Take things always by their smooth handle.

letter to Thomas Jefferson Smith, February 21, 1825

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More from Thomas Jefferson

Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst and cold.

letter to Thomas Jefferson Smith, February 21, 1825

Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly.

letter to Thomas Jefferson Smith, February 21, 1825

How much pain have cost us the evils which have never happened.

letter to Thomas Jefferson Smith, February 21, 1825

When angry, count ten, before you speak; if very angry, an hundred.

letter to Thomas Jefferson Smith, February 21, 1825

If, in my retirement to the humble station of a private citizen, I am accompanied with the esteem and approbation of my fellow citizens, trophies obtained by the bloodstained steel, or the tattered flags of the tented field, will never be envied. The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government.

letter to the Republican Citizens of Washington County, Maryland, March 31, 1809