240 My Brother Theodore Roosevelt
"This letter from Merrifield is so nice about Monroe and Stewart that I thought I would send it to you. How well they did." Always the same generous joy in the achievements of any of the younger generation.
Again, on December 26, comes a long letter describing another "White House Christmas." He deplores the fact that the children are growing a little older, and that "Ted" says in a melancholy way that he no longer feels the wild excitement of former years and the utter inability to sleep soundly during the night before Christmas. He adds, however: "Personally I think that `Ted' also was thoroughly in the spirit of the thing when Christmas actually arrived, because by six o'clock every child of every size was running violently to and fro along the hall, in and out of all the other children's rooms, the theory being that Edith and I were still steeped in dreamless and undisturbed slumber !"
It is true that that winter was more difficult than the winter before, but he met the unusual difficulties with unabated courage, and writes in October, 1907, after giving me much family news: "Indeed times have been bad in New York, and as is always the case the atonement was largely vicarious, and innocent people suffered. I hope it does not extend through the rest of the country. If we check it, I think it will mean ultimate good, though it will also mean depression for a year at least."
In March, 1908, in the midst of harassing controversies and presidential difficulties of all kinds, he takes the time and interest to write concerning a young friend of mine into whose life had come an unfortunate trouble. The letter is so full of a certain quality-what perhaps I might call a righteous ruthlessness specially characteristic of Theodore Roosevelt-that I quote a few lines from it:
"I hate to think of her suffering; but the only thing for her to do now is to treat the past as past, the event as finished and out of her life; to dwell on it, and above all to keep talking of it with any one, would be both weak and morbid. She should