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

Page 30

he refused grimly to cry quarter, and pressed the fight home in a way that always reminds me of that redoubtable Danish seafighter, Peter Tordenskjold, who kept up the fight, firing pewter dinner-plates and mugs from his one gun, when on his little smack there was left but a single man of the crew, “and he wept.” Tordenskjold killed the captain of the Swedish frigate with one of his mugs and got away. Roosevelt was bested in his boxing-matches often enough, but, however superior, his opponents bore away always the impression that they had faced a fighter.
  But the battle was not always to the strong in those days. I have heard a story of how Roosevelt beat a man with a reputation as a fighter, but not, it would appear, with the instincts of a gentleman. I shall not vouch for it, for I have not asked him about it; but it is typical enough to be true, except for the wonder how the fellow got in there. He took, so the story runs, a mean advantage and struck a blow that drew blood before Roosevelt had got his glove on right. The bystanders cried foul, but Roosevelt smiled one of his grim smiles.