Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. VIII.: A particular Case, in which the defensive Force of a State is inferior to the offensive. - Complete Works, vol. 1 The Spirit of Laws
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CHAP. VIII.: A particular Case, in which the defensive Force of a State is inferior to the offensive. - 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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A particular Case, in which the defensive Force of a State is inferior to the offensive.
IT was a saying of the lord of Coucy to king Charles V. “that the English are never weaker, nor easier overcome, than in their own country.” The same was observed of the Romans; the same of the Carthaginians; and the same will happen to every power that sends armies to distant countries, in order to re-unite, by discipline and military force, those who are divided among themselves by political or civil interests. The state finds itself weakened by the disorder that still continues, and more so by the remedy.
The lord of Coucy’s maxim is an exception to the general rule, which disapproves of wars against distant countries: and this exception confirms likewise the rule, because it takes place only with regard to those by whom such wars are undertaken.