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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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4758. LIFE, Reliving.—
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4758. LIFE, Reliving.—

You ask, if I
would agree to live my seventy or rather seventy-three
years over again? To which I say,
yea. I think with you, that it is a good world
on the whole; that it has been framed on a
principle of benevolence, and more pleasure
than pain dealt out to us. There are, indeed,
(who might say nay) gloomy and hypochondriac
minds, inhabitants of diseased bodies, disgusted
with the present, and despairing of the future;
always counting that the worst will happen,
because it may happen. To these I say, how
much pain have cost us the evils which have
never happened! My temperament is sanguine.
I steer my bark with Hope in the head, leaving
Fear in the stern. My hopes, indeed, sometimes
fail; but not oftener than the forebodings of
the gloomy. There are, I acknowledge, even in
the happiest life, some terrible convulsions,
heavy set-offs against the opposite page of the
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 575.
(M. April. 1816)