Brunel

As to my character. My self conceit and love of glory vie with each other which shall govern me. The latter is so strong that, even of a dark night, riding home, when I pass some unknown person I catch myself trying to look big on my little pony. I do the most silly, useless things to attract the attention of those I shall never see again. My self-conceit renders me domineering, intolerant, even quarrelsome with those who do not flatter. My ambition– it is more than the mere wish to be rich – is rather extensive — but still – I shall not be unhappy if I do not reach the rank of Hero and Commander-in-Chief of His Majesty’s Forces in the Steam of Gaz Boat Division. Make the Gaz engine work, fit out some vessels, of course a war is required, get employed by government contract– command a fine fleet and fight– take some fortified town — Algiers or something of that style. Be at last rich. Be the first Engineer and example to all others.
—  Isambard Kingdom Brunel (as a child I called him Isengard)
4

I know, in this world there are many sorrowful things. Feelings that can’t be expressed… Thoughts that I can’t come to understand… A newly-realized promise. But you know what? I like this world. So that’s why I thought, “I want to protect this world.” This sky. The wind. The land. And–