A little attention however to the nature of the human mind…entertainments of fiction are useful as well as pleasant.
A little attention however to the nature of the human mind evinces that the entertainments of fiction are useful as well as pleasant. That they are pleasant when well written every person feels who reads. But wherein is its utility asks the reverend sage, big with the notion that nothing can be useful but the learned lumber of Greek and Roman reading with which his head is stored? I answer, everything is useful which contributes to fix in the principles and practices of virtue.
Context: Letter to Robert Skipwith
Tags: Greek and Roman reading, Letter to Robert Skipwith, Thomas Jefferson, entertainments of fiction, human mind, principles and practices of virtue, 1771