It turned out, despite their normally up-to-the-minute-correct website, that my university library was not open today, which means for the first time a long while, I have no idea what I’m going to read next. My local library doesn’t carry a lot of French history, so finding something for my usual Bastille Day reading is going to be a stretch. I’ll continue with my journey through American literature, which I’m enjoying far too much, and look to the to be read list. Next up will be Fighting Traffic, I think.
This past week, of course, was taken up with readings related to Independence Day; there’s one I’ve not mentioned here yet, a novel featuring Thomas Jefferson. It ends with the French revolution, so a more fitting lead-in to that reading I could not ask for. The American series isn’t complete yet, because I’m still waiting on The Men Who Lost America. It was lost in the mail, so another copy is being sent.
“Fear nothing, George, for therefore are we sent into the world. If we would not meet trouble for a good cause, we were not worthy of our name.”
Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe
Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries BY A GOVERNMENT, which we might expect in a country WITHOUT GOVERNMENT, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer. Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built on the ruins of the bowers of paradise.
Common Sense, Tom Paine.
“You want to send Jim and me back to be whipped and tortured, and ground down under the heels of them that you call masters; and your laws will bear you out in it — more shame for you and them! But you haven’t got us. We don’t own your laws; we don’t own your country; we stand here as free, under God’s sky, as you are; and, by the great God that made us, we’ll fight for our liberty ’till we die.”
p. 224, Uncle Tom’s Cabin