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250   My Brother Theodore Roosevelt

That night he was particularly gay, and many witty repartees passed between him and our beautiful and gifted friend, Mrs. Cabot Lodge, the friend who had for us all, through her infinite charm and brilliant intellectuality, a fascination possessed by no other. She almost always sat at his table at the informal suppers, and, needless to say, those two were the centre of attraction. The table at which I myself sat that night had the distinguished presence of General Leonard Wood, General Young, and the French ambassador, Monsieur Jusserand, one of my brother's favorite companions on the famous White House walks, hero of the true story of the time when on one of those same famous walks they inadvertently came to the river, into which my brother plunged, followed immediately by the dauntless French ambassador, who refused to "take off his gloves for fear of meeting the ladies" !

I spent one whole morning in the office during that visit, having asked my brother if I might sit quietly in a corner and listen to his interviews, to which request he gladly acceded. One after another, people filed in to see him. I made a few notes of the conversations. One of his first answers to some importunate person who wished him to take a stand on some special subject (at that time he was anxious not to embarrass his successor, Mr. Taft, by taking any special stands) was: "As Napoleon said to his marshals, `I don't want to make pictures of myself."'

In receiving Mr. Hall, the president of the Gridiron Club, he remarked that he (Theodore Roosevelt) had been one of the few people who used these dinners as "a field of missionary endeavor." Doctor Schick, of the Dutch Reformed Church, in which he had been a regular attendant, came to arrange for a good-by meeting at the church. To a man who came in to see him on the subject of industrial peace, he replied: "The President believes in conciliation in industrial problems." Endless subjects were brought up for his consideration, and many times I heard him say: "Remember, a new man is in the saddle, and there

Home Life in the White House 251

can't be two Presidents after March 4th." These notes were taken at the time, February, agog, and are not the result of memory conveniently adjusted toward later happenings.

Every time I talked with my brother on the subject of the future, he repeated the fact that he was glad to plunge into the wilderness, so that no one could possibly think that he wanted a "finger in the pie" of the new administration. Over and over again he would say: "If I am where they can't get at me, and where I cannot hear what is going on, I cannot be supposed to wish to interfere with the methods of my successor."

One quiet evening when we had had a specially lovely family dinner, I turned to him and said: "Theodore, I want to give you a real present before you go away. What do you think you would like?" His eyes sparkled like a child who was about to receive a specially nice toy, and he said: "Do you really want to make me a real present, Pussie ? I think I should like a pigskin library." "A pigskin library," I said, in great astonishment. "What is a pigskin library?" He laughed, and said: "Of course, I must take a good many books; I couldn't go anywhere, not even into jungles in Africa without a good many books. But also, of course, they are not very likely to last in ordinary bindings, and so I want to have them all bound in pigskin, and I would rather have that present than any other." The next day he dictated a list of the books which he wished, and the following evening added in his own handwriting a few more. The list is as follows:




Borrow: Bible in Spain.

Zingali. Lavengro.

Wild Wales.

The Romany Rye.


Spenser: Faerie Queene.

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