Introductions:  Durant:650, Hampshire:179, Nadler:342. 

Posthumously Published - 1677

Benedict de Spinoza

1632 - 1677

Part 1 -   Preface - Table of Contents - Chapters I to V
Part 2 - Table of Contents - Chapters VI and VII
Part 3 - Table of Contents - Chapters VIII to XI

JBY Notes:

1.  For  the kind  permission  to  use  the  text  see  Page 1
     JBY added sentence numbers.

2.  [2:4] - Chapter Number:Paragraph Number.
     Sentence numbers, added by JBY, are shown thus (zz:yy:xx).
               zz = Chapter Number. 
            yy = Paragraph Number. 
            xx = Sentence Number. 

3.  Page  numbers  are  those  of  Book II.

4.  Citation abbreviations.

5.  (Footnote or the Latin word),
     {JBY Comment or endnote}.
6.  Please   e-mail   errors,   clarification  requests,  disagreement, or
     suggestions  to  josephb@yesselman.com.

7.  There  is  much  in  this  work  that  you  will  not agree with  or  even
     think   nonsensealthough   keep  in  mind  that  it  was  written  300

     years ago.  The  work  is hopelessly outdated; its main value is that it       Bk.XII:310- 312.
     shows  Spinozistic ideas at play in the formation of advanced modern      Hobbes: Leviathan.       
     governments  and  how  they cope with the passions of men. Partake  
     of  the  work  (and my commentaries)  as  you  would
a pomegranate;
     relish  the  flesh,  but  spit-out the pits. See Introductions listed above.

8.  Where  applicable,  I think it appropriate to substitute the term "State"
     for  "Clan"  or  "City"  so  as  to  understand  the idea in today's terms.
     Likewise,  where  applicable, substitute "Country" for "Dominion" and 
     "Congress" or "Parliament" for "Council." For antecedents to the USA 
     Constitution see 8:29, and 9:1ff. 

9.  Spinoza's  purpose  in  writing  the  Treatise  is  to  design  a  govern-
     ment  that  will  best  cope  with  the  passions  of  men;
 but for these 
     passions   there   would   be   no   need   for   political   parties,   only 
     administrative offices—running the Post Office.   See also Title Page, 
     [7:2], and Self-interest. 

   Part                Chapters

Part 1 I II III IV V
Part 2 VI VII

TABLE OF CONTENTS - Part 2:    BkII: PAGE 284                                                      


Of the causes of establishing a dominion. 6:1, 23 316
Of conferring the authority on one man. 6:4 317
Of the nature of a monarchy.  Of the foundations of a
monarchical dominion.
6:5, 6
6:7, 8
Of cities.   Bk.XIB:18896. 6:9 319
Of the militia and its commanders. 6:10 319
Of dividing the citizens into clans States? }. 6:11 319
Of lands and houses. 6:12 319
Of the election of the king and of the nobles. 6:13, 14 320
Of the king's counsellors. 6:15, 16 320
Of the supreme council's functions. 6:17, 18,
6:19, 20,
6:21, 22,
6:23, 24,
Of another council for administering justice. 6:26, 27,
6:28, 29.
Of other subordinate councils. 6:30 324
Of the payment of the militia. 6:31 324
Of the rights of foreigners. 6:32 325
Of ambassadors. 6:33 325
Of the king's servants and body-guard. 6:34 325
Of waging war. 6:35 325
Of the king's marriage. 6:36 326
Of the heir to the dominion. 6:37, 38
Of the obedience of the citizens. 6:39 326
Of religion.
6:40 326

The monarch is not chosen unconditionally.  The Persian kings.
7:1 327
Nature of our monarchy the best and true one. 7:2 328
It is necessary that the monarch have counsellors. 7:3 328
The counsellors must necessarily be representative. 7:4 329
The king's right is to select one of the opinions offered by the
7:5 329
The great advantages of this council. 7:6, 7,
7:8, 9,
7:10, 11.
The militia to be composed of citizens only. 7:12 332
How the counsellors are to be chosen. 7:13 333
King's safety.  Evidence of history.  7:14, 15. 333
Cities to be fortified. 7:16 334
Of mercenaries and military commanders. 7:17 335
Citizens to be divided into clans. 7:18 336
The soil to be the common property of the commonwealth. 7:19 336
None to be noble but the issue of kings. 7:20 336
Judges to be appointed for a term of years. 7:21 337
The militia to be given no pay. 7:22 337
Of foreigners and the king's kinsmen. 7:23 338
Of the dangers from the king's marriage.  Evidence of history. 7:24 338
Of the right of succession to the kingdom. 7:25 339
Of the right of worshipping God. 7:26 340
All men's nature is one and the same. 7:27 340
Of the most durable dominion of all. 7:28 341
Of hardly concealing the plans of the dominion. 7:29 342
The example of the dominion of the Arragonese. 7:30 342
That the multitude may preserve under a king an ample
enough liberty.
7:31 344


A  Political  TreatisePart 1 , Part 2 , Part 3

PAGE 316

Bk.XIB:15130, 182. 

[6:1]  (6:1:1)   INASMUCH  as  men  are  led,  as  we  have  said,  more  by

passion  than  reason,  it  follows,  that a multitude comes together, and

wishes  to  be  guided, as it were, by one mind, not at the suggestion of
reason,  but of some common passion — that is (3:9), common hope, or

fear,  or
 the desire of avenging some common hurt.   (6:2:1)  But since fear

of  solitude  exists  in  all  men,  because  no  one  in  solitude  is strong

enough to defend himself, and procure the necessaries of life, it follows           

that  men  naturally  aspire  to the civil state; nor can it happen that men

should ever utterly dissolve it.

[6:2] (6:2:1)  Accordingly,  from  the  quarrels and seditions which are often

stirred  up  in a commonwealth, it never results that the citizens dissolve

it,  as often happens in the case of other associations; but only that they

change  its  form  into  some  other — that  is,  of  course, if the disputes

cannot  be  settled,  and  the features of the commonwealth at the same

time  preserved.  
(6:2:2)   Wherefore,  by  means  necessary  to  preserve a

dominion, I intend such things as are necessary to preserve the existing

form of the dominion, without any notable change.

[6:3]  (6:3:1)   But  if  human  nature  were  so  constituted,  that  men  most

desired  what  is  most  useful, no art would be needed to produce unity

and  confidence.   
(6:3:2)   But,  as it is admittedly far otherwise with human

nature,  a  dominion must of necessity be so ordered, that all, governing

and  governed  alike,  whether  they  will  or no, shall do what makes for

the  general welfare; that is, that all, whether of their own impulse, or by

force  or necessity, shall be compelled to live according to the dictate of

(6:3:3)   And this is the  PAGE 317 case, if the affairs of the dominion

be   so  managed,  that  nothing  which  affects  the  general  welfare  is

entirely  entrusted  to  the  good faith of any one.   
(6:3:4)  For no man is so

watchful,  that  he  never  falls asleep; and no man ever had a character

so  vigorous  and honest, but he sometimes, and that just when strength

of  character  was  most  wanted, was diverted from his purpose and let

himself  be  overcome.   
(6:3:5)  And  it  is  surely  folly to require of another

what  one  can  never  obtain  from
 one's self; I mean, that he should be

more  watchful  for  another's  interest  than  his  own,
 that he should be

free  from avarice, envy, and ambition, and so on; especially when he is

one,  who  is subject daily to the strongest temptations of every passion.

[6:4] (6:4:1)  But,  on  the  other hand, experience is thought to teach, that it

makes  for  peace  and  concord, to confer the whole authority upon one           
Durant [8] 171 

man.   (6:4:2)  For  no  dominion  has  stood  so  long  without  any  notable
change,  as  that  of  the  Turks, and on the other hand there were none

so  little  lasting, as those, which were popular or democratic, nor any in

which  so  many  seditions  arose.  
(6:4:3)  Yet  if  slavery,  barbarism,  and

desolation  are  to  be called peace, men can have no worse misfortune.

(6:4:4)  No  doubt  there  are  usually  more  and  sharper quarrels between
parents and children, than between masters and slaves; yet it advances

not  the  art  of  housekeeping,  to  change  a father's right into a right of

property, and count children but as slaves.
(6:4:5)  Slavery then, not peace,

is  furthered  by  handing  over to one man the whole authority.  
(6:4:6)  For

peace,  as we said before, consists not in mere absence of war, but in a

union or agreement of minds.

[6:5]  (6:5:1)   And  in  fact  they  are much mistaken, who suppose that one

man   can   by   himself   hold   the  supreme  right  of  a  commonwealth.

(6:5:2)  For  the  only  limit  of right, as we showed (2:4), is power.  (6:5:3)  But

the  power  of  one  man  is  very  inadequate to support so great a load.

