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54   My Brother Theodore Roosevelt

those who influenced our early childhood, the effect upon us produced by his cultivation, his marvellous memory, his literary interests, and his genial good humor had more to do with the early stirring of intellectual desires in his little relatives than almost any other influence at that time. The very fact that he was not achieving a thousand worth-while things, as was my father, the very fact that he was not busied with the practical care and thought for us, as were my mother and auntbrought about between us that delightful relationship when the older person leads rather than drives the younger into the paths of literature and learning. To have "Uncle Hill" read Shakespeare to us under the trees, and then suggest that we "dress up" and act the parts, to have "Uncle Hill" teach us parts of the famous plays of all the ages and the equally famous poems, was a delight rather than a task; and he interspersed his Shakespeare with the most remarkable, and, to our childish minds, brilliant doggerel, sometimes of his own making, that could possibly be imagined-so that Hamlet's soliloquy one day seemed quite as palatable as "Villikins and His Dinah," or "Horum, Chorum, Sumpti Vorum," the next. To show the relationship between the charming physician of Philadelphia (the home of my uncle and aunt was in that city) and the young philosopher of New York, I am tempted to insert a letter from the latter to the former written in 1873 from Paris on our second trip abroad.

"From Theodore the Philosopher to Hilborne, Elder of the Church of Philadelphia. Dated from Paris, a city of Gaul, in the 16th day of the iith month of the 4th year of the reign of Ulysses. [I imagine that General Grant was then President.] Truly, 0 Hilborne ! this is the first time in many weeks that I have been able to write you concerning our affairs. I have just come from the city of Bonn in the land of the Teuton, where I have been communing with our fellow labourer James of Roosevelt, surnamed The Doctor [our first cousin, young James West Roosevelt], whom I left in good health. In crossing the Sea

Green Fields and Foreign Faring   55

of Atlantis I suffered much of a malady called sickness of the sea, but am now in good health, as are also all our family. I would that you should speak to the sage Leidy concerning the price of his great manuscript, which I am desirous of getting. Give my regards to Susan of West, whom I hope this letter will find in health. I have procured many birds of kinds new to me here, and have preserved them. This is all I have to say for the time being, so will close this short epistle."

That summer of 1872 was very enchanting, although overshadowed by the thought of another "terrible trip to Europe," for after much thought my father and mother had decided that the benefits of a winter on the Nile, and a summer studying German in Dresden, would outweigh the possible disadvantage of breaking into the regular school studies of the three children of the loth Street nursery. Therefore the whole family set sail again in the autumn of 1872.

After a delightful time with the uncles and aunts who had settled in England, and many gay excursions to Hampton Court and Bushey Park, and other places of interest, we went by way of Paris and Brindisi to Alexandria, and after some weeks in Cairo set sail on a dahabeah for three months on the Nile. In a letter from my brother Elliott to my aunt he speaks of my father's purchase of a boat. With characteristic disregard of the historic interest of the Nile he says: "Teedie and I won't mind the Nile very much, now that we have a boat to row in, perhaps it won't be so bad after all what with rowing, boxing, and Christmas and playing, in between lessons and the ruins." Reaching Egypt, the same young lover of boxing and boats writes of meeting much-beloved cousins, and again the characters of "Ellie" and "Teedie" are markedly brought out in the childish letter, for he says, "We had such a cosey tea. Frank and I poured tea and cut up chicken, while Teedie and Jimmie

* This in a boyish hand which is beginning to show the character of the young author.

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