248 My Brother Theodore Roosevelt
whole day. It was a very touching little ceremony, and most of all it was delightful to see you two in your lovely home, living just the kind of life that I feel is typical of what American life should be at its best. I was so glad to see all your neighbors, and to see the terms they were on with you. Moreover, the view, the grounds, the house itself, and all there was therein, were delightful beyond measure; and most delightful of all was it to see the three generations ranging from you two to the babies of dear Helen and Teddy. Ever yours, Theodore Roosevelt." As usual, he never spared an effort to do the lovely thing, and then say the satisfying thing to those for whom he had done the service.
And now the time of Theodore Roosevelt's incumbency as President was drawing to a close. There is always a glamour as well as a shadow over "last times," and my last visit to the White House, in February, i9o9, stands out very clearly. My brother, the year before, had sent the great American fleet around the world, an expedition discountenanced by many, and yet conceded later to have been one of his most brilliantly conceived strategic inspirations. "In time of peace, prepare for war," said Washington, and Theodore Roosevelt always followed that maxim. That trip around the world of the American fleet was more conducive to peace than any other action that could have been taken. The purpose was "friendly," of course, but those splendid battle-ships of ours, engineered by such able commanders, could not fail to be an object-lesson to any who felt that the United States was too isolated to care for her own defense.
But even in such a demonstration as this, he managed to include a touch of exquisite sentiment. When the great vessels neared the Hawaiian Islands, he ordered them to deflect their course to pass by and salute the tragic island of Molokai, home of the afflicted lepers, so that they too should know of the protection which America affords to its most unfortunate children.
During those days in February, i9o9, he seemed as gay as a boy let out of school. He was making all the arrangements