Source: National Magazine
Source type: magazine
Document type: article
Document title: “Chicago Sees Famous War Paintings”
Author(s): Cleveland, H. I.
Date of publication: April 1902
Volume number: 16
Issue number: 1
Pagination: 101-08 (excerpt below includes only page 106)
|Cleveland, H. I. “Chicago Sees Famous War Paintings.” National Magazine Apr. 1902 v16n1: pp. 101-08.|
|assassinations (comparison); McKinley assassination (international response); society (mental health).|
|William McKinley; Vasily Vereshchagin [variant spelling below].|
|“Basil Verestchagin, the famous Russian war painter—an evangel of peace. . .” (p. 101).|
Chicago Sees Famous War Paintings [excerpt]
Verestchagin’s attitude toward the life of his
time is quite as forcibly indicated in his text as in his pictures. Thus, he
“Now, listen! An emperor is killed. Oh, how bad! How wrong! What confusion it brought! But there were some reasons for this killing. It was removing the head of a monarchy that was sometimes tyrannical and cruel. But then, the man was caught and ordered shot. That is right. That is good. He must be prevented from killing another emperor.
“Then things seemed to be quiet. Order and confidence were restored. But after a short time a king is killed, a good king, a king who was kind to his subjects, beloved. Well, this man was taken. He was not killed, but he was shut up in a cage, where he was to have no intercourse with his kind for his whole life. That is good. That is right. He must be prevented from killing some other king.
“Again all is quiet. Again there is confidence. But lo, an empress is killed! Now an empress. Oh, that is too bad! A woman, and a very charming woman. She was not responsible for the deeds of her husband. She was not in public life. She was a very good woman. What is the matter? The man is caught again. He also was shut up. He was not allowed to speak to any man, see anybody. He was put in a cage. That is right. That is fine. He must understand that to kill an empress is not a proper thing. He must be prevented from doing similar wrong.
“Well, again quiet for a certain time. But, lo, a president is killed! A president! Oh, oh, that is too bad! There may be some excuse for killing emperors and kings, but to kill a president in a free country, the choice of the people. Oh, that is very foolish. What of this murderer? Why, he must be killed twice. A special law must be enacted. This thing must be stopped. But what is the matter?
“It is evident that society is sick. It is suffering from a very severe wound, and the killing now and then of an emperor and a king cannot cure it. But it is well to understand; we must realize that the revolver which killed President McKinley was the same revolver which killed the Russian Emperor, the King of Italy, and the Empress of Austria, and that this revolver was the revolver of poverty, of misery, of despair.
“How cure such sickness? There is need of radical treatment. The money, millions, and millions, and more millions, which is spent in taking life in different wars, must be applied to the curing of society. We must make war against war, seek to save life and not destroy it.”