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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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7408. RESOLUTION, Power of.—
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7408. RESOLUTION, Power of.—

I do
not like your saying that you are unable to read
the ancient print of your Livy but with the aid
of your master. We are always equal to what
we undertake with resolution. A little degree
of this will enable you to decipher your


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Livy. If you always lean on your master,
you will never be able to proceed without
him. It is part of the American character
to consider nothing as desperate, to
surmount every difficulty by resolution and
contrivance. In Europe there are shops for
every want; its inhabitants, therefore, have no
idea that their wants can be supplied otherwise.
Remote from all other aid, we are obliged to
invent and to execute; to find means within
ourselves, and not to lean on others. Consider,
therefore, the conquering your Livy as an exercise
in the habit of surmounting difficulties;
a habit which will be necessary to you in the
country where you are to live, and without
which you will be thought a very helpless animal,
and less esteemed.—
To Martha Jefferson. Ford ed., iv, 373.