5.2 Aristic Anecdotes -- Of Lord Kitchener
“I was standing,” writes Mr. Maxim, “immediately between Lord Kitchener and Lord Wolsley (with Lord Roberts a little to the rear of us), and we were laughing and chatting as we always did when the enemy were about to open fire on us. Suddenly we found ourselves the object of the most terrific hail of bullets. For a few moments the air was black with them. As they went past I could not refrain from exchanging a quiet smile with Lord Kitchener, and another with Lord Wolsley. Indeed I have never, except perhaps on twenty or thirty occasions, found myself exposed to such an awful fusillade.
“Kitchener, who habitually uses an eye-glass (among his friends), watched the bullets go singing by, and then, with that inimitable sangfroid which he reserves for his intimates, said,
“’I’m afraid if we stay here we may get hit.’
“We all moved away laughing heartily.
“To add to the joke, Lord Roberts’ aide-de-camp was shot in the pit of the stomach as we went.”
The next anecdote which I reproduce may be already too well known to my readers. The career of Baron Snorch filled so large a page in the history of European diplomacy that the publication of his recent memoirs was awaited with profound interest by half the chancelleries of Europe. (Even the other half were half excited over them.) The tangled skein in which the politics of Europe are enveloped was perhaps never better illustrated than in this fascinating volume. Even at the risk of repeating what is already familiar, I offer the following for what it is worth—or even less.