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

Page 403

between the ideal and the husk; for life without ideals is like the world without the hope of heaven, an empty meaningless husk. It is your business to read its meaning into it by making the ideals real. The material things of life are good in their day, but they pass away; the moral remain to bear witness that the high hopes of youth are not mere phantasms. Theodore Roosevelt lives his ideals; therefore you can trust them. Here they are in working shape: “Face the facts as you find them; strive steadily for the best.” “Be never content with less than the possible best, and never throw away that possible best because it is not the ideal best.” Maxims, those, for the young man who wants to make the most of himself and his time. Happily for the world, the young man who does not is rare.
  Perhaps I can put what is in my mind in no better shape than by giving you his life-rules, to which I have seen him live up all these years, though I have not often heard him express them in so many words. Here is one:
  “It is better to be faithful than famous.”
  Look back now upon his career as I have sketched it, and see how in being steadfastly