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Dispositions vs. Circumstances

“I do not say this because I feel dissatisfied with my present station – no, God forbid: – for everybody and everything conspire to make me as contented as possible in it; yet I have too much of the vanity of human affairs to expect felicity from the splendid scenes of public life. I am still determined to be cheerful and to be happy in whatever situation I may be, for I have also learnt from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances; we carry the seeds of the one, or the other about with us, in our minds, wherever we go.”

Martha Washington, Letter to Mercy Warren (1789)