From my mother, an appreciation for the fine arts, music, and poetry, for expectations of the best domestic order, and for life itself.
From my father, a sense of duty, a taste for good food, and an equanimity which endures so many little wounds with so much good cheer.
From a schoolmaster, a passionate love of ideas, first forcibly impressed, kindled and rekindled tirelessly on the damp stuff of my spirit, until a lust for philosophic knowledge burned of its own accord.
From a wise, old bachelor, a vision of the stars and a sense of the whirl of all the things which lie between my county line and the empyrean.
From an proud Enlightenment man, wizened old before his time by nicotine and too many late nights, an example of the tenacity and intelligence demanded by what is perhaps the last great adventure, the scientific enterprise.
From a crusty Lithuanian expatriate, a doctor of Political Science, the lesson that to read a page is not to move the eyes but once from top to bottom.
From Shakespeare, what it means, in the deepest sense, to be human.
From Augustine, a model of how to use the world and all its wisdom, without losing sight of a better country.
From Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews, a blood sacrifice which propitiates my wrongs, and the disorder of the whole cosmos.
From God, all things, even all sensible benefits, all conceivable truth, all imaginable beauty, the final end of every cause, and being itself.