"Knowledge, like matter, [my father] would affirm, was divisible in infinitum;Mthat the grains and scruples were as much a part ofit, as the gravitation of the whole world.--In a word, he would say, error was error,--no matter where it fell,--whether in a fraction,--or a pound,--'twas alike fatal to truth."
"So often has my judgment deceived me in my life, that I always suspect it, right or wrong,--at least I am seldom hot upon cold subjects. For all this, I reverence truth as much as any body; and ... if a man will but take me by the hand, and go quietly and search for it ... I'll go to the world's end with him:MBut I hate disputes."
"As for the herd of newspapers and magazines, I do not chance to know an editor in the country who will deliberately print anythingwhich he knows will ultimately and permanently reduce the number of his subscribers. They do not believe that it would be expedient. How then can they print truth?"
"Truth is his inspirer, and earnestness the polisher of his sentences. He could afford to lose his Sharp's rifles, while he retained his faculty of speech,--a Sharp's rifle of infinitely surer and longer range."
"He was a superior man. He did not value his bodily life in comparison with ideal things. He did not recognize unjust human laws, but resisted them as he was bid. For once we are lifted out of the trivialness and dust of politics into the region of truth and manhood."
"If there is nothing new on the earth, still the traveler always has a resource in the skies. They are constantly turning a new page to view. The wind sets the types on this blue ground, and the inquiring may always read a new truth there."
"What is most interesting and valuable in it, however, is not the materials for the history of Pontiac, or Braddock, or the Northwest, which it furnishes; not the annals of the country, but the natural facts, or perennials, which are ever without date. When out of history the truth shall be extracted, it will have shed its dates like withered leaves."