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Harrison's Incorruptibility

( Originally Published Early 1900's )

GENERAL HARRISON'S moral sensibilities were exceedingly delicate and true. His conscience was quick as the apple of the eye. Quick to sense the right, the whole bent of his nature was toward it. There was not the least variation or prevarication about him. His word was truth. What he said he meant, and what he seemed to be he was. He was a puritan in his character, so sterling were his virtues. In an immense practice, with thousands of opportunities for unfair dealing, he was scrupulously honest. He passed through a campaign, in which there is generally an insane fondness for slander, without the scratch of the finest brier or the stain of the smallest finger-print. Some of his bitterest political enemies pay the highest tributes to his incorruptibility. Ex-President Grover Cleveland, who was defeated by him and then defeated him, on hearing of his death, said : " Not one of our countrymen should for a moment fail to realize the services which have been performed in their behalf by the distinguished dead. In high public office he was guided by patriotism and devotion to duty, and in private station his influence and example were always in the direction of decency and good citizenship. Such a career and the incidents connected with it, should leave a deep and useful impression upon every section of our national life."

General Harrison's consciousness of rectitude and rigid habit of self-control gave dignity to his manner and contentment to his spirit. Epictetus said, "Happiness is not in strength, for Myron and Ofellus were not happy; not in wealth, for Croesus was not happy; not in all these together, for Nero and Sardanapalus and Agamemnon sighed and tore their hair, and were the slaves of circumstances and the dupes of semblances. It lies in yourselves ; in true freedom ; in the absence or conquest of every ignoble fear; in perfect self-government, and in a power of contentment and peace and the even flow of life." A wiser than Epictetus has said, " He that ruleth his spirit is better than he that taketh a city." The moral purity of his character not only gave to General Harrison true dignity and contentment, but it was a source of untold power to him in his profession and in his political promotion.

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