72 My Brother Theodore Roosevelt
that the mere making of such a motto showed that "Johnnie" and "Ellie" were certainly exceptions that proved that rule. "Teedie" himself, struggling as usual with terrible attacks of asthma that perpetually undermined his health and strength, was all the same, between the attacks, the ringleader in fun and gaiety and every imaginable humorous adventure. He was a slender, overgrown boy at the time, and wore his hair long in true German student fashion, and adopted a would-be philosopher type of look, effectively enhanced by trousers that were outgrown, and coat sleeves so short that they gave him a "Smike"-like appearance. His contributions to the immortal literary club were either serious and very accurate from a natural-historical standpoint, or else they showed, as comparatively few of his later writings have shown, the delightful quality of humor which, through his whole busy life, lightened for him every load and criticism. I cannot resist giving in full the fascinating little story called "Mrs. Field Mouse's Dinner Party," in which the personified animals played social parts, in the portrayal of which my brother divulged (my readers must remember he was only fourteen) a knowledge of "society" life, its acrid jealousies and hypocrisies, of which he never again seemed to be conscious.
MRS. FIELD MOUSE'S DINNER PARTY
BY THEODORE ROOSEVELT-AGED FOURTEEN
"My Dear," said Mrs. M. to Mr. M. one day as they were sitting
on an elegant acorn sofa, just after breakfast, "My Dear, I think that we really must give a dinner party." "A What, my love?"
exclaimed Mr. M. in a surprised tone. "A Dinner Party"; returned Mrs. M. firmly, "you have no objections I suppose?"
"Of course not, of course not," said Mr. M. hastily, for there was I an ominous gleam in his wife's eye. "But-but why have it yet
for a while, my love?" "Why indeed! A pretty question! After that odious Mrs. Frog's great tea party the other evening! But
that is just it, you never have any proper regard for your station in life, and on me involves all the duty of keeping up appearances, and