Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. VIII.: Inutility of Slavery among us. - Complete Works, vol. 1 The Spirit of Laws
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CHAP. VIII.: Inutility of Slavery among us. - 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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Inutility of Slavery among us.
NATURAL slavery, then, is to be limited to some particular parts of the world. In all other countries, even the most servile drudgeries may be performed by freemen.
Experience verifies my assertion. Before Christianity had abolished civil slavery in Europe, working in the mines was judged too toilsome for any but slaves or malefactors; at present, there are men employed in them who are known to live* comfortably. The magistrates have, by some small privileges, encouraged this profession; to an increase of labour they have joined an increase of gain; and have gone so far as to make those people better pleased with their condition than with any other which they could have embraced.
No labour is so heavy but it may be brought to a level with the workman’s strength, when regulated by equity and not by avarice. The violent fatigues which slaves are made to undergo, in other parts, may be supplied by a skilful use of ingenious machines. The Turkish mines, in the Bannat of Temeswear, though richer than those of Hungary, did not yield so much, because the working of them depended entirely on the strength of their slaves.
I know not whether this article be dictated by my understanding or by my heart. Possibly there is not that climate upon earth where the most laborious services might not, with proper encouragement, be performed by freemen. Bad laws having made lazy men, they have been reduced to slavery because of their laziness.
[* ]As may be seen in the mines of Hartz, in Lower Saxony, and in those of Hungary.