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life; and I must stay in this country a few years longer: Lady Jones has however promised me to take her passage for Europe in January 1793, and I will follow her when I can. She is pretty well, and presents her kindest remembrance to you and Mrs. Hastings, whom I thank most heartily for a very obliging and elegant letter. My own health has, by God's blessing, been very firm, but my eyes are weak, and I have constantly employed them eight or nine hours a day. My principal amusement is botany, and the conversation of the pundits, with whom I talk fluently in the language of the Gods; and my business, besides the discharge of my public duties, is the translation of Menu, and of the digest which has been compiled at my instance. Our society still subsists, and the third volume of their Tranfactions is so far advanced, that it will certainly be published next season. Samuel Davis has translated the Surya Siddhanta, and is making discoveries in Indian astronomy; while Wilford is pursuing his geographical enquiries at Benares, and has found, or
thinks he has found, an account of Africa and Europe, and even of Britain by name, in the Scanda Puran; he has sent us a chart of the Nile from Sanscrit authorities, and I expect soon to receive his proofs and illustrations. Of public affairs in India, I say little, because I can say nothing with certainty: the seasons and elements have been adverse to us in Myfore. Farewell,
Farewell, my dear Sir, and believe me to be with unfeigned regard, Your faithful and obedient,
Sir William Jones to Sir Joseph Banks.
Calcutta, Nov. 19, 1791. Since I fent
letter to the packet of the Queen, I received the inclosed from a Hindu of my acquaintance, and I send his cusha flowers, which I have not eyes to examine, especially in a season of business. The leaves are very long, with a point excessively long and fine, their edges are rough downwards, in other respects smooth. As this plant is to my knowledge celebrated in the veda, I
am very desirous of knowing its Linnæan
I cannot find it in Van Rheede.
The frequent allusions in thefe letters to local or botanical subjects, may render them particularly interesting only to the friends and correspondents of Sir William Jones, but they describe his occupations and contain his mind, which I wilh to display; they exhibit a warmth of affection for his friends, upright principles, a manly independence, and a desire of honourable distinction, combined with a contempt for all ambition incompatible with his public character. The frequent mention of the work which he had undertaken is equally a proof of his opinion of the importance of it, and of his folicitude to make it as perfect as possible.
The manner in which he mentions the travels of Mr. Bruce shews, that he was not one of the sceptics who doubted of his veracity. In a paper which he presented to the society in Calcutta, he recites a conversation with a native of Abyssinia, who had seen and known Mr. Bruce at Gwender, and who fpoke of
him in very honourable terms. At the period of this conversation, the travels were not published; but it was too particular and descrip. tive to leave room for doubt, as to the identity of Mr. Bruce, and of his having passed some years in Abyssinia.
Of the correspondence of Sir William Jones in 1792, if it were not altogether suspended by his more important studies and avocations, no part has been communicated to me. In March
1793, I returned to Bengal with a commission to succeed Marquis Cornwallis, in his station of Governor-General whenever he thought proper to relinquish it, and I had the satisfaction to find my friend, although somewhat debilitated by the climate, in a state of health which promised a longer duration of life than it pleased Providence to assign to him. The ardour of his mind had suffered no abatement, and his application was unremitted. The completion of the work which he had undertaken, occupied the principal portion of his leisure, and the remainder of his time which could be fpared, was as usual
devoted to literary and scientific pursuits. Botanical researches occasionally diverted his hours of relaxation, but he found impediments to them from the weakness of his sight, and heat of the climate.
The constitution of Lady Jones, which was naturally delicate, had suffered so much from repeated attacks of indisposition, that a change of climate had long been prescribed by the physicians, as the only means of preserving her life; but her affectionate attachment to her husband had hitherto induced her to remain in India, in opposition to this advice, though with the full conviction that the recovery of her health, in
considerable degree, was impossible. She knew that the obligation which he had voluntarily contracted, to translate the digest of Hindu and Mohammedan laws, was the only, though insuperable obstacle to his accompanying her, and his entreaties were necessary to gain her reluctant assent to undertake the voyage without his society. In the course of his correspondence, we trace his ardour to explore the new ob