University of Virginia Library

7457. RETIREMENT, Old age.—

I am too desirous of quiet to place myself in the way
of contention. Against this I am admonished
by bodily decay, which cannot be unaccompanied
by corresponding wane of the mind.
Of this I am as yet sensible, sufficiently to be
unwilling to trust myself before the public, and
when I cease to be so, I hope that my friends
will be too careful of me to draw me forth and
present me, like a Priam in armor, as a spectacle
for public compassion. I hope our political
bark will ride through all its dangers;
but I can in future be but an inert passenger.—
To Thomas Ritchie. Washington ed. vii, 193. Ford ed., x, 171.
(M. 1820)