Front Page Titles (by Subject) LETTER XXI.: To Mr. Cerati. - Complete Works, vol. 4 Familiar Letters; Miscellaneous Pieces; The Temple of Gnidus; A Defence of the Spirit of Laws
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LETTER XXI.: To Mr. Cerati. - 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 Mr. Cerati.
I HAVE received, Sir, my illustrious friend being at Paris, the letter for which I am obliged to your friendship. You do not make any mention of your health, and I should be glad to have a better guarantee for it than mere negative proofs. You have inserted one article in your letter, which I have read over several times with a glowing pleasure, and which is that where you say, you feel a strong desire of passing two years in Paris, and that from thence you might probably stretch as far as Bourdeaux. These are very agreeable ideas; and on my part I have formed the project of going some time or other to Pisa, in order to correct my work with you; and where can I meet with a sounder judgment than yours? The war has so perplexed me, that I have been obliged to pass three years and a half on my estate, in the country: thence I returned to Paris. But if the war should seem likely to continue much longer, I will betake me again to my rural retreat, and there shut myself up snugly in my philosophical shell, until the return of peace. It seems indeed to me, that all the princes of Europe are desirous of a peace; if so, they are pacific. No, not they—for there cannot be any pacific princes, but those who are willing to sacrifice something for the sake of peace; as no man can be called generous, who cannot on a proper occasion yield up a part of his interest; and no man can be deemed charitable who does not know when to give. To dispute too rigorously about matters of interest and property, is the spunge of every virtue. You do not make any mention of your eyes; mine are precisely in the same situation, as when you left me. I have at last discovered that a cataract is formed on the good eye, which Mr. Gendron, my Fabius Maximus, tells me is of a benign disposition; and that he will soon open the window-shutter. However, I have desired that the operation may be put off until next spring; for which reason I shall pass the winter here.—To mend the matter, that excellent man, our good friend Gendron, is in very good health, and we frequently say to each other, “Have you lately received any news from M. Cerati?”—He is as gay as ever, and reasons as well.——
Apropos, I had like to have forgotten to inform you, that on my arrival at Paris, I found that city happily delivered from the presence of the greatest fool, coxcomb, and most disagreeable pest of society that I had ever known. His voyage to England, has procured to me four or five months quiet breathing in Paris; and most luckily for me since his return hither, I have seen him but once, and that on the night before my departure for the country, with the most devout and zealous wish of never seeing him more.—You must very well know, that by this sketch, I can mean no other person but the Marquis de Loc-Maria, whose unparalleled faculty of tiring is more than sufficient to torture, not only the human race, but to add to the sufferings of those in hell, in purgatory, and make even the inhabitants of Paradise unhappy.
The work you know, is to make its appearance in five volumes, to which hereafter may be added a sixth by way of supplement; of which whenever it may happen, you shall have early notice. I am quite broken down with fatigue; I now propose enjoying the sweets of rest the remainder of my life. Adieu, dear Sir, I hope you will always preserve a warm place for me in your remembrance: And on my side I shall ever think on you with the tenderest sentiments of friendship, therefore conclude with all possible respect.