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

Page 53

meant by this last. They were there on the good old plan—good so far always for the purpose it served—that was put in its plainest, most brutal form, years after, by the champion of spoilsmen forever: “I am in politics working for my own pocket all the time—same as you.” The sneer told of their weak spot. The man who has lost faith in man has lost his grip. He may not know it, but he has. I fancy they felt it at the coming of this young man who had taught the Commandments in Sunday-school because he believed in them. They laughed a little uneasily and guessed he would be good, if he were kept awhile.
  Before half the season had passed he had justified their fears, if they had them. There was an elevated railroad ring that had been guilty of unblushing corruption involving the Attorney-General of the State and a Judge of the Supreme Court. The scandal was flagrant and foul. The people were aroused, petitioned respectfully but chafed angrily under the yawn with which their remonstrances were received in the Assembly. The legislators “referred” the petition and thought it dead. But they had forgotten Roosevelt.