(6:5:4)  And  hence  it arises, that the man, whom the multitude has chosen

king,  looks  out for himself generals, or counsellors, or friends, to whom

he  entrusts  his  own  and  the  common  welfare;  so that the dominion,

which  is  thought  to  be  a  perfect  monarchy,  is  in  actual working an

aristocracy,  not,  indeed,  an  open but a hidden one, and therefore the

PAGE 318 of all.  (6:5:5)  Besides  which,  a king, who is a boy, or ill, or

overcome by age, is but king on sufferance; and those in this case have

the  supreme  authority,  who  administer  the  highest  business  of  the

dominion,  or  are  near  the  king's person; not to mention, that a lascivi-

ous king often manages everything at the caprice of this or that mistress

or  minion.  
(6:5:6)  "I had heard," says Orsines, "that women once reigned in

Asia, but for a eunuch to reign is something new.
"  (Curtius, x. 1.)

[6:6]  (6:6:1)  It  is  also  certain,  that a commonwealth is always in greater

danger  from  its  citizens  than  from  its enemies;  for the good are few.

(6:6:2)  Whence  it  follows,  that  he,  upon  whom  the  whole  right  of the

dominion  has  been  conferred,  will  always  be  more afraid of citizens

than of enemies, and therefore will look to his own safety, and not try to

consult  his  subjects'  interests,  but  to  plot  against  them,  especially

against those who are renowned for learning, or have influence through


[6:7]  (6:7:1)  It must besides be added, that kings fear their sons also more

than  they  love  them,  and so much the more as the latter are skilled in

the arts of war and peace, and endeared to the subjects by their virtues.

(6:7:2)  Whence  it  comes, that kings try so to educate their sons, that they

may  have  no  reason to fear them.  
(6:7:3)  Wherein ministers very readily

obey  the  king,  and will be at the utmost pains, that the successor may

be   an   inexperienced   king,   whom   they   can   hold  tightly  in  hand.

[6:8]   (6:8:1)   From   all   which   it  follows,  that  the  more  absolutely  the

commonwealth's right is transferred to the king, the less independent he

is,  and  the  more unhappy is the condition of his subjects.  
(6:8:2)  And so,

that a monarchical dominion may be duly established, it is necessary to

lay  solid  foundations,  to  build  it  on;   from  which  may  result  to  the

monarch  safety, and to the multitude peace; and, therefore, to lay them

in  such  a way, that the monarch may then be most independent, when

he most consults the multitude's welfare.  
(6:8:3)  But I will first briefly state,

what  these  foundations of a monarchical dominion are, and afterwards

prove them in order.

PAGE 319
[6:9]  (6:9:1)  One  or  more  cities  must  be  founded  and  fortified, whose

citizens,  whether  they  live  within the walls, or outside for purposes of

agriculture,  are all to enjoy the same right in the commonwealth; yet on

this  condition, that every city provide an ascertained number of citizens

for  its  own  and  the  general  defence.  
(6:9:2)  But  a  city,  which  cannot

supply this, must be held in subjection on other terms.

[6:10]  (6:10:1)  The militia must be formed out of citizens alone, none being

exempt,  and  of  no  others.  
(6:10:2)  And,  therefore, all are to be bound to

have  arms,  and  no  one  to be admitted into the number of the citizens,

till  he  has  learnt  his drill, and promised to practise it at stated times in
                                                                   { state }
the  year.  
(6:10:3)   Next,   the  militia  of  each  clan  is  to  be  divided  into

battalions  and  regiments,  and no captain of a battalion chosen, that is

not  acquainted  with  military  engineering.   
(6:10:4)  Moreover, though the

commanders  of  battalions  and  regiments are to be chosen for life, yet

the commander of the militia of a whole clan is to be chosen only in time

of  war,  to  hold  command  for  a year  at  most, without power of being

continued  or  afterwards  re-appointed.  
(6:10:5)  And  these  last  are to be

selected  out  of  the  king's counsellors,  of whom we shall speak in the

fifteenth  and following sections, or out of those who have filled the post

of counsellor.

[6:11]  (6:11:1)  The  townsmen  and  countrymen  of  every city, that is, the

whole  of  the  citizens,  are  to  be  divided  into  clans, distinguished by

some  name  and badge, and all persons born of any of these clans are

to be received into the number of citizens, and their names inscribed on

the  roll  of their clan, as soon as they have reached the age, when they

can  carry  arms  and  know  their duty; with the exception of those, who

are  infamous  from some crime, or dumb, or mad, or menials supporting

life by some servile office.

[6:12]  (6:12:1)  The  fields,  and  the  whole  soil, and, if it can be managed,

the  houses  should  be public property, that is, the property of him, who         
Durant [10a] 178 

holds  the  right  of  the  commonwealth:  and let him let them at a yearly

rent  to  the citizens,  whether  townsmen  or countrymen,  and  with this

exception  let  them  all  be  free or exempt from every kind of taxation in

time  of  peace.   
(6:12:2)  And  of  this  rent  a part  is  to  be  applied to the

defences  of  the  state,   a  part  to  the  king's  private  use.   
(6:12:3)   For

PAGE 320  it  is  necessary  in  time  of  peace  to  fortify cities against war,

and also to have ready ships and other munitions of war.

[6:13]  (6:13:1)  After  the  selection  of the king from one of the clans, none

are  to  be  held  noble,  but  his  descendants,  who are therefore to be

distinguished  by  royal  insignia  from  their  own  and  the  other  clans.

[6:14]  (6:14:1)  Those  male  nobles, who are the reigning king's collaterals,

 stand to him in the third or fourth degree of consanguinity, must not

 and  any  children  they  may  have  had,  are  to  be  accounted

bastards,  and  unworthy  of
 any dignity, nor may they be recognized as

heirs to their parents, whose goods must revert to the king.

[6:15]  (6:15:1)  Moreover  the  king's  counsellors,  who  are  next  to him in

dignity,  must  be  numerous,
 and chosen out of the citizens only; that is

(supposing  there to be no more than six hundred clans) from every clan

three  or  four  or  five,
 who will form together one section of this council;

and  not  for  life,  but  for  three,
 four, or five years, so that every year a

third,  fourth,  or  fifth  part  may be replaced by selection, in which selec-

tion  it  must  be  observed  as  a  first condition, that out of every clan at

least one counsellor chosen be a jurist.

[6:16]   (6:16:1)  The  selection  must  be  made  by  the  king  himself,  who

should  fix  a time of year for the choice of fresh counsellors.  
(6:16:2)  Each

clan  must then submit to the king the names of all its citizens, who have

reached  their  fiftieth  year,  and  have  been  duly put forward as candi-

dates  for  this  office,  and  out  of  these  the king will choose whom he

(6:16:3)  But  in  that  year,  when  the  jurist  of  any  clan is to be

replaced,  only  the  names  of  jurists  are  to  be  submitted  to the king.

(6:16:4)  Those  who  have  filled  this office of counsellor for the appointed

time,  are  not  to  be  continued therein, nor to be replaced on the list of

candidates  for  five  years  or  more.  
(6:16:5)  But the reason why one is to

be  chosen  every  year  out of every clan is, that the council may not be

composed  alternately  of  untried  novices,  and  of  veterans  versed

affairs,  which  must  necessarily  be  the case, were all to retire at once,

and  new  men  to succeed them.  
(6:16:6)  But if every year one be chosen

out  of  every family, then only a fifth, fourth, or at most a third part of the

council  will  consist  
PAGE 321 of novices.   (6:16:7)   Further,  if  the  king  be

prevented by other business, or for any other reason, from being able to

spare  time  for  this  choice, then let the counsellors themselves choose

others  for  a  time,  until  the  king  either chooses different ones, or con-

firms the choice of the council.

[6:17]  (6:17:1)  Let  the  primary  function  of  this  council  be to defend the

fundamental  laws  of the dominion, and to give advice about administra-

tion,  that  the  king  may  know,  what  for  the  public  good ought to be

decreed: and that on the understanding, that the king may not decide in

any  matter,  without first hearing the opinion of this council.  
(6:17:2)  But if,

as will generally happen, the council is not of one mind, but is divided in

opinion,  even  after  discussing  the  same  subject  two  or  three times,

there  must  be  no  further  delay,  but  the  different  opinions
 are to be

submitted  to  the  king,  as  in
 the twenty-fifth section of this chapter we

shall show.

[6:18]  (6:18:1)  Let  it  be  also  the  duty of this council to publish the king's

orders  or  decrees,  and  to see to the execution of any decree concern-

ing  affairs  of  state,  and  to  supervise  the
 administration of the whole

dominion, as the king's deputies.

[6:19]   (6:19:1)  The  citizens  should  have  no  access  to  the  king,  save

through this council, to which are to be handed all demands or petitions,

that  they may be presented to the king.  
(6:19:2)  Nor should the envoys of

other  commonwealths  be  allowed  to obtain permission to address the

king,  but through the council.  
(6:19:3)  Letters, too, sent from elsewhere to

the  king,  must  be  handed  to him by the council.  
(6:19:4)  And in general

the  king  is  to  be accounted as the mind of the commonwealth, but the

council  as  the  senses  outside  the mind, or the commonwealth's body,

through   whose
  intervention  the  mind  understands  the  state  of  the

commonwealth, and acts as it judges best for itself.

