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Newspaper Page Text
Helene, queen of Italy, the dark
eyed Diana of the -Montenegrin hills
whom the king married -without dow-'
er because of great love, may see her
husband arrayed against her father.
No woman's hand fias had any part
in touching a match to this cauldron
of devastation and despair that has
Behind Russia's hesitation to de
clare war and Italy's efforts to re
main neutral thus upsetting the
alignment of the triple entente (Rus
sia. Prance and England) asainst the
triple alliance (Germany, Austria and
Italy) you will find the restraining
touch of German Aliz of Russia and
of Helene of Italy, whose favorite
sister was the wife of the king of
Servia and whose father, Nicholas of
Montenegro, is among Servia's allies.
Now that Russia has plunged into
Europe's great war and Italy is upon
the brink, the hearts of these two
queens will be rent by a terrible
struggle between love of country and
family and love of husband and home.
The czarina's husband will have to
fight her brother and her cousins.
The queen of Italy may see the
man she loves as the relentless enemy
of her father and her sister's hUB
band. King Peter of Servia Is today a wid
ower. His wife, Helene'B sister, died
in 1890. After her death Helene kept
house for him (he was not then king
and she did not marry the king of
Italy till six years afterwards) and
was a second mother to her sister's
She was then only 21 and known
as the most beautiful woman In Eu
rope. Brought up in her father's pal
ace at Cettinje, the capital of his
band-box 'kingdom In the mountains,
she 'was one of nine children who rode
and hunted and helped in the palace
housework more as If they were the
offspring' of a poor Highland chieftain
than royal princes and princesses.
The young Diana of the Montene
grin hills had no dowry. BecausB of J
the family poverty she, like all her
brothers and sisters, was made to
'learn a trade.
The girl who was to become the
queen of Italy specialized in cooking
and became a pastry chef. After her
marriage her father-in-law, King
Humbert, delighted to have her make
special desserts and candies for him
and playfully conferred upon her the
title of "Lady High Cook to the King."
Helene carried her notions of eco
nomical housekeeping to Italy with
her. She had run her brother-in-law's
household on a small sum. She had
to, for Peter of Servia didn't have
very much money when he was sim
ply hanging around Prance and Swit
zerland waiting for the change of
dynasty which made him a king.
So when she became queen of-Italy
she cut the food allowance for the
460 members of the royal household
to 50 cents b. day and reduced the
salary of the royal chef from $100 to
$60 monthly, meeting his indignant
protests with the remark, "Why, in
my country of Montenegro the min
ister of war doesn't get as much as
$60 a month."
It is this dowerless daughter of the
royal house of Montenegro, this
queen and mother who visited the
wounded and consoled the widows of
the Balkan war and who gave a book
of poems that Bhe Had written to be
sold for the benefit of the survivors,
who today is TlBlng all her very great
influence with a husband, still very
much in love with her, to keep Italy
from joining with her allies, Germany
If she succeeds she will have ful
filled the historic mission of woman
that of peacemaker!
If she fails she must see her hus
band arrayed against her father and
her sister's children. And she can
only weep and watch and pray just '
as an awful fate has forced the czar
ina of Russia to do.
For love or country? ;&., ti
Husband or native land? itf j&i?