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Whisperings of War





SAGAMORE HILL He is a moose,

Scarred, battered from the hunters, thickets, stones: Some finest tips of antlers broken off,

And eyes where images of ancient things

Flit back and forth across them, keeping still

A certain slumberous indifference, Or wisdom, it may be.

-Edgar Lee Masters.

Rightly to be great

Is not to stir, without great argument, But greatly to find quarrel in a straw

When Honour's at the stake.


NO man in America ever received the backing of so large a personal following as did Theodore Roosevelt in the election of 1912, but owing to the fact that opinion was divided, the Democratic party, although a minority party, was put in power. It has been the habit of some to speak of my brother as having split the Republican party. This has always seemed to me an unfair criticism. It was proved by the actual vote at the polls that the larger half of what up to that time had been the Republican party was in favor of Theodore Roosevelt for President. His majority over Mr. Taft was unquestioned. A minority, not a majority, disrupts a party. Nothing is truer, however, than that a really great man cannot be defeated. He can lose official position, he can see the office which he craved because of its potential power for right doing pass into the hands of another; but in the higher sense of the


word he cannot be defeated if his object has been righteousness, if his inner vision has been the true betterment of his country.

And so during the years that followed 1912, Theodore Roosevelt, although holding no official position, became more than ever the leader of a great portion of the people of America. Loyal as he was, he felt that having (as he phrased it) "led a vast army into the wilderness," he must stand by them through thick and thin.

In 1913, having been asked to make certain addresses in South America, he decided to accept the invitation. But before sailing he went to Rochester, N. Y., to make a speech, and arranged that my husband and I should meet him and have an evening quietly with him. Immediately after that there was a great farewell dinner to him in New York, at the Hotel Astor. The crowd was suffocating. It seemed as if the enthusiasm for him and for Progressive principles was even more poignant than the year before-perhaps the realization that their leader was to leave them, even for a comparatively short time, increased the ardor of the convictions of his followers-and the spirit of that evening was so vital, so dedicated in quality, that it will never fade from my mind. The next day he and Mrs. Roosevelt sailed for the Argentine Republic, and within a few months she returned home, and he again lost himself in a new adventure. The little boy of six in the nursery at loth Street had read with fervent interest of the adventures of the great explorer Livingston. He had achieved his ambition to follow those adventures as a mighty hunter in Africa; he had achieved many another ambition, but none was more intense with him than the desire to put a so-called "River of Doubt" on the map of the world.

Again Kermit was his companion, and the latter has given, as no one else could give, the most vivid description of that trip in his book called "The Happy Hunting Grounds." In that book he describes his father's desperate illness, and his heroic and unflinching courage when, with a temperature of one hun-

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