[6:20]  (6:20:1)  The  care  of  the  education  of the king's sons should also

fall  on  this  council,   and  the  guardianship,  where  a  king  has  died,
leaving  as his successor an infant or boy.  (6:20:2)  Yet lest meanwhile the

council  should  be  left  without  a  king,  one  of  the elder nobles of the

commonwealth  should  be  chosen  to  fill  the  king's place, till the legiti-

mate  heir  has  reached  the  age at which he can support the weight of


[6:21]   (6:21:1)   Let  the  candidates  for  election  to  this  council  be such

PAGE 322  as  know  the  system of government, and the foundations, and

state   or   condition  of  the  commonwealth,  whose  subjects  they  are.

(6:21:2)   But he that would fill the place of a jurist must, besides the govern-

ment  and  condition  of the commonwealth, whose subject he is, be like-

wise  acquainted  with  those  of the other commonwealths, with which it

has  any  intercourse.  
(6:21:3)  But  none  are  to be placed upon the list of

candidates,  unless  they  have  reached  their fiftieth year without being

convicted of crime.

[6:22]  (6:22:1)  In  this  council  no  decision is to be taken about the affairs

of  the  dominion,  but  in  the  presence
 of all the members.  (6:22:2)  But if

anyone  be  unable  through  illness  or  other  cause to attend, he must

send  in  his  stead  one  of  the  same  clan,  who has filled the office of

counsellor  or  been  put  on  the  list  of  candidates.  
(6:22:3)  Which  if  he

neglect to do, and the council through his absence be forced to adjourn

any  matter, let him be fined a considerable sum.  
(6:22:4)  But this must be

understood  to  mean,  when  the  question  is  of  a matter affecting the

whole dominion, as of peace or war, of abrogating or establishing a law,

of  trade, &c.  
(6:22:5)  But  if  the  question be one that affects only a partic-

ular  city  or  two,  as
 about petitions, &c., it will suffice that a majority of

the council attend.

[6:23]  (6:23:1)  To  maintain  a  perfect  equality  between  the clans, and a

regular order in sitting, making proposals, and speaking, every clan is to

take in turn the presidency at the sittings, a different clan at every sitting,

and  that which was first at one sitting is to be last at the next.  
(6:23:2)  But

among  members  of  the  same  clan,  let  precedence  go  by priority of


[6:24]  (6:24:1)  This  council  should  be  summoned  at  least  four times a

year,  to  demand  of  the ministers account of their administration of the

dominion,  to  ascertain  the  state  of  affairs,  and  see  if anything else

needs  deciding.  
(6:24:2)  For it seems impossible for so large a number of

citizens  to have constant leisure for public business.  
(6:24:3)  But as in the

meantime  public  business  must none the less be carried on, therefore

fifty or more are to be chosen out of this council to supply its place after

its  dismissal;  and these should meet daily in a chamber next the king's,

and  so  have  daily care of the treasury, the cities, the fortifications, the

PAGE 323 of the king's son, and in general of all those duties of

the  great council, which we have just enumerated, except that they can-

not  take
 counsel about new matters, concerning which no decision has

been taken.

[6:25]  (6:25:1)  On  the meeting of the council, before anything is proposed

in  it, let five, six, or more jurists of the clans, which stand first in order of

place  at  that  session,  attend  on the king, to deliver to him petitions or

letters,  if they have any, to declare to him the state of affairs, and, lastly,

to  understand  from  him  what he bids them propose in his council; and

when  they  have  heard  this,  let  them return to the council, and let the

first  in  precedence  open  the  matter  of  debate.  
(6:25:2)  But,  in matters

which  seem  to  any  of them to be of some moment, let not the votes be

taken  at  once,  but  let  the  voting  be  adjourned to such a date as the

urgency  of  the  matter  allows.  
(6:25:3)  When,  then,  the  council  stands

adjourned till the appointed time, the counsellors of every clan will mean-

while  be  able  to  debate  the  matter  separately,
 and, if they think it of

great  moment,  to  consult  others  that  have  been  counsellors, or are

candidates  for  the  council.  
(6:25:4)  And  if  within  the appointed time the

counsellors  of any clan cannot agree among themselves, that clan shall

lose  its  vote, for every clan can give but one vote.  
(6:25:5)  But, otherwise,

let  the  jurist  of  the  clan  lay  before  the council the opinion they have

decided  to  be best; and so with the rest.  
(6:25:6)  And if the majority of the

council  think  fit,  after hearing the grounds of every opinion, to consider

the  matter  again,
 let the council be again adjourned to a date, at which

every  clan shall pronounce its final opinion; and then, at last, before the

entire  council,  let  the  votes  be  taken, and that opinion be invalidated

which  has not at least a hundred votes.  
(6:25:7)  But let the other opinions

be  submitted  to  the  king  by  all  the jurists present at the council, that,

after  hearing  every  party's arguments, he may select which opinion he

(6:25:8)  And  then  let  the  jurists  leave  him,  and  return  to  the

council;  and  there let all await the king at the time fixed by himself, that

all  may hear which opinion of those proposed he thinks fit to adopt, and

what he decides should be done.

[6:26]  (6:26:1)  For  the  administration  of  justice,  another council is to be

formed  of  jurists,  whose  business  should  be  to decide
PAGE 324 suits,

and  punish  criminals,  but  so  that  all  the  judgments  they  deliver be

tested  by  those  who  are  for the time members of the great council —

that  is,  as  to  their having been delivered according to the due process

of  justice,  and  without partiality.  
(6:26:2)  But if the losing party can prove,

that  any  judge  has been bribed by the adversary, or that there is some

mutual  cause  of  friendship between the judge and the adversary, or of

hatred  between  the judge and himself, or, lastly, that the usual process

of  justice  has  not  been  observed,  let  such  party  be  restored to his

original  position.  
(6:26:3)  But  this  would,  perhaps,  not  be  observed by

such  as
 love to convict the accused in a criminal case, rather by torture

than  proofs.  
(6:26:4)  But,  for  all  that,  I  can  conceive on this point of no

other  process  of  justice  than  the above, that befits the best system of

governing a commonwealth.

[6:27]  (6:27:1)  Of  these  judges,  there should be a large and odd number

— for  instance,  sixty-one,  or  at  least  forty-one, — and not more than

one  is  to  be  chosen  of one clan, and that not for life, but every year a

certain  proportion  are  to retire, and be replaced by as many others out

of different clans, that have reached their fortieth year.

[6:28]  (6:28:1)  In  this  council,  let no judgment be pronounced save in the

presence  of all the judges.  
(6:28:2)  But if any judge, from disease or other

cause,  shall  for  a long time be unable to attend the council, let another

be  chosen  for  that  time  to fill his place.  
(6:28:3)  But in giving their votes,

they  are all not to utter their opinions aloud, but to signify them by ballot.

[6:29]  (6:29:1)  Let  those  who  supply  others'  places  in  this and the first-

mentioned  council  first  be  paid  out  of  the goods of those whom they

have  condemned  to  death,  and  also  out of the fines of which any are
fined }
mulcted.  (6:29:2)  Next,  after  every judgment they pronounce in a civil suit,

let  them  receive  a  certain proportion of the whole sum at stake for the

benefit of both councils.

[6:30]  (6:30:1)  Let there be in every city other subordinate councils, whose

members  likewise  must  not  be  chosen  for  life,  but  must be partially

renewed every year, out of the clans who live there only.  
(6:30:2)  But there

is no need to pursue this further.

[6:31]  (6:31:1)  No military pay is to be granted in time of peace; but, in time

of  war,  military  pay is to be allowed to those
PAGE 325 only, who support

their  lives  by daily labour.  
(6:31:2)  But the commanders and other officers

of the battalions are to expect no other advantage from war but the spoil

of the enemy.

[6:32]  (6:32:1)  If  a  foreigner  takes  to  wife  the  daughter  of a citizen, his

children  are  to  be counted citizens, and put on the roll of their mother's

(6:32:2)  But  those  who  are  born  and  bred  within  the dominion of

foreign  parents  should  be allowed to purchase at a fixed price the right

of  citizenship  from  the  captains  of  thousands  of  any  clan, and to be

enrolled in that clan.  
(6:32:3) For no harm can arise thence to the dominion,

even  though  the  captains  of  thousands,  for a bribe, admit a foreigner

into  the  number  of  their  citizens  for  less  than the fixed price; but, on

the  contrary,  means  should  be  devised for more easily increasing the
number   of   citizens,   and   producing   a   large   confluence   of   men.

(6:32:4)  As  for  those  who  are  not  enrolled  as  citizens,  it is but fair that,

at  least  in war-time, they should pay for their exemption from service by

some forced labour or tax.

[6:33]  (6:33:1)  The  envoys  to  be  sent  in time of peace to other common-

wealths  must  be chosen out of the nobles only, and their expenses met

by the state treasury, and not the king's privy purse.

[6:34]  (6:34:1)  Those  that  attend  the  court,  and  are the king's servants,

and  are  paid  out  of  his  privy  purse,  must  be  excluded  from  every

appointment  and  office  in  the  commonwealth.   
(6:34:2)  I  say  expressly,

"and  are  paid  out  of  the  king's privy purse," to except the body-guard.

(6:34:3)  For  there  should  be  no  other body-guard, but the citizens of the

king's  city,  who  should  take  turns  to  keep  guard  at court before the

king's door.

