Semper Paratus*

young Teddy Roosevelt

While reading Louis Auchincloss’ biography of Teddy Roosevelt, Izzy came across this nugget of pink gold:

TR needed a good deal of physical exercise, particularly to control a waistline responding to his hearty meals. He played tennis with aides, but he preferred riding and long hikes. On one of the latter, accompanied by some more or less willing diplomats, he encountered a stream that could be forded only by the removal of all clothing. J. J. Jusserand, the French ambassador and TR’s good friend, emulated his host except for a pair of pink gloves. Asked why he retained these, he replied: “In case we should run into ladies.”

*Always Prepared (The Coast Guard’s motto)

2 Responses to “Semper Paratus*”

  1. La BellaDonna April 26, 2007 at 9:09 pm #

    Oh, I love this! It reminds me of the gallant gentleman who was bathing in the Seine in the nude, as was the custom in the early part of the 19th century. He heard cries coming from an overturned coach on a nearby road, and rushed to the rescue of the ladies trapped therein. As he reached in to them to extricate them from the vehicle, he apologised to them most sincerely for his lack of gloves.

  2. Chris April 29, 2007 at 10:19 pm #

    Now that’s a gentleman. These days people think you’re a freak if you wear a tie, and they persist in calling a suit “formal.” Worse, they think a tuxedo is the height of formality.