Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. XXIX.: Of the civil Laws proper for mixing some Portion of Liberty in a despotic Government. - Complete Works, vol. 1 The Spirit of Laws
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CHAP. XXIX.: Of the civil Laws proper for mixing some Portion of Liberty in a 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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Of the civil Laws proper for mixing some Portion of Liberty in a despotic Government.
THOUGH despotic governments are of their own nature every where the same, yet, from circumstances, from a religious opinion, from prejudice, from received examples, from a particular turn of mind, from manners or morals, it is possible they may admit of a considerable difference.
It is useful that some particular notions should be established in those governments: thus, in China, the prince is considered as the father of his people; and, at the commencement of the empire of the Arabs, the prince was their preacher* .
It is proper there should be some sacred book to serve for a rule; as the Koran among the Arabs, the books of Zoroaster among the Persians, the Vedam among the Indians, and the Classic Books among the Chinese. The religious code supplies the civil, and fixes the extent of arbitrary sway.
It is not at all amiss that, in dubious cases, the judges should consult the ministers of religion† : thus, in Turkey, the Cadis consult the Mollachs. But, if it is a capital crime, it may be proper for the particular judge, if such there be, to take the governor’s advice, to the end that the civil and ecclesiastic power may be tempered also by the political authority.
[* ]The caliphs.
[† ]History of the Tartars, 3d part, p. 277, in the remarks.