[6:35]   (6:35:1)  War is only to be made for the sake of peace, so that, at its

end, one may be rid of arms.  
(6:35:2)  And so, when cities have been taken

by right of war, and terms of peace are to be made after the enemies are

subdued, the captured cities must not be garrisoned and kept; but either

the  enemy,  on  accepting  the  terms  of peace,  should  be  allowed  to

redeem  them  at  a  price,  or, if by following that policy, there would, by

reason  of  the  danger
 of the position, remain a constant lurking anxiety,

they  must  be utterly destroyed, and the inhabitants removed elsewhere.

PAGE 326

[6:36]  (6:36:1) The king must not be allowed to contract a foreign marriage,
but only to take to wife one of his kindred, or of the citizens; yet, on con-

dition  that,  if  he marries a citizen, her near relations become incapable

of holding office in the commonwealth.

[6:37]  (6:37:1)  The  dominion  must  be indivisible.  (6:37:2)  And so, if the king

leaves more than one child, let the eldest one succeed; but by no means

be it allowed to divide the dominion between them, or to give it undivided

to  all  or  several  of  them,  much less to give a part of it as a daughter's

(6:37:3)  For that daughters should be admitted to the inheritance of

a dominion is in no wise to be allowed.

[6:38]  (6:38:1)  If  the  king  die  leaving no male issue, let the next to him in

blood  be  held  the  heir  to  the  dominion,  unless  he  chance  to

married a foreign wife, whom he will not put away.

[6:39]  (6:39:1)  As for the citizens, it is manifest (3:5) that every one of them

ought  to  obey all the commands of the king, and the decrees published

by  the  great  council,
 although he believe them to be most absurd, and

otherwise  he  may  rightfully  be forced to obey.  
(6:39:2)  And these are the

foundations  of  a  monarchical dominion, on which it must be built, if it is

to be stable, as we shall show in the next chapter.

[6:40]  (6:40:1)  As  for religion, no temples whatever ought to be built at the

public expense; nor ought laws to be established about opinions, unless

they  be  seditious  and overthrow the foundations of the commonwealth.

(6:40:2)  And so let such as are allowed the public exercise of their religion
build  a temple at their own expense.  (6:40:3)  But the king may have in his

palace a chapel of his own, that he may practise the religion to which he


PAGE 327


[7:1] (7:1:1)  AFTER  explaining  the foundations of a monarchical dominion,

I  have  taken  in  hand to prove here in order the fitness of such founda-

(7:1:2)  And  to  this  end  the  first  point to be noted is, that it is in no

way  repugnant  to  experience, for laws to be so firmly fixed, that not the

king himself can abolish them.  
(7:1:3)  For though the Persians worshipped

their kings as gods, yet had not the kings themselves authority to revoke

laws  once  established,  as  appears  from  Daniel,  (Daniel vi. 15.)  and

nowhere,  as  far as I know, is a monarch chosen absolutely without any

conditions  expressed.  
(7:1:4)  Nor  yet  is  it  repugnant  to  reason  or  the

absolute  obedience  due  to  a  king.   
(7:1:5)   For  the  foundations  of  the

dominion  are  to  be  considered  as
 eternal decrees of the king, so that

his  ministers  entirely  obey  him  in refusing to execute his orders, when

he  commands  anything contrary to the same.  
(7:1:6)  Which we can make

plain  by  the example  of  Ulysses (Hom. "Odys.," xii. 156-200).  
(7:1:7)  For

his  comrades  were
 executing his own order, when they would not untie
him,  when he was bound to the mast and captivated by the Sirens' song,

although  he  gave  them  manifold  orders to do so, and that with threats.

(7:1:8)  And  it  is ascribed to his forethought, that he afterwards thanked his

comrades  for obeying him according to his first intention.  
(7:1:9)  And, after

this example of Ulysses, kings often instruct judges, to administer justice

without  respect  of persons,  not  even  of  the  king  himself,  if by some

singular   accident   he   order   anything   contrary   to   established  law.

(7:1:10)  For  kings  are  not gods, but men, who are often led captive by the

Sirens'  song.  
(7:1:11)  If then everything depended on the inconstant will of

one  man,  nothing  would  be  fixed.   
(7:1:12)  And  so,  that  a  monarchical

dominion  may  be stable,  it must be
PAGE 328 ordered, so that everything

be  done  by  the  king's  decree  only,  that  is,  so  that  every law be an
Bk.XIB:1851; Bk.XX:34557.
explicit  will  of  the  king,  but not every will of the king a law; as to which

see 6:3, 6:5, 6:6.

[7:2] (7:2:1)  It  must  next  be  observed, that in laying foundations it is very
emotions }
necessary  to  study  the  human  passions: and it is not enough to have

shown,  what ought to be done, but it ought, above all, to be shown how

it  can  be  effected, that men, whether led by passion or reason, should

yet  keep  the  laws firm and unbroken.  
(7:2:2)  For if the constitution of the

dominion,  or  the public liberty depends only on the weak assistance of

the  laws,  not  only will the citizens have no security for its maintenance
(as  we  showed  in  the third section of the last chapter), but it will even

turn  to their ruin.  
(7:2:3)  For this is certain, that no condition of a common-

wealth  is  more  wretched  than that of the best, when it begins to totter,

unless  at  one  blow  it  falls with a rush into slavery, which seems to be

quite  impossible.  
(7:2:4)  And,  therefore,  it  would  be  far  better  for  the

subjects  to  transfer  their  rights absolutely to one man, than to bargain

for unascertained and empty, that is unmeaning, terms of liberty, and so

prepare  for
 their posterity a way to the most cruel servitude.  (7:2:5)  But if

I  succeed   in  showing  that  the  foundation  of  monarchical  dominion,

which  I  stated  in  the  last  chapter, are firm and cannot be plucked up,
without the indignation of the larger part of an armed multitude, and that

from  them  follow  peace  and  security  for  king  and  multitude, and if I

deduce  this  from  general  human  nature, no one will be able to doubt,

that these foundations are the best and the true ones (3:9 and 6:3, 6:8).

(7:2:6)  But  that  such  is  their  nature,  I  will  show  as  briefly as possible.

[7:3]  (7:3:1)  That  the  duty  of  him,  who  holds the dominion, is always to

know  its  state  and  condition,  to watch over the common welfare of all,

and  to execute whatever is to the interest of the majority of the subjects,

is  admitted  by  all. 
(7:3:2)  But  as  one person alone is unable to examine

into  everything,  and  cannot  always  have his mind ready and turn it to

meditation,   and  is  often  hindered  by  disease,  or  old  age,  or  other

causes,  from  having  leisure  for  public  business; therefore it is neces-
Bk.XIB:15129; 183.
sary  that  the  monarch  have  counsellors  PAGE 329 to know the state of

affairs,  and  help  the  king  with  their advice, and frequently supply his

place;  and  that so it come to pass, that the dominion or commonwealth

may continue always in one and the same mind.

[7:4]  (7:4:1)  But  as  human  nature  is so constituted, that everyone seeks

with  the  utmost  passion  his own advantage, and judges those laws to

be  most  equitable, which he thinks necessary to preserve and increase

his  substance,  and defends another's cause so far only as he thinks he

is  thereby  establishing  his  own;  it  follows hence, that the counsellors

chosen  must  be  such,  that  their private affairs and their own interests

depend  on  the  general  welfare  and  peace of all.  
(7:4:2)  And so it is evi-

dent,  that  if  from  every  sort  or  class  of  citizens a certain number be
chosen,  what  has most votes in such a council will be to the interest of

the  greater  part  of the subjects.  
(7:4:3)  And though this council, because

it  is  composed  of  so  large  a number of citizens, must of necessity be

attended  by  many of very simple intellect, yet this is certain, that every-

one  is  pretty  clever  and sagacious in business which he has long and

eagerly  practised.  
(7:4:4)  And,  therefore,  if  none be chosen but such as

have  till  their fiftieth year practised their own business without disgrace,

they  will  be  fit  enough  to  give  their  advice  about  their  own  affairs,

especially  if,  in  matters  of considerable importance, a time be allowed

for  consideration.  
(7:4:5)  Besides,  it  is  far  from  being  the  fact,  that  a

council   composed  of  a  few  is  not  frequented  by  this  kind  of  men.

(7:4:6)  For,  on  the  contrary,  its  greatest part must consist of such, since

everyone,  in  that  case,  tries hard to have dullards for colleagues, that

they  may  hang  on  his words, for which there is no opportunity in large


[7:5]  (7:5:1)  Furthermore,  it  is  certain,  that  everyone  would  rather  rule

than be ruled. "For no one of his own will yields up dominion to another,"
Note 1, 329)
as  Sallust  has  it  in his first speech to Caesar. 
(7:5:2)  And, therefore, it is

clear, that a whole multitude will never transfer its right to a few or to one,

if  it  can  come  to  an agreement with itself, without proceeding from the

controversies,   which   generally  arise  in  large  councils,  to  seditions.

