Saturday, April 13, 2019


For Jefferson's Birthday

Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Brazier (August 24, 1819):
Among the values of classical learning, I estimate the luxury of reading the Greek and Roman authors in all the beauties of their originals. And why should not this innocent and elegant luxury take its pre-eminent stand ahead of all those addressed merely to the senses? I think myself more indebted to my father for this than for all the other luxuries his cares and affections have placed within my reach; and more now than when younger, and more susceptible of delights from other sources. When the decays of age have enfeebled the useful energies of the mind, the classic pages fill up the vacuum of ennui and become sweet composers to that rest of the grave into which we are all sooner or later to descend.

Gilbert Stuart, Thomas Jefferson (Washington,
National Gallery of Art, accession number 1986.711)

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