The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Volume 45: 11 November 1804 to 8 March 1805
(Princeton University Press, 2021), 645-6
[before 8 Feb. 1805]
When it was vain to deny that our measures were good, they resorted to motives, & alledged they proceeded from bad motives. the taxes they admitted were unnecessary, but we did not suppress them because they were unnecessary, but because it would be popular. to the public however this question is of no importance. whether their agents do good, because they are good, or because it will please their constts. is unimportant. whether we are popular because we are honest, or act honestly that we may be popular is of no consequence to the public. for if their functionaries shall be honest, they will do good for conscience sake, if they have no conscience they will do good to be popular. so good will be done at all events.