Jacob A. Riis (18491914). Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen. 1904.
steadily for the betterment both of our civil and social conditions.
Truly, if ever man kept a pledge, he kept that. He nursed no ambitions; he built up no machine of his own. He was there to do his duty as it was given to him to see it, and he strove steadily for the betterment of all he touched as Governor of the State that was his by birth and long ancestry, even as his father had striven in his day and in his sphere. He made enemiesGod help the poor man who has none; but he kept his friends. When he was gone, a long while after, my way led me to Albany again. I had not cared much for it since he went. And I said so to a friend, an old State official who had seen many governors come and go. He laid his hand upon my arm.
Yes, said he, we think so, many of us. The place seemed dreary when he was gone. But I know now that he left something behind that was worth our losing him to get. This past winter, for the first time, I heard the question spring up spontaneously, as it seemed, when a measure was up in the legislature: Is it right? Not Is it expedient? not