“He also wrote occasional pieces for the newspaper. On November 16, 1808, he contributed an essay on “The True Ambitions of an Honest Mind.” It read, in full:
Were I to describe the blessings I desire in life, I would be happy in a few but faithful friends. Might I choose my talent, it should rather be good than learning. I would consult in the choice of my house, convenience rather than state; and, for my circumstances, desire a moderate but independent fortune. Business enough to secure me from indolence, and leisure enough always to have an hour to spare. I would have no master, and I desire few servants. I would not be led away by ambition, nor perplexed with disputes. I would enjoy the blessings of health but rather be beholden for it to a regular life and an easy mind, than to the school of Hippocrates. As to my passions, since we cannot be wholly divested of them, I would hate only those whose manners rendered them odious, and love only where I knew I ought. Thus would I pass cheerfully through that portion of my life which cannot last always, & with resignation wait for that which will last forever.
-From Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson and the Opening of the American West by Stephen Ambrose