The spirit of laws by Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu

particular disloyalty (which sometimes happened) than of a general

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particular disloyalty (which sometimes happened) than of a general

He paid great respect to the ancient traditions, and to all the public

monuments of the glory or vanity of nations. The Persian monarchs having
destroyed the temples of the Greeks, Babylonians, and Egyptians,
Alexander rebuilt them:[21] few nations submitted to his yoke to whose
religion he did not conform; and his conquests seem to have been
intended only to make him the particular monarch of each nation, and the
first inhabitant of each city. The aim of the Romans in conquest was to
destroy, his to preserve; and wherever he directed his victorious arms,
his chief view was to achieve something whence that country might derive
an increase of prosperity and power. To attain this end, he was enabled
first of all by the greatness of his genius; secondly, by his frugality
and private economy;[22] thirdly, by his profusion in matters of
importance. He was close and reserved in his private expenses, but
generous to the highest degree in those of a public nature. In
regulating his household, he was the private Macedonian; but in paying
the troops, in sharing his conquests with the Greeks, and in his
largesses to every soldier in his army, he was Alexander.

He committed two very bad actions in setting Persepolis on fire and

slaying Clitus; but he rendered them famous by his repentance. Hence it
is that his crimes are forgotten, while his regard for virtue was
recorded: they were considered rather as unlucky accidents than as his
own deliberate acts. Posterity, struck with the beauty of his mind, even
in the midst of his irregular passion, can view him only with pity, but
never with an eye of hatred.

Let us draw a comparison between him and C├Žsar. The Roman general, by

attempting to imitate the Asiatic monarch, flung his fellow-citizens
into a state of despair for a matter of mere ostentation; the Macedonian
prince, by the same imitation, did a thing which was quite agreeable to
his original scheme of conquest.

15. New Methods of preserving a Conquest. When a monarch has subdued a

large country, he may make use of an admirable method, equally proper
for moderating despotic power, and for preserving the conquest; it is a
method practised by the conquerors of China.

In order to prevent the vanquished nation from falling into despair, the

victors from growing insolent and proud, the government from becoming
military, and to contain the two nations within their duty, the Tartar
family now on the throne of China has ordained that every military corps
in the provinces should be composed half of Chinese and half Tartars, to
the end that the jealousy between the two nations may keep them within
bounds. The courts of judicature are likewise half Chinese and half
Tartars. This is productive of several good effects, 1. The two nations
are a check to one another. 2. They both preserve the civil and military
power, and one is not destroyed by the other, 3. The conquering nation
may spread itself without being weakened and lost. It is likewise
enabled to withstand civil and foreign wars. The want of so wise an
institution as this has been the ruin of almost all the conquerors that
ever existed.

16. Of Conquests made by a despotic Prince. When a conquest happens to

be vastly large, it supposes a despotic power; and then the army
dispersed in the provinces is not sufficient. There should be always a
body of faithful troops near the prince, ready to fall instantly upon
any part of the empire that may chance to waver. This military corps
ought to awe the rest, and to strike terror into those who through
necessity have been entrusted with any authority in the empire. The
emperor of China has always a large body of Tartars near his person,
ready upon all occasions. In India, in Turkey, in Japan, the prince has
always a body-guard independent of the other regular forces. This
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