Virtue in a repu­blic is a very sim­ple thing : it is love of the repu­blic ; it is a sen­ti­ment, and not a series of things that are known ; the last man in the state can have this sen­ti­ment like the first. Once the com­mon peo­ple have good maxims, they hold to them lon­ger than what are cal­led solid citi­zens. It is rare that cor­rup­tion begins with them ; often they have deri­ved from their modest lights a stron­ger attach­ment for what is esta­bli­shed.

Love of the home­land leads to good beha­vior, and good beha­vior leads to love of the home­land. The less we can satisfy our indi­vi­dual pas­sions, the more we com­mit our­sel­ves to sha­red ones. Why do monks so love their order ? Precisely for the same rea­sons they find it unbea­ra­ble. Their rule depri­ves them of all the things which ordi­nary pas­sions depend on ; what remains is the­re­fore a pas­sion for the very rule that afflicts them. The more aus­tere it is, in other words the more of their pen­chants it sup­pres­ses, the more force it gives to those that remain.