ANALYSIS OF MR. BRYAN'S CHARACTER
WHEN a man is in public life, the searchlight of publicity shows only his dominant traits, these often overemphasized and out of proportion to other qualities.
It remains for those who knew him best to give, by the addition of more intimate knowledge, a well-rounded estimate of his character.
Perhaps the dominant note which has been sounded by the recent obituary notices in the press is a belief in Mr. Bryan's personal sincerity and integrity. "Even though we do not agree with some of his doctrines," they said repeatedly, "we can pay tribute to his honesty and sincerity." Under this qualifying phrase was often the shadow of years of bitter opposition.
Willis J. Abbot closes an editorial with these words: "To paraphrase the words of Henley, he may not have been the master of his fate--few men are that--but he was at all times and under all circumstances the captain of his soul."
Public opinion, as expressed by the press, has also recognized Mr. Bryan's deep religious faith. The attention which focused on the latter days of his life when that faith was made a matter of court record and subjected to the harassing ordeal of cross examination, brought the simplicity and fervor of his religious convictions into sharp notice.
But it was not in the unsympathetic atmosphere of a court room or even in those words which were placed at the beginning of his will: "In the name of God, farewell," that the quality of his religious nature made itself most plain.