Friday, December 14, 2007

Quote du jour/Theodore Roosevelt

John Singer Sargent, Theodore Roosevelt, 1903, oil on canvas, 58 1/2 × 40 1/2 in., Washington, DC: White House.


White House, Dec. 26, 1903

We had a delightful Christmas yesterday—just such a Christmas thirty or forty years ago we used to have under Father's and Mother's supervision in 20th street and 57th street. At seven all the children came in to open the big, bulgy stockings in our bed; Kermit's terrier, Allan, a most friendly little dog, adding to the children's delight by occupying the middle of the bed. From Alice to Quentin, each child was absorbed in his or her stocking, and Edith certainly managed to get the most wonderful stocking toys. Bob was in looking on, and Aunt Emily, of course. Then, after breakfast, we all formed up and went into the library, where bigger toys were on separate tables for the children. I wonder whether there ever can come in life a thrill of greater exaltation and rapture than that which comes to one between the ages of say six and fourteen, when the library door is thrown open and you walk in to see all the gifts, like a materialized fairy land, arrayed on your special table?

President Theodore Roosevelt in a letter to his sister, Mrs. Douglas Robinson

6 comments:

  1. How wonderful! I like this very much.
    You know, I haven't been here in awhile (or anywhere for that matter) due to Christmas and all the extras but over the next couple weeks while I'm on my own 'blogiday' I will enjoy reading the Christmas snippets you have here. You've really put a lot of time and effort to decorate the place. :)

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  2. I didn't know John Singer Sargent had done a portrait of TR!

    Great letter ~~ my twin goes to church in Teddy's hometown!

    Bonnie

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  3. "...on your special table"

    Precious entry.

    And it reminds me of what I {think...lol} I read. That Teddy, being so "Green," would not allow a tree to be cut/killed for a family Christmas Tree. Not until his children really prevailed upon him to.

    Ever read this? Hope it's true. I don't like to spread even cute but erroneous stories about great people.

    Love Sargent's paintings. We were able to see one of those traveling collections, at an area museum once. And it strikes you, how he maybe had an eye-issue... Everyone is very thin and elongated.

    Hmmm, did he even kind of thin-down Teddy, a bit? :-))))

    Mari-Nanci

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  4. I really loved reading this quote by Roosevelt ... so very interesting. I received the cd in the mail yesterday (or perhaps the day before) and absolutely love it. Thank you so much for such a generous gift ... it will play all Christmas long in my home.It is tempting to start lessons again.

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  5. Colleen, I so love visiting your place in the world. You have a way of looking at the world that I really appreciate.

    Ah, Lisa, isn't it true. The way the stocking looked in the morning, all bulging was simply magic.

    Bonnie, do you mean Oyster Bay?? We want to visit Sagamore Hill. I'm such a fan of this man, as you may have read before.

    I'm not sure about the tree, but it sure sounds like it could be true. And that is fascinating about the way Sargent painted. Have you ever read anything or is this your own "eye" seeing it, Mari-Nanci?

    And Becca, you are so very welcome.

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Now that I am a grandmother, it seems that I am often late in replying to your most-appreciated comments. But I read them as soon as they come in, and I will write as soon as I can. Please do come back and check. I love these blogging conversations. A little addendum - I've just spent quite a long time catching up with dear notes you left me months ago!! I do hope you can get back to read them. And I'm trying to be much more prompt now!

Also, you may comment on any post, no matter how old, and I will see it.