Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. XXI.: Of the Metempsychosis. - Complete Works, vol. 2 The Spirit of Laws
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CHAP. XXI.: Of the Metempsychosis. - Charles Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, Complete Works, vol. 2 The Spirit of Laws 
The Complete Works of M. de Montesquieu (London: T. Evans, 1777), 4 vols. Vol. 2.
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Of the Metempsychosis.
THE doctrine of the immortality of the soul is divided into three branches, that of pure immortality, that of a simple change of habitation, and that of a metempsychosis; that is, the system of the Christians, that of the Scythians, and that of the Indians. We have just been speaking of the two first, and I shall say of the last, that as it has been well or ill explained, it has had good or bad effects. As it inspires men with a certain horror against bloodshed, very few murders are committed in the Indies; and though they seldom punish with death, yet they enjoy a perfect tranquility.
On the other hand, women burn themselves at the death of their husbands; thus it is only the innocent who suffer a violent death.