Montesquieu

It is against the nature of the thing, in a fede­ra­tive cons­ti­tu­tion, for one confe­de­rate state to take land from ano­ther, as in our times we have seen among the Swiss.1 In mixed fede­ra­tive repu­blics, where the asso­cia­tion is among small repu­blics and small monar­chies, it is less excep­tio­nal.

It is also against the nature of the thing for a demo­cra­tic repu­blic to conquer cities inca­pa­ble of ente­ring into the sphere of demo­cracy. The conque­red peo­ple must be able to enjoy the pri­vi­le­ges of sove­rei­gnty, as the Romans esta­bli­shed it at the out­set. One should limit the conquest to the num­ber of citi­zens that will be fixed for the demo­cracy.

If a demo­cracy conquers a peo­ple in order to govern it as a sub­ject, it will risk its own liberty, because it will entrust too much autho­rity to the magis­tra­tes it sends into the conque­red state.

In what dan­ger would the repu­blic of Carthage not have been if Hannibal had taken Rome ? What would he not have done in his city after the vic­tory, he who cau­sed so many revo­lu­tions after his defeat ?2

Hanno could never have per­sua­ded the senate not to send rein­for­ce­ments to Hannibal if he had made only his jea­lousy speak. The senate, which Aristotle des­cri­bes to us as so wise (some­thing which that repu­blic’s pros­pe­rity pro­ves to us so well), could only be per­sua­ded by sen­si­ble rea­sons. It would have had to be too dense not to see that an army three hun­dred lea­gues away was absor­bing neces­sary los­ses that would have to be repai­red.

Hanno’s party wan­ted Hannibal to be deli­ve­red to the Romans.3 At that time they could not fear the Romans, so they fea­red Hannibal.

It is said that they could not believe Hannibal’s vic­to­ries ; but how could they doubt them ? Were the Carthaginians scat­te­red throu­ghout the world una­ware of what was taking place in Italy ? It is because they were not una­ware of it that they did not want to send rein­for­ce­ments to Hannibal.

Hanno beco­mes more firm after Trebia, after Trasimene, after Cannæ ; it is not his dis­be­lief that increa­ses, but his fear.

For Tockenburg. [Allusion to the struggle in 1706–1718 of the valley of Tockenburg with the canton of Saint Gall.]

He was at the head of a faction.

Hanno wanted to deliver Hannibal to the Romans the way Cato wanted to deliver Cæsar to the Gaules.