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

Page 384

peace of the world has added, instead, to the prestige of The Hague Court of Arbitration through the wisdom and lofty public spirit of the American President. The man who was called hasty and unsafe has done more for the permanent peace of the world than all the diplomats of the day. The Panama Canal is at last to be a fact, with benefit which no one can reckon to the commerce of the world, of our land, and most of all to the Southern States, that are trying to wake up from their long sleep. I confess that the half-hearted criticism I hear of the way of the administration with Panama provokes in me a desire to laugh; for it reminds me of the way the case was put to me by a man, than whom there is no one in the United States who should know better.
  “It is just,” he said, “as if a fellow were to try to hold you up, and you were to wrench the gun away from him, so”—with an expressive gesture; “and then some bystander should cry out, ‘Oh, the poor fellow! you ’ve taken away his gun! Maybe he would n’t have shot at all; and then it is his gun, anyway, and you such a big fellow, and he so small. Oh, shame!’ ”
  We can smile now, but Assistant Secretary