Private & public life are subject to the same rules, & truth & manliness are two qualities that will Cary you through this world, much better than policy, or tact, or expediency or any other end that was ever divided to Conceal or mystify a devised from a straight line.
Wherever property, talent & virtue are all on one side, & only ignorant numbers, with a mere sprinkling of property & talent to agitate them & make use of them, or misenformed or mistaken virtue to sanction them on the other side, no honest man can take long to deliberate which side he will chose.
Politicians are more or less so warped by party feeling, by selfishness, or prejudices, that their minds are not altogether truly balanced. They are the most difficult to cure of all insane people, politics having so much excitement in them.
Source: Robert E. Lee Headquarters Papers, 1850-1876, Folder 29, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond
Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 February 6