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Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914). Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen. 1904.

Page 133

quarters of the city, and to take the children off the streets to prevent them from growing up toughs. In the same way it is an admirable thing to have clean streets; indeed, it is an essential thing to have them; but it would be a better thing to have our schools large enough to give ample accommodation to all should-be pupils, and to provide them with proper play-grounds.”
  You see, he had not changed. His was the same old plan, to help the man who was down; and he was right, too. It was and is the essential thing in a country like ours: not to prop him up forever, not to carry him; but to help him to his feet so he can go himself. Else the whole machine won’t go at length in the groove in which we have started it. The last letter concludes with regret that he had not seen his way clear to accept the street-cleaning commissionership that was offered him by the Mayor, for “I should have been delighted to smash up the corrupt contractors and put the street-cleaning force absolutely out of the domain of politics.” No doubt he would; but it was well he did n’t, for so Colonel Waring came into our city’s life, and he was just such