mr. Cassels was one degree farther removed; Jeannette's Grants, and MacLeans came next; and my Montgomerys trailed respectably after; but inasmuch as "Bobbie Burns" received us as "belonging" when we went to see the Sutherlands, our standing with the clans was unquestionable. When we came to leave Glencoe it was the leaving these dear comrades, grown-ups and children, which made the parting real. For after my one proposed year in Glencoe had lengthened into five, my good medical adviser Doctor Wiley said: "These weeks in bed have helped, but your heart is still weak; my advice to you is to stop work and to go and live in California." And seeing a bit of gloom on my countenance, he added, "It's not such a bad prescription to take; I'd take it myself if I could."
So we started again on our wanderings and reached Santa Barbara again on the second day of August, 1924. We went to the Arlington Hotel where we found a welcome waiting from a friend of mine of the long ago, Mrs. C. E. Perkins whom I always remember as part of my boyhood associations in Burlington, Iowa. When we were in Montecito in the winter of 1919, just after coming from France, the telephone in our little house in Montecito Park rang one day, and a voice asked, "Is this Doctor Watson?", and to my affirmative reply said, "Is this the Reverend Doctor Watson?", and again I said, Yes. Still another question, "Is this the Sam Watson whom I used to know as a little boy in Burlington?"; and then after I had joyfully confirmed my identity, came the next message, "I am Mrs. Perkins: Will you come and lunch with me on Saturday at Sandyland?" In the beautiful edition of her mother's Letters and Journal, which Mrs. Cunningham gave me, Mrs. Perkins wrote:
"Sam Watson, whom I had not seen for thirty-nine years, and whom I last saw at one of our Xmas-trees in Burlington.
He and his wife have just come from Paris where they have been doing War work. They are here for a rest, for they nearly killed themselves. I saw a notice of their arrival in the paper, and I thought I would take a chance; so I asked him, and said, if he was the Sam Watson I used to know, perhaps he would come and see me on my sand-dune; ... if he wasn't, I begged his pardon, and hoped he would get the rest he came for.
He almost got here before I did."
As I re-read Mrs. Perkins Letters and Journal, living documents which the loving care of a daughter has opened to those who loved her mother, I am lost in admiration of the spiritual insight, the literary taste, the breadth and depth of reading and thinking of which they give evidence. And with that admiration there comes a regret which I have felt before with regard to other choice natures, regret that time and years did not give me the chance to know her more intimately and more constantly. We miss so much, we others, when we make but casual contacts with souls who have such hidden treasures of heart and mind to share; and when, through press of things, or in hesitation lest we be importunate, we pass them in the all too short days almost like "ships that pass in the night"; only to realise later, perhaps, a loss which cannot be repaired in this Here and Now. The gift which Mrs. Cunningham made me of these books was but another token of her generous courtesy to both Jeannette and me. And I will never cease to remember gratefully her kindnesses to us both when the hour of the parting of life's ways came.
Soon after our arrival in Santa Barbara came a telegram from Akron, from Charlie and Mary Raymond, asking us to go to their house on Channel Drive and to make it our home until we found a place in which to live. After a few weeks of rest there, we went to "Siamasia," a cottage hotel in Montecito, and there we had plans prepared for a home for ourselves. It was really Jeannette's home, as she supervised all the building of it as I was not able to do more than make the necessary business arrangements; the house was built on ground which was the gift of Mary Raymond. The house was all ready for our occupancy with the exception of the interior decorating when the Great Earthquake of 1925 occurred; but the house was so well built that it stood the shock without any damage. That earthquake came early in the morning. I was in my little bed, and there I stayed, for after all the experiences of the preceding years, earthquakes were "no treat to me." Some one asked me afterward if it was not a terrifying time; and my reply was that in a few years space I had lived in a city which was constantly being bombed from the air (for what military purpose I cannot discover); I had crossed the ocean in a leaking ship, and with submarines appearing now and then; I had missed a cyclone so closely that the road ahead of our car was strewn with broken trees and timbers from unroofed houses; I had been in a train wreck when the dining car in which we were sitting was de-railed and its front end telescoped; and now this earthquake. None of them were experiences which one would want to repeat; but of them all the earthquake was the least demoralising.
We established ourselves in our house on Hill Road in August of 1925; and there followed then some years of real living in a house which Jeannette used to describe as
We were so near the ocean that we were, as one of my French friends puts it, "Bercés des chansons des vagues," (Sung to sleep by the songs of the waves).
Santa Barbara meant more new friends, and better still it meant renewing old friendships in closer intimacy.
We had known Edward Alling Oviatt and Zelie in our Akron days; then it was an acquaintance; here in California the acquaintance flowered in an association of close friendship, so that in the days when I needed friends, most what I needed was done by them before my wearied heart could ask it; and time has brought no change to their devotion. A permanent record should be made of what Alling Oviatt has given to this community in farsighted and constructive service: the Montecito Public School, its fine earthquakeproof building, and its ample children's playground are a witness to his care for the living; and the Chapel in the cemetery and the added beauty of its surroundings are his tribute to the love which cannot forget its dead. (We call them dead, though they are far more living than we are).
Here I want to pay tribute to my friends so generously devoted, my doctor friends in Santa Barbara. It is a great privilege to live in a community which has drawn to itself men who stand so high in sympathetic knowledge of the "ills that flesh is heir to," as do the men of the Medical Faculty here; and also to have access to a hospital which is so perfectly managed and directed as is Cottage Hospital. When I last found myself in the East and realised that the disabilities incident to seventy-one years of age, plus four years of War, were demanding most imperatively that I admit them to reckoning, I said to myself, "Back to Santa Barbara! In a hospital where I was not known I would be but a number, and to the doctor here I would be a case; while in Santa Barbara your doctor is your friend, and days in a hospital come as near to being home-like as devoted personal attention can make institutional life." My doctor friends here have made me feel the depth of the fraternal feeling which ideally underlies the calling of "the Good Physician," and my personal contact with many of them, and chief of all with Doctors Evans, Nuzum, Robinson, Mimann, Geyman, Mellinger, Brush, Lewis, Stone, McGovney, Franklin, and Johnston has quickened my admiration for a calling which has something of the Divine in it.
November 25, 1928, was Jeannette's birthday. On November 22nd we went to The Strollers Club in the evening. On the morning of the 25th she was so far from well that I sent for her brother and her sister. On the 3rd of January 1929, just as the morning was beginning, Light broke for her on the Larger Day. Her last tribute to earth was made when we laid away a casket in Santa Barbara Cemetery in a lovely spot, where the Southward look is toward the infinitely living Sea, and its Northward vision is toward the comfortingly eternal mountains; and that memory place is marked by lines which she had written in her Prayer Book:
There has been placed in the Hoover War Library at Stanford University a unique collection of papers and other memorabilia which I brought back from France, through the courtesy of the Directeur Général Des Douanes, Monsieur Jean Branet. This Collection includes bound files of the Paris edition of the New York Herald; of L'Illustration; and also twelve folio volumes of documents and correspondence which were part of my office records in Paris. It is to be known as