(7:5:3)  And  so  the  multitude  does  not, if PAGE 330 it is free, transfer to the

king  anything  but  that,  which  it cannot itself have absolutely within its

authority, namely, the ending of controversies and the using despatch in

(7:5:4)  For  as  to  the  case  which  often arises, where a king is

chosen  on  account  of  war,  that is, because war is much more happily
conducted  by  kings,  it  is  manifest folly, I say, that men should choose

slavery  in  time  of peace for the sake of better fortune in war; if, indeed,

peace  can  be conceived of in a dominion, where merely for the sake of

war  the  highest  authority  is  transferred  to one man, who is, therefore,

best able to show his worth and the importance to everyone of his single

self  in time of war; whereas, on the contrary, democracy has this advan-

tage,  that  its  excellence  is greater in peace than in war.
(7:5:5)  However,

for  whatever  reason a king is chosen, he cannot by himself, as we said

just  now,  know  what  will be to the interest of the dominion: but for this

purpose,  as  we  showed  in the last section, will need many citizens for

his  counsellors.
(7:5:6)  And  as we cannot at all suppose, that any opinion

can  be  conceived  about  a  matter proposed for discussion, which can

have  escaped the notice of so large a number of men, it follows, that no

opinion  can  be  conceived  tending  to the people's welfare, besides all

the opinions of this council, which are submitted to the king.
(7:5:7)  And so,

since  the  people's  welfare is the highest law, or the king's utmost right,

it  follows,  that  the  king's  utmost  right is but to choose one of the opin-

ions  offered  by the council, not to decree anything, or offer any opinion
contrary  to  the  mind  of  all the council at once (6:25). (7:5:8)  But if all the

opinions  offered  in  the council were to be submitted to the king, then it

might  happen  that  the king would always favour the small cities, which

have  the fewest votes.
(7:5:9)  For though by the constitution of the council

it  be ordained, that the opinions should be submitted to the king without

mention  of  their  supporters,  yet  they  will  never  be able to take such

good  care,  but  that some opinion will get divulged.
(7:5:10)  And, therefore,

it  must of necessity be provided, that that opinion, which has not gained

at least a hundred votes, shall be held void; and this law the larger cities

will be sure to defend with all their might.

[7:6] (7:6:1)  And  here,  did  I  not study brevity, I would show PAGE 331 other

advantages  of this council; yet one, which seems of the greatest import-

ance, I will allege.
(7:6:2) I mean, that there can be given no greater induce-

ment  to virtue, than this general hope of the highest honour.
(7:6:3)  For by

ambition  are we all most led, as in our Ethics we showed to be the case


[7:7] (7:7:1) But  it  cannot  be  doubted  that the majority of this council will

never be minded to wage war, but rather always pursue and love peace.

(7:7:2)  For  besides   that  war  will always cause them fear of losing their

property  and  liberty,  it  is to be added, that war requires fresh expendi-

ture,  which  they  must  meet,  and also that their own children and rela-

tives,  though  intent  on  their domestic cares, will be forced to turn their

attention  to  war and go a-soldiering, whence they will never bring back

anything  but  unpaid-for  scars.  
(7:7:3) For, as we said (6:31), no pay is to

be  given  to  the  militia, and (6:10) it is to be formed out of citizens only

and no others.

(7:8:1) There is another accession to the cause of peace and concord,
which is also of great weight: I mean, that no citizen can have immovable

property  (6:12).  
(7:8:2) Hence  all  will  have  nearly  an  equal  risk in war.
Bk.XIA:16398; Bk.XIB:183.
(7:8:3)  For all will be obliged, for the sake of gain, to practise trade, or lend

money  to one another, if, as formerly by the Athenians, a law be passed,
forbidding  to lend money at interest to any but inhabitants; and thus they

will be engaged in business, which either is mutually involved, one man's

with  another's,  or  needs  the  same means for its furtherance.  
(7:8:4) And

thus  the  greatest  part  of  this  council  will  generally have one and the

same  mind  about  their  common affairs and the arts of peace.  
(7:8:5) For,

as we said (7:4), every man defends another's cause, so far as he thinks
thereby to establish his own.

(7:9:1) It  cannot  be  doubted,  that  it  will  never  occur  to anyone to

corrupt  this  council
 with bribes.  (7:9:2) For were any man to draw over to

his  side  some  one  or  two  out of so great a number of men, he would

gain  nothing.  
(7:9:3) For,  as  we said, the opinion, which does not gain at

least a hundred votes, is void.

(7:10:1)  We  shall  also  easily  see,  that,  once this council is estab-

lished  its  members  cannot  be reduced to a less number,
PAGE 332 if we

consider  the  common  passions  of  mankind.  
(7:10:2)  For  all  are guided

mostly  by ambition, and there is no man who lives in health but hopes to

attain  extreme  old  age.  
(7:10:3) If  then  we calculate the number of those

who  actually  reach  their  fiftieth  or  sixtieth  year,  and further take into

account  the  number  that  are  every  year  chosen  of this great council,

we  shall  see,  that  there  can  hardly be a man of those who bear arms,

but   is  under  the  influence  of  a  great  hope  of  attaining  this  dignity.

(7:10:4)  And  so  they  will  all,  to the best of their power, defend this law of

the  council.  
(7:10:5) For  be  it  noted,  that  corruption,  unless  it  creep  in

gradually,  is  easily  prevented.  
(7:10:6) But  as  it  can  be more easily sup-

posed,  and  would  be  less  invidious,
  that  a  less  number  should  be

chosen  out
 of every clan, than that a less number should be chosen out

of  a  few  clans,  or  that one or two clans should be altogether excluded;

therefore  (6:15)  the number of counsellors cannot be reduced, unless a

third,  fourth,  or  fifth part be removed simultaneously, which change is a

very   great   one,  and  therefore  quite  repugnant  to  common  practice.

(7:10:7)  Nor   need   one   be   afraid  of  delay  or  negligence  in  choosing,

because this is remedied by the council itself. See 6:16.

(7:11:1) The   king,   then,   whether  he  is  induced  by  fear  of  the

multitude,   or   aims   at  binding  to  himself  the  majority  of  an  armed

multitude,  or is guided by a generous spirit, a wish that is, to consult the

public  interest,  will always confirm that opinion, which has gained most
Note 1, 332)
votes,  that  is  (7:5),  which  is  to  the  interest of the greater part of the
dominion;  and  will  study to reconcile the divergent opinions referred to

him,  if  it  can be done, that he may attach all to himself (in which he will

exert  all  his powers), and that alike in peace and war they may find out,

what  an advantage his single self is to them.  
(7:11:2) And thus he will then

be  most  independent,  and  most  in  possession  of dominion, when he

most consults the general welfare of the multitude.

(7:12:1) For  the  king by himself cannot restrain all by fear.  (7:12:2) But

his  power,  as  we  have  said,  rests  upon  the  number  of  
PAGE 333 his

soldiers,  and  especially  on  their  valour  and  faith,  which  will  always

remain  so  long  enduring between men, as with them is joined need, be

that  need  honourable or disgraceful.  
(7:12:3) And this is why kings usually

are  fonder  of exciting than restraining their soldiery, and shut their eyes

more  to  their vices than to their virtues, and generally, to hold under the

best  of  them,  seek out, distinguish, and assist with money or favour the

idle,  and  those who have ruined themselves by debauchery, and shake

hands  with  them,  and  throw  them  kisses, and for the sake of mastery
stoop  to  every servile action. In order therefore that the citizens may be

distinguished  by  the  king before all others, and, as far as the civil state

and  equity  permit,  may  remain  independent,  it  is  necessary
 that the

militia  should  consist  of  citizens  only,  and  that  citizens should be his

counsellors;  and  on  the  contrary  citizens are altogether subdued, and

are  laying  the  foundations  of  eternal  war,  from
 the moment that they

suffer  mercenaries to be levied, whose trade is war, and who have most

power in strifes and seditions.

(7:13:1) That  the  king's  counsellors  ought not to be elected for life,

but  for  three, four, or five years, is clear as well from the tenth, as from

what  we  said  in the ninth section of this chapter.  
(7:13:2) For if they were

chosen  for  life, not only could the greatest part of the citizens conceive

hardly  any  hope  of obtaining this honour, and thus there would arise a

great  inequality,  and  thence  envy,  and constant murmurs, and at last

seditions,   which,  no  doubt,  would  be  welcome  to  kings  greedy  of

mastery:  but  also  the  counsellors, being rid of the fear of their succes-

sors, would assume a great licence in all respects, which the king would

be  far  from  opposing.  
(7:13:3) For  the  more  the  citizens hate them, the

more  they  will  cling  to  the king, and be ready to flatter him.  
(7:13:4) Nay,

the  interval  of  five  years seems even too much, for in such a space of

time it does not seem so impossible to corrupt by bribes or favour a very

large  part  of  the council, however large it be.  
(7:13:5) And therefore it will

be  far  safer,  if every year two out of every clan retire, and be replaced

by  as  many  more  (supposing  that  there  are to be five counsellors of

each  clan), except in the year in which the jurist of any clan retires, and

a fresh one is chosen in his place.

