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274   My Brother Theodore Roosevelt

proceeded, though bleeding from an open wound, to make what he fully believed would probably be the last speech that he would ever make in this world. The doctors could not influence lung to give up the speech, for he said that should it prove to be his last, it was all the more important that he should make it. But, thank Heaven, it was not his last !

During his convalescence in the hospital in Chicago, he sent me one of his sympathetic letters about another recently published poem, and also replied to a letter from Sir George Trevelyan as follows: "I must say I have never understood public men who got nervous about assassination. For the last eleven years I have, of course, thoroughly understood that I might at any time be shot, and probably would be shot sometime. I think I have come off uncommonly well. What I cannot understand is any serious-minded public man not being so absorbed in the great, vital questions with which he has to deal, as to exclude thoughts of assassination. I don't think this is a matter of courage at all. I think it a question of the major interest driving out the minor interest. Exactly as with the army,-a private may have qualms,-not so a General. He is responsible for more than his personal safety. It is not a question of courage, it is a question of perspective, of proper proportion." Nothing has ever been more in keeping with the actions of Theodore Roosevelt than the above sentence: "it is a question of the major interest driving out the minor interest." With him, all through his life, the sense of proportion was a prominent part of his make-up. The "major interest" always drove out the "minor interest," and so strong was his sense of responsibility, so absorbed was he in the great affairs of his country, that the thought of possible assassination never entered his valiant breast.

The greatest moment of all that inspiring period of his life came late in October, at the end of the campaign, when Theodore Roosevelt, the bullet still in his breast, but miraculously restored to health and strength, came to the city of his birth

The Great Denial   275

to make the final speech of the Progressive campaign at Madison Square Garden. Not only was the spirit of the Crusade higher than ever, but the danger so lately experienced by their leader had given to his followers an exaltation never surpassed at any time in our political history. I have always been glad that for some unexplained reason the pass which had been given to me that night for my motor was not accepted by the policeman in charge, and I, my husband, my son Monroe, and our friend Mrs. Parsons were obliged to take our places in the cheering, laughing, singing crowd which formed in line many blocks below the Garden to walk up to the entrance-door. How it swayed and swung ! how it throbbed with life and elation ! how imbued it was with an earnest party ambition, and yet, with a deep and genuine religious fervor. Had I lived my whole life only for those fifteen minutes during which I marched toward the Garden already full to overflowing with my brother's adoring followers, I should have been content to do so. We could hardly get into the building, and indeed had to climb up the fire-escape, which we were only allowed to do after making it well known that I was the sister of the "Colonel." (There never was but one "Colonel" in American history!) The whole meeting was one of an ineffable and intense emotional quality. We could hear the singing and the cheers of the thousands outside on the street, as inside my brother came forward to the platform, and the vast audience rose to its feet to acclaim its hero. Such moments do not often occur in a lifetime, and when they do, they leave in their wake a wonderful sense of what the highest type of religion should mean-a religion selfless as the Christlike faith upon which all true religion is founded.

A few days later, Woodrow Wilson, the Democratic though minority candidate, was elected President of the United States.

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