Front Page Titles (by Subject) LETTER XLV.: To the Same at Vienna. - Complete Works, vol. 4 Familiar Letters; Miscellaneous Pieces; The Temple of Gnidus; A Defence of the Spirit of Laws
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LETTER XLV.: To the Same at Vienna. - 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 Vienna.
I HAVE received my dear Count your letter from Vienna, dated December 28. I am much afflicted at the loss of those who had honoured me with their friendship. The Prince Lichtenstein yet remains; whom I entreat you will address with all your powers of eloquence in my behalf. I have received some obliging marks of friendly regard from M. Duval, the Emperor’s librarian. This man does great honour to Lorain his native country* . Be sure also, to say something for me to Mr. Van Sweiten, for I sincerely admire that celebrated Esculapius† . I saw yesterday Mr. and Madame de Senectére. You know that I now no longer see any persons, but the fathers and the mothers in those families where I visit. We spoke a great deal about you. He seems to have a very sanguine friendship for you.
I have commenced an acquaintance with* —— all I can say to you of him is, that he is a magnificent nobleman, and thoroughly satisfied with his own parts; but he is not our Marquis de Saint Germain, nor is he an ambassador from Piedmont† . Many of those diplomatic heads are in too great a hurry to form a judgment of us; they ought first to study us a little longer. I should be very desirous of seeing the narratives relating to our internal affairs, as sent by certain ambassadors to their respective courts. Some indulgence must be made to ministers who are often imbibed with principles of arbitrary power for their not having precise notions upon certain articles, and for dealing in Apophthegms, to make up, as it were, for their deficiency of reason‡ .
Sorbonne is always on the watch from some new attack against me; her bedoctered sons have been now two years at work, without knowing where to begin. If they provoke me to a retort, I believe I shall complete their interment§ . I should however be sorry to be forced to that necessity, because I love peace above all things.
It is now a fortnight since the Abbé Bonardi has sent to me a large packet to put in my letter for you; but as I very well know that it contains nothing but old rhapsodies which you would not read, I resolved on sparing you the postage, by keeping the letter until your return, or that you shall write to me to forward it to you, in case it should contain any thing else besides the news of the streets.
I have read with a great deal of pleasure, all that you write to me upon your own account. The obliging expressions of the empress to you do honour to her discernment, and the effects of the good opinion which she manifested to you, will do her still more honour. We have read here the answer of the king of England to the king of Prussia. It is looked upon (among us) as unanswerable. Now, you who are a doctor of the right of nations, may candidly judge of this affair in your own private opinion.
You have done very right in passing through Luneville. I judge from the satisfaction I had myself in making the like vogage, of that which you must have felt from the gracious reception of you by King Stanislaus. He insisted upon my promise of making another trip into Loraine. What an inexpressible joy if we both should meet there, at your return from Germany. The pressing manner with which the king solicits you in his gracious letter to touch once more at Loraine, should prevail upon you to take that road. And you are now you see, once more brothers in Apollo* , wherefore in that quality I give you an hearty hug.
Paris, March 5, 1753.
[* ]Keeper of the emperor’s private library, this man was the more deserving of esteem, because born in a situation that removed him far from the culture of letters; he improved his mind in all useful knowledge without any instructive assistance, and by the mere dint of his own superior talents.
[† ]It was to him that the booksellers of Vienna owed the permission of of selling L’Esprit des Loix; whose even bringing into Vienna had been hindered by a precedent censure of the Jesuits. But the baron Van Sweiten is not only the Esculapius of that imperial city, in the quality of first phycian to the court; but is also the Apollo that presides over the Austrian muses, as much by his other quality of imperial librarian (which function, by an usage peculiar to this court, is united to that of first physician) as by that of the president of the censure of books, and studies in that country. Notwithstanding the satiric stroke in Voltaire’s dialogues against the two administrations joined in this learned doctor, Vienna is indebted to him for some useful alterations made in the course of literary studies there; and that illustrious poet is indebted to this very gentleman, that his universal history against all expectation was allowed to be in the hands of every body, through the imperial territories.
[* ]The name could not be read, the writing being all effaced.
[† ]He was intimately connected with Marquis de Breille, his brother the commander de Solar, and the Marquis de Saint Germain, all three ambassadors from Sardinia, the first at Vienna, the two others at Paris. They were all three men of the first class in merit.
[‡ ]The Spirit of Laws being mentioned at an ambassador’s dinner, he declared that he looked upon it, as the work of a bad citizen. How, replied a friend of his! Montesquieu a bad citizen? For my part, added he, I look upon The Spirit of Laws to be the work of a good subject; for what greater proof can be given of love and fidelity to our Masters, than to inform and enlighten them.
[§ ]There was just published at that time a small pamphlet, entitled The Tomb of the Sorbonne, under the name of Abbé de Prade.
[* ]King Stanislaus had them both aggregated to his academy of Nancy.