— Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1802), libro Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation
Origine: Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (1844), p. 321
Contesto: Let us look at the inventive class of minds which stand out amongst their fellows—the men who, with little prompting or none, conceive new ideas in science, arts, morals—and we can be at no loss to understand how and whence have arisen the elements of that civilization which history traces from country to country throughout the course of centuries. See a Pascal, reproducing the Alexandrian's problems at fifteen; a Ferguson, making clocks from the suggestions of his own brain, while tending cattle on a Morayshire heath; a boy Lawrence, in an inn on the Bath road, producing, without a master, drawings which the educated could not but admire; or look at Solon and Confucius, devising sage laws, and breathing the accents of all but divine wisdom for their barbarous fellow-countrymen, three thousand years ago—and the whole mystery is solved at once.... Nations, improved by these means, become in turn foci for the diffusion of light over the adjacent regions of barbarism—their very passions helping to this end, for nothing can be more clear than that ambitious aggression has led to the civilization of many countries. Such is the process which seems to form the destined means for bringing mankind from the darkness of barbarism to the day of knowledge and mechanical and social improvement.