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keen conscience that scented moral danger and that he would not allow any bill to go through which had anything wrong about it. The telegrams from the Capitol in the city papers reported that the anti-prizefighting bill had been halted and that it was going to be defeated, that Governor Roosevelt, who was constitutionally friendly to boxing, was not going to press it and was going to permit it to be defeated. Two or three papers had editorials commending such a course on his part. I was considerably excited when I entered the Governor's chamber after a hurried trip to Albany, and it may have been with a little feeling that I told him what I had seen in the papers and reminded him of the promise he made us that the bill should go through. “There is no man on earth whose word I would rather trust than yours," I said, or on whose conscience I would rather rely on a question of public morals, and I know that you are misrepresented in the papers and editorials. I have come up to Albany more than anything else to ask you to give this bill the boost that will send it over the top.'

He got much more excited than I was myself and said, “I am astonished that you should take those false telegrams, those lying editorials, and be disturbed about them, when I told you that, friendly as I was to boxing as an athletic exercise, I was totally opposed to the vices and demoralizing herds that cluster about and feed upon it, and that I would fight to the death any hint of professional gambling that might be associated with it," and then, referring to one paper and the editorial in it, he said, “This paper and its editorials always misunderstand and misrepresent me, and you wave the red rag before the bull in referring to them.” He continued: “You know full well that on moral questions the church people and I are in perfect agreement. Why? I am one of the church people myself, and stand, work, and fight for the things which they represent. Our personal friendship is the outgrowth of our mutual support of the things for which the church stands." He had walked over to the window and lifted one foot up on the sill, and he put around me an arm which had the strength of a grizzly bear's paw and the tenderness of a woman pressing her babe to her heart, as he said, “I am not angry at you. I appreciate your feeling and your interest in the good morals of the State, and I am as anxious about them as you, but it does make me fighting mad to be lied about this way and made to appear on the wrong side of this moral question.

While Governor Roosevelt was pushing this constructive legislation he was endearing himself to the people, irrespective of party, and with his positive genius for politics was taking a very strong grip on the leadership of his own party in the State. His broad-minded, statesmanlike reform administration as Governor brought wider attention and regard for him in the country at large and made him a presidential possibility.

THE CITIZEN AND PUBLIC MAN

CHAPTER X

THE CITIZEN AND THE PUBLIC MAN

W

YHILE I was pastor at the Trinity Methodist

Church at Newburgh, N. Y., I asked Gover

nor Roosevelt if he would come and give us a lecture in our church. He said he had so many calls for public service that he could not accept one out of a hundred, and that if he were to accept such a request as I was making of him he could speak three times a day every day in the year. But he said: “As you and I are such special friends I will make an exception in your case and come to you. Occasionally I make a special exception, but it is exceedingly rare." We had the church crowded with an audience that numbered a thousand. In introducing him I said: “We are honored to-night with the presence and service of Governor Roosevelt; he is a brave soldier, a wise statesman, a fearless reformer, a manly man, the ideal American and a Christian gentleman. He has phosphorus in his brains, iron in his blood, lime in his bones and back-bone enough for one hundred men.'

Just then I heard the Governor laugh aloud and I turned my face towards him and as his eye both twinkled and snapped he said: “I am likely to have need of all that back-bone before I get through with

my job."

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