Front Page Titles (by Subject) LETTER XXV.: 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 XXV.: 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 ASK pardon for having amused you with false hopes of my return. Particular business by which I am detained in Paris, has hindered me from departing hence as soon as I had intended, I am now ever on the wing here, like yourself, but shall nevertheless be at Bourdeaux in the beginning of March. In the mean time I must pray you to present compliments for me, and make my court to the most amiable Countess de Pontac, at whose mansion I believe you reside at present, and from which seat of inchantment, I hope, you will deign to come to Bourdeaux, where we will dispute upon politics, on divinity, and I will send my book to M. le Nain. There can be no harm in sending a romance to a counsellor of state* . But for heads like yours, there must be provided a more solid entertainment, such as is to be found in the thoughts of a Pascal, although the eighteen or twenty ladies placed to your account in Languedoc and Provence (as I have been informed by Prince Wurtemburg) must have greatly changed, and rendered you less incredulous, concerning adventures of gallantry. Your case will not be unlike to that of the hermit, whose damnation the devil effectuated by shewing him a little shoe. I always perceived in you a tendency for elegant desires, and am sure that in your religious worship, you often felt a mutinous rebel in your heart. But let that pass, you must be studious to divest yourself at Bourdeaux. I will recommend you to the care of my daughter-in-law for that purpose.
I saw Mr. de Boze the other day, and had a long conversation with him about you. When next you shall make your appearance in this part of the world, you will be admitted a member of the academy, through the great gate (that is in a distinguished manner.) Yet, nevertheless my advice to you, is to write another dissertation upon the subject that is proposed for the premium of next year, and as this not only is connected with the one you have already treated† , but that you are also a perfect master of the series of the several preceding reigns, you will meet with far less difficulties in your present researches. If the memoirs which I had composed on the history of Lewis XI. had not been burnt* , I could have supplied you with some materials for this subject.
If you are so lucky as to be adjudged a third premium, you then will not want the recommendatory assistance of any person, and your reception will in consequence be the more glorious. You will have as much leisure time as you please at Clerac and la Brede, where you will not be distracted by either voyages or ladies. You will be quite at home in writing this work, therefore you can execute it with much more ease to yourself, than any other person can. Adieu, I present you with a thousand embraces.
Paris, October 19, 1747.
[* ]The temple of Gnidus, which he had secretly caused to be requested of him.
[† ]The subject proposed was, The state of letters in France, under the reign of Lewis the Eleventh. The advice of Mr. de Montesquieu having been followed, his correspondent obtained a third premium from the academy. The merit of this dissertation is unknown, because it is not to be found in the edition of that author’s dissertations printed at Tournay.
[* ]As fast as he composed it he threw it into the fire, the several compiled memoirs which he had formed, for to assist him in the progress of this work. But his secretary made a more cruel sacrifice to the flames. Having misunderstood M. de Montesquieu’s directions to throw into the fire his foul copy of the history of Lewis the Eleventh; of which he had just finished a comparative lecture with that of the fair copy, he blunderingly threw the latter into the fire. And the author next morning, at sight of the foul copy on his table, threw it into the fire, from a notion that his secretary had forgotten to burn it: and by this unlucky accident we are deprived of the history of one of the most interesting reigns on the annals of the French monarchy, and written too by the pen that was the most capable of displaying it. This disaster did not happen in the last malady of M. de Montesquieu, as M. Freron has advanced in his periodical publications; but in the year 1739, or 1740, because M. de Montesquieu related this very lamentable event to one of his friends, on the occasion of an history of Lewis the Eleventh, published by M. du Clos, and which did not appear till some time after, in the year 1740.