Extract about Thomas Jefferson, by the Marquis de Chastellux

The visit which I made to him was not unexpected, for he had long since invited me to come and spend a few days in his company, that is, amid the mountains. Nevertheless I at first found his manner grave and even cold; but I had no sooner spent two hours with him than I felt as if we had spent our whole lives together. Walking, the library, and above all, the conversation, which was always varied, always interesting, always sustained by that sweet satisfaction experienced by two persons who, in communicating their feelings and opinions, invariably find themselves in agreement and understand each other at the first hint, all these made four days seem like four minutes ... no subject had escaped Mr. Jefferson, and it seems indeed as though, ever since his youth, he had placed his mind, like his house, on a lofty height, whence he might contemplate the whole universe.

Published in François Jean de Beauvoir, marquis de Chastellux, Travels in North America in the Years 1780, 1781, and 1782, trans. and ed. Howard C. Rice Jr. (1963), 2:392, with some editorial modification.