Front Page Titles (by Subject) LETTER XLII.: To the Same, at Bourdeaux. - Complete Works, vol. 4 Familiar Letters; Miscellaneous Pieces; The Temple of Gnidus; A Defence of the Spirit of Laws
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LETTER XLII.: To the Same, at Bourdeaux. - 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, at Bourdeaux.
MY dear Count, I own that you are admirable for bringing about are-union of three friends, who have not seen each other for several years, being separated by the sea; but among whom you have now opened a new commercial intercourse. Mr. Michel* and I did not absolutely lose sight of each other. But M. d’Ayrolles, whom I had the honour of knowing at Brussels, had entirely forgotten me.
I have no more of last year’s wine, but I will preserve an hogshead of this year’s vintage for each of you. I have already notified to you, that I proposed being at Paris in the month of September, and as you are to be there at the same time, I shall bring with me the merchant’s answer to Abbé de la Porte. The person in question is not a mere nominal merchant, as you may imagine, but one in reality, and a young man of this city who is author of that performance.
You must know, my dear Abbé, that I have received very large commissions from England, for the wine of this year* , and I am in hopes that our province will soon recover from its late misfortunes. I pity the poor Flemings, who have nothing now to eat but oysters, and without butter.
I am induced to think that the system is altered in regard to the barrier places, and that England is at last convinced they could serve to no other purpose but to determine the Dutch to continue in peace; while other powers shall be in war. The English think also that the Low Countries are rendered stronger by the addition of twelve hundred thousand florins† than they should be, while garrisoned only by the Dutch troops, who defend them so badly. Moreover, the queen of Hungary is now persuaded that the giving her a peace in Flanders, was done with no other intent but to enable the enemy to transfer the seat of war to another place. I should not be at all surprized, if on the first occasion, the system of the ballance of power, and of certain political alliances in Europe were to undergo a total change; for which many reasons can be assigned; and we will talk them all over at our case in the months of September and October. I have received a very fine letter from Abbé Venuti; who, after a continued silence of two years without reason, has now broke it with as little.
La Brede, June 27, 1752.
[* ]Then commissary from England for the barrier-negociation at Brussels; and actually the minister plenipotentiary at Berlin: a man of ability, and of a very amiable character. Mr. d’Ayrolles was minister from the same court at Brussels.
[* ]The reader is not to be surprized at our author’s making so frequent mention of wine, because in that article consisted the principal part of his yearly income.
[† ]A subsidy which the court of Vienna had contracted with the Dutch for the garrisons of the barrier-towns.