XIX.4 What the general spirit is

, par Stewart

There are several things that govern men : climate, religion, laws, the government’s maxims, examples of things past, morals, manners, whence a general spirit is formed that results from them.

To the degree that one of these causes acts with more force in each nation, the others yield to it. Nature and climate almost alone dominate savages ; manners govern the Chinese ; laws tyrannize Japan ; morality used to set the tone in Lacedæmon ; government maxims and the ancient morals set it in Rome.