Front Page Titles (by Subject) Chap. III.... That laws which appear to deviate from the intentions of the legislator, are often conformable thereto. - A Commentary and Review of Montesquieu's 'Spirit of Laws'
Chap. III…. That laws which appear to deviate from the intentions of the legislator, are often conformable thereto. - Antoine Louis Claude, Comte Destutt de Tracy, A Commentary and Review of Montesquieu’s ’Spirit of Laws’ 
A Commentary and Review of Montesquieu’s ’Spirit of Laws’: To which are annexed, Observations on the Thirty First Book by the late M. Condorcet; and Two Letters of Helvetius, on the Merits of the same Work, trans. Thomas Jefferson (Philadelphia: William Duane, 1811).
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- The Author,: to His Fellow Citizens of the United States of America.
- A Commentary and Review of the Spirit of Laws: Preliminary Observations
- Book I: Of Laws In General
- Book II: Of Laws Originating Directly From the Nature of the Government.
- Book III: Of the Principles of the Three Forms of Government.
- Book IV: The Laws Relating to Education, Should Be Congenial With the Principles of the Government.
- Book V: Laws Formed By the Legislature Should Be Consistent With the Principles of the Government.
- Book VI: Consequences of the Principles of Different Governments, In Relation to the Simplicity of Civil and Criminal Laws, the Forms of Juridical Proceedings, and the Apportionment of Punishments.
- Book VII: Consequences of the Different Principles of the Three Forms of Government, Relative to Sumptuary Laws, to Luxury, and to the Condition of Women.
- Book VIII: Of the Corruption of the Principle In Each of the Three Forms of Government.
- Book IX: Of Laws Relative to the Defensive Force.
- Book X: Of Laws Relative to the Offensive Force.
- Book XI: Of the Laws Which Establish Public Liberty, In Relation to the Constitution.
- Book XII: Of Laws That Establish Political Liberty In Relation to the Citizen.
- A Review.: On the Twelve First Books of the Spirit of Laws.
- Book XIII: Of the Relation Which Taxes, and the Amount of the Public Revenue, Have to Public Liberty.
- Book XIV: Of Laws In Relation to Climate.
- Book Xv the Manner In Which the Laws of Civil Slavery Relate to the Climate.
- Book Xvi How the Laws of Domestic Slavery Relate to the Climate.
- Book Xvii How the Laws of Political Servitude Relate to the Climate.
- Book XVIII: Of Laws In Relation to the Nature of the Soil.
- Book XIX: Of Laws In Relation to the Principles Which Form the General Dispositions, Morals, and Manners of a Nation.
- Book XX: Of Laws In Relation to Commerce, Considered In Its Nature and Different Forms.
- Book Xxi of Laws In Relation to Commerce, Considered With Reference to the Revolutions It Has Undergone.
- Book XXII: Of Laws In Relation to the Use of Money.
- Book XXIII: Of Laws In Relation to Population
- Book XXIV: Of Laws In Relation to a Religious Establishment, Its Practical Operation, and Doctrines.
- Book Xxv of Laws In Relation to a Religions Establishment, and Its Effects On External Policy.
- Book XXVI: Of Laws In Relation to the Nature of Things Upon Which They Decide.
- Book XXVII: Of the Origin and Revolutions of the Roman Laws On Succession.
- Book Xxviii of the Origin and Revolutions of Civil Law Among the Franks.
- Book XXIX: Of the Manner In Which Laws Should Be Composed.
- Book XXX: Theory of the Feudal Laws Among the Franks, Relative to the Establishment of Monarchy.
- Book Xxxi Theory of Feudal Laws, Relative to the Revolutions of Monarchy.
- Observations On the Twenty-ninth Book of the Spirit of Laws, By M. Condorcet By M Condorcet
- Book XXIX.: On the Manner of Forming Laws.
- Chap. I…. of the Spirit of the Legislator.
- Chap. Ii…. Continuation of the Same Subject.
- Chap. Iii…. That Laws Which Appear to Deviate From the Intentions of the Legislator, Are Often Conformable Thereto.
- Chap. Iv…. of Laws Which Clash With the Views of the Legislator.
- Chap. V…. Continuation of the Sane Subject.
- Chap. Vi…. Laws Which Appear to Be the Same Have Not Uniformly the Same Effect.
- Chap. Vii…. Continuation of the Same Subject. the Necessity of Composing Laws In a Proper Manner.
- Chap. Viii…. Laws Which Appear the Same Have Not Always Been Established On the Same Motives.
- Chap. Ix…. the Greek and Roman Laws Punished Suicide From Different Motives.
- Chap. X…. Laws Which Appear Contradictory, Sometimes Originate In the Same Spirit.
- Chap. Xi…. How Shall We Be Able to Compare and Judge Between Two Laws.
- Chap. Xii…. Laws Which Appear the Same, Are Sometimes Really Different.
- Chap. Xiii…. We Should Not Separate the Laws From the Purposes For Which They Were Established: of the Roman Laws Against Theft.
- Chap. Xiv…. Laws Should Not Be Separated From the Circumstances In Which They Were Established.
- Chap. Xv…. It Is Sometimes Proper That the Law Shall Correct Itself.
- Chap. Xvi…. Matters to Be Observed In Composing Laws.
- Chap. Xvii…. Bad Manner of Enacting Laws.
- Chap. Xviii…. of Ideas of Uniformity.
- Chap. Xix…. of Legislators.
- Letters of Helvetius, Addressed to President Montesquieu and M. Saurin, On Perusing the Manuscript of the Spirit of Laws
- Letter I.: Letter of Helvetius to President Montesquieu
- Letter II.: Helvetius to A. M. Saurin.
Chap. III.... That laws which appear to deviate from the intentions of the legislator, are often conformable thereto.
The first duty of a legislator is to be just and reasonable. It is unjust to punish a man for not having sided with a party, for he may be either ignorant which party is most actuated by justice, or he may think them both culpable. It is contrary to reason to punish with infamy by positive law, since opinion only can adjudge this punishment; if the laws be in unison with the opinion, it is useless; and if it be contrary to opinion it becomes ridiculous.
Does not Montesquieu mistake the intention of Solon? It would appear to be rather intended to oblige the body of the nation, to take part in the quarrels which might arise between a tyrant, an oppressive senate, or iniquitous magistrates, and the defenders of liberty; in order to secure to these last the support of well disposed citizens, whom fear might have deterred from declaring their sentiments; it was in fact a means by which every particular insurrection would become a civil war; but the motive was consonant with the spirit of the Greek republics.