Extract from Thomas Jefferson to Maria Cosway

the art of life is the art of avoiding pain: & he is the best pilot who steers clearest of the rocks & shoals with which it is beset. pleasure is always before us; but misfortune is at our side: while running after that, this arrests us. the most effectual means of being secure against pain is to retire within ourselves, & to suffice for our own happiness.

PrC (DLC). Published in PTJ, 10:443–55.
Date Range
October 12, 1786
Quote Category