Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. VII.: Of the Principle of Monarchy. - Complete Works, vol. 1 The Spirit of Laws
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CHAP. VII.: Of the Principle of Monarchy. - Charles Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, Complete Works, vol. 1 The Spirit of Laws 
The Complete Works of M. de Montesquieu (London: T. Evans, 1777), 4 vols. Vol. 1.
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Of the Principle of Monarchy.
A monarchical government supposeth, as we have already observed, pre-eminences and ranks, as likewise a noble descent. Now, since it is the nature of honour to aspire to preferments and titles, it is properly placed in this government.
Ambition is pernicious in a republic; but in a monarchy it has some good effects; it gives life to the government, and is attended with this advantage, that it is no way dangerous, because it may be continually checked.
It is with this kind of government as with the system of the universe, in which there is a power that constantly repels all bodies from the center, and a power of gravitation, that attracts them to it. Honour sets all the parts of the body politic in motion, and, by its very action, connects them; thus each individual advances the public good, while he only thinks of promoting his own interest.
True it is, that, philosophically speaking, it is a false honour which moves all the parts of the government; but even this false honour is as useful to the public as true honour could possibly be to private people.
Is it not a very great point, to oblige men to perform the most difficult actions, such as require an extraordinary exertion of fortitude and resolution, without any other recompence than that of glory and applause?