Thursday, January 24, 2008

Mr. Jefferson


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, and to suffice for our own happiness.

Thomas Jefferson to Maria Cosway, 12 October 1786

Paid our respects to Mr. Jefferson [1] over the weekend and to several of his lovely creations, including his home, Monticello. Was disappointed in a docent who insisted on subscribing tightly to the requirements of the architecture tour (for which we signed up special, so my bad) and resisted conveying insights into the lovely contraptions that Jefferson populated his life with through invention and acquisition.

Mr. Jefferson's compass

So I secured a hefty volume that I hope will reveal all in good time, and which also contains the above quote, which startled me some but also explains the strange melancholy that seems to surround one of history's greatest hotties and one of our most prominent vegetarians.

Mr. Jefferson's headstone

Worth noting: Mr. Jefferson’s gravestone (at his behest) doesn’t mention his presidency. Instead it notes that he was “Author of the Declaration of Independence of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom and Father of the University of Virginia”.

But nothing about holding down the highest office in the land.


Mr. Jefferson's garden, fallow

[1] I was instructed by a Virginian of some standing that Mr. Jefferson is the proper way to address the former President.


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