 (7:14:1) Moreover, no king can promise himself more safety, PAGE 334

than  he  who  reigns  in a commonwealth of this sort.  (7:14:2) For besides

that  a  king soon perishes, when his soldiers cease to desire his safety,

it  is certain that kings are always in the greatest danger from those who

are  nearest  their persons.  
(7:14:3) The fewer counsellors, then, there are,

and  the  more  powerful  they  consequently are, the more the king is in

danger  of  their  transferring  the  dominion
 to another.  (7:14:4) Nothing in

fact  more  alarmed  David, than that his own counsellor Ahitophel sided

with  Absalom  (2 Sam. xv. 31.).  
(7:14:5)  Still  more  is  this the case, if the

whole  authority has been transferred absolutely to one man, because it

can  then  be more easily transferred from one to another.  
(7:14:6) For two

private  soldiers  once  took  in  hand to transfer the Roman empire, and

did  transfer it (Tacitus, Histories, i., 7.). 
(7:14:7) I omit the arts and cunning

wiles,  whereby  counsellors  have  to  assure themselves against falling

victims to their unpopularity; for they are but too well known, and no one,

who has read history, can be ignorant, that the good faith of counsellors

has  generally  turned  to  their ruin.  
(7:14:8) And so, for their own safety, it

behoves them to be cunning, not faithful.  
(7:14:9) But if the counsellors are

too  numerous  to  unite in the same crime, and are all equal, and do not

hold  their  office  beyond  a  period  of  four  years, they cannot be at all

objects  of  fear  to  the king, except he attempt to take away their liberty,

wherein  he  will  offend  all  the  citizens  equally.  
(7:14:10) For, as Antonio
Note 3-Page 334 )
Perez  excellently  observes,  an absolute dominion is to the prince very

dangerous, to the subjects very hateful, and to the institutes of God and
man alike opposed, as innumerable instances show.

(7:15:1) Besides  these we have, in the last chapter, laid other found-

ations,  by  which  the  king  is  greatly  secured in his dominion, and the

citizens  in  their  hold  of  peace  and  liberty,  which foundations we will

reason  out  in  their proper places.  
(7:15:2) For I was anxious above every-

thing  to reason out all those, which refer to the great council and are of

the greatest importance.  
(7:15:3) Now I will continue with the others, in the

same order in which I stated them.

(7:16:1)  It is undoubted, that citizens are more powerful, PAGE 335 and,

therefore,  more  independent,  the  larger and better fortified their towns

(7:16:2) For  the  safer  the  place  is, in which they are, the better they

can  defend  their liberty, and the less they need fear an enemy, whether

without  or  within;  and  it  is  certain  that the more powerful men are by

their  riches,  the  more  they  by nature study their own safety.  
(7:16:3) But

cities  which  need  the  help  of another for their preservation are not on

terms  of equal right with that other, but are so far dependent on his right

as  they  need his help.  
(7:16:4) For we showed in the second chapter, that

right is determined by power alone.

(7:17:1) For  the  same  reason,  also,  I  mean  that  the citizens may

continue  independent,  and  defend  their  liberty, the militia ought to be

composed  of  the  citizens  only,   and  none  of  them  to  be  exempted.
 (7:17:2) For  an  armed  man is more independent than an unarmed (7:12);           Durant [10a] 176  

and  those  citizens  transfer  absolutely  their  own right to another, and

entrust  it  entirely  to  his good faith, who have given him their arms and

the  defences  of  their  cities.  
(7:17:3) Human  avarice, by which most men

are  very  much  led,  adds  its weight to this view.  
(7:17:4) For it cannot be,
that  a mercenary force be hired without great expense; and citizens can

hardly    endure   the   exactions  required  to  maintain  an  idle  soldiery.

(7:17:5)  But  that  no  man,  who commands the whole or a large part of the

militia,  should,  except  under  pressure  of  necessity, be chosen for the

extreme  term  of  a  year,  all  are  aware,  who  have  read history, alike

sacred  and  profane.  
(7:17:5) For there is nothing that reason more clearly

(7:17:6) For  surely  the  might of dominion is altogether entrusted

to  him,  who  is  allowed enough time to gain military glory, and raise his

fame  above  the king's, or to make the army faithful to himself by flattery,

largesses,  and  the  other  arts,  whereby  generals  are  accustomed to

procure  the  enslavement  of  others,  and  the  mastery  for themselves.

(7:17:7) Lastly,  I  have  added  this point for the greater safety of the whole

dominion,  that  these  commanders of the militia are to be selected from

the  king's  counsellors  or
 ex-counsellors — that is, from men who have

reached  the age at which mankind generally prefer what is old and safe

to what is new and dangerous.  (6:10)

PAGE 336

[7:18] (7:18:1) I said that the citizens were to be divided into clans, (6:11, 15,

16)  and an equal number of counsellors chosen from each, in order that

the  larger towns might have, in proportion to the number of their citizens,

a  greater  number  of  counsellors, and be able, as is equitable, to contri-
bute  more  votes.  (7:18:2)  For  the  power  and,  therefore,  the  right  of  a

dominion  is  to  be  estimated  by the number of its citizens; and I do not

believe that any fitter means can be devised for maintaining this equality

between  citizens,  who  are  all  by  nature so constituted, that everyone

wishes  to  be  attributed  to his own stock, and be distinguished by race

from the rest.

(7:19:1) Furthermore,  in  the  state  of nature, there is nothing which

any  man  can  less  claim  for  himself,  and  make his own, than the soil,

and  whatever  so  adheres  to  the  soil, that he cannot hide it anywhere,

nor  carry  it  whither he pleases.  
(7:19:2) The soil, therefore, and whatever

adheres  to  it  in  the  way  we  have  mentioned, must be quite common
property of the commonwealth — that is, of all those who, by their united

force,  can  vindicate  their  claim  to  it, or of him to whom all have given

authority  to  vindicate his claim.  
(7:19:3) And therefore the soil, and all that

adheres to it, ought to have a value with the citizens proportionate to the

necessity  there  is,  that  they  may be able to set their feet thereon, and

defend  their  common  right  or  liberty.  
(7:19:4) But in the eighth section of

this  chapter  we  have  shown  the  advantages  that the commonwealth

must necessarily derive hence.

(7:20:1) In  order  that  the  citizens  may  be as far as possible equal,

which  is  of  the first necessity in a commonwealth, none but the descen-

dants  of  a king are to be thought noble.  
(7:20:2) But if all the descendants

of  kings  were  allowed  to  marry  wives,  or  beget children, they would

grow,  in process of time, to a very large number, and would be, not only

burdensome,   but   also  a  cause  of  very  great  fear,  to  king  and  all.

(7:20:3)  For  men  who  have  too  much  leisure  generally  meditate  crime.

(7:20:4) And  hence  it  is  that  kings  are,  on  account of their nobles, very

much  induced  to make war, because kings surrounded with nobles find

more  quiet  and  safety  in war than in peace.  
(7:20:5) But I pass by this as

notorious  enough,   
PAGE 337 and also the points which I have mentioned

in  6:15 - 27  of  the  last  chapter.  
(7:20:6) For  the  main  points have been

proved in this chapter, and the rest are self-evident.

(7:21:1) That  the  judges  ought  to  be  too numerous for a large pro-

portion  of  them to be accessible to the bribes of a private man, and that

they  should  not  vote  openly,  but  secretly,  and that they deserve pay-

ment  for  their  time,  is  known  to  everyone  (6:27, 28).   
(7:21:2) But they

everywhere  have by custom a yearly salary; and so they make no great

haste  to  determine  suits,  and there is often no end to trials.  
(7:21:3) Next,

where confiscations accrue to the king, there frequently in trials not truth

nor  right,  but the greatness of a man's riches is regarded. Informers are

ever  at  work,  and  everyone  who  has  money  is  snatched  as a prey,

which  evils,  though grievous and intolerable, are excused by the neces-

sity of warfare, and continue even in time of peace.
(7:21:4) But the avarice

of  judges that are appointed but for two or three years at most is moder-

ated  by  fear  of  their  successors,  not  to mention, again, that they can
have  no  fixed  property,  but  must  lend  their money at interest to their

(7:21:5)  And  so  they  are  forced  rather  to  consult  their

welfare  than  to  plot  against  them, especially if the judges themselves,

as we have said, are numerous.

(7:22:1) But  we  have  said,  that no military pay is to be voted (6:31).

(7:22:2) For  the  chief  reward  of military service is liberty.  (7:22:3) For in the

state  of  nature  everyone  strives, for bare liberty's sake, to defend him-

self  to  the  utmost of his power, and expects no other reward of warlike

virtue  but  his  own  independence.  
(7:22:4) But,  in  the  civil  state, all the

citizens  together  are  to  be  considered as a man in the state of nature;

and,  therefore,  when  all  fight  on behalf of that state, all are defending

themselves,  and  engaged on their own business.  
(7:22:5) But counsellors,

judges, magistrates, and the like, are engaged more on others' business

than  on  their  own;  and  so  it  is  but  fair  to  pay  them  for  their  time.

