Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Thomas Jefferson to William Short, 30 May 1813

To William Short

Monticello May 30. 13.

Dear Sir

I returned from Bedford on the 15th inst. and have been in the hope of having the pleasure of seeing Mr Correa here; but begin now to fear his visit to Washington might have been too early in the month to be protracted until the time I had noted to you for my return. should this circumstance deprive me ultimately of the pleasure of seeing him it will be a subject of lasting regret. it is so rare in our country situations to meet with men of his endowments, that such a visit forms an epoch of pleasing recollection. my affairs in Bedford call for my return there about the 8th of June,1 the mention of which is the object of this letter, lest the visit with which I had been flattered might by any accident be thrown into the period of my absence which will be of about three weeks. the months of July and August I shall pass here entire, being those of our harvest and getting out our wheat. this operation will be shortened for us this year by the ravages of the fly, which are greater than ever have been known. from these casualties which distress the farmer you are happily exempted by the form of property which you have preferred. his advantage is that while monied property is liable to the wane of depreciation from an artificial increase of it’s quantity, his is kept at par at least by a rise of nominal value equivalent to every change of the2 measure applied to it. and so it is that all things in life have their uncertainties, and life itself the greatest of all. but our schoolbooks tell us that ‘levius fit patientiâ, quiequid corrigere est nefas.’ Adieu, with all affection and respect.

Th: Jefferson

RC (ViW: TJP); addressed: “William Short esquire Philadelphia”; franked; postmarked Milton, 2 June; endorsed by Short as received 6 June 1813.

levius fit patientiâ, quiequid corrigere est nefas: “endurance can make lighter what no one is allowed to put right” (Horace, Odes, 1.24.19, in Horace: Odes and Epodes, trans. Niall Rudd, Loeb Classical Library [2004], 70).

1Preceding two words interlined in place of “instant.”

2TJ here canceled “medium.”

Index Entries

  • Corrêa da Serra, José; TJ on search
  • Hessian fly search
  • Horace; TJ quotes search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Literary Quotes; Horace search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; J. Corrêa da Serra search
  • Monticello (TJ’s estate); wheat crop at search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ plans visit to search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ returns from search
  • Short, William; and J. Corrêa da Serra search
  • Short, William; letters to search
  • wheat; at Monticello search