Front Page Titles (by Subject) LETTER XLIV.: To the Same Abbé de Guasco. - Complete Works, vol. 4 Familiar Letters; Miscellaneous Pieces; The Temple of Gnidus; A Defence of the Spirit of Laws
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LETTER XLIV.: To the Same Abbé de Guasco. - 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 Abbé de Guasco.
YOUR letter, my dear count, informs me, that you are at Paris. I am astonished at my not being there too. The journey which I had been obliged to make to the abbey of Nisor, in company with my brother, and that lasted very near a month, has quite disconcerted all my measures; wherefore, upon calculating, I find, that I cannot be at Paris before the end of this month, or in the beginning of the next; for I am absolutely bent on seeing, and passing some weeks with you before your departure. It was very weak in you, my dear Abbé, that in consequence of your conjecturing I could not arrive so soon, you did not take possession of my apartment below stairs. I send orders to Mrs. Betty to receive you there, although she needs not any on that article. And I entreat that without farther ceremony, you will encamp yourself there. You think of going to Vienna; where, alas, within the course of two and twenty years since I have been there; I am inclined to believe I have lost all my acquaintance.
Prince Eugene was alive when I was there, and that great man made me to enjoy many happy hours with him* . The Counts de Kinski, the Prince of Lichtenstein, the Marquis de Prié, the Count de Harak and all his family, which I had the honour of seeing at Naples, when he was Viceroy there, favoured me likewise with many marks of their kindness: all the rest are dead, and I believe I shall soon follow them. However, if you can make those who are alive remember me, you will do me a great pleasure. You are going to figure upon a new theatre, where I am sure you will acquit yourself as well as you have done every where else. The Germans are a good people, but somewhat suspicious. Be upon your guard, for they are diffident of the Italians, whom they look upon as a race of mortals too subtle for them; but they know likewise that the Italians are not useless to their interest, and therefore are too prudent to do without them.
You were much in the wrong, not to have come by la Brede, as you returned from Italy. I may now fafely say, that it is one of the most agreeable places in France, its castle* excepted. So easily sports nature there, as in her Robe de Chamber, and as at her uprising from the flowery couch of gentle slumber. I have received from England an answer about the wine you made me send to Lord Elibank. He gives a most favourable account of it. I have received a commission for fifteen pipes more; which will enable me to finish my rustic house. The success of my work in that country, contributes I perceive, not a little to the success of my wine. My son will not fail to execute that commission. As for a certain person in question, he multiplies his injuries by the reciting acknowledgment he makes. He becomes more exasperated every day, and I become more calm in regard to him. He is for ever dead to me.
The Dean, who is now in my chamber, sends you a thousand compliments, and you are one of the canons in this world whom he honours the most. He, I, my wife, and children, esteem and love you, as if one of our family. I shall be highly pleased to begin an acquaintance with the Count de Sartiranne* . When at Paris, it must be your business to give a favourable impression of me. I pray you will present my most affectionate compliments, to such of my friends as you shall see. But if you go to Montigni, it is there you must pour out the warmest effusions of my heart. You gentlemen of Italy, being remarkable for the pathetic; display, on this occasion, all the power in that walk with which nature has blest you. Make the utmost exertion of it to the Dutchess of Aiguillon, and Madam du pre de St. Maure; convince the latter of my most sincere attachment to her† . I am of Lord Elibank’s opinion as to the truth of the picture which you made of her.
