Montesquieu

The Tartars are requi­red to put their name on their arrows, so it will be known whose hand dis­pat­ched them. When Philip of Macedonia was woun­ded during the siege of a city, they found on the jave­lin : “Astor inflic­ted this mor­tal blow on Philip.”1 If those who accuse a man did so in view of the public good, they would not accuse him before the prince, who can easily be bia­sed, but before the magis­tra­tes, who have rules that are for­mi­da­ble only to false accu­sers. For if they do not want to leave the laws bet­ween them­sel­ves and the accu­sed, that is evi­dence that they have rea­son to fear them ; and the least punish­ment one can impose on them is not to believe them. No atten­tion can be paid to them except in cases that can­not suf­fer the slow pace of ordi­nary jus­tice, and where the prince’s safety is at stake. Then we can believe that the accu­ser has made an effort which has loo­se­ned his ton­gue and made him speak. But in other cases we must say with the empe­ror Constantius, “We can hardly sus­pect a man who has had no accu­ser, though he was not wan­ting for ene­mies.”2

Plutarque, Moralia, Greek and Roman Parallel Stories, vol. II, p. 487.

Law VI, Cod. Theodosianus de famosis libellis.