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LETTER XX.: 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 spoken to M. de Boze, who sent me off in an aukward, and unpolite manner, saying forsooth, that he did not meddle in such business, and that the proper persons to be applied to were Mr. Freret* , and the Count de Maurepas. He sarcastically observed, that it was the common phrenzy of all those who had obtained a premium, to think they ought to be forthwith admitted as members of the academy. In my opinion he has somebody else in view. I spoke on the same day to Mr. Du Clos, who seems to be very well inclined, but then remember he is but one of the last. There is no way of securing Mr. de Maurepas’ interest, but through the Dutchess of Aiguillon your favourite muse. If I propose it to her, it is morally certain that she will do nothing in the affair. But if you write to her yourself, she will speak to me upon the subject, then I shall say such things as will make her your sanguine patroness. If you should win another premium, that would smooth all difficulties. Father Desmolets told me, that you are at work; so am I: but my work goes on heavy.
The Chevalier Caldwell has informed me by letter, that you were tempted to accompany him into Egypt, to which I made answer that it was, no doubt with a design of seeing your brethren the mummies. His adventure at Toulouse is very laughable† . It seems that in this city, the folks are as fanatically mad in political as religious affairs.
Present my respectful compliments to the first president M. Bon.* The first physical production I had ever seen, was a treatise upon Spiders, written by him. I have always looked upon him as one of the most learned personages in France. His example first inspired me with a noble emulation, seeing that he had joined such a consummate knowledge of his own profession, with that of other callings. Assure him of my sincere thanks for all the marks of kindness, with which he was pleased to favour me. I had also the honour of knowing Mr. Le Nain† , at La Rochelle, to which place I went to see the Count of Matignon. I pray you will call up anew to his memory, the sincerity of my respect towards him. It is reported here, that by his prudent and œconomical dispositions, he has banished the enemy from Provence. Your bill of exchange is not yet arrived, but only a letter of advice. You see, Sir, what it is to have a quick and lively feeling; you have sent Mr. Jude almost breathless for a thing, that he might have proceeded in quest of, with all his wonted and solemn gravity. Adieu! I embrace you with all my heart.
Paris, March 1, 1747.
[* ]Then perpetual secretary of the Academy.
[† ]The Chevalier Caldwell, an Irish gentleman, having stopt for some time at Toulouse, used to amuse himself with catching birds out of the city. As he was observed to go out early in the morning, and ramble about the city followed by a little boy, that often held in his hand paper and a pencil, the capitouls (chief magistrates of that city) suspected in their great wisdoms, that he was thus busied in taking the plan of Toulouse, at a time too when France was at war with England. They had him arrested in consequence; and as on searching his pockets, there was found a drawing of the machine employed by him in learning to catch birds, and several cards, besides a catalogue of words on them, which were the names of birds, that the examiners did not understand, because written in English. This confirmed their every surmize of an hostile intention, and the suspected Caldwel was put into confinement, until such time as that he should make his innocence known; the great absurdity of such a suspicion appears, and lasted until such time too, as somebody was found bold enough to be bail, and answer for his good conduct.—The cream of the jest is, that Toulouse is not a fortified placed.
[* ]First president of the Court of Aides at Montpellier, counsellor of state, and member of the Academy of Sciences. He discovered the secret of spinning the webs of spiders, and making stockings thereof; and also of extracting drops from them equal to those used in England against the apoplexy. He also discovered the means of rendering the Indian chesnuts useful, in feeding swine, and making a powder of them.—He had a very curious cabinet of antiquitics.
[† ]The intendant of Languedoc.