I must consult you upon an affair, and for this very good reason, that I have always found your advice prove advantageous to me. The ecclesiastical news-writer, has attributed to me in his paper, dated the fourth of June, a pamphlet which I have seen but very lately, and is called A Sequel of the defence of the Spirit of Laws, composed by a protestant, an able writer, and a man who has a great deal of wit* . The ecclesiastical scribbler hath ascribed it to me with the sinister view of abusing me in the most atrocious terms. I have not thought proper to make any reply, 1st, through contempt; 2. because all those who are acquainted with the present train of literary affairs, know that I am not the author; so that the whole infamy of this charge recoils upon the calumniating caitiff. I do not know what may be the fashionable mode of thinking now in Paris, or whether, in case that this hackney-publication of scandal may have made the least impression upon any honest minds, to think me author of a composition, which certainly no Roman Catholic could write; would it be right for me, I say, to give a short answer, in a page or two, cum gran salis. If you should not deem it absolutely necessary, I renounce the very idea, as there is nothing I hate more than to make myself talked of. I should be glad to know if there be any relativeness between that business, and the Sorbonne affair. Sequestered as I am now in the country, I am ignorant of most things, and pleased with my ignorance. All this Sir, is between you and me. Let there not be any escape from you of my having written to you on the subject; because I have adopted it as a principle not to be desirous of re-entering the lists with contemptible adversaries. As I have found myself right for doing what you had desired me to do, when you so eagerly pressed me to write my defence; I shall undertake nothing about this matter, but in consequence of your answer.
Huart wants to give a new edition of the Persian Letters, but there are some exceptionable Juvenilia* , that I would fain retouch first; although there is nothing so just, as that a Turk should see things, think, and speak, as a Turk, not as a Christian: and to this truth a great many readers of the Persian Letters do not make a proper attention.
I perceive that poor Clement the Fifth will fall a second time into oblivion, and that you are going to abandon the affairs of Philip le Bel, in order to take up with those of the present century. The history of my country and the republic of letters will be great losers, but the political world will gain considerably by such a manœuvre. Do not fail writing to me from Vienna: and do not forget to manage a continuation of your brother’s friendship to me. He is one of those military characters† , which I look upon as predestined for bold enterprizes, and heroic actions. Farewell my dear Abbé, I embrace you with all my heart.
La Brede, October 4, 1752.
[* ]In a short tract on estimation by M. de Montesquieu, that author in speaking of Prince Eugene, said, “that the public was no more jealous of that Prince’s great wealth, than they are of that which shines in the Temple of the Gods.” The Prince was so pleased with this adulatory expression, that he honoured M. de Montesquieu with a most distinguished reception on his arrival at Vienna, and admitted him into a most social intimacy during his stay there.
[* ]The singularity of this castle deserves a short note. It is an hexagonal edifice with a drawbridge, surrounded with deep double trenches, through which flows a living stream. The trenches are defended, with an edging of freestone. It was built in the reign of Charles the Seventh, to serve as a stronghold in the Old Castle-form. It was then in the possession of Messieurs de Claude, whose last heiress was married to one of the ancestors of M. de Montesquieu. The interior parts of this castle are in effect not very pleasing, from the nature of its construction; but M. de Montesquieu has greatly ornamented the exterior parts, and all the approaches towards this antique mansion, which he has enriched with plantations of his own forming.
[* ]Embassador from Sardinia to the court of Versailles, a man of much wit, and a greater dealer in truth than is desired in modish assemblies.
[† ]He used to say of her, that she was equally qualified to make a mistress, a wife, or a friend.
[* ]The author of this piece was M. de la Beaumelle.
[* ]He told some friends, that if he were actually to publish these Letters, he would omit some, in which the fire of youth had hurried him too far; that being obliged by his father to pass all the day upon the code of law, with which he was wont to be so fatigued at night, that by way of relaxing amusement he would set about composing a Persian letter, which flowed from his pen, without any intensity of meditation, or force of study.
[† ]He was then a major general in the Austrian service: had been chosen in the last war to act as a quarter master general for the Bohemian Army: through which station he shared in the victory of Planian. The reputation which he acquired in the memorable defence of Dresden, and of Schweidnitz, proves that M. de Montesquieu was well skilled in men. He died of an apoplectic fit at Konigsberg, where he was detained prisoner of war, then in the rank of general in chief of the infantry, and knight of the grand cross of the military order of Maria Theresa. The Empress queen honoured him with marks of the sincerest regret. The loss of this brave general to whom even the enemies paid the greatest respect during his captivity, and at his death; which might have perhaps been superseded, if the honourable testimonies which the king of Prussia gave of his capacity after the siege of Schweidnitz had been accompanied with the grace of letting him go to the baths for his recovery, according to a convention made, but verbally indeed, between him and the hostile general, upon surrendering the place.