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We want the spirit of America to be efficient; we want American character to be efficient; we want American character to display itself in what I may, perhaps, be allowed to call spiritual efficiency—clear, disinterested thinking and fearless action along the right lines of thought. America is not anything if it consists of each of us. It is something only if it consists of all of us; and it can consist of all of us only as our spirits are banded together in a common enterprise.
If once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to think little of robbing; and from robbing he comes next to drinking and Sabbath-breaking, and from that to incivility and procrastination. Once begun upon this downward path, you never know where you are to stop. Many a man has dated his ruin from some murder or other that perhaps he thought little of at the time.
I observe you have thought proper to insert the last number of the Philosophical Magazine your opinion that my attempts at the safety tubes and apertures were borrowed from what I have heard of Sir Humphrey Davy's researches. The principles upon which a safety lamp might be constructed I stated to several persons long before Sir Humphrey Davy came into this part of the country. The plan of such a lamp was seen by several and the lamp itself was in the hands of the manufacturers during the time he was here.
What is wine? It is the grape present in another form; its essence is there, though the fruit which produced it grew thousands of miles away, and perished years ago. So the object of many a tender thought may be spiritually present, in defiance of space - and fond recollections cherished in defiance of time.
And Tempus thought then that nothing was more worthwhile than what was growing in this whitewashed barracks, where he has come to build a force such as men or gods have never seen - a force worth reckoning with, if you were of a mind. And something was of that mind. And something else opposed it. He should have expected that. Battle in the heavens, battle on the earth.