Theodore Roosevelt and His Time Shown in His Own Letters - Vol. 1

By Joseph Bucklin Bishop | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXVIII
VISIT OF JOHN MORLEY AT THE WHITE HOUSE

Two days after the election in 1904, John Morley, now Lord Morley, the distinguished English essayist and author, paid a visit of several days to President Roosevelt in the White House. When Mr. Morley 'Life of Gladstone' appeared about a year earlier, the President had written to him the letter of warm appreciation quoted in Chapter XXIII, and a cordial correspondence had ensued. When the date of the visit had been fixed, the President did me the very great and agreeable honor of inviting me as a fellow guest. Subsequently I put in writing an account of some of the incidents of this most interesting and memorable visit, which I submitted to the President and obtained from him permission to include in my record of his life. I may, therefore, without impropriety, reproduce portions of it here, especially since they are of value in throwing light upon his personality in much the same way that his letters do.

Mr. Morley and I arrived together on the afternoon of Thursday, November 10, and found the President in the highest health and spirits, fairly overflowing with joy because of his great triumph.

From the first the President greatly interested Mr. Morley. The two men had much in common intellectually. Both had been wide readers and writers of history, and close students of men and affairs. Each had written a life of Cromwell. The President's talk, frank, vigorous, and marvelous in its range over human history, ancient, modern, and contemporaneous, as it always was when he had a sympathetic and understanding listener, was a revelation to Mr. Morley, who said to me later that he had never heard anything like it. He spoke of it frequently when we were

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