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rapidity with which it was completed. The annexed treatise on Oriental poetry is instructive and elegant, interesting from its novelty, and entertaining from its subject and variety, and exhibits the combined powers of taste and erudition. This work was executed by a young man in his twenty-third year; and the motives which induced him to undertake it, had an equal influence on his exertions to
to render it as perfect as possible.
In detailing the circumstances attending the first publication of Mr. Jones, I have carried the narrative to its conclusion, with some anticipation of the order of time. Part of the summer of 1768 he passed at Tunbridge, where his private studies formed his chief occupation, and the winter of that year in London. He availed himself of the opportunity, which his situation there afforded, of beginning to learn music; and, having made choice of the Welch harp, for which he had a national partiality, he received lessons from Evans, as long as he remained in town; but, as he was then ignorant of the theory of
music, the mere practice, without a knowledge of the principles of the art, gave him little delight. I know not that he ever afterwards resumed the practice of the harp, nor is it to be regretted that he employed the time, which must have been dedicated to the attainment of any degree of perfection on this instrument, in more important pursuits.
In the beginning of this year, Mr. Jones formed an acquaintance with Reviczki, afterwards the Imperial minister at Warsaw, and Ambassador at the Court of England, with the title of Count. This learned and accomplished nobleman was deeply captivated with the charms of Oriental literature; and the ruputation of Mr. Jones as an Oriental scholar attracted his advances towards an intimacy, which were eagerly received.
After their separation, they commenced a correspondence, which was cultivated with attention for many years.
Of this correfpondence, much has been lost, and
of the remaining letters are defaced and mutilated. They generally wrote in Latin, occasionally
in French, on literary subjects chiefly, but more particularly on Oriental literature. From that part of the correspondence, which took place in 1768, I select such letters as seem to fall within my plan, and now present a familiar translation of them to my readers.
* Mr. JONES to C. REVICZKI.
How pleasing was that half hour to me, in which we conversed on Persian poetry, our mutual delight. I considered it the commencement of a most agreeable friendfhip and intercourse between us; but my expectations are disappointed by the circumstances in which we are unavoidably placed ; for, my business will confine me to the country longer than I wish; and you, as I am informed, are preparing to return immediately to Germany. I have, therefore, to lament that our intimacy is, as it were, nipped in the bud. I am not, however, without this consolation, that if I cannot personally converse with
you, I can at least correspond with
* Appendix, Naki
you, and thus enjoy the satisfaction arising from a communication of our sentiments and ftudies. In mentioning our friendship, I shall not, I trust, be deemed guilty of an improper freedom. Similarity of studies, fondness for polite literature, congenial pursuits, and conformity of sentiments, are the great bonds of intimacy amongst mankind. Our studies and pursuits are the same, with this difference indeed, that you are already deeply versed in Oriental learning, whilst I am incessantly labouring with all my might to obtain a proficiency in it. But I will not allow you to excel me in partiality for those studies, since nothing can exceed my delight in them. From
I was charmed with the poetry of the Greeks; nothing, I then thought, could be more sublime than the Odes of Pindar, nothing sweeter than Anacreon, nothing more polished or elegant than the golden remains of Sappho, Archilochus, Alcæus, and Simonides : but when I had tasted the poetry of the Arabs and Perfians *
The remainder of this letter is loft: but from the context, and the answer of Reviczki, we may conclude that it contained an elaborate panegyric on Eastern poetry, expressed with all the rapture which novelty inspires, and in terms degrading to the Muses of Greece and Rome.
C. REVICZKI to W. JONES, Esquire. *
London, Feb. 19, 1768.
I am highly gratified by your recollection of me, as well as by the repeated compliments which you pay me,
in ters to Madame de Vaucluse.
I must acknowledge, that I feel not a little proud of them; but still more, that an interview of a quarter of an hour has procured me the ho.
your friendship. I should be most happy to cultivate it, if my plans allowed me to remain longer in this country, or if I could at least see you at Oxford, which I
Appendix, No. 2.