Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

esteemed to be the dead Indian. But it was needless treachery of my thought. The red man has no better friend than the Great White Father of to-day, none who burns with hotter indignation at the shame our dealings with him have brought upon the American name. Uncas and Chingachgook, beloved friends of my boyhood, were safe with him.

I have told you of Theodore Roosevelt's boyhood as from time to time I have gathered glimpses of it from himself and from his sister, and as I like to think of it. I did not meet him till long after both horse and gun had become living realities. When he was drifting and dreaming on the Nile I was sailing across the Atlantic to have my first tussle with the slum which in after years we fought together. And now you know one reason why I love him: it was when that same strong will, that honest endeavor, that resolute purpose to see right and justice done to his poorer brothers—it was when they joined in the battle with the slum that all my dreams came true, all my ideals became real. Why should I not love him?

The boy had grown into a man. Since I have here spoken to the boys of his country and, thank God, of mine, let him speak now, and judge yourself how performance has squared with promise, practice with preaching:

“Of course what we have a right to expect of the American boy is that he shall turn out to be a good American man. Now, the chances are strong that he won't be much of a man unless he is a good deal of a boy. He must not be a coward or a weakling, a bully, a shirk, or a prig. He must work hard and play hard. He must be clean-minded and clean-lived, and able to hold his own under all circumstances and against all comers. It is only on these conditions that he will grow into the kind of a man of whom America can really be proud.

In life, as in a football game, the principle to follow is: Hit the line hard; don't foul and don't shirk, but hit the line hard."

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »