Withdrawal and Return:
But there have been many and still are many who, while pursuing the calm of soul of which I speak, have withdrawn from civic duty and taken refuge in retirement. Among such have been the most famous and by far the foremost philosophers and certain other earnest, thoughtful men who could not endure the conduct of either the people or their leaders; some of them, too, lived in the country and found their pleasure in the management of their private estates. Such men have bad the same aim as kings--to suffer no want, to be subject to no authority, to enjoy their liberty, that is, in its essence, to live just as they pleased.
Cicero, De Officiis.
IN HIS MIND'S EYE Monticello had long been the scene of a pastoral idyl that only now, in the ripeness of his years, took full possession of Thomas Jefferson. Successive calls of public duty had carried him far from his element and robbed him of selfhood. Too long had he lived in what he hated; too long had he neglected the things he loved--his farm and family and books. Return to the orange-red highlands of his native Albemarle--"the Eden of the United States"--was a return to the paradise of his soul.
In letters to his friends he depicted himself as a plain farmer, an