Withdrawal and Return:
Our style and manner of thinking have undergone a revolution more extraordinary than the political revolution of the country. We see with other eyes; we hear with other ears; and think with other thoughts, than those we formerly used. We can look back on our own prejudices, as if they had been the prejudices of other people. . . .
The people of England not having experienced this change, had likewise no ideas of it. They were bugging to their bosoms the same prejudices we were trampling beneath our feet; and they expected to keep a hold upon America, by that narrowness of thinking which America disdained. What they were proud of, we despised; and this is a principal cause why all their negotiations, constructed on this ground, have failed. We are now really another people, and cannot again go back to ignorance and prejudice. The mind once enlightened cannot again become dark.
Thomas Paine, Letter to the Abbé Raynal. Philadelphia, 1782.
DAYS AND MONTHS of anguish, eighteen dreary months, descended on Jefferson after his retirement. The Nicholas resolution wounded him more than he was at first willing to admit. The charges themselves were a mere impertinence; but to be exposed to the public on the suspicion of delinquency, to be made a mark for
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Publication information: Book title: Thomas Jefferson and the New Nation:A Biography. Contributors: Merrill D. Peterson - Author. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: London. Publication year: 1975. Page number: 241.
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