The Letters of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford — Volume 4 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,055 pages of information about The Letters of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford — Volume 4.
maw, but received them by command.  The destruction of it was silly, and agreeable to the ideas of a mob, who do not know stones and bars and bolts from a lettre de cachet.  If the country remains free, the Bastille would be as tame as a ducking-Stool, now that there is no such thing as a scold.  If despotism recovers, the Bastille will rise from its ashes!—­ recover, I fear, it will.  The `Etats cannot remain a mob of kings, and will prefer a single one to a larger mob of kings and greater tyrants.  The nobility, the clergy, and people of property will wait, till by address and Money they can divide the people; or, whoever gets the larger or more victorious army into his hands, will be a Cromwell or a Monk.  In short, a revolution procured by a national vertigo does not promise a crop of legislators.  It is time that composes a good constitution:  it formed ours.  We were near losing it by the lax and unconditional restoration of Charles the Second.  The revolution was temperate, and has lasted; and, though it might have been improved, we know that with all its moderation it disgusted half the nation, who would have brought back the old sores.  I abominate the Inquisition as much as you do:  yet if the King of Spain receives no check like his cousin Louis, I fear he will not be disposed to relax any terrors.  Every crowned head in Europe must ache at present; and the frantic and barbarous proceedings in France will not meliorate the stock of liberty, though for some time their majesties will be mighty tender of the rights of their subjects.

According to this hypothesis, I can administer some comfort to you about your poor negroes.  I do not imagine that they will be emancipated at once; but their fate will be much alleviated, as the attempt will have alarmed their butchers enough to make them gentler, like the European monarchs, for fear of"provoking the disinterested, who have no sugar plantations, to abolish the horrid traffic.

I do not understand the manoeuvre of sugar, and, perhaps, am going to talk nonsense, as my idea maybe impracticable; but I Wish human wit, which is really very considerable in mechanics and merchantry, could devise some method of cultivating canes and making sugar without the manual labour of the human” species.  How many mills and inventions have there not been discovered to supply succedaneums to the works of the hands, which before the discoveries would have been treated as visions!  It is true, manual labour has sometimes taken it very ill to be excused, and has destroyed such mills; but the poor negroes would not rise and insist upon being worked to death.  Pray talk to some ardent genius, but do not name me; not merely because I may have talked like an idiot, but because my ignorance might, ipso C fiacto, stamp the idea with ridicule.  People, I know, do not love to be put out of their old ways:  no farmer listens at first to new inventions in agriculture; and I don’t doubt but bread was originally deemed a new-fangled

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The Letters of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford — Volume 4 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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