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Sir William Jones to J. Burnett, Lord Mont


Sept. 24, 1738.

The questions concerning India, which


do me the honour to think me capable of answering, require a longer answer than the variety of my present occupations allow me to write. Suffer me therefore, to inclose a discourse not yet published, which may give you some fatisfaction on Indian literature, and to refer you to the first volume of the transactions of our society, which will, I hope, be sent next season to Europe. As my principal object is the jurisprudence, I have not yet examined the philosophy of the Brahmans; but I have seen enough of it to be convinced, that thự doctrines of the Vidanti school arę Platonic,

Sir William Jones to J. Skore, Esq.

Jan. 26, 1789.

Let me trouble you, as you see Colonel Kyd oftener than I do, to give him Sir

George Young's botanical letter, which I an-
nex. I have requested Colonel Martin to
send Sir George all the feeds which he can
collect, and will co-operate (as far as my oc-
cupations will allow) in the plan of transfer-
ring to the West Indies, the fpicy forests of
Asia: but I have little time at command, and,
holding every engagement sacred, I must de-
vote my leisure to the system of Asiatic juris-
prudence, which I will see established before
I fee Europe. It will properly follow your
wise and humane design of giving security to
of the natives. When


have had a copy taken of the Persian Hermit*, I shall be glad to borrow it, that my munshi may transcribe it.

Could you not find some leisure hour to explain an episode of

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* I explained to Serajéllak, the person mentioned by Şir William Jones, Parnel's Hermit, and he composed a Persian poem on the same subject. As it has been frequently transcribed, it might perhaps, without this explanation, at some future time be considered the original

of Parnel's poem.

Homer to Serajélhak, that he might,try his hand with it?

Sir Willian Jones to J. Shore, Esq.


Fleming* ftill keeps me a prisoner, and forbids my reading aloud, which used to be my

chief amusement in the evening. I trust

you will soon be well, and that we shall ere long meet. If the man you mention be guilty, I hope he will be punished; I hate favouritism; and if I had the dominions of Chingis Khan, I would not have one favourite.



The poem of Washi has greatly delighted me; it almost equals Metastasio's on a similar subject, and far surpasses other Wafuktst which I have seen ; yet the beautiful fimplicity of the old Arabs, in their short elegies, appears unrivalled by any thing in Persian. I

* His physician.

+ Ilusukt, the appellation of an amatory elegy, descriptive of the various sensations and passions excited

by love.

transcribe one of them which I have just read in the Hamafa* :

Cease, fruitless tears! afficted bosom, rest!
My tears obey, but not my wounded breast.
Ah, no! this heart, despairing and forlorn,
Till time itself shall end, must bleed and mourn.

Sir William Jones to Mr. Justice Hyde.

June 5, 1789. Though I do not wish to give you the pain of sympathizing (as I know you will fympathize) with me in my present distress, yet as you possibly know it, and as you might think me unusually dejected when we meet, I cannot forbear writing to you ; especially as I feel a kind of relief in venting my sorrow to an approved friend. One or two English papers mention the death of Lady Jones's father, in such a manner, as to leave me no hope of its being a mistake; this I have known since the 15th of May, but as it may possibly be untrue, I could not in any degree prepare her for the dreadful intelligence.

I have therefore taken effectual mea

The original is omitted.

sures to keep it fecret from her, but it is a se-
cret which cannot long be kept; and the bare
idea of the pang, which she too foon must feel,
and the probable effects of that pang on her
delicate constitution, now particularly ener-
vated by the hot season, give me a degree of
anguish, which I never before felt. Mr. Shore
has kindly promised to take care, that all her
letters by the Indiamen thall be sent in a seal-
ed packet to me, that I may select for her
first perufal the letter from her wisest friend,
the dowager Lady Spencer, whose hand-writ-
ing I cannot mistake ; I wish I could suppress
them all, but that is impossible. The pain of
losing our parents, time, and time only, will
mitigate; but my dread is, that the first shock
will have some terrible effect on her health,
and this fear haunts me night and day. That

may contain the most comfortable

you on Wednesday in perfect health, is the hearty wish of,

My dear Sir,
Your faithful and affectionate


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your letters
news, and that I

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