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

Page 34

the cautious, almost wary, deliberation which in the end guided action, though he himself but half knew it. They laughed a little at his jump at the proposition to go to Greenland with a classmate and study the fauna there—he was planning the trip before it had been fairly suggested—and at the preparations he made for a tiger-hunting expedition to India with his brother Elliott. The fact that in both cases he acted upon the coolest judgment and stayed home occurred to them only long afterward. To me at this end, with his later life to interpret its beginning, it seems clear enough that already the perfect balance that has distinguished his mental processes since was beginning to assert itself. However he might seem to be speeding toward extremes, he never got there. He buried himself in his books, but he woke up at the proper seasons, and what he had got he kept. He went in for the play, all there was of it, but he never mistook the means for the end and let the play run away with him. Long years after, when the thing that was then taking shape in him had ripened, he wrote it down in the record of his Western hunts: “In a certain kind of fox-hunting lore