About the government

Regents and their subjects (Gustavus III)

But how much of the natural freedom has to be lost by subjects in order to ensure the successful continuance of a society is a question of the greatest importance to princes who wish to earn themselves a truly high reputation among people and make them pleased with their rule. I do not know whether it has been fully answered and elucidated by our great and philanthropic intellectuals. How, then, are rulers to guard against the greatest errors with regard to the rights of our species? All constraints that violate the latter will infallibly bring misfortunes on the kingdom and the citizens.

Thoughts Concerning the Natural Rights of Masters and Servants (1778), § 11, p. 37. Translated by Peter C. Hogg.