Home  »  Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen  »  Page 295

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

Page 295

at a conclusion more quickly than any one I ever knew; but he never jumps at it. He has learned how to use his mind, and all of it, that is why. “I own,” writes a friend to me from Ohio, “that he has been right so far every time. But next time where will we find him?” Learn to think a thing out, as he does; and when you have done it, ask yourself, “Which, now, is right?” and you will know. Watch and you will see that the real difference between his critics and him is this: they chase all round the compass for some portent of trouble “if they do this or do that,” and in the end throw themselves headlong on some course that promises safety; whereas, he goes calmly ahead, seeking the right and letting troubles take care of themselves if they must come. That is the quality of his courage which some good people identify as a kind of fighting spunk that must be in a broil at regular intervals. I do not suppose there is a less emotional man in existence than Secretary Root of the War Department. He was the only one, the newspapers said, in the cabinet who would not give five dollars for his chair as a souvenir. He could put the money to better use, and he