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I met [Meyerbeer] at the performance of my "Battle." Most of the composers then in Vienna were kind enough to undertake something or other in my orchestra, and the young man played the big drum. Ha! ha! ha! (a peal of laughter). I had reason not to be very well satisfied with him. He was always behindhand, and I had to give it him roundly. (New peal of laughter.) He must have felt mortified by my observations; but there is no reliance to be placed in him; he has not the courage to raise his arm at the proper moment.
Life is a beautiful, magnificent thing, even to a jellyfish. … The trouble is you won't fight. You've given up. But there's something just as inevitable as death. And that's life. Think of the power of the universe — turning the Earth, growing the trees. That's the same power within you — if you'll only have the courage and the will to use it.
Wise statesmen... established these great self-evident truths, that when in the distant future some man, some faction, some interest, should set up the doctrine that none but rich men, or none but white men, were entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, their posterity should look up again at the Declaration of Independence and take courage to renew the battle which their fathers began....
Enlightenment is man's leaving his self-caused immaturity. Immaturity is the incapacity to use one's intelligence without the guidance of another. Such immaturity is self-caused if it is not caused by lack of intelligence, but by lack of determination and courage to use one's intelligence without being guided by another. Sapere Aude! Have the courage to use your own intelligence! is therefore the motto of the enlightenment.
It takes courage to love, but pain through love is the purifying fire which those who love generously know. We all know people who are so much afraid of pain that they shut themselves up like clams in a shell and, giving out nothing, receive nothing and therefore shrink until life is a mere living death.
Nowadays, anyone who wishes to combat lies and ignorance and to write the truth must overcome at least five difficulties. He must have the courage to write the truth when truth is everywhere opposed; the keenness to recognize it, although it is everywhere concealed; the skill to manipulate it as a weapon; the judgment to select those in whose hands it will be effective; and the running to spread the truth among such persons.
And freedom will win — not because it's inevitable, not because it is ordained, but because these basic human yearnings for dignity and justice and democracy do not go away. They can be suppressed. At times, they can be silenced, but they burn in every human heart in a place where no regime could ever reach, a light that no army can ever extinguish. And so long as free peoples summon the confidence and the courage and the will to defend the values that we cherish, then freedom will always be stronger and our ideas will always prevail no matter what.