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


parts; one he gave to his children and grandchildren, another was added



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parts; one he gave to his children and grandchildren, another was added
to the two-thirds already bequeathed, and the other two were assigned to
charitable uses. It seems as if he looked upon the immense donation he
was making to the church less as a religious act than as a political
distribution.

13. Of the Election of Bishops and Abbots. As the church had grown poor,


the kings resigned the right of nominating to bishoprics and other
ecclesiastic benefices.[112] The princes gave themselves less trouble
about the ecclesiastic ministers; and the candidates were less
solicitous in applying to their authorities. Thus the church received a
kind of compensation for the possessions she had lost.

Hence, if Louis the Debonnaire left the people of Rome in possession of


the right of choosing their popes, it was owing to the general spirit
that prevailed in his time;[113] he behaved in the same manner to the
see of Rome as to other bishoprics.

14. Of the Fiefs of Charles Martel. I shall not pretend to determine


whether Charles Martel, in giving the church-lands in fief, made a grant
of them for life or in perpetuity. All I know is that under
Charlemagne[114] and Lotharius I[115] there were possessions of that
kind which descended to the next heirs, and were divided among them.

I find, moreover, that one part of them was given as allodia, and the


other as fiefs.[116]

I noticed that the proprietors of the allodia were subject to service


all the same as the possessors of the fiefs. This, without doubt, was
Directory: mrhomepage.nsf


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