He has stepped from the midst of
controversy and taken his place among the immortals, against whom no
man can speak.
For the moment, the conflict ceases,
friend and foe stand with bared heads to do homage to a great and
There is a sudden and loyal silence
throughout all the hosts. For no man has ever been more a part of every
man in the United States than Theodore Roosevelt.
His friends will rush no more quickly to speak his praise than
For he was a man's man, and it was a joy to
fight him, as well as to agree with him.
His spirit was a fierce and beautiful
His opinions were simple, and always
avowed with the wholeness and self-abandon of a true believer.
He would have made a wonderful knight in
the days of Charlemagne, a fair and worthy companion to Roland.
He conceived of life, of duty, and even
of love in terms of conflict. His make-up was militant. But his
conceptions were always sincere.
His chief characteristic was courage.
Whatever may have been charged against him in the extravagances of
dispute, his bitterest foe must confess that he was to the last a
And that quality of fearlessness,
that indomitable bravery, when lodged in this weak humanity, is always
a thing of beauty, a little spark of God. We love it. We respect it
just for itself. It is the great worthwhile thing in an immortal soul.
So he was a friend, conceived of as a
friend, in a passionate and personal way, as no other statesman of
American history, except Lincoln.
He was very near to the American heart.
And even in the stormy days of these vast issues that have swept beyond
him, the tribute of respect that this people pays to him will be honest
He had a public mind and gave himself to
the service of the people with a singleness of purpose that will be an
inspiration to American youth.
He was thoroughly human. He was frank,
overfrank sometimes, but we love the man whose heart outruns him.
Kings may pass and be followed to their
graves with "the boast of heraldry, the pomp of power." Presidents and
premiers may die and their statues be set up in halls of fame; but none
will go from the midst of the living and leave a sense of deeper
personal loss than this splendid man, this impetuous companion, who has
been snatched by death from the intimate affection of a great people.
The Bull Moose has made his last charge.
The Rough Rider has led his last assault.
Bwana Tumbo, the mighty hunter, is back from this perilous
expedition we call Life, and is gone home.
Friends and opponents, with equal earnestness, cry out, "God
rest his soul!"
Upon his tomb there can be inscribed an
epitaph, than which there can be no nobler, no prouder, no truer
"Here lies a real American."
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