Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. XVIII.: Of the Ideas of Uniformity. - Complete Works, vol. 2 The Spirit of Laws
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CHAP. XVIII.: Of the Ideas of Uniformity. - 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 Ideas of Uniformity.
THERE are certain ideas of uniformity, which sometimes strike great geniuses, (for they even affected Charlemaign) but infallibly make an impression on little souls. They discover therein a kind of perfection; because it is impossible for them not to see it; the same weights, the same measures in trade, the same laws in the state, the same religion in all its parts. But is this always right, and without exception? Is the evil of changing constantly less than that of suffering? And does not a greatness of genius consist rather in distinguishing between those cases in which uniformity is requisite, and those in which there is a necessity for differences? In China the Chinese are governed by the Chinese ceremonial: and the Tartars by theirs. And yet there is no nation in the world that aims so much at tranquility. If the people observe the laws, what signifies it whether these laws are the same?