Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. I.: Of the Spirit of a Legislator. - Complete Works, vol. 2 The Spirit of Laws
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CHAP. I.: Of the Spirit of a Legislator. - 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 Spirit of a Legislator.
I SAY it, and methinks I have undertaken this work with no other view than to prove it; the spirit of a legislator ought to be that of moderation; political, like moral evil, lying always between two extremes. Let us produce an example.
The set forms of justice are necessary to liberty; but the number of them might be so great as to be contrary to the end of the very laws that established them; processes would have no end; property would be uncertain; the goods of one of the parties would be adjudged to the other without examining, or they would both be ruined by examining too much.
The citizens would lose their liberty and security; the accusers would no longer have any means to convict, nor the accused to justify themselves.