College Chums 107
America for all that America means to her sons and daughters.
Several other equally loving letters in that March of 1878 proved how the constant thoughts of the young sophomore turned to the family at home, and also his own sense of loss in his father's death, but I think the many interests and normal surroundings brought their healing power to the boy of nineteen, and at the end of that year of his college life he had become a well-rounded character. His mind, intelligently focussed upon many intellectual subjects, had broadened in scope, and physically he was no longer the delicate, dreamy boy of earlier days. The period of his college life, although not one of as unusual interest as perhaps other periods in his life, was of inestimable value in the forming of his character. Had Theodore Roosevelt continued to be abnormally developed along the scientific and intellectual side of his nature, he would never have become the "All-American" which he was destined to be. It was necessary for him to fall into more commonplace grooves; it was necessary for him to meet the young men of his age on common ground, to get the "give-and-take" of a life very.diferent from the more or less individual life which, owing to his ill health and intellectual aspirations, he had hitherto led, and already, by the end of the second year of college, he was beginning to take a place in the circle of his friends which showed in an embryonic way the leadership which later was to be so strongly evidenced.
On October 8, 1878, returning to Cambridge as a junior, he writes to his mother: "Darling, beloved, little motherling: I have just loved your dear, funny, pathetic, little letter, and I am now going to write you the longest letter I ever write, and if it is still rather short, you must recollect that it takes Teddyboy a long time to write. I have enjoyed Charlie Dickey's being here extremely, and I think I have been of some service to him. We always go to prayers together; for his own sake, I have not been much with him in the daytime, but every evening, we spend a good part of the time together in my room or his. He is just