Jacob A. Riis (18491914). Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen. 1904.
nature that his trust has rarely indeed been betrayed. Once his friend, you are his friend forever. To the infallible test he rings true: those who love him best are those who know him best. The men who hate him are the scalawags and the self-seekers, and they only distrust him who do not know him. He never lost a friend once made. Albert Shaw summed it all up in a half-impatient, wholly affectionate exclamation when he was telling me of a visit he had made to Washington to remonstrate with the President.
I never knew a man, he said, to play so into the hands of his enemies. He has no secrets from them; he cannot bear a grudge; he will not believe evil; he is generous and fair to everybody; he is the despair of his friends. And, after all, it is his strength.
And the reason is plain. Had I not known him, I would have found it long ago in his insistence that the America of to-day is better than that of Washington and Jefferson. A man cannot write such things as this he wrote of Lincoln without meaning every word of it and acting it out in his life: