Nonfiction > Jacob A. Riis > Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen > Page 267
Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914).  Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen.  1904.

Page 267
no man who so carefully weighs all the chances for and against, ever with the one dominating motive in the background—“Is it right?”—to steer him straight. In the Police Department he surprised me over and over again by his quick grasp and mastery of things until then foreign to his experience. He would propose some action and turn it over to me for review because I had been there twenty years to his one; and I would point out reefs I thought he had forgotten. But not he; he had charted them all, thought of every contingency, and done it all in an hour, when I would be poring over the problem for days, perhaps weeks. And when it had all been gone over he would say:
  “There! we will do it. It is the best we can do. If it turns out that there is anything wrong, we will do it over again.” But I do not remember that he ever had to.
  Mere pride of opinion he has none. No one ever estimated his own powers, his own capacities, more modestly than he. Something I said one day brought this matter up, and few things have touched me as did the humility with which this strong man said: “I know the very



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