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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

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3186. FRANCE, United States, England and.—[continued].
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3186. FRANCE, United States, England and.—[continued].

When of two nations,
the one has engaged herself in a ruinous war
for us, has spent her blood and money to save
us, has opened her bosom to us in peace, and
received us almost on the footing of her own
citizens, while the other has moved heaven,
earth, and hell to exterminate us in war, has
insulted us in all her councils in peace, shut
her doors to us in every port where her interests
would admit it, libelled us in foreign
nations, endeavored to poison them against
the reception of our most precious commodities;
to place these two nations on a
footing, is to give a great deal more to one
than to the other, if the maxim be true, that
to make unequal quantities equal, you must
add more to one than the other. To say, in
excuse, that gratitude is never to enter into
the motives of national conduct, is to revive
a principle which has been buried for centuries
with its kindred principles of the lawfulness
of assassination, poison, perjury, &c.
All of these were legitimate principles in the
dark ages, which intervened between ancient
and modern civilization, but exploded and
held in just horror in the eighteenth century.
I know but one code of morality for men,
whether acting singly or collectively. He
who says I will be a rogue when I act in company
with a hundred others, but an honest
man when I act alone, will be believed in
the former assertion, but not in the latter.
I would say with the poet “hic niger est, hunc
tu Romane caveto.”
If the morality of one
man produces a just line of conduct in him,
acting individually, why should not the morality
of one hundred men produce a just line
of conduct in them, acting together? But I
indulge myself in these reflections, because
my own feelings run me into them; with
you they were always acknowledged. Let us
hope that our new government will take
some other occasions to show that they mean
to proscribe no virtue from the canons of
their conduct with other nations. In every
other instance, the new government has
ushered itself to the world as honest, masculine,
and dignified.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iii, 99. Ford ed., v, 111.
(P. Aug. 1789)