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Quotes of the Day for 6 June 2003 – Bravery and Nathan Hale

Nathan Hale was born at Coventry, Connecticut on this day in 1755. He was educated at Yale, graduating at eighteen, probably with plans to become a minister after acquiring a bit of experience. He taught school New London, volunteering to teach a class of girls for two hours each day before the all-male class arrived. When war broke out, his was the clearest voice calling for volunteers to fight for independence, and became a first lieutenant in the Seventh Connecticut regiment. A year later, a captain at 21, he agreed to go behind British lines, spending a week in New York making drawings of British positions. He was caught when he prepared to get in the wrong boat to take the drawings (stuffed in his shoes) back to General Washington. In the face of that evidence he admitted his name, rank, and purpose, and was summarily hanged the next morning. His last words were, "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country."

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The quotes:

The brave man carves out his fortune, and every man is the son of his own works.
     - Miguel de Cervantes, 1547 - 1616

All brave men love; for he only is brave who has affections to fight for, whether in the daily battle of life, or in physical contests.
     - Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1804 - 1864

Ideas must work through the brains and the arms of good and brave men, or they are no better than dreams.
     - Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803 - 1882

While prudence will endeavor to avoid this issue of war, bravery will prepare to meet it.
     - Thomas Jefferson, 1743 - 1826

The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it.
     - Thucydides

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