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as a right

This is a distinction worth pondering. In general terms throughout the novel we have been allowed to relax in the notion of sympathy as a private, even domestic virtue, commensurate with compassion and affection. Questions of justice have been largely raised within public arenas or as involving the legal rights of individuals. Here, however, the larger issues of late Enlightenment democratic enfranchisement merge with private desire, as to an important degree they also do in the Constitution of the United States of America (1787), particularly as amended by the Bill of Rights (1789), or the Declaration of Rights of the French Constituent Assembly (1789) or that proposed by Maximilien Robespierre (1793) or, indeed, the radical Declaration of Rights written by the young agitator Percy Bysshe Shelley for distribution among the Irish in 1812. Sympathy thus has a political component to it. In the Creature's formulation God, or one who would assume the supreme powers of God, implicitly has an obligation to foster the "pursuit of happiness" of a creation or subject.