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Widowhood

( Originally Published Early 1900's )



THE widowhood of Victoria was pathetic in the extreme. Her sorrow at the loss of her husband was so intense that the loyal widows of Great Britain presented her with an elegantly bound Bible and a note of sympathy to which the Queen made affectionate reply. In that reply she says, referring to herself, " But what she values more is their appreciation of her adored and perfect husband. To her the only sort of consolation she experiences is in the constant sense of his unseen presence, and the blessed thought of the eternal union hereafter, which will make the bitter anguish of the present appear as naught. That our Heavenly Father may impart to many widows ' those sources of consolation and support is their broken-hearted Queen's earnest prayer." When President Lincoln was assassinated, the Queen sent a message of sympathy to his widow. When the news of President Garfield's death reached England, she caused the blinds of the palace windows to be pulled down, as an expression of sorrow at a nation's loss and a sister's widowhood. And she sent to Mrs. Garfield this telegram : " Words cannot express the deep sympathy I feel with you at this terrible moment. May God support and comfort you, as he alone can."

When the Queen died, Mrs. Garfield sent to Windsor a most beautiful wreath of flowers, with a white ribbon bearing this inscription, " Prom Mrs. Garfield, in grateful remembrance of the Queen's kindness to her." Victoria's actions were prompted by a pure and affectionate heart. The well-nigh universal estimate of her character was expressed in the floral offering of President McKinley sent to the Queen's funeral. It was a large piece, eight feet in diameter, made of the most chaste and fragrant flowers, designed to represent a full and perfect life. Bacon has well said, "All our actions take their hues from the complexion of the heart, as landscapes their variety from the light."



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