Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. VIII.: That Honour is not the Principle of despotic Government. - Complete Works, vol. 1 The Spirit of Laws
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CHAP. VIII.: That Honour is not the Principle of despotic Government. - 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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That Honour is not the Principle of despotic Government.
HONOUR is far from being the principle of despotic government: mankind being here all upon a level, no one person can prefer himself to another; and as, on the other hand, they are all slaves, they can give themselves no sort of preference.
Besides, as honour has its laws and rules; as it knows not how to submit; as it depends, in a great measure, on a man’s own caprice, and not on that of another person; it can be found only in countries in which the constitution is fixed, and where they are governed by settled laws.
How can despotism bear with honour? This glories in the contempt of life, and that is founded in the power of taking it away. How can honour, on the other hand, bear with despotism? The former has its fixed rules and peculiar caprices, but the latter is directed by no rule, and its own caprices are subversive of all others.
Honour, therefore, a thing unknown in arbitrary governments, some of which have not even a proper word to express it* , is the prevailing principle in monarchies; here it gives life to the whole body politic, to the laws, and even to the virtues themselves.
[* ]See Perry, p 447.