Front Page Titles (by Subject) LETTER XXXVI.: To Abbé Venuti. - Complete Works, vol. 4 Familiar Letters; Miscellaneous Pieces; The Temple of Gnidus; A Defence of the Spirit of Laws
Return to Title Page for Complete Works, vol. 4 Familiar Letters; Miscellaneous Pieces; The Temple of Gnidus; A Defence of the Spirit of Laws
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
Also in the Library:
LETTER XXXVI.: To Abbé Venuti. - 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.
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
To Abbé Venuti.
I HAVE not as yet thanked you my dear Abbé, for the distinguished place you have allotted to me in your triumph* . You are Petrarch, and I nothing of consequence. Mr. Tercier† has written to me to thank you in his name for the copy which I had sent to him; and to assure you that M. Puysieux had received his with the greatest satisfaction‡ . As there have appeared here as yet but very few copies, I shall not be able for some time to let you know the success of the work among us. I have heard it well spoken of, and it seems to me to be of the true poetic turn.
I cannot accustom myself dear Abbé to think you are no longer at Bourdeaux. You have left a number of friends there, that sincerely regret your separation from them; and I am one of those who feel the most upon that occasion. Write to me sometimes. I shall execute your commands in regard to Stuart, and the collection of dissertations. You act very candidly with him; and I think he ought to be highly pleased with your generosity. I shall see Mr. Curne. Abbé le Beuf (or ox) shall to be spoken to, and if he be not a Beuf (or ox)∥ he must perceive that there is but very little to be corrected in your dissertation.
The President Barbot* should find for you the dissertation that is lost like a needle in the bundle of hay, or learned lumber with which his vast and chaostic cabinet is crammed. It was very ridiculous to have been guilty of any incivility to Madame de Pontac, by boasting so much an increase of the rent which we shall not touch; and while too we have so badly managed the affairs of the academy† . Send to me what you propose adding to the dissertations which I have. Farewell my dear Abbé, I salute and embrace you with all my heart.
Paris, October 20, 1750.
[* ]Il trionfo literario della Francia. The literary triumph of France, where in the article of M. de Montesquieu it is said, “if a soul so great as his could have been found in the senate of Rome, her liberty would still survive to the shame of tyrants. His name will last longer than the Tarpeian Rock, and his glory will never fade while Themis delivers her oracles on the judicial benches of France; or that the Gods shall preserve to mortals the foremost of their gifts, that of thinking.”
[† ]A very learned Academician, and one of the first clerks in the office of foreign affairs in Paris. He was well known for his various mortifications, because in quality of royal censor he had given his approbation for printing the book, entitled L’Esprit. He died in the year 1762.
[‡ ]The Poem of Abbé Venuti, is dedicated to M. de Puysieux, who was then the minister of foreign affairs.
[∥ ]An idle punning on the name of Beuf, as already taken notice of; but these familiar letters were not designed by their author for the press.
[* ]He was perpetual secretary to the academy of Bourdeaux, a man of wit, very amiable, and possessed of extensive literature. But he was of a wavering disposition when any thing was to be written or published; which is the reason that the memoirs of this academy are so much in arrears, and that we are deprived of many masterly performances written by himself, and that are buried.
[† ]This alludes to some literary difficulties, because the fore-mentioned secretary of the academy, would never take the trouble of arranging the memoirs in proper order, for the better presenting of them to the publick’s eye.