This is the first nation that organized government on the basis of universal liberty with a free Church and a free State. This meant much at the time; it means much now and will continue to be the beacon of light and guidance for ourselves and of other nations. All that is good and practical and wise in the new developments can best be worked out under our form of government without destroying any of the basic principles upon which it rests.
I was just going to say, when I was interrupted, that one of the many ways of classifying minds is under the heads of arithmetical and algebraical intellects. All economical and practical wisdom is an extension of the following arithmetical formula: 2 + 2 = 4. Every philosophical proposition has the more general character of the expression a + b = c. We are mere operatives, empirics, and egotists until we learn to think in letters instead of figures.
A political convention is after all not a meeting of a corporation's board of directors; it is a fiesta, a carnival, a pig-rooting, horse-snorting, band-playing, voice-screaming medieval get-together of greed, practical lust, meeting, feud, vendetta, conciliation, of rabble-rousers, fist fights (as it used to be), embraces, drunks (again as it used to be) and collective rivers of animal sweat.
To live with beauty is not only to give oneself a joy, it is o have the power of beauty at one's call. A man's life would be in a deep and manly way purified and sweetened if each day he could gain a little of the inspiration that poets fuse into their verse and have it share his visions for that day. The wise poet was right who advised us, daily to see a beautiful picture, daily to read a beautiful poem. He was right, he was practical.
Humanity needs practical men, who get the most out of their work, and, without forgetting the general good, safeguard their own interests. But humanity also needs dreamers, for whom the disinterested development of an enterprise is so captivating that it becomes impossible for them to devote their care to their own material profit. Without doubt, these dreamers do not deserve wealth, because they do not desire it. Even so, a well-organized society should assure to such workers the efficient means of accomplishing their task, in a life freed from material care and freely consecrated to research.
Marie Curie (1867 - 1934)
Source: Eve Curie (trans. Vincent Sheean), Madame Curie, Simon and Schuster, NY, 1946