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.
again, if he can possibly help it!  The new legislators were pedants, not politicians, when they announced the equality of all men.  We are all born so, no doubt, abstractedly; and physically capable of being kept so, were it possible to establish a perfect government, and give the same education to all men.  But are they so in the present constitution of society, under a bad government, where most have had no education at all, but have been debased, brutified, by a long train and mixture of superstition and oppression, and witnesses to the luxury and vices of their superiors, which they could only envy and not enjoy?  It was turning tigers loose; and the degradation of the nobility pointed out the prey.  Could it be expected that savages so hallooed on to outrage and void of any notions of reciprocal"duties and obligations, would fall into a regular system of’ acting as citizens under the government of reason and justice?  It was tearing all the bonds of society, which the experience of mankind had taught them were necessary to the mutual convenience of all; and no provision, no security, was made for those who were levelled, and who, though they enjoyed what they had by the old constitution, were treated, or were exposed to be treated, as criminals.  They have been treated so:  several have been butchered; and the National Assembly dare not avenge them, as they should lose the favour of the intoxicated populace.  That conduct was senseless, or worse.  With no less folly did they seek to expect that a vast body of men, more enlightened, at least, than the gross multitude, would sit down in patience under persecution and deprivation of all they valued; I mean the nobility and clergy, who might be stunned, but Were sure of reviving and of burning with vengeance.  The insult was the greater, as the subsequent conduct of the National Assembly has proved more shamefully dishonest, in their paying themselves daily more than two-thirds of them ever saw perhaps in a month; and that flagitious self-bestowed stipend, as it is void of all patriotic integrity, will destroy their power too; for, if constitution-making is so lucrative a trade, others will wish to share in the plunder of their country too; and, even without a civil war, I am persuaded the present Assembly will neither be septennial, nor even triennial.

(701) Now first collected.

Letter 356 To The Miss Berrys.  Sunday, Oct. 10, 1790, The day of your departure. (page 455)

Is it possible to write to my beloved friends, and refrain from speaking of my grief for losing you; though it is but the continuation of what I have felt ever since I was stunned by your intention Of going abroad this autumn?  Still I will not tire you With it Often.  In happy days I smiled, and called you my dear wives—­now I can only think on you as darling children of whom I am bereaved!  As such I have loved and do love You; and, charming

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