Nonfiction > Jacob A. Riis > Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen > Page 320
Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914).  Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen.  1904.

Page 320
the years have no dominion, have a day to themselves, from which he returns to wrestle with powers and principalities and postmasters with twice the grip he had before; for she is truly his helpmeet and as wise as she is gentle and good.
  When he wants to be alone, he dons a flannel shirt, shoulders an ax, and betakes himself to some secluded spot in the woods where there are trees to fell. Then the sounds that echo through the forest glade tell sometimes, unless I greatly mistake, of other things than lifeless logs that are being smitten,—postmasters let us say. I remember the story of Lincoln, whom one of the foreign ambassadors found pacing the White House garden in evident distress, at a time when Lee was having his own way with the Union armies; whereat the ambassador expressed his regret that the news from the field so distressed the President.
  “From the field?” said Mr. Lincoln. “If that were all! No, it is that wretched postmastership of Brownsville that makes life a burden.”
  I have met Mr. Roosevelt coming in with his ax, and with a look that told of obstinate knots smashed—yes, I think they were



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