Front Page Titles (by Subject) LETTER XII.: To the Countess de Pontac. - Complete Works, vol. 4 Familiar Letters; Miscellaneous Pieces; The Temple of Gnidus; A Defence of the Spirit of Laws
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LETTER XII.: To the Countess de Pontac. - Charles Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, Complete Works, vol. 4 Familiar Letters; Miscellaneous Pieces; The Temple of Gnidus; A Defence of the Spirit of Laws 
The Complete Works of M. de Montesquieu (London: T. Evans, 1777), 4 vols. Vol. 4.
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To the Countess de Pontac.
From Clerac to Bourdeaux.
YOU are most obligingly amiable, madam, to have taken the trouble of writing on the marriage of my daughter‡ . Both she and I are most devotedly your’s. We both most gratefully entreat a continuation of that kindness on your part, which is an honour to us. I have been told that the jurats* have sent an embroidered velvet purse filled with jettons or counters, to Abbé Venuti. I did not think them capable even of such an act of politeness. There is nothing important in such a present but its being that of a great city. In Italy, perhaps, such a tributary compliment might give an additional consequence to his fame; but it is already too well established to need any such assistance.
You will be so good as to tell Abbé de Guasco, that I cannot comprehend what kind of echoes they are that could convey to the Mercury of Paris the verses† which had been composed in the wood of la Brede. I am very angry not to have known it earlier, because I should have given this sonnet as a part of my daughter’s dowry. I have the honour to be, madam, with the most profound respect.
[‡ ]He had just married his daughter to M. de Secondat of Agen, gentleman, and a branch of his family, with a view of continuing the estate in his house in case that his son, who had been married for several years, should continue to have no children. Mademoiselle de Montesquieu was a very great assistant to her father in his composing the Spirit of Laws, by the daily lectures of books she made to him, thereby to ease his stipendiary reader. The authors the least inviting to be read, such as Beaumanoir, Joinville, and others of that species, did not disgust her. She used to divert herself with them, and often to infuse a pleasantry into her lectures, by repeating the words that appeared the most ridiculous.
[* ]Title of the first magistrates of the city of Bourdeaux. They made this present to Abbe Venuti, as a tributary acknowledgment in behalf of their fellow citizens, for the inscriptions, and other compositions, which this gentleman had made on the occasion of the rejoicings at Bourdeaux, at the Dauphiness, daughter of the king of Spain’s passing through that city.
[† ]The same that have been mentioned in the preceding letter.