?If the railroad to the south cannot take{102} the goods to Naples, the railroad to the north shall take them to Civitavecchia; the old papal seaport is as good a place to sail from as from Naples!? Griscom argued; so that knot was cut.

Stein, the shipper, was called in, another of those busy silent Germans who year by year are getting more and more of Italy?s commerce into their strong capable hands. Stein undertook to have the cargo at Civitavecchia on the ?Bayern?s? arrival there, and he was as good as his word. The Government gave free transportation to the goods.

Reports are dull reading, statistics worse?there is nothing quite so misleading as statistics?there are a few exceptions to this rule; the reports of the American Relief Committee are among them. The minutes kept by Samuel Parrish lie before me; they are as interesting as a novel. As interesting? Twenty thousand times more interesting. The story is told gravely and concisely, but the romance shines through the conventional terms, transfigures the formal statements; it has the life pulse of an old Greek drama; it moves with the inevitable sequence of history. The titles of Chair{103}man, Secretary, Treasurer, are disguises like the masks worn by the Athenian players. They serve to hide the personality of the actor, leaving him freer to play the role for which he is cast. The characters speak their lines, the play moves steadily from the first lurid scene of the earthquake to the final chorus of Hope. After Nature had done her worst and the greatest disaster of history had stunned the world, the network of nerves with which America has enmeshed the globe, the telegraph wires and submarine cables, flashed the dreadful intelligence from nerve center to nerve center. Whether for good or for ill, we gave the world its nervous system; ours the responsibility for the quickened pulse of life! The cables were kept busy; message after message flashed from the Embassy at Rome to Washington, to New York, ????? Philadelphia, Boston, San Francisco. That cry of the Calabrian exiles: ?Do not forget to help Scylla,? touched the public imagination. I hear the thrill of it in all the messages that follow, the committee?s appeal to the American Red Cross, to the Governors of the States, to the people of America. The Ambassador and Mr. Parrish telegraph the President, Mr. Par{104}ish cables Governor Hughes and Mayor McClellan, Mr. Hooper calls on Governor Guild of Massachusetts for funds for a relief ship. Time is so precious they do not wait for answers; strong in their faith in America?s generosity, these men assume a personal responsibility for the great sums of money needed, so no time is lost in waiting for answers to their appeals. This is the secret of how the incredible thing was done; it was not only by the labor of these resolute men but by the faith that was in them that the country would ?back? them, would make good all they promised.