I have no fear that the result of our experiment will be that men may be trusted to govern themselves without a master.
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I congratulate you, my dear friend, on the law of your state for suspending the importation of slaves, and for the glory you have justly acquired by endeavoring to prevent it for ever. this abomination must have an end, and there is a superior bench reserved in heaven for those who hasten it.
Letters of business claiming their rights before those of affection, we often write seldomest to those whom we love most.
The distance to which I am removed has given a new value to all I valued before in my own country, and the day of my return to it will be the happiest I expect to see in this life.
I find as I grow older, that I love those most whom I loved first.
by varying too the articles of culture, we multiply the chances for making something, & disarm the seasons in a proportionable degree of their calamitous effects.
I know no condition happier than that of a Virginia farmer might be, conducting himself as he did during the war. his estate supplies a good table, clothes itself & his family with their ordinary apparel, furnishes a small surplus to buy salt, sugar, coffee, & a little finery for his wife...
3. Moral philosophy. ... read good books because they will encourage as well as direct your feelings.
4. Religion. your reason is now mature enough to examine this object. in the first place divest yourself of all bias in favour of novelty & singularity of opinion. indulge them in any other subject rather than that of religion. it is too important, & the consequences of error may be too...
5. Travelling. ... when men of sober age travel, they gather knowlege which they may apply usefully for their country
above all things lose no occasion of exercising your dispositions to be grateful to be generous, to be charitable, to be humane, to be true, just, firm, orderly, couragious etc. consider every act of this kind as an exercise which will strengthen your moral faculties, & increase your worth.
be good, be learned, & be industrious, & you will not want the aid of travelling to render you precious to your country, dear to your friends, happy within yourself. I repeat my advice to take a great deal of exercise, & on foot. health is the first requisite after morality.
I am as happy no where else & in no other society, & all my wishes end, where I hope my days will end, at Monticello. too many scenes of happiness mingle themselves with all the recollections of my native woods & feilds, to suffer them to be supplanted in my affection by any other.
Agriculture ... is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals & happiness.
with all the defects of our constitutions, whether general or particular, the comparison of our governments with those of Europe are like a comparison of heaven & hell. England, like the earth, may be allowed to take the intermediate station.
it is really an assembly of demi-gods.
in architecture, painting, sculpture, I found much amusement.
one who loves the arts, must be well disposed to those who practice them.
the Count de Moustier will find the affections of the Americans with France, but their habits with England. chained to that country by circumstances, embracing what they loathe, they realize the fable of the living & dead bound together.
the people can not be all, & always, well informed. the part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. if they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. we have had 13....
wonderful is the effect of impudent & persevering lying.
I considered the British as our natural enemies, and as the only nation on earth who wished us ill from the bottom of their souls. and I am satisfied that were our continent to be swallowed up by the ocean, Great Britain would be in a bonfire from one end to the other.
a bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference.
I think our governments will remain virtuous for many centuries; as long as they are chiefly agricultural; and this will be as long as there shall be vacant lands in any part of America. when they get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, they will become corrupt as in Europe.
as to the new Constitution I find myself nearly a Neutral. there is a great mass of good in it, in a very desireable form: but there is also to me a bitter pill, or two.