(7:22:6) Besides,  in  war,  there  can  be  no  greater  or  more  honourable

inducement   to   victory   than  the  idea  of  liberty.  
(7:22:7) But  if,  on  the

contrary,  a  certain  portion of the citizens be designated as soldiers, on

which  account  it  will  be necessary to award them a fixed pay,
PAGE 338

the  king  will,  of  necessity,  distinguish  them  above  the  rest  (as  we

showed,  7:12) — that  is,  will  distinguish men who are acquainted only

with  the  arts  of  war,  and,  in  time  of  peace,  from  excess  of leisure,

become  debauched,  and,  finally,  from  poverty,  meditate  nothing  but

rapine,  civil  discord,  and  wars.   
(7:22:8)  And  so  we  can  affirm,  that  a

monarchy  of this sort is, in fact, a state of war, and in it only the soldiery

enjoy liberty, but the rest are slaves.

(7:23:1)  Our   remarks   about   the  admission  of  foreigners  (6:32)

I  believe  to be obvious.  
(7:23:2) Besides, no one can doubt that the king's

blood-relations  should  be  at a distance from him, and occupied, not by

warlike,  but  by peaceful  business, whence they may get credit and the

dominion  quiet.  
(7:23:3) Though even this has not seemed a sufficient pre-

caution  to  the  Turkish despots, who, therefore, make a point of slaugh-

tering  all  their  brothers.  
(7:23:4) And  no  wonder: for the more absolutely

the  right  of  dominion  has been conferred on one man, the more easily,

as  we  showed  by  an instance (7:14), it can be transferred from one to

(7:23:5) But  that  in  such  a  monarchy,  as  we here suppose, in

which,  I mean,  there  is  not  one  mercenary  soldier, the plan we have

mentioned provides sufficiently for the king's safety, is not to be doubted.

(7:24:1) Nor  can  anyone  hesitate  about  what  we  have said in the

thirty-fourth and thirty-fifth sections of the last chapter.  
(7:24:2) But that the

king  must  not marry a foreigner (6:36) is easily proved.  
(7:24:3) For not to

mention that two commonwealths, although united by a treaty, are yet in

a  state  of  hostility (3:14), it is very much to be avoided that war should
be  stirred  up,  on  account  of the king's domestic affairs, both because

disputes  and  dissensions  arise  peculiarly from an alliance founded on
marriage,  and  because  questions  between  two  commonwealths  are

mostly  settled by war.  
(7:24:4) Of this we read a fatal instance in Scripture.

(7:24:5) For  after  the  death  of  Solomon,  who  had  married  the  king  of

Egypt's  daughter, his son Rehoboam waged a most disastrous war with

Shishak,  king  of  the Egyptians, who utterly subdued him (
1 Kings:14:25;
2 Chron. 12).  (7:24:6) Moreover,  the  marriage of Lewis XIV., king of France
Note 1, 339)
with  the  daughter  of  Philip IV.  
PAGE 339  was  the  seed  of  a fresh war.

(7:24:7) And,  besides  these,  very  many  instances may be read in history.

(7:25:1) The form of the dominion ought to be kept one and the same,

and,  consequently,  there  should be but one king, and that of the same

sex,  and  the  dominion  should be indivisible (6:37).   
(7:25:2) But as to my

saying  that  the  king's  eldest son should succeed his father by right, or

(if there be no issue)  the  nearest to him in blood, it is clear as well from

6:13,  as  because the election of the king made by the multitude should,

if  possible, last for ever.  
(7:25:3) Otherwise it will necessarily happen, that

the  supreme  authority  of  the dominion will frequently pass to the multi-

tude,   which   is   an  extreme  and,  therefore,  exceedingly  dangerous

(7:25:4) But those who, from the fact that the king is master of the

dominion, and holds it by absolute right, infer that he can hand it over to

whom  he  pleases,  and  that, therefore, the king's son is by right heir to

the  dominion,  are greatly mistaken.  
(7:25:5) For the king's will has so long

the  force  of  law,  as  he  holds the sword of the commonwealth; for the

right  of  dominion  is  limited by power only.  
(7:25:6) Therefore, a king may

indeed  abdicate,  but cannot hand the dominion over to another, unless

with  the  concurrence of the multitude or its stronger part.  
(7:25:7) And that

this  may  be more clearly understood, we must remark, that children are

heirs  to  their  parents,  not  by natural, but by civil law.  
(7:25:8) For by the

power  of the commonwealth alone is anyone master of definite property.

(7:25:9) And,  therefore, by the same power or right, whereby the will of any

man  concerning  his  property  is  held  good,  by  the same also his will

remains   good   after  his  own  death,  as  long  as  the  commonwealth

(7:25:10) And  this  is  the  reason,  why everyone in the civil state

maintains  after  death  the same right as he had in his lifetime, because,

as  we said, it is not by his own power, but by that of the commonwealth,

which  is  everlasting,  that  he  can  decide  anything about his property.

(7:25:11) But  the  king's  case  is  quite different.  (7:25:12) For the king's will is

the  civil  law  itself,  and  the king the commonwealth itself.  
(7:25:13) There-

fore, by the death of the king, the commonwealth is in a manner
PAGE 340

dead,  and  the  civil  state  naturally  returns  to  the state of nature, and

consequently  the  supreme  authority  to the multitude, which can, there-

fore,  lawfully  lay  down  new  and  abolish  old  laws.   
(7:25:14)  And  so  it

appears  that  no  man  succeeds  the  king  by  right,  but him whom the

multitude  wills  to be successor, or in a theocracy, such as the common-

wealth  of  the  Hebrews  once  was,  him  whom  God  has chosen by a

(7:25:15) We  might  likewise  infer this from the fact that the king's

sword,  or  right,  is in reality the will of the multitude itself, or its stronger

part;  or  else  from  the  fact,  that  men  endowed  with reason never so

utterly  abdicate  their  right, that they cease to be men, and are account-

ed as sheep.  
(7:25:16) But to pursue this further is unnecessary.

(7:26:1) But  the  right of religion, or of worshipping God, no man can

transfer  to  another.  
(7:26:2) However,  we  have  treated  of  this  point at

length  in  the last chapters of our Theologico-Political Treatise, which it

is   superfluous   to   repeat  here.  
(7:26:3) And  herewith  I  claim  to  have

reasoned  out  the foundations of the best monarchy, though briefly, yet

with  sufficient  clearness.  
(7:26:4) But  their  mutual  interdependence,  or,

in  other  words,  the  proportions  of  my  dominion,  anyone  will  easily

remark,  who  will be at the pains to observe them as a whole with some

(7:26:5)  It  remains  only  to  warn the reader, that I am here con-

ceiving   of   that   monarchy,   which  is  instituted  by  a  free  multitude,

for  which  alone these foundations can serve.  
(7:26:6) For a multitude that

has  grown  used  to  another  form  of  dominion will not be able without

great  danger  of  overthrow to pluck up the accepted foundations of the

whole dominion, and change its entire fabric.

(7:27:1) And  what  we  have  written  will, perhaps, be received with

derision  by  those  who  limit  to  the populace only the vices which are

inherent  in  all  mortals;  and  use such phrases as, "the mob, if it is not

frightened,  inspires  no little fear,
" and "the populace is either a humble

slave,  or  a  haughty  master,
"  and  "it  has  no  truth  or judgment," etc.

(7:27:2) But  all  have  one common nature.  (7:27:3) Only we are deceived by

power  and  refinement.  
(7:27:4) Whence  it  comes  that  when two do the

same thing we say, "this man may do it with impunity, that man may not;"

not   because   the  deed,   
PAGE 341  but  because  the  doer  is  different.

(7:27:5) Haughtiness  is a property of rulers.  (7:27:6) Men are haughty, but by

reason  of  an appointment for a year; how much more then nobles, that

have  their  honours  eternal!  
(7:27:7) But  their  arrogance is glossed over

with  importance,  luxury, profusion, and a kind of harmony of vices, and

a  certain  cultivated  folly,  and  elegant  villainy,  so  that vices, each of

which  looked  at  separately  is  foul  and  vile,  because  it is then most

conspicuous, appear to the inexperienced and untaught honourable and
becoming.  (7:27:8) "The  mob,  too,  if  it  is not frightened, inspires no little

"  yes, for liberty and slavery are not easily mingled.  
(7:27:9) Lastly, as

for  the  populace  being  devoid  of  truth  and  judgment, that is nothing

wonderful, since the chief business of the dominion is transacted behind

its back, and it can but make conjectures from the little, which cannot be

(7:27:10) For  it  is an uncommon virtue to suspend one's judgment.

(7:27:11) So  it  is  supreme  folly  to  wish to transact everything behind the

backs  of  the  citizens,  and  to  expect  that  they will not judge ill of the

same,   and   will   not  give  everything  an  unfavourable  interpretation.

(7:27:12) For  if  the  populace  could  moderate  itself, and suspend its judg-

ment  about  things  with  which  it  is  imperfectly  acquainted,  or  judge

rightly  of  things by the little it knows already, it would surely be more fit

to  govern,  than  to  be  governed.  
(7:27:13) But,  as  we  said, all have the

same nature.  
(7:27:14) All grow haughty with rule, and cause fear if they do

not  feel  it,  and
 everywhere truth is generally transgressed by enemies

or  guilty people; especially where one or a few have mastery, and have

respect in trials not to justice or truth, but to amount of wealth.

