FRANKLIN K. LANE
TO JOHN CRAWFORD BURNS
Washington, August 31, 1915
My dear John,— ... I met three friends of yours in New York the other day, Lamb, Fletcher, and Pfeiffer, to whom I told in my dismal way, the correspondence that we have been carrying on, and all sympathized with me very sincerely.
Things look brighter now. The President seems to have been able to make Germany hear him at last. I am very much surprised that you think we ought to enter the war. Now that you have secured Italy to intervene, what is the necessity? What have you to offer by way of a bribe? I see that you are distributing territory generously. Or do you think that we should go in because we were threatened as England was—although she says it was Belgium that brought her in? Fletcher is very much for fighting; Lamb says that the Allies will win in the next two weeks. Pfeiffer thinks that nobody will win. I can’t tell you what I think. If I were only nearer I would have more fun with you. Affectionately yours,
FRANKLIN K. LANE
To Sidney E. Mezes
PRESIDENT OF THE COLLEGE OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK
Washington, September 7, 1915
My dear Sid,—I enclose a more formal letter for presentation to your friend, Baron de—. Why in hell you should plague me with this thing, except that I am the only real good-natured man connected with the Government, I don’t understand. Speaking of good nature reminds me that you are a clam; in fact, a clam is vociferous alongside of you.
As you know I have been guiding the affairs of this Government for the past three months, and have received advice from every man, woman, and child in the country, including the German-American Union, the Independent Union, the Friends of Peace, the Sons of Hibernia, and all the other troglodytes that live; and yet, you alone have not thought me of sufficient consequence to advise me as to what to do with the Kaiser or Carranza or Hoke Smith or Roosevelt.
Before you go back to work why don’t you come down here and spend a day or two? We can have a perfectly bully time, and I will tell you how to run your University and you can tell me how to run the Government. ...
I have not seen House nor heard from him, though I have wanted to talk with him more than with any other human being, these three months gone. Yours as always,
F. K. L.
To Cordenio Severance
Washington, September 13, 1915
My dear Cordy,—I envy you very much the opportunity that you have to entertain Miss Nancy Lane. [Footnote: Born January 4, 1903.] When she is herself, she is a most charming young lady. She has powers of fascination excelled by few. If she grows angry, owing to her artistic temperament, and throws plates at you or chases you out of the house with a broom, you must forgive her because you know that great artists like Sarah Bernhardt often have this failing.