Alfred Nobel - pitiable half-creature, should have been stifled by humane doctor when he made his entry yelling into life. Greatest merits: Keeps his nails clean and is never a burden to anyone. Greatest fault: Lacks family, cheerful spirits, and strong stomach. Greatest and only petition: Not to be buried alive. Greatest sin: Does not worship Mammon. Important events in his life: None.
To his sister-in-law: What a contrast between us! You live a warm and glowing life, surrounded by loved ones whom you care for and who care for you; you are anchored in contentment. I drift about without rudder or compass, a wreck on the sea of life; I have no memories to cheer me, no pleasant illusions of the future to comfort me, or about me to satisfy my vanity. I have no family to furnish the only kind of survival that concerns us, no friends for the wholesome development of my affections, or enemies for my malice.
I regard large inherited wealth as a misfortune, which merely serves to dull men's faculties. A man who possesses great wealth should, therefore, allow only a small portion to descend to his relatives. Even if he has children, I consider it a mistake to hand over to them considerable sums of money beyond what is necessary for their education. To do so merely encourages laziness and impedes the healthy development of the individual's capacity to make an independent position for himself.
The first time I saw nitroglycerine was in the beginning of the Crimean War. Professor Zinin in St. Petersburg exhibited some to my father and me, and struck some on an anvil to show that only the part touched by the hammer exploded without spreading.