The scene was typical of Rome, of Italy, of the civilized world at that time. In every home, rich or poor, in every country, women of all classes were sewing for those naked wretches who had escaped from the great earthquake with nothing but their lives. In the Palace of the Quirinal the little princesses, Jolanda and Mafalda, sat up in their high chairs, stitching busily for the children of the stricken South.{82} The fury of benevolence that had driven men and women all over the world into some action, some sacrifice, for their suffering brothers, was being organized, had become the great driving force that should compel some sort of order out of chaos unparalleled. When it grew too dark to see in the ballroom the friendly giant lighted the chandelier and the candles in the gilt sconces. As he passed me he murmured:

?If the Signora can wait till the other ladies have gone her Excellency? ????? ?

?Of course I can wait.? I settled down to overcast the seams of a black woolen frock.

?Do you know where one can buy handkerchiefs?? asked the chief cutter-out. ?Every shop I tried today was sold out. All Sicilians use handkerchiefs, even the poorest; it?s one of their good points. I was at the station this morning helping the English Committee?they meet every train from Naples that brings ?survivors,? and fit out the poor things with shoes and clothes. Some of them were half naked; one pretty girl?a perfect Hebe?was dressed in an officer?s uniform. The poor souls cry so one has to give them one?s own handkerchief; I have hardly one left!{83}?