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

Page 407

wonders of electricity aroused his interest, and he pelted a friend, a medical practitioner, with questions concerning it. “Other boys asked questions,” the doctor said, recalling the experience; “but Theodore wanted to know the nature of the force.” There he came to the limit of knowledge. But it was so with everything. What he knows he knows thoroughly, because he has learned all he could learn about it; and so he is able to give points to his opponent and win. For just as in boxing it is science, not slugging, that wins, so in life it is the man who knows who carries off the prizes worth having. He gets all the rewards, the other fellow the hard knocks.
  When the work in hand has been done he believes in having a good time. No man has a better. He put it in words once in my hearing: “Have all the fun you honestly and decently can; it is your right.” It is part of the perfect balance that gets things done, and done right. Above all, his conception of life is a sane, common-sense one. It is the view which leaves the fun out that makes all the trouble. Somewhere I have told of my experience in Denmark, my old home, where they make butter