Page:Essay on Crimes and Punishments (1775).djvu/29
CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS.
having recourse to that of one alone. It is more cruel, as it meets with more opposition, and the cruelty of a tyrant is not in proportion to his strength, but to the obstacles that oppose him.
These are the means, by which security of person and property is best obtained; which is just, as it is the purpose of uniting in society; and it is useful, as each person may calculate exactly the inconveniences attending every crime. By these means, subjects will acquire a spirit of independence and liberty; however it may appear to those, who dare to call the weakness of submitting blindly to their capricious and interested opinions, by the sacred name of virtue.
These principles will displease those, who have made it a rule with themselves, to transmit to their inferiors the tyranny they suffer from their superiors. I should have every thing to fear, if tyrants were to read my book; but tyrants never read.