Home Life in the White House 217
tion will turn out; but I am more than content, whatever comes, for I have been able to do much that was worth doing. With love to Douglas and very, very much love to you, I am, Your devoted Brother." In the midst of the pressing cares of the
administration and the fatigue of his letter of acceptance he still has time for the usual unfailing interest in me and mine !
On October i8, again my brother writes:
"Of course, I am excited about the election, but there really isn't much I can do about it, and I confine myself chiefly to the regular presidential work. Nobody can tell anything about the outcome. At the present time, it looks rather favorable to me." And again to my husband on October 25: "As for the result, the Lord only knows what it will be. Appearances look favorable, but I have a mind steeled for any outcome!"
In spite of his "mind steeled for any outcome," the one great ambition of Theodore Roosevelt's life was to be chosen President on his own merits by the people of the United States. He longed for the seal of approval on the devoted service which he had rendered to his country, and one of my clearest memories is my conversation with him on Election day, 19o4, when on his way back from voting at Oyster Bay, I met him at Newark, N. J., and went with him as far as Philadelphia. In his private drawing-room on the car, he opened his heart to me, and told me that he had never wanted anything in his life quite as much as the outward and visible sign of his country's approval of what he had done during the last three and a half years. I frankly do not feel that this wish was because of any overweening ambition on his part, but to the nature of Theodore Roosevelt it had always been especially difficult to have come into the great position which he held through a calamity to another rather than as the personal choice of the people of the United States. His temperament was such that he wished no favor which he had not himself won. Therefore, it seemed to him a crucial moment in his life when, on his own merit, he was to be judged as fit or unfit to be his own successor. Not only for those