Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from John Davis, 1 September 1807

Petersburg, Virginia, September 1, 1807.


I take the liberty to send you a Latin Pamphlet which I have lately published, partly borrowed, & partly original. I am now cultivating the Greek language day & night. Of Greek letters says that benefactor Professor Dalzel, quibus apud nos deficientibus, citò deficiet omnis doctrina politior; iisdem vigentibus, omnes etiam artes, quae ad humanitatem pertinent, unà vigebunt. I love this enthusiasm.

I have young gentlemen of this place under my tuition, who, at twelve years of age, know all Horace’s Odes ad unquem; in some measure owing to the pains I take with them, but more to their own genius: Virginia is the soil of genius.

I have been informed that my Life of Chatterton has made its appearance in London, & is “highly praised by the Reviewers.” If I err not, an animated portrait of the transcendant boy is prefixed to the Volume. Sic oculos, sic illa manus, sic ora ferebat. I am, Sir, with perfect respect, Your most obedient Servant

John Davis.

DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.

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