Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919). Theodore Roosevelt’s Letters to His Children. 1919.

Quentin’s Quaint Sayings

Oyster Bay, N. Y., Aug. 26, 1905.

Mr. Phil Stewart and Dr. Lambert spent a night here, Quentin greeting the former with most cordial friendship, and in explanation stating that he always liked to get acquainted with everybody. I take Hall to chop, and he plays tennis with Phil and Oliver, and rides with Phil and Quentin. The Plunger (a submarine) has come to the Bay and I am going out in it this afternoon—or rather down on it. N. B.—I have just been down, for 50 minutes; it was very interesting.

Last night I listened to Mother reading “The Lances of Linwood” to the two little boys and then hearing them their prayers. Then I went into Archie’s room, where they both showed all their china animals; I read them Laura E. Richards’ poems, including “How does the President take his tea?” They christened themselves Punkey Doodle and Jollapin, from the chorus of this, and immediately afterwards I played with them on Archie’s bed. First I would toss Punkey Doodle (Quentin) on Jollapin (Archie) and tickle Jollapin while Punkey Doodle squalled and wiggled on top of him, and then reverse them and keep Punkey Doodle down by heaving Jollapin on him, while they both kicked and struggled until my shirt front looked very much the worse for wear. You doubtless remember yourself how bad it was for me, when I was dressed for dinner, to play with all you scamps when you were little.

The other day a reporter asked Quentin something about me; to which that affable and canny young gentleman responded, “Yes, I see him sometimes; but I know nothing of his family life.”