226 My Brother Theodore Roosevelt
bought tickets. Mr. Matthew Hale, then tutor to my nephew Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., has described the scene as follows: "The whole room was beautifully decorated with lights and wreaths and flowers. As I stood looking down on the great pageant I felt as though I were in some other world,-as though these people below there and moving in and out were not real people, but were all part of some great mechanism built for our special benefit. And then my feeling would change to the other extreme when I thought of each one of those men and women as individuals, each one thinking, and feeling and acting according to his own will,-and that all, just for that one night, came together for a common purpose, to see the President. Soon an open place appeared in the throng before us, and the President and Mrs. Roosevelt, and behind them Vice-President and Mrs. Fairbanks, walked to the other end of the hall and back, while the people cheered and cheered." And soon it was time to go back to the White House, and then, best of all, came what we used to call a "back-hair" talk in Theodore and Edith's room. What fun we had as we talked the great day over in comfortable deshabille. A small round bottle of old wine was found somewhere by Mrs. Roosevelt, and the family drank the President's health, and we talked of old times and childhood days, and of the dear ones whose hearts would have glowed so warmly had they lived to see that day. We laughed immoderately over all kinds of humorous happenings, and we could hardly bear to say "good night," we still felt so gay, so full of life and fun, so invigorated and stimulated by the excitement and by the deeper thoughts and desires, which, however, only took the form that night of increasing hilarity !
Shortly after that March inauguration my daughter Corinne, just eighteen, was asked by her kind aunt to pay a visit at the White House, and I impressed upon her the wonderful opportunity she would have of listening to the great men of the world at the informal luncheon gatherings which were a feature of my brother's incumbency. "Do not miss a word," I said to