Though infamy is the more common, forfeiture of reputation is the more convenient expression of the two. Infamy is a term which appears forced, when applied to any other than very high degrees of the punishment in question: the phrase forfeiture of reputation is accommodated to one degree as well as another; for the quantity of reputation may be conceived to be divided into as many lots or degrees as there can be reason for.

The turn and structure of language having put a man's reputation, like his estate, upon the footing of his possessions, men have considered and spoken of the subject as if it were a quantity alike determinate, and as if a man might be made to forfeit the whole of his reputation at a single stroke, as he may the whole of his estate. But that this, though possible in the latter instance, is impossible in the former, will presently be seen by tracing up these fictitious objects of possession to the real objects from whence they are respectively derived. A man's estate is derived out of things: out of certain determinate allotments of things moveable or immoveable; or if any part of it be derived immediately out of persons, it is derived out of the services of a few persons, and those persons (and very frequently those services due from each person) determinate and certain. But a man's reputation is derived immediately out of persons: out of the services of persons; out of any services of any persons whatsoever: out of the services of as many persons, be they who they may, as choose to render him any. This is a stock which the political magistrate can never perhaps by any one operation, nor indeed by any number of operations of any kind, be certain of exhausting: much less by any such vague and feeble operations as those are by which an offender is commanly understood to have been made to incur the forfeiture of reputations that is, the punishment of infamy.

If there be, it is that punishment which, if the vulgar tradition is to be depended upon, was indicted by Richard III on Jane Shore: the direct prohibiting of all persons from rendering to the offender any kind of service. But this is but in other words the punishment of starving. The same punishment has sometimes been denounced in other countries where, being strictly executed, it has been, as it could not but be, attended with that effect.[1]

[1] Case of the Albigenses.---see Rapin (Montfort).---see Watson's Phil. 2d.

RP Book 3 Chapter 3 Section 1