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290   My Brother Theodore Roosevelt

in his personal, loyal, and devoted attachment to Colonel Roosevelt, his political convictions were such that he had not found it possible to follow the Colonel into the Progressive party. The book in question, having been written during the period between 1912 and 1916, the period when many people felt that my brother was politically dead, was published, strange to say, just as the pendulum swung back again, when the people realized the need of strong leadership in the crisis of the Great War, and Theodore Roosevelt seemed to many to be the man of the hour.

"Dear Charlie:" writes Colonel Roosevelt, "We leave on the loth of this month [for Trinidad]. I am much amused to think that there is a momentary revival of my popularity or notoriety or whatever you choose to call it, at the very time your book is to appear, for when you started to write it, indeed, while you were writing it, I was down at the very nadir; and only a very devoted friendship-others would call it a very blind friendship-would have made you write it. I, myself, thought that it was not wise for you to publish it, that nobody would take any interest in me, and that they would only laugh at you for your loyalty and affection."

The following day he writes again: "Just after I had written you, the book came. I am immensely pleased with it, and I am very proud that my children and grandchildren are to have it. ... Of course, old friend, you have said of me far more than I deserve, but I am glad you said it." The book to which he refers shows, perhaps, more than any other book written about my brother, the accurate realization by the author that my brother's attitude in January, 1912, when he took the step which directly or indirectly brought about the formation of the Progressive party, was in no sense an erratic swerving from the path upon which he had always walked, but, on the contrary, a direct and logical justification of beliefs-and the actions with which he always squared beliefs-held in his early manhood and retained in his later years.

Whisperings of War   291

On March 27, after his return from Trinidad, he writes:

"Well, here we are, back from our little trip along `the path to Nowhere.' [He refers here to some verses I had just published under that title.] We did not get entirely out of the path to Somewhere-thanks to the `hurrying, struggling, and striving' of very kind people who insisted on entertaining us-but we had, at intervals, a number of hours on the path to Nowhere, although, in that latitude, there were no adders' tongues, and the lilies were less in evidence than palms, bougainvillea, scarlet hibiscus and poinsettia in hedges, and rocks and flowering trees, and little green cities of St. Mary's (I wish I had seen Masefield)-and the trade wind tossing the fronds of the palms on the white beaches.

"I loved your letter, and read and re-read every word of it. I think as highly of `Ordeal by Battle' as you do; did I show you the letter Oliver sent me with a copy of the first edition? He has just sent me a copy of the second edition. I am very glad you are taking a rest cure. You sorely needed it, but when you leave Nonkanawha, can't you bring Cortissoz and the Corbins out here for lunch. I am very glad you like my book. My soul was in it. [He had just published "Fear God, and Take Your Own Part."] . . . Well, I don't see much chance of our doing what is right in politics. The trouble is that we have complacently sagged back for fifty years while Germany has surged forward and has forced her nearest competitors to some kind of forward movement in order to avoid death at her hands."

Shortly afterward, when in answer to his suggestion I wrote him that I would bring some of the friends he mentioned to luncheon, he writes: "Three cheers-I shall expect you with the Cortissoz, Corbins, and O'Hara."

That letter was written on April 2, 1916, and shortly afterward I motored those friends to Oyster Bay, and we had a peculiarly delightful luncheon and afternoon, at which I was, as usual, struck with the manner in which he adapted himself to the interest of the individual. Mr. John Myers O'Hara, an Amer-


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