In the giant mills where steel is prepared, we may glean a great lesson. The crude material is first made to undergo the ordeal of fire, a fire so intense that the material loses its solidity and becomes a bubbling liquid. And after its temperature has been lowered sufficiently to resume a solid form again, the still red-hot material has to undergo a further ordeal. It is hammered on every side, pounded from top to bottom. Out of these processes there emerges at last a purified, strengthened, finely tempered steel which will stand up to the most trying tests during wear and work. Men who wish to make something of their lives must take the terrific pounding and suffering to which they have had to submit in the past few years as a similar process intended to turn away the dross in their character and strengthen the nobility within it.
-- Notebooks Category 6: Emotions and Ethics > Chapter 1: Uplift Character > # 150