Source: Table Talk
Source type: magazine
Document type: column
Document title: “All through the Year”
Author(s): Myer, Mary C.
Date of publication: November 1901
Volume number: 16
Issue number: 11
Pagination: 410-15 (excerpt below includes only pages 410-11)
|Myer, Mary C. “All through the Year.” Table Talk Nov. 1901 v16n11: pp. 410-15.|
|William McKinley (death: personal response); William McKinley (mourning); Grover Cleveland (public statements); William McKinley; William McKinley (religious character); William McKinley (death: poetry).|
|Grover Cleveland; Jesus Christ; William McKinley.|
|“By Mrs. M. C. Myer” (p. 410).|
All through the Year [excerpt]
AMONG other interesting curios found long years ago in an old manor house
in Gloucestershire, England, was a sketch labeled “The portrait of a True Gentleman.”
It was a pen-picture not painted with a brush but neatly written. Simply framed
the treasure when discovered was hanging over the mantel in a little tapestried
sitting-room, evidently a woman’s apartment as indicated by other appointments.
How wond[e]rful the portrayal! “The true gentle[ma]n is God’s servant, the world’s master and his own man; virtue is his business, study his recreation, contentment his rest, and happiness his reward. God is his father, Jesus Christ his Saviour, and all that need him his friends. Devotion is his chaplain, chastity his chamberlain, sobriety his butler, temperance his cook, hospitality his housekeeper, providence his steward, charity his treasurer, piety the mistress of his house, and discretion his porter to let in and out as most fit. Thus his whole family is made up of virtues, and he the true master of the house. He is necessitated to take the world on his way to heaven, but in walking through it all his business is to make himself happy by making others so. Take him in two words—Man and Christian.” Without name or date and very ancient the original of the so-called “portrait” is unknown, but nevertheless still lives and blesses mankind in this character-study of highest and purest type, almost unequalled [sic] as lesson and standard for right living.
This fair land of ours is now under a sorrow so heavy and crushing as to overshadow the whole world. On every loyal heart to-day, and for all time to come, is impressed a like “portrait of a true gentleman” and in letters of pure gold, bright and unfading, the dear name “William McKinley.” Not only for Chief Magistrate, but for the “Man” and “Christian” do tears fall and sobs break forth in this time of overwhelming grief and trial. How beautiful and true the words of ex-President Cleveland at Princeton, “McKinley’s power rested not so much in the knowledge gained by education, as in his recognition of the manifold duties of life in every relation. He was great in his ultimate success, because he was great in the minutiæ of life.” He was as loving, earnest and thoughtful in small things, an example, a light upon the pathway of every-day life, as he was wise, far-seeing, judicious and noble in his guidance of affairs of State. In his private as well as public life ample testimony proves that to “need him” was to be his friend whom he served faithfully and cheerfully to the extent of his ability, whether in influence, money, advice, or sympathy as the case might be. Truly in his “walk through the world on his way to heaven” he found his best happiness “in making others happy!”
In the very zenith of fame, honored beloved [sic], and with prosperity surrounding him both in national and personal issues, his idolized wife mercifully restored to him seemingly from the very door of Death, he had everything to live for. The blow came suddenly, but how beautiful and convincing the lesson of his death! “Prepared for the worst” he fought a brave battle to live for the sake of the lovely devoted wife to whom he was all of earthly joy, comfort and strength. It was indeed a bitter pang to the great good heart to leave her sorrowing and desolate, deprived of the gentle unceasing ministry which it had ever been his highest pleasure and most sacred privilege to bestow.
When hope faded and the shadow deepened tenderly he sustained her with the assurance that “it was God’s way” and to bear it bravely the duty of both. Alas! to the frail grief-stricken mourner a heart  breaking obligation for which God alone can give grace and courage!
President McKinley as “Man” and “Christian” through his administration lived for God and his country. In dying he was not only submissive to divine will but he also recognized divine purpose. “God’s way,” and therefore for him, for those who loved him, and for the nation the best way! Again quoting from Mr. Cleveland’s tender eulogy upon the dead President (which bears especial weight as from a man who knows by experience of what he speaks) “McKinley’s work was well done. It is better done in that it shines now as an illustrious example for the benefit of all however narrow the opportunity.” As the late President recognized the manifold duties of life in every relation and performed them faithfully, intelligently, lovingly and without ostentation as “God’s servant,” so is he mourned by all irrespective of party and country even. This universal grief was pathetically voiced by a poor old colored man, his eyes raining tears as he viewed the emblems of mourning as expression of the nation’s bereavement. Sobbingly came the words, “he wasn’t my politics, but he was my President!”
Looking to Christ as his Saviour, and sweetly, without murmur, accepting as “God’s way” for him a martyr’s death, the twenty-fifth President of the United States, Wm. McKinley, went peacefully and triumphantly to his rest, beloved and honored above the lot of men not only in his own country but in foreign lands as well. His portrait as “Man,” “Christian” and “true gentleman” will brighten with passing years and from generations yet unborn meet loving recognition, his greatness going down in history as exceeded only by his goodness of heart and purity of life.
“It is God’s will,” as he had lived he died—
Statesman and soldier, fearing not to bear
Fate’s heavy cross, while swift from sea to sea,
Rolled the deep accents of a nation’s prayer.
“Dust to dust,” in solemn state he lies
Who bowed to death, yet won a deathless name,
And wears in triumph on his marble brow
The martyr’s crown, the hero’s wreath of fame.