Front Page Titles (by Subject) LETTER XLIII.: 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 XLIII.: 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.
THRICE welcome my dear Count, I regret very much my not having been at Paris to receive you. I am told that my house-keeper, Mrs. Betty, took you for a ghost, and screamed out so outrageously on seeing you, that all the neighbours were frighted from their sleep. I thank you for the kind manner in which you have received the person I protect. I shall be at Paris in the month of September. If you shall be returned from your residence before my arrival there, I hope you will honour my apartment with the welcome inmateship of your breviary. But I think that I shall be at Paris before you. You are indeed an extraordinary man; for scarcely had you drunk of the waters drawn from the cisterns of Tournay, but you have been sent as a deputy from that very Tournay. Such an event has never happened to any canon before.
I must tell you that the theological society of Sorbonne, but little satisfied with the applause which they have received on the account of their deputies, have nominated others to re-examine the affair* . I am very easy upon that article; they can but repeat what the ecclesiastical news-scribbler hath already advanced; and I will tell to them what I have already declared to him; to wit, that their cause is not rendered a whit the stronger by the aid of him, nor his by the assistance of them. Reason must ultimately decide the matter; my book is a book of politics, and not a book of divinity; and the ill-grounded objections spring from their own heads, but not from my work.
As for Voltaire, he has too much wit to understand me. He reads no books but those he writes, and then he approves or censures his own progeny, as the whim takes him. I thank you for father Gerdil’s* criticism, it is the performance of a man who really deserves to understand, and afterwards to criticize my work. I should be very glad, my dear friend, to see you again at Paris; then you would talk to me about all Europe, and I should discourse with you about my rural villa at la Brede, as well as about my castle that is now made fitting to receive for a guest, the personage who has taken a philosophical survey of almost every country.
Madame de Montesquieu, the dean of St. Surin, and myself, are actually at Baron, a house situated between two seas, and which you have not seen. My son is at Clerac, which I have ceded to him for his domaine, and added Montesquieu. In a few days I propose going to Nisor, where the abbey of my brother is; we shall pass through Toulouse, where I intend paying my respects to Clemence Isaure† , whose ladyship you so very well know. If you shall win the academic prize there, let me know it. I will take up your medal en passant, (if you gain one) seeing that you cannot any longer, have the resource of intendants. You should have a man solely employed in collecting the medals you so frequently win. If agreeable to you, I propose, when at Toulouse, paying a visit to Madame Montegu* , your inspiring muse; but upon this condition, that I shall not like you be obliged to converse with her in poetical language.
I have to tell you for news, that the jurats are now filling up all the excavations which they had made before the academy. If the Dutch had defended Bergen-op-zoom, as well as our intendant has defended† his trenches, we should not have had a peace as yet. It is a terrible thing to have a litigable suit with an intendant. But in such a case it is a very agreeable thing to get the better of an intendant. If you have any manner of connection or acquaintance with M. de Larrey at the Hague, speak to him of the warm friendship we formerly had for each other. I am highly pleased to hear of the credit and estimation, in which he is held at the Stadt-holder’s court. He merits every degree of confidence with which he may be honoured. I embrace you, my dear friend, with all my heart.
From Raymond in Gascony, August 8, 1752.
[* ]The doctors of Sorbonne, after having detained for a long time, The Spirit of Laws, thought proper to suspend their censure.
[* ]A Barnabite friar.
[† ]A lady who founded the floral games in the fourteenth century. Her statue is preserved with honour at the town-house, and crowned annually with flowers.
[* ]Wife to a treasurer of France who cultivated poetry.
[† ]M. de Tourni, intendant of the province of Guienne, to whom Bourdeaux was indebted for its most brilliant decorations, in order to complete a plan of buildings according to his own scheme, and in a straight line, had screened the academy’s elegant Hotel, which the members opposed, and gained their cause against the intendant, in the court of justice, which they applied to.