Autobiography, with Letters

By William Lyon Phelps | Go to book overview
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64
SOME EVENTS IN 1914

ON St. Patrick's Day the poet William Butler Yeats gave a reading from his poems at the Yale Elizabethan Club. At noon I had a long talk with him; he expressed hatred of George Moore, and said a great many 'events' that Moore described in his books, conversations with Yeats, etc., never happened.

Alfred Noyes and Gerald Stanley Lee were our guests on 30 March; they spoke at the annual banquet of the Yale Literary Magazine. Mr. Noyes regretted the current depreciation of the genius of Tennyson and made a spirited defence of his poetry.

On 19 April President Wilson gave Huerta of Mexico until six o'clock that evening to promise to salute the American flag. At six he had not saluted. War seemed imminent; a huge crowd of students gathered in front of my house, expecting a 'patriotic' speech; I ridiculed war and said the U.S.A., if it really wished to fight had better take a bigger opponent. I said a war with Mexico would be silly and criminal. Rather to my surprise, the speech was well received.

Three days later I presided at a peace meeting of the students addressed by Norman Angell.

On 23 May at Cincinnati, I spoke with President Taft at a Yale dinner. A jolly song was sung, written by Cole Porter., of the class of 1913--a foretaste of the professional success he was to enjoy in later years.

In this same month I had an unusual experience at a

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