To George Washington
Paris, Dec. 4, 1788
The nation [France] has been awaked by our revolution ... How far they can proceed, in the end, towards a thorough reformation of abuse, cannot be foreseen. In my opinion a kind of influence, which none of their plans of reform take into account, will elude them all; I mean the influence of women in the government. The manners of the nation allow them to visit, alone, all persons in office, to sollicit the affairs of the husband, family, or friends, and their sollicitations bid defiance to laws and regulations. This obstacle may seem less to those who, like our countrymen, are in the habit of considering Right, as a barrier against all sollicitation. Nor can such an one, without the evidence of his own eyes, believe the desperate state to which things are reduced in this country from the omnipotence of an influence which, fortunately for the happiness of the sex itself, does not endeavor to extend itself in our country beyond the domestic line.
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