The Spirit of Laws: Volume I

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J. Nourse, and P. Vaillant, 1766 - Jurisprudence

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One of the best books I have ever read and ever shall hope to read at least three more times in my lifetime... if only all books were only a slight fraction of the merit of this (and all of M's works I have read) book then I daresay I would never stop reading. Read full review

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Page 222 - When the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or in the same body of magistrates, there can be no liberty; because apprehensions may arise, lest the same monarch or senate should enact tyrannical laws, to execute them in a tyrannical manner.
Page 222 - Were it joined with the legislative, the life and liberty of the subject would be exposed to arbitrary control ; for the judge would then be the legislator. Were it joined to the executive power, the judge might behave with violence and oppression.
Page 4 - Such a being might every instant forget his Creator; God has therefore reminded him of his duty by the laws of religion. Such a being is liable every moment to forget himself; philosophy has provided against this by the laws of morality. Formed to live in society, he might forget his fellow-creatures; legislators have therefore by political and civil laws confined him to his duty.
Page 231 - But if the legislative power in a free state has no right to stay the executive, it has a right and ought to have the means of examining in what manner its laws have been executed...
Page 219 - Some have annexed this name to one form of government exclusive of others: those who had a republican taste applied it to this species of polity; those who liked a monarchical state gave it to monarchy. Thus they have all applied the name of liberty to the government most suitable to their own customs and inclinations: and as in republics the...
Page 223 - ... quality of legislators. They may plunder the state by their general determinations ; and as they have likewise the judiciary power in their hands, every private citizen may be ruined by their particular decisions.
Page 185 - It is very probable," says he,* " that mankind would have been obliged, at length, to live constantly under the Government of a single person, had they not contrived a kind of Constitution, that has all the internal advantages of a Republican, together with the external force of a Monarchical Government.
Page xxv - I have not drawn my principles from my prejudices, but from the nature of things.
Page 233 - It might also happen that a subject intrusted with the administration of public affairs, may infringe the rights of the people, and be guilty of crimes which the ordinary magistrates either could not, or would not punish.
Page 329 - It is the same with regard to pain, which is excited by the laceration of some fibre of the body. The Author of nature has made it an established rule that this pain should be more acute in proportion as the laceration is greater : now it is evident that the large bodies and coarse fibres of the people of the North are less capable of laceration than the delicate fibres of the inhabitants of warm countries ; consequently the soul is there less sensible of pain. You must flay a Muscovite alive to...

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