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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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I amused
myself [recently] with reading Plato's Republic.
I am wrong, however, in calling it amusement,
for it was the heaviest task-work I ever went
through. I had occasionally before taken up
some of his other works, but scarcely ever had
patience to get through a whole dialogue. While
wading through the whimsies, the puerilities,
and unintelligible jargon of this work, I laid it
down often to ask myself how it could have
been that the world should have so long consented
to give reputation to such nonsense as
this? How the soi-disant Christian world, indeed,
should have done it, is a piece of historical
curiosity. But how could the Roman good sense
do it? And particularly, how could Cicero bestow
such eulogies on Plato? Although Cicero
did not wield the dense logic of Demosthenes,
yet he was able, learned, laborious, practiced
in the business of the world, and honest. He
could not be the dupe of mere style, of which
he was himself the first master in the world.
With the moderns, I think, it is rather a matter
of fashion and authority. Education is
chiefly in the hands of persons who, from their
profession, have an interest in the reputation
and the dreams of Plato. They give the tone
while at school, and few in after years have
occasion to revise their college opinions. But
fashion and authority apart, and bringing Plato
to the test of reason, take from him his
sophisms, futilities and incomprehensibilities,
and what remains? In truth, he is one of the
race of genuine Sophists, who has escaped the
oblivion of his brethren, first, by the eloquence
of his diction, but chiefly, by the adoption and
incorporation of his whimsies into the body of
artificial Christianity. His foggy mind is forever
presenting the semblances of objects which,
half seen through a mist, can be defined neither
in form nor dimensions. * * * Socrates hadreason,
indeed, to complain of the misrepresentations
of Plato; for in truth, his dialogues
are libels on Socrates.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 354. Ford ed., ix, 462.
(M. 1814)