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300   My Brother Theodore Roosevelt

Mexico, put the name of Theodore Roosevelt in nomination. Then, and then only, did the thousands of people in that great auditorium rise to their feet with one prolonged shout of approval. The delegates-and, alas ! it is the delegates to a convention, not the people, who apparently choose the men who are to govern the people-were cold and unresponsive no matter what name was put before them, and, were it possible, they were even colder, even more unresponsive, when Theodore Roosevelt's name was mentioned than they were at any other time; but the masses-they were neither cold nor unresponsive ! How they cheered as that beloved name was heard for the first time in that Republican Convention! Over and over again the chairman tried to bring the convention to order. No blaring bands, no stimulated marchings, were the cause of the great ovation. It was actually and vividly the cry of those who wanted a leader and wanted their leader that was heard in that great hall, but there was no echo in the hearts of those who held the balance of power in their hands. That evening there was printed in one of the Chicago newspapers so exquisite a rhapsody, so loving a swan song, that I can but reproduce it.


Ah, Teddy dear, and did ye hear the news that's goin' round?

They say you're gone from off the stage, that strange cold men, whom we respect but love not, must be our meat for all the campaign

days to come.

Gray is the prospect; dull is the outlook.

We felt all the while that over in the Auditorium and the Coliseum they were breaking to us the news of a death in the family. They

were merciful; they held it back; they did not let us have the shock of it all at once. They meant kindly.

But now that the news has come the kindness of friends can help but little. Our hearts are broke! We need you and we want you

every minute.

Ah the fun of you and the glory of you !

Where lies the American whose passion or whose imagination you have not set a-tingling? Who else has meant the savor of life

Whisperings of War   301

for us? Who but you has taken us and set our feet upon the high places ?

Before you came, all in politics was set and regular. Those who were ordained to rule over us did so with that gravity with which stupid grown-ups so oft repress the child. No one ever talked to us as you did. They called us "voters" or "constituents" or such big names as these. They never took us by the hand and laughed and played with us as you did.

They never understood us. They could preach Sunday school and arithmetic. But the good Lord never gave it to them to speak to the heart.

And then you came !

Dancing down the road you came with life and love and courage and fun stickin' out all over you. How we loved you at the first sight ! And how you loved us !

Friends we were, tho' you were in the White House and we were making mud pies. Friends we were together with nothing to come between us.

Your love would let no harm come near us and we knew it. With your courage you fought for us. With your life and your fun you took us out of the drab grind.

You told us of the birds in the air and of the fishes in the sea. The great tales of the old heroes, the sagas of the past, you spread before our 'stonished eyes. You gave us new words-delightful words-to play with; and jokes-delightful jokes-to make us laugh.

How we wanted you back when you went away ! But they stole our right from us and they wouldn't let you come back. So we followed you. Four million of us, in a fight the like of which we never knew. Joy and religion were in it in equal measure. Hymns and cleanness and color and battle all were jumbled in it. The good of it is set forever into the life of the nation.

But the schoolmaster beat you, and the Great War came to crowd you from our thoughts. We thought only of ourselves because you were no longer there to make us think of our country. At last we turned to you-when it was too late.

So now we are not to have you. We must go stumbling on alone, hoping that the man they've given us may show something of that fire and strength upon which you taught us to rely.

It's our fault, not theirs. It's our fault, not yours. You warned us that we must be ready to go thru to the end. We weren't. Fear had come upon us, fear of ourselves. We were split up. We eyed

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