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

Page 405

your demand. Appeal to the animal, and watch the claws come out; appeal to the divine in him, and he will show you the heart of your brother. As the days passed in Mulberry Street, Roosevelt seemed to me more and more like a touchstone by rubbing against which the true metal of all about him was brought out: every rascal became his implacable enemy; the honest, his followers almost to a man.
  When, then, you have a bird’s-eye view of Theodore Roosevelt’s career, cast your eye down it once more and mark its bearings as a “pathway to ruin.” That, you remember, was what the politicians called it, from the early years in Albany down to the present day,—honestly enough, after their fashion, for they are the keepers of the husk I spoke of, and of the power of the ideal they have, can have no conception. Study their “path to ruin” carefully, and note whither it led, despite the “mistakes” with which it was thickly strewn.
  Mistakes! Roosevelt is no more infallible than you or I, and no doubt he has made his mistakes, though they were not the ones the politicians picked out. There is a use for mistakes in his plan of life: they are made to