- On the death of Peter (1725) the internal tranquillity and progress of the empire were again seriously threatened by the uncertainty of the order of succession, and the autocratic power which he had wielded so vigorously passed into the hands of a series of weak, indolent sovereigns who were habitually guided by personal caprice and the advice of intriguing favourites rather than by serious political considerations.
Such indications of will were implicitly obeyed, or were translated by the worshippers as their own caprice or interest indicated.
The habit of absolute rule, always dangerous, was peculiarly corrupting when it penetrated every department of daily life, and when no external interference checked individual caprice in its action on the feelings and fortunes of inferiors.
An officer whose nature, as the event showed, was interpenetrated with the spirit of legality was a fitting servant of a revolution whose aim it was to substitute legality for personal caprice as the dominant principle of affairs.
The country, in the words of an expert sent to report on the subject by the French government, " can produce an infinite variety of wines suitable to every constitution and to every caprice of taste."
The famous Hirsch trial, and Voltaire's vanity and caprice, greatly lowered him in the esteem of the king, who, on his side, irritated his guest by often requiring him to correct bad verses, and by making him the object of rude banter.
Examination of titles in the Prophets and the Psalms (to say nothing of Ecclesiastes and Wisdom of Solomon) makes it evident that these have been added by late editors who were governed by vague traditions or fanciful associations or caprice, and there is no reason to suppose the titles in Proverbs to be .exceptions to the general rule.
The wretched inmates were dependent for food upon the caprice of their gaolers or the charity of the benevolent; water was denied them except in the scantiest proportions; their only bedding was putrid straw.
It is also to be noted that he is here definitely opposing religion to magic, which he holds to be based on the (implicit) assumption " that the course of nature is determined, not by the passions or caprice of personal beings, but by the operation of immutable laws acting mechanically."
With proclamations, placaats and statutes abundantly filling huge tomes, the caprice of the governor was in truth the law.
A mockery of popular institutions, under the name of a burgher council, indeed existed; but this was a mere delusion, and must not be confounded with the system of local government by means of district burgher councils which that most able man, Commissioner de Mist, sought to establish during the brief government of the Batavian Republic from 1803 to 1806, when the Dutch nation, convinced and ashamed of the false policy by which they had permitted a mere money-making association to disgrace the Batavian name, and to entail degradation on what might have been a free and prosperous colony, sought to redeem their error by making this country a national colonial possession, instead of a slavish property, to be neglected, oppressed or ruined, as the caprice or avarice of its merchant owners might dictate.
This position, which, through his steadiness, scholarly conservatism and freedom from caprice as a critic, soon became one of great influence, he held until his death in New York City on the 4th of July 1880.
But native caprice and jealousy of the growing force of the European nations in these seas, and the rivalries between those nations themselves, were destructive of sound trade; and the English factory, though several times set up, was never long maintained.
In the same year the changes which had occurred in the policy, or rather the caprice, of Queen Anne, brought about an approximation between England and France, and put an end to the influence which Marlborough had hitherto possessed.
But, in fact, serfdom naturally took the form of an ugly ownership of live chattels on the part of a privileged class, and all sorts of excesses, of cruelty, ruthless exploitation and wanton caprice, followed as a matter of course.
As generally understood, Duns makes caprice supreme in God.
For, if He merely may redeem but must punish, then His greatest deeds on our behalf wear an aspect of caprice, or suggest unknown if not unknowable motives.
At the appointed hour the prince, powdered and shaven, entered the dining room where his daughter-in-law, Princess Mary, and Mademoiselle Bourienne were already awaiting him together with his architect, who by a strange caprice of his employer's was admitted to table though the position of that insignificant individual was such as could certainly not have caused him to expect that honor.
He had the air of a man oppressed by business, weary and suffering, who yet would not, for pity's sake, leave this helpless youth who, after all, was the son of his old friend and the possessor of such enormous wealth, to the caprice of fate and the designs of rogues.
But what it was, no one could tell: it might be some caprice of a sick and half-crazy man, or it might relate to public affairs, or possibly to family concerns.