Front Page Titles (by Subject) LETTER XLIX.: To the Same, at Naples. - Complete Works, vol. 4 Familiar Letters; Miscellaneous Pieces; The Temple of Gnidus; A Defence of the Spirit of Laws
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LETTER XLIX.: To the Same, at Naples. - 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 Naples.
I HAVE been in Paris for some time, my dear Count. I begin by informing you, that our book man-midwife, Huart, has just been with me. He has given me very good reasons for having fretted you, and said that he will without loss of time forward your memorial, and an account to you of the sum due to him.
You have a box filled with the flowers of erudition, which you scatter plentifully on all the countries you pass through. It must be very flattering to you to have appeared with honour before the pope; for he is the pope of the learned; and the learned can do nothing better than to chuse for their head, the man who is head of the church. The offers that have been made, would have proved strong temptations to any other person but you, who do not let yourself be easily tempted, not even by the strong appearances of a fortune; although by your manly sentiments you should have already made one. The laudable acts you tell me of Count de Firmian* , are not quite new to me. It is your duty to procure me the honour of his acquaintance; it is also your business to bring it about; and if you do not, it was very wicked in you to tell me so many fine things of him. I do not remember to have known at Rome the Father Contucci† . The only Jesuit whom I knew there was the Father Vitri‡ , who used to dine often at Cardinal Polignac’s. He was a man of much seeming importance; he made antique medals, and articles of faith. I have a right to expect that ere long you will write me a letter dated from the Herculaneum, where methinks I see you scouring through all the subterraneous regions. We receive various accounts from it. The articles you shall communicate, I will look upon as so many informations from a grave author. Do not be apprehensive of disgusting me with details, however plain or minute they may be.
I am entirely of your opinion concerning the Disputes with Malta* . The order nevertheless, is perhaps one of the most respectable institutions in the universe, and that which contributes most to keep up the true spirit of honour and courage throughout the nations where it has diffused itself. Was it not a bold act in you to address to me, a Capuchin Friar? Were you not afraid lest I should read to him the Persian Letter against the Capuchins?
I shall be in the month of August at la Brede. O rus quando ego te Aspiciam; I am no longer fit for this metropolis, I must therefore renounce the leading of a city-life. If you should return by the southern provinces of France, you will find your old laboratory; and in return will give me some new hints about improving my woods, and my meadows. The great extent† of my heaths present a fair opportunity to you of exercising your zeal for agriculture. Moreover, I hope that you have not forgotten your being proprietor of an hundred acres of heath, where you may dig up the earth, plant and fow as much as you please. Adieu, I embrace you with all my heart.
Paris, April 9, 1754.
[* ]Then the imperial minister at Naples, and actually the minister plenipotentiary from the states of Lombardy at Milan; a great admirer of M. de Montesquieu’s work, and a friend to the literary men of every nation.
[† ]Librarian of the Roman College, and keeper of the cabinet of antiquities which father Kirker left to this college.
[‡ ]At Rome this Father had great share in the affairs of the constitution unigenitus. He was a broker in medals; his favourite project was known of making a new saint Augustin to oppose the Augustin of Jansenius. His principles on that head are so extravagant, as to make the paradoxes of Father Hardonin seem innocent reveries in comparison, and the doctrine of Pelagianism must spring up anew to the full extent of its meaning.
[* ]There was a dispute arisen between the Court of Naples, and the order of Malta—on account of some monastical rights, which the King of Sicily pretended to stretch to that Island.
[† ]M. de Montesquien cast the city of Bourdeaux in a suit of law, which obtained for him eleven hundred acres of uncultivated downs, where he set about forming plantations, coppices, and farm-houses, agriculture having become the principal occupation of his leisure hours. He had made a present of one hundred acres of this unreclaimed ground to his friend, that he might freely put in practice all notional projects in agriculture; but that gentleman’s departure from la Brede, and engagements since in other places, have hindered the scheme from being carried into execution, and therefore the allotted ground remained untilled, and in a fallow state.