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

Page 406

learn from. Here is another of his maxims: “The only man who makes no mistakes is the man who never does anything.” He has made fewer than most people, because he has taught himself from the very start to think quick and straight. He makes sure he is right and then goes ahead. The snags, if there be any in the way, do not trouble him. Dodge them he never does, but shoulders the responsibility and goes ahead. That is one reason why he has been able to do so much in his brief life: he never has to be on the defensive, to cover his retreat, but is ever ready to go ahead, to attack.
  He is always fair. That is a cardinal virtue in a fighter of Anglo-Saxon blood, for we all have the love of fair play in us. He never hits a man below the belt. Even to the policemen whom he searched out at night in the old days when as Commissioner he made a rounds-man of himself, he gave a fair show. He was not out to “make a case” against them, but to see that they did their duty. Of every man he demands the best that is in him, no more, no less. For himself, there is nothing that is worth doing at all that is not worth doing as well as it can be done. When he was a boy the