Sage of Monticello
Oh, the blessings of privacy and leisure! The wish of the powerful and eminent, but the privilege only of inferiors, who are the only people that live to themselves; nay, the very thought of it is a consolation, even in the tumults and hazards that attend greatness. . . . But it is one thing to retire for pleasure, and another thing for virtue, which must be active even in that retreat, and give proof of what it has learned: for a good and wise man does in privacy consult the well-being of posterity. Zeno and Chrysippus did greater things in their studies than if they bad led armies, borne offices, or given laws, which in truth they did, not to one city alone, but to all mankind: their quiet contributed more to the common benefit than the sweat and labor of other people.
Seneca, Moral Essays.
ALL MY WISHES END where I hope my days will end, at Monticello." Many more days than Jefferson calculated, seventeen years and four months of days, lay before him, during which the dream of felicity became a delusion, yet with his confidence in a universe framed on benevolence and his affirmative response to life, he remained a cheerful worker in the vineyard until the end.
The mansion was finished now, all but the final touches, just in time for the decay to commence. Jefferson had turned his thoughts to the gardens, nothing elaborate on the style of English landscape such as he had once envisioned and so much admired in William Hamilton "Woodlands," in Philadelphia, which would have been