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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

AUTHOR: Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826)
QUOTATION: Perfect happiness I believe was never intended by the deity to be the lot of any one of his creatures in this world; but that he has very much put in our power the nearness of our approaches to it, is what I as stedfastly believe.
ATTRIBUTION: THOMAS JEFFERSON, letter to John Page, July 15, 1763.—The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Julian P. Boyd, vol. 1, p. 10 (1950). Jefferson used the spelling “beleive.”

This letter was written in hopes that John Page would talk to Belinda, a young woman with whom Jefferson, then 20, was infatuated. Jefferson was normally cool and level-headed, but Belinda had a devastating effect on his poise, leaving him tongue-tied and stammering.—Saul K. Padover, Jefferson, chapter 2, p. 20 (1942).
SUBJECTS: Happiness