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Quotation of the Day…

… is from Voltaire, as quoted on pages 192-193 of Daniel Boorstin’s 1998 book, The Seekers (emphasis supplied by Boorstin):

Of those who have commanded battalions and squadrons, only the names remain.  The human race has nothing to show for a hundred battles that have been waged.  But the great men I speak to you about have prepared pure and lasting pleasures for men yet to be born.  A canal lock uniting two seas, a painting by Poussin, a beautiful tragedy, a newly discovered truth – these are things a thousand times more precious than all the annals of the court or all the accounts of military campaigns.  You know that, with me, great men come first and heroes last.

I call great men all those who have excelled in creating what is useful or agreeable.  The plunderers of the provinces are mere heroes.