Front Page Titles (by Subject) LETTER LXV.: An article taken from a Letter of Baron Secondat de Montesquieu, to the Abbé Count 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 LXV.: An article taken from a Letter of Baron Secondat de Montesquieu, to the Abbé Count 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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An article taken from a Letter of Baron Secondat de Montesquieu, to the Abbé Count de Guasco.
I COULD not read your letter from Florence dated the 8th of February, without a mixed sense of the highest pleasure, and of the warmest gratitude. I have long known by reputation, Marquis Nicolini, and the nobly born Cerati. I have heard my father speak of them an hundred times, in the most affectionate terms, and which painted in the most lively manner, that mutual sympathy which glowed between their souls and his. I chearfully accept of your offer* , and theirs; they are too honourable to the memory of my father, not to accede to them with all due respect, and tenderness of gratitude.
Some academicians I know, will contribute with pleasure towards the expence. But we can lay no very great stress upon such assistance. I even cannot take upon me to say how far their generosity might stretch on this occasion. I do not know whether we Frenchmen may be chargeable with too much vanity, if we think that our sculptors are equally excellent with those of Italy. A bargain however, was actually made with M. le Moine, who is a most generous and disinterested man.
The French academy, having desired to have a portrait† of my father, and the most famous painters of Paris, having refused to undertake the task, on account of the obvious difficulty against succeeding, from the assistance only of a medal that was struck off by some English artists. Notwithstanding this impediment, Mr. le Moine, has most obligingly offered his service, to assist a young painter with the help of a large medallion, which he has been so kind as to make a very strong resemblance of the small medal. Now, M. le Moine from having imprinted on his mind the figure of my father, will be better enabled than any other artist, to execute a bust of him in marble. He has moreover preserved the model he has made, which he has shewn to several persons who knew my father intimately, and who have pointed out to him whatever faults were remaining in his former efforts, which certainly is another reason for his succeeding in a work of consequence.
Bourdeaux, March 25, 1765.
[* ]This friendly gentleman had written to him that Mr. Cerati, and Abbé Nicolini, although they were not members of the Academy of Bourdeaux, were desirous of joining in the offer which had already been made by him to contribute towards the expence of erecting a marble statue, to the memory of M. de Montesquieu, and which should be executed by the ablest sculptors in Italy, to be a suitable ornament for the assembly room. This offer was made, in order to facilitate a resolution of the academy to erect such a monument, but was retarded through deficiency of cash in their coffer.
[† ]M. de Montesquieu was never desirous of having himself painted, and it was not without much difficulty that he was prevailed on by the entreaties of Abbé de Guasco, when at Bourdeaux with him, to let a young Italian painter, who was then passing through that city from Spain, to execute a picture of him, which that gentleman now has: it bears a tolerable resemblance to, and is the only one existing, that was taken from nature. He has been often heard to say, that the young artist declared to him, he had never painted any person, whose physiognomy changed so much from one moment to another, or who had so little patience in accommodating his countenance.