Page:Montesquieu - The spirit of laws.djvu/101

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O F L A W S. 49

ftant preference of public to private intcreft, it is * o o K

the fource of all the particular virtues , for they arc

- ~ Chap. 5.

nothing more than this very preference it lelf.

This love is peculiar to democracies. In thefe alone the government is intruded to private citizens. Now government is like every thing elfe : to pre- ferve it, we mud love it.

Has it ever been heard that kings were not fond -of monarchy, or that defpotic princes hated arbi trary power ?

Every thing therefore depends on eftablifliing this Jove in a republic, and to infpire it, it ought to be the principal bufinefs of education : but the furc-ll way of inililling it into children, is for parents to let them an example.

People have it generally in their power to com municate their ideas to their children ; but they are (till better able to transfufe their pafilons.

If it happens otherwife, it is becaufe the imprel- fions made at home arc effaced by thofe they have received abroad.

It is not the young people that degenerate : they are not fpoilt till thole of maturer age are already funk into corruption.

CHAP. VI.

Of fome Inftitutions among the Greeks.

THE ancient Greeks, convinced of the ne- ceflity that people who live under a popular government mould be trained up to virtue, made very fingular inftitutions in order to infpire it. Upon feeing in the life of Lycurgus the laws that legislator gave to the Lacedasmonians, I imagine I am reading VOL. I. E the

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