at 3年前 ca 论法的精神经典语录 pv 1604 by 名著
Of the Excellence of a Monarchical Government. Monarchy has a great advantage over a despotic government.
As it naturally requires there should be several orders or ranks of subjects, the state is more permanent, the constitution more steady, and the person of him who governs more secure.
Cicero is of opinion that the establishing of the tribunes preserved the republic. "And indeed," says he, "the violence of a headless people is more terrible. A chief or head is sensible that the affair depends upon himself, and therefore he thinks; but the people in their impetuosity are ignorant of the danger into which they hurry themselves." This reflection may be applied to a despotic government, which is a people without tribunes; and to a monarchy, where the people have some sort of tribunes.
Accordingly it is observable that in the commotions of a despotic government, the people, hurried away by their passions, are apt to push things as far as they can go. The disorders they commit are all extreme; whereas in monarchies matters are seldom carried to excess. The chiefs are apprehensive on their own account; they are afraid of being abandoned, and the intermediate dependent powers do not choose that the populace should have too much the upper hand. It rarely happens that the states of the kingdom are entirely corrupted: the prince adheres to these; and the seditious, who have neither will nor hopes to subvert the government, have neither power nor will to dethrone the prince.
In these circumstances men of prudence and authority interfere; moderate measures are first proposed, then complied with, and things at length are redressed; the laws resume their vigour, and command submission.
Thus all our histories are full of civil wars without revolutions, while the histories of despotic governments abound with revolutions without civil wars.
The writers of the history of the civil wars of some countries, even those who fomented them, sufficiently demonstrate the little foundation princes have to suspect the authority with which they invest particular bodies of men; since, even under the unhappy circumstance of their errors, they sighed only after the laws and their duty; and restrained, more than they were capable of inflaming, the impetuosity of the revolted. Cardinal Richelieu, reflecting perhaps that he had too much reduced the states of the kingdom, has recourse to the virtues of the prince and of his ministers for the support of government: but he requires so many things, that indeed there is none but an angel capable of such attention, such resolution and knowledge; and scarcely can we flatter ourselves that we shall ever see such a prince and ministers while monarchy subsists.
As people who live under a good government are happier than those who without rule or leaders wander about the forests, so monarchs who live under the fundamental laws of their country are far happier than despotic princes who have nothing to regulate, neither their own passions nor those of their subjects.