This man, Dr. Hoover, is a genius. When I knew him he was giving lessons in physical training; but, now, like myself, he is an LL.D., and, of course, as a fellow LL.D. I have got to treat his friend properly. So I pass him along to you. Please see that he has the front bench and is called upon to open the congress with prayer, which, being a Yankee and a pirate, he undoubtedly can do in fine fashion.
When he comes, if you will let me know, I shall go out to meet him in my private yacht; take him for a drive in my tally-ho; give him a dinner at Childs’, and take him to the movies at the Home Club.
I shall also ask Redfield to invite him to the much-heralded shad luncheon, to which I have received the fourth invitation. Do you think he would like to meet my friend, Jess Willard?
FRANKLIN K. LANE
A letter from John Burns, from Rome, spoke sarcastically of the American attitude of neutrality toward the European war, and of what he called the “new American motto—’Trust the President.’”
TO JOHN CRAWFORD BURNS
Washington, May 29, 1915
My dear John,—I saw Pfeiffer, Lamb, and Mezes the other day up in New York. Mezes lives among Hebrews, Lamb is broken-hearted that he can not get into the war, and Pfeiffer is trying to get England to let his German goods through Holland. Lamb and Pfeiffer do not agree as to England’s duty to allow non-contraband on neutral ships to pass unmolested.
England is playing a rather high game, violating international law every day. ... England’s attempt to starve Germany has been a fizzle. Germany will be better off this summer than she was two years ago, have more food on hand. There are no more men in Germany outside of the Army. Practically every one has been called out who could carry a gun, but the women are running the mills and the prisoners are tilling the farms. Von Hindenburg will come down upon Italy, when he has lured the Italians up into some pass and given them a sample of what the Russians got in East Prussia.
You see I am in quite a prophetic mood this afternoon.
Tell me if you understand Italy’s position—just how she justifies herself in entering the war? I have seen no authoritative justification that I thought would hold water.
The Coalition ministry in England is weaker than the Liberal ministry. Lord Northcliffe, who is the Hearst of England, has become its boss. Inasmuch as you object to our new motto, “Trust the President,” I offer as a substitute, “Trust Lord Northcliffe, Bonar Law, and the Philosopher of Negation.” The dear bishops won’t give up their toddy, so England must go without ammunition. Germany is standing off Belgium, England and France, with her right hand; Russia with her left, and is about to step on Italy. Germany has not yet answered our protest in the Lusitania matter. Neither has England answered our protest, sent some three months ago, against the invasion of our rights upon the seas. I was very glad to read the other day that while only eighty per cent of English-made shells explode, over ninety per cent of American-made shells explode.