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324   My Brother Theodore Roosevelt

society, I have spared you heretofore, but the moment has come !" "Must I meet the poets, Pussie?" he said laughingly and rather deprecatingly. "Yes," I replied firmly. "The poets have their rights quite as much as the politicians, and the time for the poets is at hand." "All right-name your day," he answered, and so a day was named, and I invited a number of my friends amongst the poets to take tea with me on a certain afternoon to meet Colonel Roosevelt. I remember I asked him to try to come from his office early enough for me to jog his memory about some of the work of my various poet friends, but a large number of verse writers had already gathered in my sittingroom before he arrived. I placed him by my side and asked a friend to bring up my various guests so that I might introduce them to him. I remember the care with which I tried to connect the name of the person whom I introduced with some one of his or her writings, and I also remember the surprise with which I realized how unnecessary was all such effort on my part, for, as I would say, "Theodore, this is Mr. So-and-So, who wrote such and such," he would rapidly respond, "But you need not tell me that. I remember that poem very well, indeed," and turning with that delightful smile of his to the flattered author, he would say, "I like the fifth line of the third verse of that poem of yours. It goes this way," and with that, in a strong, ringing voice, he would repeat the line referred to. As each person turned away from the word or two with him, which evidently gave him almost as much pleasure as it gave them, I could hear them say to each other, "How did he know that poem of mine?" When I myself questioned him about his knowledge of modern American poetry, he answered quite simply: "But you know I like poetry and I try to keep up on that line of literature too." He was

very fond of some of Arthur Guiterman's clever verse, and quoted

with special pleasure a sarcastic squib which the latter had just

published on the navy, apropos of Mr. Daniels's attitude: "We

are sitting with our knitting on the twelve-inch guns ! "

Robert Frost, who was with us that afternoon, had shortly

War   325

before published a remarkable poem called "Servant to Servants," which had attracted my brother's attention, and of which he spoke with keen interest to the author. Nothing distressed him more than the realization of the hard work performed by the farmer's wife almost everywhere in our country, and in this poem of Mr. Frost's that situation was painted with his forceful pen.

This remarkable memory of my brother's was shown not only that afternoon amongst the poets, but shortly afterward by an incident in connection with an afternoon at the Three Arts Club, where he also generously consented to spend an hour amongst the young girls who had come from various places in our broad country to study one of the three arts-drama, music, or painting-in our great metroplis. My friend Mrs. John Henry Hammond, the able president of the Three Arts Club, was anxious that he should meet her protegees and mine, for I was a manager of the club. I remember we lined the girls up in a row and had them pass in front of him in single fileseveral hundred young girls. Each was to have a shake of the hand and a special word from the ex-President, but none was supposed to pause more than a moment, as his time was limited. About fifty or sixty girls had already passed in front of him and received a cordial greeting, when a very pretty student, having received her greeting, paused a little longer and, looking straight at him, said: "Colonel Roosevelt, don't you remember me?" This half-laughingly-evidently having been dared to ask the question. Holding her hand and gazing earnestly at her, he paused a moment or two and then, with a brilliant flashing smile, said: "Of course I do. You were the little girl, seven years ago, on a white bucking pony at El Paso, Texas, where I went down to a reunion of my Rough Riders. I remember your little pony almost fell backward into the carriage when it reared at the noise of the band." There never was a more surprised girl than the one in question, for seven years had made a big difference in the child of twelve, the rider of the bucking white pony, and

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