Nonfiction > Jacob A. Riis > Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen > Page 400
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Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914).  Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen.  1904.

Page 400
 
I find proof of it in the very fact that it is as if the age-long fight between good and evil had suddenly come to a head, as if all the questions of right, of justice, of the brotherhood, which we had seen in glimpses before, and dimly, had all at once come out in the open, craving solution one and all. A battle royal, truly! A battle for the man of clean hands and clean mind, who can think straight and act square; the man who will stand for the right “because it is right”; who can say, and mean it, that “it is hard to fail, but worse never to have tried to succeed.” A battle for him who strives for “that highest form of success which comes, not to the man who desires mere easy peace, but to him who does not shrink from danger, from hardship or from bitter toil, and who out of these wins the splendid ultimate triumph.” I am but quoting his own words, and never, I think, did I hear finer than those he spoke of Governor Taft when he had put by his own preferences and gone to his hard and toilsome task in the Philippines; for the whole royal, fighting soul of the man was in them.
  “But he undertook it gladly,” he said, “and

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