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Date: 1762-1763

"Youth is the best season wherein to acquire knowledge, tis a season when we are freest from care, the mind is then unencumbered & more capable of receiving impressions than in an advanced age—in youth the mind is like a tender twig, which you may bend as you please, but in age like a sturdy oak ...

— Adams, Abigail (1744-1818)

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Date: November 28, 1783

"Our Maker has given us this faithful internal monitor [the conscience], and if you always obey it, you will always be prepared for the end of the world, or for a more certain event, which is death."

— Jefferson, Thomas (1743-1826)

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Date: 1785

"Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body, and stamp no character on the mind."

— Jefferson, Thomas (1743-1826)

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Date: 1820

"And they [Stewart, Tracy, Cabanis] ask why may not the mode of action called thought, have been given to a material organ of peculiar structure, as that of magnetism is to the needle, or of elasticity to the spring by a particular manipulation of the steel."

— Jefferson, Thomas (1743-1826)

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Date: 1820

"When I meet with a proposition beyond finite comprehension, I abandon it as I do a weight which human strength cannot lift, and I think ignorance, in these cases, is truly the softest pillow on which I can lay my head."

— Jefferson, Thomas (1743-1826)

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Date: Late Autumn, 1882

"A letter always seemed to me like Immortality, for is it not the mind alone, without corporeal friend?"

— Dickinson, Emily (1830-1886)

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The Mind is a Metaphor is authored by Brad Pasanek, Assistant Professor of English, University of Virginia.