An insight into the character of Major Henry Lee Higginson '55 was afforded at the mass meetings last night in his memory, by the three closest friends of the Major, President Eliot, Judge, Frederick P. Cabot '90, and President Lowell. President Eliot, in speaking of Major Higginson's ideals, said:
"He believed that there was a growing purpose and sense in the world of justice for all mankind, but it was not the justice depicted in the Bible as exhibited by the Hebrew God, it was not the best justice of mankind today towards fellow-men, towards women and children. He looked for the coming of a wiser justice and a justice tempered with mercy and tenderness. And that was at the root of Major Higginson's nature.
"He was a tender man, a gentle man, a man who loved the beautiful, the abounding beauty of the world, the beauty to the eye, beauty to the ear. He saw in the boundless universe God's love and God's love of the beautiful and the true."
Judge Cabot, the next speaker, emphasized the Major's recognition of the value of friendship and the value of music in inspiring sentiments as noble as that of friendship. "Mr. Higginson gave Solidiers Field. It symbolized the love of friends. It was in memory of the friends of his, youth, his comrades who died in the war when he and they staked their lives in the great cause. And then, years later, he gave this building (the Union), symbolizing the love of friendship.
"Then he founded the Symphony Orchestra for the love of music, but greater than that, for the recognition of all the noble sentiments which fine music stands for and evokes as beyond and above music as such."
The third and last speech, by President Lowell, dealt with his elemental, his fearless simplicity. "He was one of the men who was ready to stand up and think his own thoughts, trust his own thoughts and act upon his own thoughts. And he was ready to do what he thought without regard for the fact that somebody would criticise it tomorrow, knowing that it would justify itself the day after.
"He was a man who was open-minded in his way. He was ready to believe that we had not got to the end of the world or that the we had reached the end of truth, or the end of the social organization of mankind."
In conclusion, President Lowell read parts of letters from Major Higginson, and ended with the tribute: "As he said in a letter that I have just quoted, the dead die that a new generation may come along and put its ideas into force, and in time they will pass and another generation come along.
"He believed in the common saying that 'there are as good fish in the sea as ever come out of it.' He believed, and indeed the world would not be worth living in if one did not believe that there are as good men in the world as those who are gone and that those who are yet to be born will be not less good. But nevertheless we shall never see Henry Lee Higginson again."
Funeral Marked by Simplicity.
At the funeral services of Major Higginson yesterday noon Appleton Chapel was filled to overflowing with friends who had come to do homage to Harvard's great benefactor. In addition to President Lowell and the Board of Overseers, who acted as honorary pallbearers, the University was represented by over a thousand students, who assembled in a double line outside of the chapel.
The service, which was conducted by the Reverend Samuel McChord Crothers of the First Unitarian Church of Cambridge, was marked by its brevity and the absence of an elaborate ritual. About 12.30 o'clock the coffin was carried by the nephews of the late Major Higginson as far as the door of the chapel, where their places were taken by the undergraduate pallbearers, R. W. Emmons, 2nd. '20, H. S. Walker '20, F. Workum '20, J. N. Borland '21. W. Davis '21, and C. C. Buell '23.
At Mt. Auburn Cemetery James Hardy Ropes '89, Dean in charge of University Extension, officiated at the short interment.
Among those present at the ceremony in addition to the Board of Overseers, were Mayor Peters of Boston, President McLaurin of Technology, ex-Senator John W. Weeks, and Mr. Thomas W. Lawson