Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. VII.: The same Subject continued. - Complete Works, vol. 1 The Spirit of Laws
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CHAP. VII.: The same Subject continued. - 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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The same Subject continued.
THE principle of monarchy is corrupted, when the first dignities are marks of the first servitude, when the great men are deprived of public respect, and rendered the low tools of arbitrary power.
It is still more corrupted, when honour is set up in contradiction to honours, and when men are capable of being loaded, at the very same time, with infamy‡ and with dignities.
It is corrupted, when the prince changes his justice into severity; when he puts, like the Roman emperors, a Medusa’s head on his breast∥ ; and when he assumes that menacing and terrible air which Commodus ordered to be given to his statues§ .
Again, it is corrupted, when mean and abject souls grow vain of the pomp attending their servitude, and imagine that the motive which induces them to be entirely devoted to their prince exempts them from all duty to their country.
But if it be true, (and indeed the experience of all ages has shewn it,) that, in proportion as the power of the monarch becomes boundless and immense, his security diminishes, is the corrupting of this power, and the altering of its very nature, a less crime than that of high-treason against the prince?
[‡ ]Under the reign of Tiberius, statues were erected to, and triumphal ornaments conferred on, informers; which debased these honours to such a degree, that those who had really merited them disdained to accept of them. Frag. of Dio, book 58. taken from the extract of virtues and vices, by Constantine Porphyrog. See, in Tacitus, in what manner Nero, on the discovery and punishment of a pretended conspiracy, bestowed triumphal ornaments on Petronius Turpilianus, Nerva, and Tigellinus. Annal. book 14. See, likewise, how the generals refused to serve, because they contemned the military honours; pervulgatis triumphi insignibus. Tacit. Annal. book 13.
[∥ ]In this state, the prince knew extremely well the principle of his government.