Montesquieu

In many of the old French laws we find the spi­rit of the monar­chy. In cases invol­ving pecu­niary penal­ties, non-nobles are puni­shed less than nobles.1 In cri­mes it is just the oppo­site2 : the noble loses honor and his voice in court, whe­reas the com­mo­ner who has no honor is puni­shed cor­po­rally.

“If as to cancel a warrant, the non-nobles owe a fine of forty sous, and the nobles of sixty livres” (Somme rural, book II, p. 198, Got. ed. of 1512).

See Le Conseil by Pierre Desfontaines, ch. xiii, esp. art. 22.