Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. XXVIII.: Of the Regard which Monarchs owe to their Subjects. - Complete Works, vol. 1 The Spirit of Laws
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CHAP. XXVIII.: Of the Regard which Monarchs owe to their Subjects. - 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 Regard which Monarchs owe to their Subjects.
PRINCES ought to be extremely circumspect with regard to raillery. It pleases with moderation, because it is an introduction to familiarity; but a satirical raillery is less excusable in them than in the meanest of their subjects; for it is they alone that give a mortal wound.
Much less should they offer a public affront to any of their subjects: kings were instituted to pardon and to punish; but never to insult.
When they affront their subjects their treatment is more cruel than that of the Turk or the Muscovite. The insults of these are a humiliation, not a disgrace: but both must follow from the insolent behaviour of monarchs.
Such is the prejudice of the eastern nations, that they look upon an affront from the prince as the effect of paternal goodness; and such, on the contrary, is our way of thinking, that, besides the cruel vexation of being affronted, we despair of ever being able to wipe off the disgrace.
Princes ought to be overjoyed to have subjects to whom honour is dearer than life; an incitement to fidelity as well as to courage.
They should remember the misfortunes that have happened to sovereigns for insulting their subjects, the revenge of Chærea, of the eunuch Narses, of count Julian, and, in fine, of the duchess of Montpensier, who, being enraged against Henry III. for having published some of her private failings, tormented him during her whole life.