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Mr. JONES to the Bishop of St, ASAPH. MY LORD,
November 23, 1780. Had I not been prevented by particular business from writing to your lordship on Tuesday evening and yesterday, I would have informed you before, that we had done ourselves the honour (and a very great one we shall ever esteem it) of electing your lordship a member of our club *. The election was of course unanimous, and it was carried with the fincere approbation and eagerness of all present. I am sorry to add, that Lord Camden and the Bishop of Chester were rejected. When Bishops and Chancellors honour us with offering to dine with us at a tavern, it seems very extraordinary that we should ever reject such an offer; but
* Generally known by the name of the Turk’s-Head Club, held in Gerrard Street, Soho. The establishment of this club was first proposed by Sir Joshua Reynolds to Burke and Johnson, and the original members of it were the friends of these three. The number of members was gradually increased to forty, comprehending men of the most distinguished characters, and eminent for their learning, talents, and abilities.
there is no reasoning on the caprice of men. Of our club I will only say, that there is no branch of human knowledge, on which some of our members are not capable of giving information, and I trust that as the honour will be ours, so your lordship will receive some pleasure from the company once a fortnight, of some of our first writers and critics, as well as our most virtuous senators and accomplished men. I think myself highly honoured in having been a member of this fociety near ten years, and chiefly in having contributed to add such names to the number of our friends as those of your lordship and lord Althorp. I spoke yesterday in Westminster-Hall for two hours and a half, on a knotty point of law, and this morning for above an hour, on a very interesting public question; to-morrow I must argue a great cause, and am therefore obliged to conclude with assuring
Your lordship, that I am,
The Bishop of St. ASAPH to Mr.
You was prevented by Sir Joshua Reynolds in your kind intentions of giving me the earliest notice of the honour you have done me. I believe Mr. Fox will allow me to say, that the honour of being elected into the Turk's-Head Club is not inferior to that of being the representative of Westminster or Surry. The electors are certainly more disinterested, and I should say they were much better judges of merit, if they had not rejected Lord Camden and chosen me. I flatter myself with the hopes of great pleasure and improvement in such a society as you describe, which indeed is the only club of which I ever wished myself a member.
Though I am much flattered with hearing from
you, I was delighted with the cause of your delaying to write. Your talents have found means, by their own weight, to open
the way to public notice and employment, which could not long be shut against them. Your pleadings for the nephew against the daughter promise something very curious in the particulars of the case, which seems to call for great abilities to defend it.
I would not neglect the first opportunity of answering your very obliging letter, though it being early post day, I am forced to write in a greater hurry than I could wish.
I am, &c.
J. ST. A. After an interval of six years, we find Mr. Jones retracing his favourite haunts with the Arabian muses. He devoted the leisure hours of the winter of 1780-1 to complete his translation of seven ancient
of the highest repute in Arabia*. Literature, po
* At the beginning of the seventh century, the Arabic language was brought to a high degree of perfection, by a sort of poetical academy, that used to assemble at stated times in a place called Ocadh, where every poer produced his best composition, and was sure to meet with the applause that it deserved: the most excellent of these poems were transcribed in characters of gold upon
litics, professional studies and practice, all had a share of his attention; but the principal object of his hopes and ambition was the vacant seat on the bench in India, to which he looked forward with increasing anxiety, The marriage of Lord Althorp with Miss Bingham, daughter of Lord Lucan, was too interesting an event to pass unnoticed by Mr.
Egyptian paper, and hung up in the Temple of Mecca, whence they were named Mozahebat, or golden, and Moallakat, or suspended : the poems of this sort were called Casseidas or Eclogues, seven of which are preserved in our libraries, and are considered as the finest that were written before the time of Mohammed. Essay on the Poetry of the Eastern nations.
Works, vol. x. p. 511. It may be satisfactory to the reader who does not possess the works of Sir Wm. Jones, to read his metrical imitation of a passage in the 4th Eclogue.
But ah! thou know'st not in what youthful play,