TO A FRIEND,
On the Council's Decrees of 30 August 1777,
regarding the book trade and printing.
I have, Sir, received the Decrees of the Council on
the book trade which you sent to me, and I have read them
with the eagerness which I could not but feel, in view of
how satisfied you seemed to be with them. You are delighted
by this new legislation; you regard it as a bulwark that
has been raised against the greed of the booksellers of
Paris, because of the useful spirit of competition which
it establishes between these and the provincial booksellers;
and you expect that I will share your approval for it. Alas,
I must on the contrary confess that in your support for
it I think there is more enthusiasm that reflection...