As there must be vir­tue in a repu­blic, and honor in a monar­chy, there must be fear in a des­po­tic govern­ment ; for vir­tue there is not neces­sary, and honor would be dan­ge­rous.

The vast power of the prince pas­ses directly to those to whom he entrusts it. People capa­ble of great self-esteem would be in a posi­tion to foment revo­lu­tions. Fear must the­re­fore quiet every man’s cou­rage, and snuff out even the sligh­test fee­ling of ambi­tion.

A mode­rate govern­ment can as much as it wants, and with no risk, relax its cons­traints. It main­tains itself by its laws and by its inner strength. But when, in the des­po­tic govern­ment, the prince cea­ses for an ins­tant to lift his hand, if he can­not ins­tantly des­troy those who occupy the highest pla­ces,1 all is lost : for in the absence of what dri­ves the govern­ment, namely fear, the peo­ple are left with no pro­tec­tor.

It is appa­rently in this sense that qadis have argued that the sul­tan was not requi­red to keep his word or his oath when to do so would limit his autho­rity.2

The peo­ple must be jud­ged by the laws, and the great by the prince’s whim ; the head of the least of the sub­jects must be safe, and that of the pashas ever at risk. Not without trem­bling can one speak of these mons­trous govern­ments. The sophi of Persia, dethro­ned in our own time by Miriveis, saw the govern­ment perish before the conquest because he had not spilled enough blood.3

History tells us that the hor­ri­ble cruel­ties of Domitian so frigh­te­ned the gover­nors that the peo­ple reco­ve­red somew­hat under his reign.4 And so it is that a tor­rent that wreaks havoc on one side lea­ves on the other a coun­try­side where the eye per­cei­ves mea­dows in the dis­tance.

As often happens in a military aristocracy.

[Paul] Rycaut, The Present State of the Ottoman Empire.

See the history of this revolution by Father du Cerceau.

His government was military, which is one species of despotic government.