Nonfiction > Jacob A. Riis > Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen > Page 14
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Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914).  Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen.  1904.

Page 14
 
had not been stirred in many a long day. I can see him now striding up and down the bare gray office.
  “What would you say to the young men of our city, if you could speak to them with command this day?” asked Mr. Ralph.
  “I would order them to work,” said Mr. Roosevelt, stopping short and striking his hands together with quick emphasis. “I would teach the young men that he who has not wealth owes his first duty to his family, but he who has means owes his to the State. It is ignoble to go on heaping money on money. I would preach the doctrine of work to all, and to the men of wealth the doctrine of unremunerative work.”
  It was hardly unremunerative work that first enlisted young Theodore’s energies. Looking at him now, I should think that nothing ever paid a better interest on the investment. He was not a strong child—from earliest infancy liable to asthmatic attacks that sapped his vitality and kept back his growth. Probably that accounts for the temporary indecision in the matter of bullies which he remembers. But in the frail body there lived an indomitable

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