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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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6903. PRESIDENCY, Jefferson, Adams and.—[continued].
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6903. PRESIDENCY, Jefferson, Adams and.—[continued].

No arguments were wanting
to reconcile me to a relinquishment of
the first office, or acquiescence under the
second. As to the first it was impossible that
a more solid unwillingness, settled on full
calculation, could have existed in any man's
mind, short of the degree of absolute refusal.
The only view on which I would have gone
into it for awhile was to put our vessel on her
republican tack, before she should be thrown
too much to leeward of her true principles.
As to the second, it is the only office in the
world which I cannot decide in my own
mind, whether I had rather have it or not
have it. Pride does not enter into the
estimate. For I think with the Romans of
old, that the general of to-day should be a
common soldier to-morrow if necessary.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 155. Ford ed., vii, 98.
(Jan. 1797)