by EDWARD S. ELLIS, A.M.
P.·. M.·. TRENTON (N.J.)
LODGE. No.5 F. & A. M.
MACOY PUBLISHING AND MASONIC SUPPLY CO.
In the Autumn of 1910 while in the city
of Rome, I Called upon Mayor Nathan, who I knew was a brother
Mason. We had a delightful chat, which I recall with Pleasure.
True, he could not speak a word of English, and I know only three
words of Italian, so neither had the remotest idea of what the
other was saying until his interpreter helped us out. With a beaming
face he shook my hand and then "shook" me by turning
me over to his secretary who was also a Mason and spoke American
like a native.
I was in quest of incidents illustrative
of the fidelity of the brethren to one another in the stormy history
of Italy and other European countries. The secretary expressed
great interest in the subject and gave me a warm note of introduction
to one of the leading dignitaries of the Eternal City, a man well
known to the Order on both sides of the Atlantic. Unfortunately
he had left the day before for Switzerland and was not expected
back until after my departure from Rome. So that little scheme
came to naught.
On the returning steamer I was expressing
my regret to a distinguished clergyman of St. Louis, who was also
a brother, whereupon he said:
"Why bother with matters on the other
side of the Atlantic? Stirring as many of them were, they can
never have the vivid personal interest of those at home. You tell
me that the publication of 'Low Twelve' has brought you scores
of strange, impressive and thrilling occurrences. Give us those,
or at least some of them, and postpone the foreign ones until
a more convenient season. I think your story of the Sepoy Mutiny
is worth repetition, but let the others be American. There are
plenty of them and all are worthy of record."
Such was the genesis of "High 12."
As before, I had only to select from the mass of facts that was
sent to me-many of them from the most unexpected quarters. It
seems strange that while numberless and valuable volumes relating
to Freemasonry have been published during past years, little attention
has been given to what may be called the personal side of Freemasonry.
"You talk of the fidelity of the brethren to one another
in times of stress," said an outsider to me; "give us
Well, here they are. Frankness compels me
to say that the main sketch-for containing as it does a good deal
of truth, has also some touches of imagination, but I trust that
these are in harmony with the sprint which actuates all good brethren
everywhere, and which are clearly shown in the facts set forth
in the remainder of the volume.
E. S. E.
Upper Montclair, N. J., 1912
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