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am engaged in superintending a complete fystem of Indian laws; but the work is vast, difficult, and delicate; it occupies all my leisure, and makes me the worst of correspondents. I trust, however, that long letters are not necessary to convince
Sir William Jones to Mrs. Sloper*.
Crishna-nagur, O27. 13, 1790.
I deserve no thanks for the attentions
which it is both my duty and my delight to shew our beloved Anna; but you deserve, and I beg you to accept my warmest thanks for
your entertaining letter, for your frequent kind remembrance of
and your acceptable present of a snuff-box in the most elegant taste. All that you write concerning my friends, is highly interesting to me; and all pleasing, except the contents of
last most agreeable part of your letter is the hope which you express, that the Bath waters would
page; but the
Sister to Lady Jones, and married to William Charles Sloper, Esq.
restore you to health : and it gives me infinite pleasure to know, that your hope has been realized. Anna will give you a full account of herself, and will mention some of the many reasons, that make me a bad correspondent. I thank
for Erskine's speech, but I was myself an advocate so long, that I never mind what advocates say, but what they prove; and I can only examine proofs in causes brought before me.
would receive with your
usual good-nature my faucy jests about your hand-writing, but hope you will write to me, as you write to Anna, for you know, the more any character resembles pot-hooks, &c. the better I can read it. My love to Amelia, and to all whom you love, which would give them a claim, if they had no other, to the affection of,
My dear Madam,
Sir W. Jones to Sir J. Macpherson, Bart.
Crishna-nagur, O27. 15, 1790. I give you hearty thanks for your postscript, which (as you enjoin secrecy) I will only allude to ambiguously, left this letter should fall into other hands than assured, that what I am going to say does not proceed from an imperfect sense of your kindness, but really I want no addition to my fortune, which is enough for me; and if the whole legislature of Britain were to offer me a different station from that which I now fill, should most gratefully and respectfully decline it. The character of an ambitious judge is, in my opinion, very dangerous to public justice; and if I were a fole legislator, it should be enacted that every judge, as well as every bishop, should remain for life in the place which he first accepted. This is not the language of a cynic, but of a man, who loves his friends, his country, and mankind; who knows the short duration of human life, recollects that he has lived four-and-forty years, and has
learned to be contented. Of public affairs you will receive better intelligence, than I am able to give you.
My private life is similar to that which
remember: seven hours a day on an average are occupied by my duties as a magistrate, and one hour to the new Indian digest, for one hour in the evening I read aloud to Lady Jones. We are now travelling to the sources of the Nile with Mr. Bruce, whose work is very interesting and important. The second volume of the Asiatic Tranfactions is printed, and the third ready for the press. I jabber Sanscrit every day with the pundits, and hope, before I leave India, to understand it as well as I do Latin. Among my letters I find one directed to you; I have unsealed it, and though it only shews that I was not inattentive to the note, with which
your departure, yet I annex it, because it was yours, though brought back by my servant.
The latter part of it will raise melancholy ideas; but death, if we look at it firmly, is only a change of place: every departure of a
friend is a sort of death; and we are all continually dying and reviving. We shall all m'eet; I hope to meet you again in India ; but, wherever we meet, I expect to see you
well and happy. None of
friends can with for your
health and happiness more ardently than, my dear Sir, &c.
Sir William Jones to R. Morris, Esq.
Calcutta, 027. 30, 1790.
letter arrived, I had begun my judicial campaign, and am so busy I can only answer it very shortly. Lady J. and myself are sincerely rejoiced, that you have so good an establishment in so fine a country. Need I say, that it would give me infinite delight to promote your views? as far as I can, I will promote them, but though I have a very extensive acquaintance, I neither have, nor can have, influence. I can only approve and recommend, and do
my circulate your proposals. We are equally obliged to
kind invitation, as if we had it in our power to accept it; but I fear