« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
"Why?" he asked, with an air of challenge.
"Because you would not then have known Mrs. Roosevelt."
"That was what I was going to say," he confessed. It was a tribute straight from the heart.
The persistency of his refusal to let anything interrupt his daily exercise in the open, is matched only by the unfailing regularity of the President's frolic with his children. Of the six, two have now passed beyond the age of rough-and-tumble play, but with the younger ones he can still be a child again for a little while each day. One of his favorite sports in the old times used to be the game of bear. It was played on the floor if in the house, or on the grass outdoors, and on all fours to preserve the dramatic realism. First he was a big bear with a terrifying growl, and the others were the young hunters; then, when they had killed or captured the object of their chase, they became bears in turn and he the hunter. A convenient table or a bush with space to crawl under made a model den for Bruin, and almost anything answered for firearms for his pursuers.
The most uncomfortable feature of the new arrangement of the White House, with the executive offices so far removed from the family Copyrighti 1803i Ethel. Theodorei Jr. Alice. Kermit. Queutii
WITH THE CHILDREN
quarters, is that the little people can not peep in from the next room and say good night when the father is burning the midnight oil over his work for the state. It has its advantages from another point of view, however; as there has been no necessity, since the change, for interrupting a Cabinet meeting in order that the President might step into the corridor and "shoo" away two sturdy-lunged boys who were romping there.
The family all have pets and are devoted to them. Archie, next to the youngest lad, has for his chief joy a pony, so ridiculously small that one looks to see the stalwart attendant who accompanies him pick it up and lift it over wet spots and hard places in the road. All the children are brought up to ride, from the time they are large enough to bestride a saddle. This is a part of the program of self-reliance and fearlessness mapped out for them. No veto is put upon their climbing propensities, and they make free with the trees and even with the architecture of the White House. The entire premises are theirs as long as they avoid being nuisances to persons who have business there.
The President's letter on "race suicide," printed as a preface to Mrs. Van Vorst's book, "The Woman Who Toils," has been so perverted in meaning by some writers who have commented on it, that the mass of the public who have not read its text have obtained a very strange idea of his views. The kernel of this deliverance is to be found in two sentences: "If a man or woman, through no fault of his or hers, goes throughout life deprived of those highest of all joys which spring only from home life, from the having and bringing up of many healthy children, I feel for them deep and respectful sympathy. . . . But the man or woman who deliberately avoids marriage and has a heart so cold as to know no passion and a brain so shallow and selfish as to dislike children, is in effect a criminal against the race and should be an object of contemptuous abhorrence by all healthy people." The letter is not, as so widely represented, an instigation to a riot of physical forces in mankind, but an appeal to the moral being. It is merely a protest against a form of selfishness which robs nature of her perfect work.