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

Page 36

round-robin—and also for the generous speed with which he would hasten to undo a wrong done by word or act. There were no half-way measures with him then. He owned right up. “He was fair always,” said one of his classmates who was close to him. “He never tried to humbug others, or himself either, but spoke right out in meeting, telling it all.” No wonder some within reach thought him erratic. There has never been a time in the history of the world when such a course would commend itself to all men as sane. It commended itself to him as right, and that was enough.
  A distinguishing trait in his father had been—he died while Theodore was at college—devotion to duty, and the memory of it and of him was potent with the son. He tried to walk in his steps. “I tried faithfully to do what father had done,” he told me once when we talked about him, “but I did it poorly. I became Secretary of the Prison Reform Association (I think that was the society he spoke of), and joined this and that committee. Father had done good work on so many; but in the end I found out that we have each to work