Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Felicitous Circle

March 4, 1801.
The 3rd chief executive is inaugurated: a noble indication that the wheels in the new republic are turning. The new guy, Thos. Jefferson, helped to bring about this revolutionary self-governing machine as did his political enemy/former friend John Adams, i.e. the old guy making his way home to Massachusetts. In his inaugural address, the new President wrote these words: "A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor and bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities."
I sat down to write this post, intending to note that today is Tom Jefferson's 267th birthday. If I hadn't done so, I'd never have come across this loveliest turn of phrase, 'the circle of our felicities.' I'll be thinking of these words all day. I hope so, anyway.

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