Montesquieu

I am not saying that one can­not find some text, in the chan­ges that were made in the law code of the bar­ba­rians, in the pro­vi­sions that were appen­ded to it, and in the cor­pus of the capi­tu­la­ries, where, in fact, the proof of com­bat is not a sequel to proof by nega­tion. Particular cir­cum­stan­ces could have, over the course of seve­ral cen­tu­ries, cau­sed cer­tain par­ti­cu­lar laws to be esta­bli­shed. I am spea­king of the gene­ral spi­rit of the laws of the Germans, of their nature and their ori­gin ; I am spea­king of the ancient prac­ti­ces of these peo­ples, indi­ca­ted or esta­bli­shed by those laws ; and that is the only ques­tion here.