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P.·. M.·. TRENTON (N.J.) LODGE. No.5 F. & A. M.

Copyright 1912


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 some examples."

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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