Those fer­tile regions are plains where nothing can be contes­ted against him who is stron­gest, so one sub­mits to him ; and once his sub­ject, the spi­rit of free­dom can never return ; coun­try pro­perty is secu­rity for loyalty. But in moun­tai­nous regions, one can pre­serve what one has, and one has lit­tle to pre­serve. Freedom, in other words the govern­ment one enjoys, is the only good worth defen­ding. It is the­re­fore more pre­va­lent more in moun­tai­nous, dif­fi­cult regions than in those which nature seems to have favo­red more.

Mountaineers pre­serve a more mode­ra­ted govern­ment because they are not so expo­sed to being conque­red. They defend them­sel­ves easily, and are dif­fi­cult to attack ; muni­tions of war and food are gathe­red and brought against them at great expense, and the coun­try­side fur­ni­shes none. It is the­re­fore more dif­fi­cult to wage war on them, and more dan­ge­rous to under­take it ; and all the laws made for the secu­rity of the peo­ple are less appli­ca­ble there.