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362   My Brother Theodore Roosevelt

and the future attitude toward such contingencies more or less mapped out. He took great pleasure in these talks with Senator Lodge, for, although not always in accord in some of their political views, I know no one in whose stimulating mentality my brother took keener pleasure; and on the fundamental issues of "America First," and of deep-rooted patriotism and practical service to their country, they stood invariably as one man.

One day-in fact, it was the last day that I sat with him in the hospital-he seemed particularly bright and on the near road to recovery. His left arm was still in bandages, but with his strong right hand he gesticulated as of old, and sitting in his armchair, his eyes clear and shining, his face ruddy and animated, he seemed to me to have lost nothing of the vigorous and inspiring personality of earlier days. As usual, he shared my every interest, reiterated his desire to have my little grandson, Douglas, and his sisters pay a visit in the holidays to Sagamore Hill, told me delightedly how he would show Douglas every trophy in the large north room where his trophies were kept, and said that hr- wanted to know all the children intimately. From family affairs we branched off to public affairs, and speaking of the possibilities of the future, he said he knew much depended upon his health, but that he recognized that even amongst those who had been opposed to him in the past, there was now a strong desire for him to be the Republican candidate for President in 1920. Alluding to his birthday so lately passed, he said: "Well, anyway, no matter what comes, I have kept the promise that I made to myself when I was twenty-one." "What promise, Theodore?" I asked him. "You made many promises to yourself, and I am sure have kept them all." "I promised myself," he said, bringing his right fist down with emphasis on the arm of the chair, "that I would work up to the hilt until I was sixty, and I have done it. I have kept my promise, and now, even if I should be an invalid-I should not like to be an invalid-but even if I should be an invalid, or if I should die [this with a snap of his finger and thumb], what difference

"The Quiet Quitting "   363

would it make?" "Theodore," I said, "do you remember what you said to me nearly a year ago when you thought you were dying in this same hospital? You said that you were glad it was not one of your boys that was dying at that time in this place, for they could die for their country. Do you feel the same way now?" "Yes," he said, "just the same way. I wish that I might, like Quentin, have died for my country." "I know you wish it," I answered, "but I want to tell you something. Every one of us-even those not as courageous, not as patriotic, as you are-would, I feel sure, if our country were in peril, be willing to bare our breasts to any bullet, could we, by so doing, protect and save our country; but the trouble is that the very people who, in peril, will give themselves, with absolute disregard of the consequences, to their country's service, fail, utterly, in times of peace, to sacrifice anything whatsoever for their country's good. The difference, Theodore, between you and the majority of us is that you not only are willing and anxious to die for your country, but that you live for your country every day of your life."

Within a few days, in fact on Christmas day, he was moved to Oyster Bay, and at first seemed benefited by the change. On Friday, January 3, I had arranged to go out and spend the day with him, but a message came that he was not quite as comfortable and would I wait until Monday, when he hoped to feel much better and enjoy my visit.

On the Sunday he seemed better again, my sister-in-law told me later, and enjoyed the whole day. He loved, passionately, his home at Sagamore Hill, and the view from it over the Sound on which he had rowed so often from boyhood up. He loved the beauty of the shrubs and trees and undulating wooded hills, and he loved best of all the sense of home there, and the happy family life which, even with a vacant chair, he knew would continue. He expressed his content that evening to Mrs. Roosevelt, in whose companionship he took the same delight as when in their youth he had brought her to be the adored mistress of that home.

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