Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. X.: Of the ancient French Laws. - Complete Works, vol. 1 The Spirit of Laws
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CHAP. X.: Of the ancient French Laws. - 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 ancient French Laws.
IN the ancient French laws we find the true spirit of monarchy. In cases relating to pecuniary mulcts, the common people are less severely punished than the nobility‡ : but in criminal∥ cases it is quite the reverse; the nobleman loses his honour and his voice in court, while the peasant, who has no honour to lose, undergoes a corporal punishment.
[‡ ]Suppose, for instance, to prevent the execution of a decree, the common people paid a fine of forty sous, and the nobility of sixty livres. Somme Rurale, book 2. p. 198. edit. Got. of the year 1512.
[∥ ]See the Council of Peter Defontaines, chap. 13. especially the 22d art.