Extract from Thomas Jefferson to John Page

Well, Page, I do wish the Devil had old Cooke, for I am sure I never was so tired of an old dull scoundrel in my life ... But the old-fellows say we must read to gain knowledge; and gain knowledge to make us happy and be admired. Mere jargon! Is there any such thing as happiness in this world? No: And as for admiration I am sure the man who powders most, parfumes most, embroiders most, and talks most nonsense, is most admired.

MS not found. Published in PTJ, 1:5, as printed in George Tucker, Life of Thomas Jefferson (Philadelphia, 1837), 1:31.

cooke was Sir Edward Coke’s series of legal treatises, Institutes of the Lawes of England, first published between 1628 and 1644.

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Thomas Jefferson
John Page
Date Range
December 25, 1762 to December 26, 1762
Quotes by and about Thomas Jefferson
Quote Category