The deep impression produced throughout
the United States by the death of PGazette published
last night orders, by the K ’
command, the wearing of Court mourning for the late P .
It is announced, at the same time, that a memorial service will
be held in Westminster Abbey at noon on Thursday—the day when M .
M K ’
remains will be borne to their last home in Ohio—and a similar service
will take place at 3 o’clock on the same day in St. Paul’s Cathedral.
The former ceremony will be attended, it is understood, by the official
representatives of the Government and of the Diplomatic body; while
at the latter the L M ,
the Sheriffs, and the leading members of the historic Corporation
of London will be present in civic dignity. On the same day, too,
the Stock Exchange will be closed as “a mark of sympathy with the
people of the United States.” A memorial which has been drawn up
in the name of the leading bankers, merchants, and traders of the
City, and which is now open for signature at the Bank of England,
is intended to convey to the American Ambassador the feelings of
sorrow and indignation at the blow that has fallen upon a country
connected with us by ties so close and so numerous. Nor has it been
left to the State and to public bodies to give expression to the
emotions springing from a common humanity and a common origin, which
unite us with the people of the United States in their hour of trouble.
Spontaneously and almost universally the signs of public grief have
been shown among us. Throughout the land flags wave at half-mast
in silent homage to the murdered P .
There is hardly any corporate or organized body in the United Kingdom
which has not been eager to seize the opportunity of joining in
a manifestation of kindly feeling bearing testimony to a real kinship
between two great nations sprung from the same ancestors and inspired
by the same traditions.
M K has
found its reverberating note all over the world. Princes and peoples
have been eager to show their cordial sympathy. But nowhere has
this feeling been stronger than in our own country and among all
classes of the population of these islands. The
In the centres of commerce and industry
in the United States the public sorrow has shown itself in an unwontedly
subdued tone and an absence of any visible evidence of excitement.
Almost all the conspicuous edifices, public or private, in New York
are draped in black—the singular exception being that the buildings
belonging to the Federal Government, being forbidden by law, display
no signs of mourning. After lying in state in the City Hall at Buffalo,
the late P ’
body was removed yesterday to Washington, whence it will be carried
to-night to his home at Canton, in Ohio. The funeral will, undoubtedly,
be the most remarkable demonstration of public affliction that has
been witnessed in America since A
L ’ remains
were carried to their last resting-place. M .
M K had
won the esteem and affection of his fellow-citizens, and the policy
which he pursued in office was the outcome, both in its strength
and in its weakness, of the varying opinions of the American people.
His domestic virtues and the simplicity of his life endeared him
to a nation among whom, in spite of the vast development of wealth
and of the growing temptations to luxury, the Puritan tradition
is still a powerful force. The day of mourning proclaimed, as his
first official act, by M . M K ’
successor will be no merely formal testimony to the grief of the
nation. It will express feelings intensified by the reaction from
highly-wrought hopes to the cruel certainty that the assassin had
been successful in his crime. The keenest sympathy for the bereaved
and suffering wife of the late Chief of the State is a factor in
the condition of the public mind the importance of which can hardly
The new P
of the United States is, fortunately, exempted from the necessity
of facing a general election before he has to decide upon and announce
a policy. He occupies, in fact, a position of peculiar independence.
As a general rule the Vice-President has been chosen, not as the
most fitting person to succeed the actual Chief of the Executive
in the case of death or resignation, but for merely party reasons.
M . R ’
predecessors have been nominated and elected either to give a sop
to a defeated or disappointed section of the victorious party, or
to gratify some powerful State of which the “Favourite Son” has
been left out of the running. But the statesman for whom M .
M K ’
death has opened the way to the highest place in the Republic had
the honour thrust upon him by an irresistible movement of public
opinion. He did not himself desire a place which, as it seemed,
must relegate him to political quietude, if not to political impotence,
during four eventful years. Still less was his nomination desired
by the powerful organization governed by S
H , which dominated the Republican
party, and of which M . M K
was the chosen representative. But the popular will which compelled
M . R
to accept the office of Vice-President, with hardly any other duties
than those of the chairmanship of the Senate, has, in the actual
event, given him for three years and a half the control of the executive
power in the United States, with the prospect, if his administration
is successful, of becoming the unchallenged candidate of his party
at the next election to the Presidency. M .
high character, his unquestioned ability, his literary gifts, and
his remarkable strength of will are qualities which ought to secure
him a distinguished place in the roll of the Presidents of the Union.
It is too soon to conjecture whether P
R will add to these advantages
the saving leaven of a wise and far-seeing prudence. He is an American
Imperialist, and, though he has said that he will continue to proceed
upon the lines of M . M K ’
policy, it is not certain that he will give the same interpretation
as his predecessor to the somewhat vague phrases in which that policy
was set forth. In this country there will be no disposition to form
any unfriendly prejudgment of M . R ’
Administration. The pessimistic forecasts of some organs of opinion
in Germany and Austria, though ostensibly based upon a belief in
M . R ’
anti-German feeling, have probably a different origin. The jealousy
of the prosperity and the expansion of the Anglo-Saxon race which
is at the root of the virulence of the criticism directed against
this country abroad is a main element also in the bitterness against
“Americanism” on the Continent.