Front Page Titles (by Subject) LETTER XLVI.: To the same Abbé de Guasco 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 XLVI.: To the same Abbé de Guasco 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 Abbé de Guasco at Vienna.
I FEEL the cogency of your reasons, my dear Count, for not engaging yourself too hastily, but upon mature deliberation in this affair; yet I fancy that the contrary reasons for detaining you may preponderate, and that your patriotic spirit will yield to them. I now observe, and with pleasure, that what I had heard of the great care taken in the education of the archdukes, is incontrovertibly true. It is not enough to place near their persons merely learned men; no, they ought to be men of more elevated views, and who have a thorough knowledge of the world, and I believe, without any design of alarming your modesty, that through the energy of such requisites, nobody has a stronger claim to preference than you. The department of the study of history is one of the most important for a prince. But then he must be taught to consider it as a philosopher. It is very difficult for one of the regulars, who are men of a pedantic cast, and from their religious situation in life habituated in prejudices, to unfold it in this point of light, and especially where an occasion presents itself of debating upon times, both critical and interesting for the empire. If the court can take the thorn out of the department that is proposed to you, I am too great a friend to the interest of mankind not to advise you to bound over any difficulties that may seem to thwart your proceeding in this affair. With certain precautions the climate of Vienna may be rendered not more unfriendly to your eyes, than was that of Flanders, unless you prefer beer to tokay wine. Notwithstanding the established ceremonial of court etiquettes* , I am convinced there is too much good sense in the court of Vienna to lose so valuable a man, for the sake of adhering to such unimportant trifles: and in this article I found an implicit reliance in the superior views of Maria Theresa. You may observe that I do not glance in the least to the brilliant fortune you may make there, because I know that it is not the object that concerns you most. I beg you will not conceal your resolution from me, nor the decision of the court, for whose sake I am as much interested as for yours.
If you continue in a free state, I advise you to persevere in prosecuting the enterprize you mentioned to me. A canon ought to be better qualified than a profane writer for treating on The Spirit of Ecclesiastical Laws. Your plan is very excellent, yet I think repose preferable to it; and therefore assign this career of glory to your indefatigable zeal. Adieu.
[* ]The custom of the court of Vienna is not to appoint a preceptor in chief for the princes of the blood, but only respective preceptors for each particular department in which the royal pupils are to be instructed.