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effect. When the matter is one of elementary justice and decency, then there can be no compromise. Murder is murder, and theft is theft, and there should be no halfway measure with criminality. There are good and bad men of all nationalities, creeds, and colors; and if this world of ours is ever to become what we hope some day it may become, it must be by the general recognition that the man's heart and soul, the man's worth and action, determine his standing. I should be sorry to lose the Presidency, but I should be a hundredfold more sorry to gain it by failing in every way in my power to try to put a stop to lynching and to brutality and wrong of any kind; or by failing on the one hand to make the very wealthiest and most powerful men in the country obey the law and handle their property (so far as it is in my power to make them) in the public interest; or, on the other hand, to fail to make the laboring men in their turn obey the law, and realize that envy is as evil a thing as arrogance, and that crimes of violence and riot shall be as sternly punished as crimes of greed and cunning."
! XIII. THE PLAIN PEOPLE WELL, I have just been inaugurated and begun my second term. Of course, I greatly enjoyed inauguration day, and indeed I have thoroughly enjoyed being President. But I believe I can also say that I am thoroughly alive to the tremendous responsibilities of my position. Life is a long campaign where every victory merely leaves the ground free for another battle, and sooner or later defeat comes to every man, unless death forestalls
· Letter to Baron d'Estournelles de Constant, September 1, 1903.
it. But the final defeat does not and should not cancel the triumphs, if the latter have been substantial and for a cause worth championing.
It has been peculiarly pleasant to me to find that my supporters are to be found in the overwhelming majority among those whom Abraham Lincoln called the plain people. As I suppose you know, Lincoln is my hero. He was a man of the people who always felt with and for the people, but who had not the slightest touch of the demagogue in him. It is probably difficult for his countrymen to get him exactly in the right perspective as compared with the great men of other lands. But to me he does seem to be one of the great figures, who will loom ever larger as the centuries go by. His unfaltering resolution, his quiet, unyielding courage, his infinite patience and gentleness, and the heights of disinterestedness which he attained whenever the crisis called for putting aside self, together with his far-sighted, hard-headed common sense, point him out as just the kind of chief who can do most good in a democratic republic like ours.
Having such an admiration for the great rail-splitter, it has been a matter of keen pride to me that I have appealed peculiarly to the very men to whom he most appealed and who gave him their heartiest support. I am a college-bred man, belonging to a well-to-do family, so that, as I was more than contented to live simply, and was fortunate to marry a wife with the same tastes, I have not had to make my own livelihood; though I have always had to add to my private income by work of some kind. But the farmers, lumbermen, mechanics, ranchmen, miners, of the North, East, and West, have felt that I was just as much in sympathy with them, just
as devoted to their interests, and as proud of them and as representative of them, as if I had sprung from among their own ranks; and I certainly feel that I do understand them and believe in them and feel for them and try to represent them just as much as if I had from earliest childhood made each day's toil pay for that day's existence or achievement. How long this feeling toward me will last I cannot say. It was overwhelming at the time of the election last November, and I judge by the extraordinary turnout for the Inauguration it is overwhelming now. Inasmuch as the crest of the wave is invariably succeeded by the hollow, this means that there will be a reaction. But meanwhile I shall have accomplished something worth accomplishing, I hope.
I SAGAMORE HILL takes its name from the old Sagamore Mohannis, who, as chief of his little tribe, signed away his rights to the land two centuries and a half ago. The house stands right on the top of the hill, separated by fields and belts of woodland from all other houses, and looks out over the bay and the Sound. We see the sun. go down beyond long reaches of land and of water. Many birds dwell in the trees round the house or in the pastures and the woods near by, and of course in winter gulls, loons, and wild fowl frequent the waters of the bay and the Sound. We love all the seasons; the snows and bare woods of winter; the rush of growing things and the blossom-spray of spring, the yellow grain, the ripen
· Letter to Sir George Otto Trevelyan, March 9, 1905.
ing fruits and tasseled corn, and the deep, leafy shades that are heralded by “the green dance of summer"; and the sharp fall winds that tear the brilliant banners with which the trees greet the dying year.
The Sound is always lovely. In the summer nights we watch it from the piazza, and see the lights of the tall Fall River boats as they steam steadily by. Now and then we spend a day on it, the two of us together in the light rowing skiff, or perhaps with one of the boys to pull an extra pair of oars; we land for lunch at noon under wind-beaten oaks on the edge of a low bluff, or among the wild plum bushes on a spit of white sand, while the sails of the coasting schooners gleam in the sunlight, and the tolling of the bell-buoy comes landward across the waters.
Long Island is not as rich in flowers as the valley of the Hudson. Yet there are many. Early in April there is one hillside near us which glows like a tender flame with the white of the bloodroot. About the same time we find the shy mayflower, the trailing arbutus; and although we rarely pick wild flowers, one member of the household always plucks a little bunch of mayflowers to send to a friend working in Panama, whose soul hungers for the Northern spring. Then there are shadblow and delicate anemones, about the time of the cherry blossoms; the brief glory of the apple orchards follows; and then the thronging dogwoods fill the forests with their radiance; and so flowers follow flowers until the springtime splendor closes with the laurel and the evanescent, honey-sweet locust bloom. The late summer flowers follow, the flaunting lilies, and cardinal flowers, and marshmallows, and pale beach rosemary; and the gold
enrod and the asters when the afternoons shorten and we again begin to think of fires in the wide fireplaces.
Our most beautiful singers are the wood thrushes; they sing not only in the early morning but throughout the long hot June afternoons. Sometimes they sing in the trees immediately around the house, and if the air is still we can always hear them from among the tall trees at the foot of the hill. The thrashers sing in the hedgerows beyond the garden, the catbirds everywhere. The catbirds have such an attractive song that it is extremely irritating to know that at any moment they may interrupt it to mew and squeal. The bold, cheery music of the robins always seems typical of the bold, cheery birds themselves. The Baltimore orioles nest in the young elms around the house, and the orchard orioles in the apple trees near the garden and outbuildings. Among the earliest sounds of spring is the cheerful, simple, homely song of the song-sparrow; and in March we also hear the piercing cadence of the meadow-lark - to us one of the most attractive of all bird calls. Of late years now and then we hear the rollicking, bubbling melody of the bobolink in the pastures back of the barn; and when the full chorus of these and of many other of the singers of spring is dying down, there are some true hot-weather songsters, such as the brightly hued indigo buntings and thistlefinches. Among the finches one of the most musical and plaintive songs is that of the bush-sparrow - I do not know why the books call it field-sparrow, for it does not dwell in the open fields like the vesperfinch, the savannah-sparrow, and grasshopper-sparrow, but among the cedars and bayberry bushes and young locusts in the same places