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TO M. GUSTAVE DE BEAUMONT. - Alexis de Tocqueville, Memoir, Letters, and Remains of Alexis de Tocqueville, vol. 1 
Memoir, Letters, and Remains of Alexis de Tocqueville. Translated from the French by the translator of Napoleon’s Correspondence with King Joseph. With large Additions. In Two Volumes (London: Macamillan, 1861). Vol. 1.
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TO M. GUSTAVE DE BEAUMONT.
Tocqueville,* August 30, 1829.
I have just received a second letter from you. I could not answer the first, as you did not tell me where to find you; but I thank you for remembering me twice. You seem to expect me to give an account of all that I have seen here. I shall do no such thing. 1stly. Because it would be very long. 2dly. Because it would not in the least amuse me. 3dly. (This is my chief reason) because it would not amuse you. This last head may be subdivided. You would be bored. 1stly. Because a description of a fine thing is almost always a bad thing. 2ndly. (I kept this for the last) because you are the least curious of men as to all that has no actual or practical utility for you; a defect, by-the-bye, which seems to me to be an abuse of your excellent abilities, and a real imperfection.
All I shall tell you is, that a great vessel of 100 guns has been launched; that I managed to climb up to the poop, which is more than fifty feet high, and that I then felt myself glide into the sea amidst a flourish of trumpets, a discharge of artillery, and the cheers of an immense crowd collected round the harbour. This was indeed a fine sight, and one that your imagination will easily picture. When the captain called out to cut the last mooring, and we began to move, I myself was seized with a fit of enthusiasm such as I had not experienced for a long time. I must say, that the indescribable sensation which filled my breast and upset my mental balance gave me intense pleasure. . . .
I have not done much intellectually since our separation. However, we learnt this year, among other things, to employ our odd moments. I have turned this knowledge to account by reading the greater part of Guizot. We must read it again together next winter: its analysis of ideas and accuracy of language are wonderful. Wonderful indeed. This book sheds a light on the fourth century which was totally unknown to me; and yet it is full of interest, as exhibiting the decay of the great Roman system.
[*]Then belonging to his father.