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

Page 17

not know where he was going. I doubt if he did. His father and mother were ashore and on their way home. He was just having it out and having a good time. It was his father over again, and we cheered him on and let him go. I don’t suppose we could have stopped him had we tried.
  No more could you have stopped Theodore in his day. What he did with the will to win, yet never as a task. He got no end of fun out of it, or it would have been of little use, and one secret of that was that he made what he did serve an end useful in itself. On his tramps through the woods he studied and classified the neighborhood birds. He knew their song, their plumage, and their nests. So he learned something he wanted to know, and cultivated the habits of study, of concentration, at the time when all boys are impatient of these things and most of them shirk them when they can, leaving every task unfinished. And all, as I said, along of a healthy, outdoor, romping life. The reward of that was not long in coming. Presently strong muscles knit themselves about his bones, the frail frame broadened and grew tough. The boy held his own with his