words, mixed with so little of himself, that his country,
Chap. LXX.} 1776. July 2-4.
as it went along with him, found nothing but what it recognized as its own. No man of his century had more trust in the collective reason and conscience of his fellow men, or better knew how to take their counsel; and in return he came to be a ruler over the willing in the world of opinion.
Born to an independent fortune, he had from his youth been an indefatigable student.
Of a calm temperament and a philosophic cast of mind, always temperate in his mode of life and decorous in his manners, he was a perfect master of his passions.
He was of a delicate organization, and fond of elegance; his tastes were refined; laborious in his application to business or the pursuit of knowledge, music, the most spiritual of all pleasures of the senses, was his favorite recreation; and he took a never-failing delight in the beauty of the various scenery of rural life, building himself a home in the loveliest region of his native state.
He was a skilful horseman; and he also delighted to roam the mountains on foot.
The range of his knowledge was very wide; he was not unfamiliar with the literature of Greece
; had an aptitude for mathematics and mechanics; and loved especially the natural sciences; scorning nothing but metaphysics.
British governors and officials had introduced into Williamsburg
the prevalent freethinking of Englishmen of that century, and Jefferson
had grown up in its atmosphere; he was not only a hater of priestcraft and superstition and bigotry and intolerance; he was thought to be indifferent to religion; yet his instincts all inclined him to trace every fact to a general law, and to put faith in ideal truth; the world