University of Virginia Library

3494. GOVERNMENT, Despotic.—[continued].

I think the government
in France is a pure despotism in theory, but
moderated in practice by the respect which
the public opinion commands. But the nation
repeats, after Montesquieu, that the different
bodies of magistracy, of priests and
nobles, are barriers between the King and the
people. It would be easy to prove that these
barriers can only appeal to public opinion,
and that neither these bodies, nor the people,
can oppose any legal check to the will
of the monarch.—
To Mr. Cutting. Washington ed. ii, 438.
(P. 1788)