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88   My Brother Theodore Roosevelt

thoughts and new studies, I wish once more, as I have done several times in these pages, to quote from his words to the little girl in whom he was trying to instil his own beautiful attitude toward life: "Remember that almost every one will be kind to you and will love you if you are only willing to receive their love and are unselfish yourself. Unselfishness, you know, is the virtue that I put above all others, and while it increases so much the enjoyment of those about you, it adds infinitely more to your own pleasure. Your future, in fact, depends very much upon the cultivation of unselfishness, and I know that my darling little girl wishes to practise this quality, but I do wish to impress upon you its importance. As each year passes by, we ought to look back to see what we have accomplished, and also look forward to the future to make up for any deficiencies showing thus a determination to do better, not wasting time in vain regrets." In many ways these words of my father, written when we were so young and so malleable, and impressed upon us by his ever-encouraging example, became one of the great factors in making my brother into the type of man who will always be remembered for that unselfishness instilled into him by his father, and for the determination to do better each day of his life without vain regret for what was already beyond recall.


After our return to America the winter of 11874 was passed at our new home at 6 West 57th Street. My brother was still considered too delicate to send to a boarding-school, and various tutors were engaged for his education, in which my brother Elliott and I shared. Friendships of various kinds were begun and augmented, especially the friendship with the little girl Edith Carow, our babyhood friend, and another little girl, Frances Theodora Smith, now Mrs. James Russell Parsons, to whose friendship and comprehension my brother always turned with affectionate appreciation. Inspired by the Dresden Lit

The Dresden Literary American Club 89

erary American Club, the female members of our little coterie formed a circle known by the name of P. O. R. E., to which the "boys" were admitted on rare occasions. The P. O. R. E. had also literary ambitions, and they proved a fit sequel to the eruditionary D. L. A. C., which originated in the German family ! Mr. J. Coleman Drayton, Mr. Charles B. Alexander, and my father were the only honorary members of the P. O. R. E.

The summer of 11874 proved to be the forerunner of the happiest summers of our lives, as my father decided to join the colony which had been started by his family at Oyster Bay, Long Island, and we rented a country place which, much to the amusement of our friends, we named "Tranquillity." Anything less tranquil than that happy home at Oyster Bay could hardly be imagined. Endless young cousins and friends of both sexes and of every kind of varied interest always filled the simple rooms and shared the delightful and unconventional life which we led in that enchanted spot. Again I cannot say too much of the way in which our parents allowed us liberty without license. During those years-when Theodore was fifteen, sixteen, and seventeen-every special delight seems connected with Oyster Bay. We took long rides on horseback through the lanes then so seemingly remote, so far from the thought of the broad highways which now are traversed by thousands of motors, but were then the scenes of picnics and every imaginable spree. Our parents encouraged all mental and physical activity and having, as I say, a large circle of young cousins settled around us, we were never at a loss for companionship. One of our greatest delights was to take the small rowboats with which we were provided and row away for long days of happy leisure to what then seemed a somewhat distant spot on the other side of the bay, called Yellow Banks, where we would have our picnic lunch and climb Cooper's Bluff, and read aloud or indulge in poetry contests and games which afforded us infinite amusement. One of our favorite games was called Crambo. We each wrote a question and each wrote a word, then all the words were put into

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