And he gave it for his opinion, that whoever could make two ears of corn, or two blades of grass, to grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind, and do more essential service to his country, than the whole race of politicians put together.
Jonathan Swift (1667–1745), Anglo-Irish satirist. The king of Brobdingnag to Gulliver, in "A Voyage to Brobdingnag," ch. 7, Gulliver's Travels (1726).
The physicist, Henry Augustus Rowland (1848-1901) is quoted in D.S. Greenberg, The Politics of Pure Science (1967), as saying, "He who makes two blades of grass grow where one grew before is the benefactor of mankind, but he who obscurely worked to find the laws of such growth is the intellectual superior as well as the greater benefactor of mankind."