Memoirs, Correspondence, and Private Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Late President of the United States, Volume 4

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H. Colburn and R. Bentley, 1829 - United States - 552 pages
 

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Page 298 - Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, and deem them like the ark of the covenant, too sacred to be touched. They ascribe to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than human, and suppose what they did to be beyond amendment. I knew that age well; I belonged to it, and labored with it. It deserved well of its country. It was very like the present, but without the experience of the present; and forty years of experience in government is worth a century of book-reading; and...
Page 131 - Behold, here I am ; witness against me before the Lord, and before his anointed ; whose ox have I taken ? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded ? whom have I oppressed ? or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith ? and I will restore it you. And they said, Thou hast not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither hast thou taken aught of any man's hand.
Page 452 - All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God.
Page 298 - We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.
Page 505 - ... by God he had rather be in his grave than in his present situation; that he had rather be on his farm than to be made Emperor of the world; and yet that they were charging him with wanting to be a King.
Page 333 - I regret that I am now to die in the belief, that the useless sacrifice of themselves by the generation of 1776, to acquire selfgovernment and happiness to their country, is to be thrown away by the unwise and unworthy passions of their sons, and that my only consolation is to be, that I live not to weep over it.
Page 423 - Who to his plighted vows and trust has ever firmly stood ; And though he promise to his loss, he makes his promise good.
Page 232 - I agree with you that there is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talents.
Page 287 - What constitutes a State? Not high-raised battlement or labored mound, Thick wall or moated gate; Not cities proud, with spires and turrets crowned; Not bays and broad-armed ports, Where, laughing at the storm, rich navies ride; Not starred and spangled courts, Where low-browed baseness wafts perfume to pride. No: MEN, high-minded MEN...
Page 461 - Hamilton was, indeed, a singular character. Of acute understanding, disinterested, honest, and honorable in all private transactions, amiable in society, and duly valuing virtue in private life, yet so bewitched and perverted by the British example, as to be under thorough conviction that corruption was essential to the government of a nation.

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