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perhaps, when my circumstances afford it, print an edition of Jami's whole poem in the same manner.... A work of this kind, on Chinese paper, would, I doubt not, be very acceptable to the governor of Bengal, and the other principal persons in India. I cannot conceive what is become of the book which I sent to you ; but I will take the first opportunity of transmitting a fairer and more correct copy, together with the little Treatise on the Literature of Asia, and my Grammar of the Persian Language, which is printed with some degree of elegance; and I earnestly entreat you to tell me, if any thing is wrong in it, or any thing omitted, that the next edition may be more perfect. I only wait for leisure to publish my Commentaries on Asiatic Poetry.
Do not, however, imagine that I despise the usual enjoyments of youth ; no one can take more delight in singing and dancing than I do, nor in the moderate use of wine, nor in the exquisite beauty of the ladies, of whom London affords an enchanting variety ; but I prefer glory, my supreme delight, to all other gratifications; and I will pursue it through fire and water, by day and by night. Oh! my Charles, (for I renounce all ceremony, and address you with ancient simplicity) what a boundless scene opens to my view! if I had two lives, I should scarcely find time for the due execution of all the public and private projects which I have in mind.
Mr. Bates to W. Jones, Esq.
March 27, 1771. Last night I received from Mr. Williams your most ingenious and satisfactory. letter, for which my heartiest thanks are due. If you have no objection to it, as I think you cannot, I propose to embellish my MS. with it, by sticking it into the book, in like manner as I have done my own account of it. It will be no small addition to the curiosity of the book; for I can easily foresee that, in times to come, a piece of your hand-writing will be looked upon as a curiosity by virtuosi yet unborn
In the mean time, I hope this letter does not preclude your fulfilling your promise of obliging me with another visit (and I hope still more) after your return from Oxford, at the end of the holidays. I assure you, I wait for the end of those holidays as impatiently as most school-boys dread and abhor it. Therefore, I beg you would favour me with a line, to apprise me of your return back to town, that in case I should, in the dialect of Deptford, be moored head and stern by the gout, I may
you know as much, to save you the trouble of a visit, that will answer no end ; but if I keep clear from that malady, as I am at present, I shall beg you to take a night-cap here, that we may spend one entire morning in Oriental speculation, without the interruption of other company. For I have still many queries, which you must resolve. I heartily wish you a pleasant journey; and hope that, for the good of the literati, you'll be blessed with life and health to go on with the noble undertaking you are engaged in, and that you'll meet with the merited success.
I am, Sir, &c.
* Mr. Jones to D. B.
London, April, 1771. Your Persian book is more valuable than the costliest jewel. Meninski, that universal scholar, has a copy
* Appendix, No. 19.
exactly like yours; and he describes it in his usual manner, that is, inelegantly, and in miserable Latin. From his description, you may, however, estimate the real excellence of your book. I shall beg leave to say something more about it myself, and, as a poet, venture to affirm, that the six most beautiful poems in the volume are far more valuable, for their intrinsic merit, than for the elegance of the characters in which they are written, or for the glowing tints of the pictures which adorn them.
The author of these poems was the very celebrated Nezami, who assumed the name of Kenjavi. He flourished towards the close of the twelfth century, and was the favourite of that illustrious warrior, and patron of literature, Togrul, the son of Erslan.
The book comprises five poems, the last of which is divided into two parts; the first, which is entitled The Treasury of Secrets, contains many fables, and various discourses on moral duties and human affairs. · Nushirovan, king of Persia, who, towards the end of the sixth century, waged a successful war against the first Justin and Justinian, is frequently introduced in it. Mahommed, the legislator of Arabia, was born during his reign, and praises him for his justice in the Coran. The Persian poets, Sadi, Hafez, Jami, and others, frequently extol his virtues, and one of them has this couplet:
For ages, mingled with his parent dust,
The second poem commemorates the lives of a most amiable youth (named Mujnoon, or the Frantic, from his mad passion), and his mistress, the beautiful Leili. The loves of Khosro and the adorable Sherin, form the subject of the third poem. Khosro was the twentythird in descent from Sassan, and the grandson of Nu
shirovan. The fourth poem has the title of The Seven Figures, and recites the history of king Beharam, whom the Greeks, with their usual inaccuracy, call Varanes: but it more particularly describes his seven palaces; each of which is said to have been distinguished by a particular colour. In the fifth, we have the life and actions of Alexander: it is, however, to be remarked, that the Asiatics perpetually confound the Macedonian monarch with another, and very ancient, king, of the same name, and blend their actions most ridiculously. Thus much about your book; and you may depend upon what I say, as certain, and not conjectural. I sincerely rejoice that St. John's college, at Cambridge, will possess this treasure, by your gift; and I no less sincerely hope, that your own university will boast some future scholar, capable of thoroughly understanding the elegance of the charming Nezami. If any one wishes to obtain further information respecting this poet, let him consult the pleasing work of Dowlat Shah of Samercand, on the lives of the Persian poets. I saw a beautiful manuscript of it at Paris....Farewel.
Mr. Jones to J. Wilmot, Esq.
Univ. Col. Oxford, June 3, 1771. MY DEAR WILMOT,
It makes me very happy to hear that my lord chief justice does not retire on account of ill health, but from a motive which does him the highest honour. He will now enjoy the greatest happiness of human life, ease with dignity, after having passed through the most honourable labour without danger. I should think my-. self highly blessed, if I could pursue a similar course in my small sphere, and after having raised a compe
tency at the bar, could retire to the bowers of learning and the arts.
I have just begun to contemplate the stately edifice of the laws of England....
“ The gather'd wisdom of a thousand years”....
if you will allow me to parody a line of Pope. I do not see why the study of the law is called dry and unpleasant; and I very much suspect that it seems so to those only, who would think any study unpleasant, which required great application of the mind and exertion of the memory. I have read, most attentively, the two first volumes of Blackstone's Commentaries, and the two others will require much less attention. much pleased with the care he takes to quote his authorities in the margin, which not only give a sanction to what he asserts, but points out the sources to which the student may apply for more diffusive knowledge. I have opened two common place books, the one of the law, the other of oratory, which is surely too much neglected by our modern speakers. I do not mean the popular eloquence, which cannot be tolerated at the bar, but that correctness of style, and elegance of method, which at once pleases and persuades the hearer. But I must lay aside my studies for about six weeks, while I am printing my grammar, from which a good deal is expected; and which I must endeavour to make as perfect as a human work can be. When that is finished, I shall attend the Court of King's Bench very constantly, and shall either take a lodging in Westminster, or accept the invitation of a friend, in Duke Street, who has made me an obliging offer of apartments.
I am sorry the characters you sent me are not Persian, but Chinese, which I cannot decypher without a book,