Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. XXI.: A new Reflection upon the Point of Honour among the Germans. - Complete Works, vol. 2 The Spirit of Laws
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CHAP. XXI.: A new Reflection upon the Point of Honour among the Germans. - 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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A new Reflection upon the Point of Honour among the Germans.
“IT was a great infamy,” says Tacitus* , “among the Germans for a person to leave his buckler behind him in battle; for which reason many after a misfortune of this kind have destroyed themselves.” Thus the ancient Salic law† allows a composition of fifteen sous to any person that had been injuriously reproached with having left his buckler behind him.
When Charlemaign‡ amended the Salic law, he allowed in this case no more than three sous in composition. As this prince cannot be suspected of having had a design to enervate the military discipline; it is manifest that such a change was owing to that of arms, and that from this change of arms a great number of usages derive their origin.
[* ]De moribus Germanorum.
[† ]In the Pactus legis Salicæ.
[‡ ]We have both the ancient law and that which was amended by this prince.