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

Poets and Princes

White House, November 6, 1905.

Just a line, for I really have nothing to say this week. I have caught up with my work. One day we had a rather forlorn little poet and his nice wife in at lunch. They made me feel quite badly by being so grateful at my having mentioned him in what I fear was a very patronizing and, indeed, almost supercilious way, as having written an occasional good poem. I am much struck by Robinson’s two poems which you sent Mother. What a queer, mystical creature he is! I did not understand one of them—that about the gardens—and I do not know that I like either of them quite as much as some of those in “The Children of the Night.” But he certainly has got the real spirit of poetry in him. Whether he can make it come out I am not quite sure.

Prince Louis of Battenberg has been here and I have been very much pleased with him. He is a really good admiral, and in addition he is a well-read and cultivated man and it was charming to talk with him. We had him and his nephew, Prince Alexander, a midshipman, to lunch alone with us, and we really enjoyed having them. At the State dinner he sat between me and Bonaparte, and I could not help smiling to myself in thinking that here was this British Admiral seated beside the American Secretary of the Navy—the American Secretary of the Navy being the grandnephew of Napoleon and the grandson of Jerome, King of Westphalia; while the British Admiral was the grandson of a Hessian general who was the subject of King Jerome and served under Napoleon, and then, by no means creditably, deserted him in the middle of the Battle of Leipsic.

I am off to vote to-night.