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be expected to result from its researches into the literature of Asia. He mentions his fatisfaction at having had an opportunity of visiting two ancient seats of Hindu religion and literature, and notices the impediments opposed by illness to the prosecution of his proposed enquiries, and the necessity of leaving them, as Æneas is feigned to have left the shades, when his guide made him recollect the swift fight of irrevocable time, with a curiosity raised to the height, and a regret not easy to be described.
I now return to the correspondence of Sir William Jones, which in this year,
confifts of few letters, and those chiefly addressed to * John Macpherson, Esq. who, in February 1785, succeeded to the station of GovernorGeneral of India, on the departure of Mr. Hastings. If, in these letters, Sir William adverts to topics not familiar to his readers, they are such as naturally arise out of his fituation and connections. Removed at a diftance of a quarter of the circumference of the
* The present Sir John Macpherson, Bart.
globe from the scene of politics, in which he had taken a deep interest, his attention is transferred to new objects and new duties. The sentiments which flow from his pen,
in the confidential intercourse of friendship, display his mind more clearly than any narrative; and they are often such as could not be omitted without injury to his character. Some passages in the letters, which, as less generally interesting, could be suppressed without this effect, have not been transcribed,
Sir WILLIAM JONES to J. MACPHER
March 12, 1785. I always thought before I left England, that a regard for the public good required the most cordial union between the executive and judicial powers in this country; and I lamented the mischief occasioned by former divisions. Since I have no view of happiness on this side of the grave, but in a faithful discharge of my duty, I fall spare no pains to preserve that cordiality which sub
sists, I trust, and will subsist, between the government and the judges.
Lord Bacon, if I remember right, advises every statesman to relieve his mind from the fatigues of business by a poem, or a prospect, or any thing that raises agreeable images; now. as your own gardens afford you the finest prospects, and I should only offer you a view of paddy fields *, I send
amusement, what has amused me in the composition, a poem # on the old philosophy and religion of this country, and you may depend on its orthodoxy. The time approaches when I must leave these recreations, and return to my desk in court, where however a knowledge of the Hindu manners and prejudices may not be useless.
Sir William Jones to J. Macpherson, Esq.
May 17, 1785. I have so many things, my dear Sir, to thank you for, that I scarce know where
* Rice fields.
+ The Enchanted Fruit; or, Hindu Wife. Works, vol. xiii. p. 211.
to begin. To follow the order of time, I must in the first place give you my hearty thanks for
your kind and pleasing letter of last week, which shews that your mind can grasp the whole field of literature and criticism, as well as that of politics, and that in the manner of ancient rulers in Afia, particularly Cir cero, the governor of Cilicia, you unite the character of the statesman and the scholar. Next for the news, which has on the whole given me pleasure, and in particular, what both pleases and surprises me, that Lord Camden has accepted the post of president of the council. You know the opinion which I early formed of Pitt ; and that opinion will be raised still higher, if he has shewn himself (not merely indifferent, but) anxious that the reins of this government may long continue in the hands which now hold them, and which, though mortals, as Addison says, cannot command success, will certainly deserve it. I anxiously wish, for the sake of the public, that not only the operations of the law, but the cordial affent of those on whom it
depends, have already secured your seat, as long as it may be consistent with your happiness to fill it.
I will not fail to talk with Mr. Chambers on the college, and beg you to assure yourself, that I shall ever be happy in my sphere to
humble assistance whenever you may require it.
Sir William Jones to y. Macpherson, Esq.
May 22, 1785. It was my intention to present to
you in the author's name, the books which I now send. The poet Zainudeen was recommended to me soon after I came to India, as a worthy ingenious old man.
. I inclose his verses to you, with a hafty translation *
* This translation, as a specimen of the taste and adu. latory style of modern Persian poets, is inserted for the reader's entertainment.
Macpherson exalted as the sky, prosperous in thy undertakings, who like the sun receivest even atoms in thy beams! Thou art the just one of this age, and in thy name, that of Nushirovan revives. With the aid of