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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

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5504. MONTESQUIEU (Baron), Author.—[further continued].
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5504. MONTESQUIEU (Baron), Author.—[further continued].

I had, with the world,
deemed Montesquieu's work of much merit;
but saw in it, with every thinking man, so much
of paradox, of false principle and misapplied
fact, as to render its value equivocal on the
whole. Williams and others had nibbled only
at its errors. A radical correction of them,
therefore, was a great desideratum. This want
is now supplied, and with a depth of thought,
precision of idea, of language and of logic,
which will force conviction into every mind.
I declare to you, in the spirit of truth and sincerity,
that I consider it the most precious gift
the present age has received. But what would
it have been, had the author, or would the author,
take up the whole scheme of Montesquieu's
work, and following the correct analysis he has
here developed, fill up all its parts according
to his sound views of them. Montesquieu's
celebrity would be but a small portion of that
which would immortalize the author.—
To M. Destutt Tracy. Washington ed. v, 566. Ford ed., ix, 305.
(M. 1811)