192 My Brother Theodore Roosevelt
as follows: "On Saturday I find Senator Platt wants me to breakfast with him at the Fifth Avenue." That was one of the rare occasions when the unfortunate senator induced the governor to part from his sister, and the inevitable presence of that sister at the conferences which Senator Platt quite naturally preferred to have alone with the governor. The letter continues: "On Friday, at half past eight, General Greene, Mr. F. S. Witherbee, Mr. Fox and Mr. MacFarlane will give you the unexpected pleasure of breakfasting with you. Is this all right?" Needless to say, it was all right; only, if I remember correctly, a large number were added equally unexpectedly to the four abovementioned gentlemen. Those breakfasts were the most delightful of meals. My brother's friend Professor William M. Sloane in later days was frequently a member of the breakfast-parties at my house, and he used, laughingly, to remark that he wondered why we were all bidden so promptly at half past eight when the gentleman who so sternly called others from their comfortable beds on cold winter mornings at that matutinal hour seemed always able to sit over the breakfast-table until about eleven ! That, however, was not the case in those early gubernatorial days, for the young governor was pressed with too many affairs to yield to his Southern inclination to "brood" over the breakfast-table.
In later days at the rare periods of comparative leisure, between 1910 and 1912, the "half-hours at the breakfast-table" were prolonged into several whole hours, and many a time my friend Mrs. Parsons and I have listened to the most enchanting discussions on the part of Colonel Roosevelt and Professor Sloane, dealing occasionally with Serb or Rumanian literature or the intricacies of Napoleonic history.
One luncheon during the time that my brother was governor stands out clearly in my mind, owing to an amusing incident connected with it. My dining-room at 422 Madison Avenue was small, and fourteen people were the actual limit that it could hold. One day, he having told me that he was