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

Page 42

not exactly revolutionary preaching, but it is apt to stir up feelings when it means what it says. No extraordinary ambitions, no other thought than to do his share of what there was to do, and to do it well, stirred in this young student now sailing across the seas to begin life in his native land, to take up a man’s work in a man’s country. None of his college chums had been found to predict for him a brilliant public career. Even now they own it.
  What, then, had he got out of his five years of study? They were having a reunion of his class when he was Police Commissioner, and he was there. One of the professors told of a student coming that day to bid him good-by. He asked him what was to be his work in the world.
  “Oh!” said he, with a little yawn. “Really, do you know, professor, it does not seem to me that there is anything that is much worth while.”
  Theodore Roosevelt, who had been sitting, listening, at the other end of the table, got up suddenly and worked his way round to the professor’s seat. He struck the table a blow that was not meant for it alone.