Page images

cared for in the home of her grandparents, in Boston, and Mr. Roosevelt turned from the fireside that had been so large a part of his life, and went to the West. He hunted, rode horseback, took an active interest in the moral and material building up of the new regions around the headwaters of the Missouri river, and he engaged in such reading and thought as were best calculated to broaden and fit him for greater duties when their day should come. Meantime Edith Kermit Carow had grown to womanhood, had graduated from the schools that were selected for her, and had traveled a great deal abroad. She was heard of now and then in Berlin, in Paris and in London, but spent the greater portion of each year at the home of her parents in New York. The childish romance in which her life and that of Theodore Roosevelt were formerly united had been laid away among those tender, clinging memories which a woman cherishes but does not discuss, and she had become a favorite in the very exclusive circles which she frequented. When the news of Mrs. Roosevelt's death was received there was no sincerer mourner than she. But two years later the old association was renewed, and the girl who had played with Theodore Roosevelt in the shade of Union Square's trees became his second wife. The personality of a wife is a subject that cannot be discussed recklessly. It is enough to say that Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt is modest and retiring, devoted to her husband, and almost wholly engrossed by the duties of her home. She who reigned as a belle through three successive seasons has become the ideal mother of five happy, healthy children, and is now a most gracious mistress of the White House—a charming “first lady of the land.” She is accomplished, possessed of that gentle voice which is “an excellent thing in woman,” and far removed from the arrogance which in one weaker might go with so high a station. Nothing more complimentary can be said of her than that she is sensible; nothing more honorable than that she is an ideal American mother, and nothing more convincing than that Alice Roosevelt, child of that first marriage, is fully and lovingly established as a daughter of this later home. With all the elements that go to make up the character of President Roosevelt, the religious tendencies should by no means be overlooked.

He is a member of the Dutch Reformed Church, and has attended the services of that communion since he was a child. His parents must have accepted a broad and reasonable rendering of the precept which directed them to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord,” for this man who has met all problems of life with courage and decision, has measured his deeds by the standard of a practical and perfect faith. The great tenets of the Christian religion are the tenets of his creed. He does no evil. He seeks that which is good. He renders unto every man the things that belong to that man-and he takes his own with an honesty which is not hypocritical enough to permit selfeffacement.

The church organization to which Mr. Roosevelt belongs has a very honorable history. Most of the people of Holland still adhere to it, and its devotees are found all over the world. In the United States they have establishments in every considerable city. The form of government is Presbyterian. Four hundred years ago the people of Holland wavered between the Lutheran and the Reformed churches. In 1571 they publicly professed their allegiance to the latter. As

[ocr errors][graphic]
« PreviousContinue »