Front Page Titles (by Subject) LETTER XVI.: To the Same. - Complete Works, vol. 4 Familiar Letters; Miscellaneous Pieces; The Temple of Gnidus; A Defence of the Spirit of Laws
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LETTER XVI.: To the Same. - 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 Same.
I HAVE read, learned Sir, your dissertation upon pleasure, and am certain that I shall adorn your head with a second laurel crown from my garden, if you be at la Brede, as I hope you will, when the academy shall have decided in your favour. The subject is beautiful, vast, interesting, and you have treated it in a masterly manner. I am pleased to see you in idea hunting on my ground,--You!--and who would not be so on seeing such a sportsman?
There are two articles in your dissertation which I wish you would clear up. The first is, that according as the text now stands, one might be induced to believe, you rank Carthage after the second Punic war, as among the autonomous cities subject to the Roman empire. You must very well know, that she then continued to be a free state, and intirely independant. The second objection relates to what you say concerning the title of Eleutherian; you indicate no difference between the towns that took this title, and those which took that of Autonomous. You have touched but slightly on an affair, which merits to be seriously cleared up. You cannot be ignorant that there are solemn debates upon this subject, and that in the sense of many learned men, Eleutherian signifies something more than Autonomous. I advise you to consider this affair attentively, and on its account to give some additional matter to your dissertation. I have had a berlin made on purpose, that you may be carried with more ease and convenience to Clerac, a place you love so much. We shall have no more disputes about usury, and that will gain you two hours a day. My meadows want you, and the smart lively servant* never ceases to say, “O now if the Abbé were here.” I answer for that lad’s being very docile to your instructions; he will make as many trenches to carry off the water as you please. Let me know if I may flatter myself with the hope of your coming along the Guienne; because in that case I may now profit of an opportunity that presents itself of sending directly my manuscript to the printer† .
In order to enjoy you myself, I release you from your promise, and the readier, since the impression of the work is not now to be made in Holland, much less in England, because she being an enemy we are to carry on no exchange of commerce with her, but that of cannon-balls. The Piedmontese are by no means in the same predicament, because we are not to look upon ourselves as in a state of warfare with each other; and if we besiege their forts, and they make our battalion prisoners‡ there is no harm meant on either side; and it is done only by way of military amusement. Therefore you can have no cogent reasons for leaving us. You will be always received as a friend in Guienne. I thank you for having spoken of me to the Serenissimo, and am much flattered with his obliging remembrance of my having paid my court to him at Modena. I will send you one of my books, which you request, for him. You will find herewith subjoined the notes, but rather obscuring than elucidating* , which are sent to you by the chapter of Cominges. You must be very simple, and unexperienced, my dear Abbé, to imagine that the members of a chapter ever give themselves the trouble of making literary researches; it is not I, but my brother who is dean of a chapter, that gives you the friendly advice of addressing yourself to better hands. Let not that however retard your history of Clement V.† ; you have promised it to our academy; return and you will work much more at your ease upon the tomb of this pope‡ . I desire that you will not omit the article of Brunissende∥ , for I apprehend that you are too timorous to treat of this affair, and therefore desire no more than your dispatching it in a note. Your researches will make you read the works of learned men; and a touch of gallantry will make you read the works of those who are not. I have sent your medal to Bourdeaux, with orders to deliver it to M. Tourni, that he may forward it to the intendant of Languedoc. My dear Sir, this affair is attended with two difficulties, the one is to come at the medal; and the other, that the medal should come to you. Adieu, I respect you, I sigh for you, and in the mean time present the friendly effusions of my heart.
[* ]The principal labourer at the country seat of M. de Montesquieu.
[† ]It is here, as so often already, the Spirit of Laws, to which M. de Montesquieu alludes.
[‡ ]This passage glances at the affair of Asti, where nine French battalions were made prisoners by the king of Sardinia.
[* ]They related to the history of Clement de Gout, who was bishop of Cominges, afterwards archbishop of Bourdeaux, and since pope.
[† ]This history has never appeared.
[‡ ]The tomb of this pope is in the collegiate church of Useste, near Bazas, where he was buried in a lordship belonging to the family of de Gout.
[∥ ]Some historians have advanced that Brunissende, Countess of Perigord, was the mistress of Clement, when he was archbishop of Bourdeaux, and that he continued to distinguish her with marks of favour during his papacy.