Montesquieu

Must a monar­chy have spies ? It is not the usual prac­tice of good prin­ces. When a man is fai­th­ful to the laws, he has satis­fied what he owes to the prince. He must at least have an asy­lum in his house, and secu­rity for the rest of his conduct. Spying would per­haps be tole­ra­ble if it could be done by gent­le­men ; but the neces­sary infamy of the per­son is an indi­ca­tion of the infamy of the thing. With his sub­jects a prince should act with can­dor, with straight­for­ward­ness, with confi­dence. The one who has so many anxie­ties, sus­pi­cions, and fears is an actor uns­teady in his role. When he sees that in gene­ral the laws are enfor­ced and that they are res­pec­ted, he may deem him­self secure. The ove­rall demea­nor ans­wers to him for the secu­rity of all indi­vi­duals. Let him have no fear : he would never believe how dis­po­sed they are to love him. And why would they not ? He is the source of almost eve­ry­thing good that is done ; and almost all punish­ments are bla­med on the laws. He never appears in public but with a serene coun­te­nance ; we even share his glory, and his strength sus­tains us. One proof of his peo­ple’s love is that they have confi­dence in him, and that what a minis­ter refu­ses they always ima­gine the prince would have gran­ted ; even in public cala­mi­ties his per­son is not impu­gned ; they com­plain about what he does not know, or that he is beset by cor­rupt men : “If the prince knew,” say the peo­ple : these words are a sort of invo­ca­tion, and a proof of the confi­dence they have in him.