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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

INFLUENCE  OF PHYSICAL AND  SOCIAL  CAUSES.
say that virtue is not needed as a principle in a monarchy ?
Could Montesquieu have lived long enough to see the revolu-
tion in his own country, he would have perceived without
fail that the loss of moral principle was one of the leadin°-
^5
causes that brought it on.
§ 267.
Honor,   or the being  "sans peur et sans  reproche,"  is
Honor as cuitiva- allied to loyalty, and the two as special forms
ted under different       _,.,..,                                .         c
polities.               of ethical principle took their rise in the middle
ages from the ideal of a perfect knight, which was really a
Christian idea, and the noblest contribution of the middle
ages to practical morals. Loyalty, however, was directed
towards a person, so that now, wherever the people is held
to be the fountain—even if only the ultimate fountain of
power—its force is somewhat weakened. The only substi-
tute is a somewhat more abstract system of rules of honor ;
a standard of character including the virtues already named,
and whatever others are conformed to the true idea of man-
hood, diffused through society by means of a high-toned
literature. In this shape the minds, out of which loyalty in
its old form of personal allegiance had nearly faded, could be
trained into a truly honorable life both in a republic and in a
democracy.
De Tocqueville (Democr. in America, ii., book 3, ch. 18)
continues the speculations of Montesquieu in the chapter en-
titled " on honor in the United States and in democratic com-
munities. " His main proposition is that " the dissimilarities
and inequalities of men give rise to the notion of honor;
that this notion is weakened in proportion as these differences
are obliterated, and with them it would disappear." He lays
it down that in " a democratic nation like the Americans, in
which ranks are identified, and the whole of society forms
a single mass, composed of elements which are all analogous,
though not entirely similar, it is impossible ever to agree
beforehand on what shall or shall not be allowed by the
notion of honor. As it is imperfectly defined, its influence