"What is called my character, or nature, is made of infinite particles of inherited tendencies from my ancestors-those whose blood runs in my veins. A little seed of laziness comes from this grandfather; and of prodigality from that other one. One of them may have been a moody person and a pessimist; while another was of a jovial nature who always saw the sunny side; while another ambitious one never was contented with actual conditions whatever they were. Some remote grandmother, perhaps, has stamped me with a fear of dogs and a love of horses. There may be in me a bit of outlawry from some pirate forefather and a dash of piety from one who was a saint.
My so-called particularities, my gestures, my ways and mannerisms, I borrowed from all. Without any exception. So everything in me passes on through my children. I am sewn between ancestry and posterity. I am a drop of water in the flowing river of time. A molecule in a mountain; a cell in a great family tree."
- Oliver Wendell Holmes