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TO COLONEL HUMPHREYS.
Paris, August 14, 1787. DEAR SIR, I remember when you left us, it was with a promise to supply all the defects of correspondence in our friends, of which we complained, and which you had felt in common with us. Yet I have received but one letter from
which was dated June the 5th, 1786, and I answered it August the 14th, 1786. Dropping that, however, and beginning a new account, I will observe to you, that wonderful improvements are making here in various lines. In architecture, the wall of circumvallation round Paris, and the palaces by which we are to be let out and in, are nearly completed; four hospitals are to be built instead of the old hotel-dieu ; one of the old bridges has all its houses demolished, and a second nearly so; a new bridge is begun at the Place Louis XV.; the Palais royal is gutted, a considerable part in the centre of the garden being dug out, and a subterranean circus begun, wherein will be equestrian exhibitions, &c. In society, the habit habillé is almost banished, and they begin to go even to great suppers in frock: the court and diplomatic corps, however, must always be excepted. They are too high to be reached by any improvement. They are the last refuge, from which etiquette, formality and folly will be driven. Take away these, and they would be on a level with other people.
(After describing the unsettled state of Europe, as in some of the preceding letters, the writer proceeds.]
So much for the blessings of having Kings, and magistrates who would be Kings. From these events our young republics may learn useful lessons, never to call on foreign powers to settle their differences, to guard against hereditary magistrates, to prevent their citizens from becoming so established in wealth and power, as to be thought worthy of alliance by marriage with the nieces, sisters, &c. of Kings, and in short, to besiege the throne of heaven with eternal prayers, to extirpate from creation this class of human lions, tigers, and mammoths, called Kings; from whom, let him perish who does not say, 'good Lord deliver us;' and that so we may say, one and all, or perish, is the fervent prayer of