Montesquieu

Cæsar says that “when one of the prin­ces decla­red to the assem­bly that he had concei­ved a plan for some expe­di­tion, and asked to be fol­lo­wed, those who appro­ved the chief and the enter­prise rose and offe­red their help. They were prai­sed by the mul­ti­tude. But if they did not ful­fill their enga­ge­ment, they lost the public confi­dence, and were regar­ded as deser­ters and trai­tors.”1

What Cæsar says here, and what we have said in the pre­vious chap­ter after Tacitus, is the germ of the his­tory of the first dynasty.

We must not be sur­pri­sed that kings have always at each expe­di­tion had new armies to recons­ti­tute, dif­fe­rent troops to per­suade, new men to enlist ; that it requi­red, to acquire much, that they be very active ; that they cons­tantly be acqui­ring through the divi­sion of lands and spoils, and cons­tantly give away those lands and those spoils ; that their domain conti­nually grow, and cons­tantly dimi­nish ; that a father who gave a king­dom to one of his chil­dren should always add a trea­sure to it2 ; that the king’s trea­sure should be regar­ded as neces­sary to the monar­chy ; and that a king could not even for his daugh­ter’s dowry give any of it to stran­gers without the consent of the other kings.3 The springs that kept the monar­chy going had conti­nually to be wound.

The Gallic Wars, book VI.

See the life of Dagobert.

See Gregory of Tours, book VI, on the marriage of Chilperic’s daughter. Childebert sends him ambassadors to tell him that he need not give cities of his father’s realm to his daughter, nor any of his treasuries, serfs, horses, nor knights, nor teams of oxen, etc.