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24   My Brother Theodore Roosevelt

"What the outcome will be as far as I am personally concerned, I do not know. It looks as if I would be renominated; whether I shall be re-elected I haven't the slightest idea. I know there is bitter opposition to me from many sources. Whether I shall have enough support to overcome this opposition, I cannot tell. I suppose few Presidents can form the slightest idea whether their policies have met with approval or not. Certainly I cannot. But as far as I can see, these policies have been right, and I hope that time will justify them. If it doesn't why I must abide the fall of the dice, and that is all there is to it. Ever yours, T. R."

That letter is very characteristic of his usual attitude. Strain, yes; hard work, yes; but equally " I enjoy it to the full" ! Equally also was he willing to abide by the "fall of the dice," having done what he fully believed to have been the right thing for the country.

That December, the day after Christmas, he writes again:

"Darling Sister: I so enjoyed seeing you here, but I have been so worried about you. I am now looking forward to Stewart's coming, and to seeing Helen and Ted. But I do wish you would take a rest.

"We had a delightful Christmas yesterday, just such a Christmas as thirty or forty years ago we used to have under Father's and Mother's supervision in 28 East loth Street. At seven all the children came in to open the big, bulging stockings in our bed; Kermit's terrier, Allan, a most friendly little dog, adding to the children's delight by occupying the middle of the bed. From Alice to Quentin, each child was absorbed in his or her stocking, and Edith certainly managed to get the most wonderful stocking toys. . . . Then after breakfast we all went into the library, where the bigger toys were on separate tables for the children. I wonder whether there ever can come in life a thrill of greater exaltation and rapture than that which comes to one, say between the ages of six and fourteen, when the library

Home Life in the White House 215

doors are thrown open and one walks in to see all the gifts, like a materialized fairyland, arrayed on one's own special table.

"We had a most pleasant lunch at Bamie's [our sister, Mrs. Cowles]. She had given a delightful Christmas tree to the children the afternoon before, and then I stopped in to see Cabot and Nannie [Senator and Mrs. Lodge]. It was raining so hard that we could not walk or ride with any comfort, so Roly Fortescue, Ted and I played `single stick' in the study later. All of our connections and all of the Lodge connections were at dinner with us, twenty-two in all. After the dinner we danced in the `East Room,' closing with the Virginia Reel,-Edith looking as young and as pretty, and dancing as well as ever.

"It is a clear, cold morning, and Edith and I and all the children (save Quentin) and also Bob Ferguson and Cabot are about to start for a ride. Your loving brother."

Such were all Christmases at the White House; such was the spirit of the White House in those days.

During the early years of my brother's presidency, my husband and I always spent Thanksgiving at the White House, and joined in festivities very much like the Christmas ones, including the gay Virginia reel, which was also part, always, of the Thanksgiving ceremony. After they bought a little place in Virginia, they spent their Thanksgiving anniversary there.

During the following winter, I visited the White House more frequently than usual, and enjoyed the special ceremonies such as the diplomatic dinner, judicial reception, etc., and I used to station myself near the President when he was receiving the long line of eager fellow citizens, and watch his method of welcoming his guests. Almost always he would have some special word for each, and although the long line would not be held back, for he was so rapid in speech that the individual welcome would hardly take a moment, still almost every person who passed him would have had that extraordinary sense that he or she was personally recognized. It was either a reference to the splendid old veteran father of one, or some devoted sacrifice

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