(7:28:1)  Besides,   paid  soldiers,  that  are  accustomed  to  military

discipline,  and  can  support  cold  and  hunger,  are  likely to despise a

crowd  of  citizens  as very inferior for storming towns or fighting pitched

(7:28:2) But  that  my dominion is, therefore, more unhappy or less

durable,  no  one  of  sound  mind  will  affirm.  
(7:28:3) But, on the contrary,

everyone  that  judges  things  fairly  will  admit, that that dominion is the

most  durable  of all, which can content itself with preserving what it has

got,  without  coveting  what  belongs  to  others,  and  strives, therefore,

most   eagerly   by   every   means  to  avoid  war  and  preserve  peace.

PAGE 342

[7:29] (7:29:1) But  I  admit that the counsels of such a dominion can hardly

be  concealed.  
(7:29:2) But  everyone  will  also  admit with me that it is far

better  for  the  right  counsels of a dominion to be known to its enemies,

than  for  the  evil  secrets  of  tyrants  to be concealed from the citizens.

(7:29:3) They  who  can  treat  secretly  of  the  affairs of a dominion have it

absolutely  under  their authority, and, as they plot against the enemy in

time  of  war, so do they against the citizens in time of peace.  
(7:29:4) Now

that  this  secrecy  is  often  serviceable to a dominion, no one can deny;

but  that  without  it  the  said  dominion  cannot subsist, no one will ever

(7:29:5) But,  on the contrary, to entrust affairs of state absolutely to

any  man  is quite incompatible with the maintenance of liberty; and so it
is  folly  to choose to avoid a small loss by means of the greatest of evils.

(7:29:6)  But the perpetual refrain of those who lust after absolute dominion

is,  that  it  is  to  the essential interest of the commonwealth that its busi-

ness  be  secretly transacted, and other like pretences, which end in the

more  hateful  a  slavery, the more they are clothed with a show of utility.

(7:30:1) Lastly,  although  no  dominion,  as  far  as I know, has ever

been  founded  on  all  the  conditions  we  have  mentioned,   yet  from

experience itself we shall be able to prove that this form of monarchy is

the  best,  if  we consider the causes of the preservation and overthrow

of  any  dominion  that  is  not  barbarous.  
(7:30:2) But  this  I  could not do

without  greatly wearying the reader.  
(7:30:3) However, I cannot pass over

in  silence  one  instance,  that  seems  worth  remembering: I mean the
dominion  of  the  Arragonese,  who  showed  a singular loyalty towards

their  kings,  and with equal constancy preserved unbroken the constitu-

tion  of  the  kingdom.  
(7:30:4) For as soon as they had cast off the slavish

yoke  of  the  Moors, they resolved to choose themselves a king, but on

what  conditions  they  could  not  quite  make  up their minds, and they

therefore determined to consult the sovereign pontiff of Rome.  
(7:30:5) He,

who  in  this matter certainly bore himself as Christ's vicar, blamed them

for  so  obstinately  wishing to choose a king, unwarned by the example

of  the  Hebrews.  
(7:30:6) However,  if  they would not change their minds,

then  he  advised  them  not  to  choose  a  king,  without first instituting

customs  equitable  and  suitable  to  the  national  genius, and
PAGE 343

above all he would have them create some supreme council, to balance

the  king's  power  like  the ephors of the Lacedaemonians, and to have

absolute right to determine the disputes, which might arise between the

king  and  the  citizens.  
(7:30:7) So  then,  following this advice, they estab-

lished  the  laws,  which  seemed  to  them  most equitable, of which the

supreme  interpreter,  and  therefore  supreme judge, was to be, not the

king,  but  the  council,  which they call the Seventeen, and whose presi-
Note 1, 343)
dent has the title of Justice.  
(7:30:8) This Justice then, and the Seventeen,

who  are  chosen  for  life, not by vote but by lot, have the absolute right

of revising and annulling all sentences passed upon any citizen by other

courts, civil or ecclesiastical, or by the king himself, so that every citizen

had the right to summon the king himself before this council.  
(7:30:9) More-

over,   they   once   had  the  right  of  electing  and  deposing  the  king.

(7:30:10) But  after  the  lapse  of  many  years the king, Don Pedro, who is

called  the  Dagger, by canvassing, bribery, promises, and every sort of

practice,  at  length  procured  the revocation of this right.  
(7:30:11) And as

soon  as  he  gained  his  point, he cut off, or, as I would sooner believe,

wounded  his  hand  before them all, saying, that not without the loss of
Note 2, 343)
royal blood could subjects be allowed to choose their king. 
(7:30:12) Yet he

effected  this  change,  but  upon this condition, "That the subjects have

had  and  shall  have  the right of taking arms against any violence what-

ever,  whereby  any  may  wish  to  enter upon the dominion to their hurt,

nay, against the king himself, or the prince, his heir, if he thus encroach."

(7:30:13) By  which  condition  they  certainly rather rectified than abolished

that  right.   
(7:30:14)  For,  as  we  have  shown  (4:5, 4:6), a  king  can  be

deprived  of  the  power  of  ruling,  not by the civil law, but by the law of
war,  in  other  words  the subjects may resist his violence with violence.

(7:30:15) Besides  this  condition  they  stipulated  others, which do not con-

cern  our
PAGE 344 present design.  (7:30:16) Having by these customs given

themselves  a  constitution  to  the  mind  of  all,  they  continued  for  an

incredible  length  of  time  unharmed,  the king's loyalty towards his sub-

jects  being  as  great  as  theirs  towards  him.   
(7:30:17)  But after that the

kingdom  fell  by  inheritance  to  Ferdinand  of Castile, who first had the

surname  of  Catholic; this liberty of the Arragonese began to displease

the  Castilians,  who therefore  ceased not to urge Ferdinand to abolish

these   rights.   
(7:30:18)  But  he,  not  yet  being  accustomed  to absolute

dominion,  dared  make  no  such  attempt,  but replied thus to his coun-

sellors:   that  (not  to  mention  that  he  had  received  the  kingdom  of

Arragon  on  those  terms,  which  they  knew,  and  had  most solemnly

sworn  to observe the same, and that it was inhuman to break his word)

he  was  of  opinion,  that  his  kingdom  would  be stable, as long as its

safety  was  as  much  to  the  subjects'  as to the king's interest, so that

neither  the  king
 should outweigh the subjects, nor yet the subjects the

king;  for  that  if  either  party  were
 too powerful, the weaker would not

only  try  to  recover  its  former  equality,  but  in vexation at its injury to

retaliate  upon  the other, whence would follow the ruin of either or both.

(7:30:19) Which  very  wise  language  I could not enough wonder at, had it

proceeded from a king accustomed to command not freemen but slaves.

(7:30:20) Accordingly  the  Arragonese  retained their liberties after the time

of  Ferdinand,  though  no  longer  by  right but by the favour of their too

powerful  kings,  until  the  reign  of  Philip II.,  who oppressed them with

better  luck,   but  no  less  cruelty,  than  he  did  the  United  Provinces.

(7:30:21) And although Philip III. is supposed to have restored everything to

its  former  position,  yet the Arragonese, partly from eagerness to flatter

the  powerful  (for it is folly to kick against the pricks),  partly  from terror,

have  kept  nothing  but  the specious names and empty forms of liberty.

(7:31:1) We  conclude,  therefore,  that  the  multitude  may preserve

under a king an ample enough liberty;  if it contrive that the king's power

be  determined  by the sole power, and preserved by the defence of the

multitude  itself.  
(7:31:2) And  this  was  the  single  rule which I followed in

laying the foundations of monarchy.


Note 1 PAGE 329
Chap. I. Sec. 4 of the speech, or rather letter, which is not now admitted
to be a genuine work of Sallust.

Note 1 PAGE 332
This  seems to be a mistake for 7:4, "Id majori subditorum parti utile erit,
quod  in  hoc concilio plurima habuerit suffragia." "What has most votes
in  such  a  council,  will  be  to  the  interest  of  the  greater  part of the

Note 3 PAGE 334.                                 
109, Bk.XIB:196111.
Antonio  Perez,  a  publicist,  and  professor  of  law  in the University of
Louvain in the first part of the seventeenth century.

Note 1 PAGE 339
The  war  between  France  and  Spain, terminated by the first peace of
Aix-la-Chapelle, 1665.

Note 1 PAGE 343
See  Hallam's  "History of the Middle Ages,"  Chap.  IV.,  for the constitu-
tional  history  of Arragon. Hallam calls the Justiza the Justiciary, but the
literal  translation,  Justice, seems warranted by our own English use of
the word to designate certain judges.

Note 2 
PAGE 343
Hallam  says,  that  the king merely cut the obnoxious Privilege of Union,
which  he  describes  rather  differently,  through  with  his  sword.   The
Privilege  of  Union  was  so  utterly
  "eradicated from the records of the
kingdom, that its precise words have never been recovered."

End of Chapter VII

Since August 12, 1998 PT Part 2 hits.

A Political Treatise - Part 2

Revised: January 17, 2006



Part 1 -   Preface - Table of Contents - Chapters I to V

Part 2 - Table of Contents - Chapters VI and VII

Part 3 - Table of Contents - Chapters VIII to XI