Thomas Jefferson Quotes
Never trouble another for what you can do yourself.
I agree with you entirely in condemning the mania of giving names to objects of any kind after persons still living. Death alone can seal the title of any man to this honor, by putting it out of his power to forfeit it.
Only aim to do your duty, and mankind will give you credit where you fail.
The opinions of men are not the object of civil government, nor under its jurisdiction.
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.
The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.
I do not take a single newspaper, nor read one a month, and I feel myself infinitely the happier for it.
The worst day in a man's life is when he sits down and begins thinking about how he can get something for nothing.
I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more luck I have.
If once the people become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves.
I have never been able to conceive how any rational being could propose happiness to himself from the exercise of power over others.
I place economy among the first and most important virtues, and public debt as the greatest dangers to be feared.
To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual profusion and servitude.
If we can prevent the Government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretense of caring for them, they will be happy.
Never fear the want of business. A man who qualifies himself well for his calling never fails of employment.
I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.
For thus I estimate the qualities of the mind: 1, good humor; 2, integrity; 3, industry; 4, science. The preference of the first to the second quality may not at first be acquiesced in; but certainly we had all rather associate with a good-humored, light-principled man, than with an ill-tempered rigorist in morality.
All we can do is to make the best of our friends: love and cherish what is good in them, and keep out of the way of what is bad: but no more think of rejecting them for it than of throwing away a piece of music for a flat passage or two.
The most effectual means of being secure against pain is to retire within ourselves, and to suffice for our own happiness. Those, which depend on ourselves, are the only pleasures a wise man will count on: for nothing is ours which another may deprive us of. Hence the inestimable value of intellectual pleasures. Ever in our power, always leading us to something new, never cloying, we ride, serene and sublime, above the concerns of this mortal world, contemplating truth and nature, matter and motion, the laws which bind up their existence, and that eternal being who made and bound them up by these laws. Let this be our employ. Leave the bustle and tumult of society to those who have not talents to occupy themselves without them.
Of all the cankers of human happiness, none corrodes it with so silent, yet so baneful a tooth, as indolence.
Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever: that considering numbers, nature and natural means only, a revolution of the wheel of fortune, and exchange of situation, is among possible events: that it may become probable by supernatural interference!
This is the context.
In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current.
Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.
When angry, count to ten before you speak; if very angry, a hundred.
Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.
Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories.
God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?
If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects something it cannot be.
To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagations of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.
It is neither wealth, nor splendor, but tranquility and occupation which gives happiness.
Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.
Government can do something for the people only in proportion as it can do something to the people.
The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then.
I have sworn on the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.
The natural progress of things is for government to gain ground and for liberty to yield.
Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.
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