Quote for the Week
An irresistible passion that would induce me to believe in innate ideas, and the truth of prophecy, has decided my career. I have always loved liberty with the enthusiasm which actuates the religious man with the passion of a lover, and with the conviction of a geometrician. On leaving college, where nothing had displeased me more than a state of dependance, I viewed the greatness and the littleness of the court with contempt, the frivolities of society with pity, the minute pedantry of the army with disgust, and oppression of every sort with indignation. The attraction of the American revolution transported me suddenly to my place. I felt myself tranquil only when sailing between the continent whose powers I had braved, and that where, although our arrival and our ultimate success were problematical, I could, at the age of nineteen, take refuge in the alternative of conquering or perishing in the cause to which I had devoted myself.
Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, Letter to the Bailli de Ploën, as quoted in Recollections of the Private Life of General Lafayette (1836) by Jules Germain Cloquet, Vol. I, p. 24; courtesy of Wikiquote.