« PreviousContinue »
Mr. JONES to Mr. HAWKINS. - Nov. 5, 1771. I shall ever gratefully acknowledge, dear Sir, my obligation to you for the trouble you take in inspecting my trifles.
Had Dryden and other poets met with such a friend, their poems
would have been more polished, and consequently more fit to see the light. Your observations are so judicious, that I wish you had not been so sparing of them. I entirely approve of all your corrections, &c.
As to the years, in which the poems were written, they are certainly of no consequence to the public; but (unless it be very absurd) I would wish to specify them, for it would hurt me as a student at the bar, to have it thought that I continue to apply myself to poetry; and I mean to insinuate that I have given it up for several years, which I must explain more fully in the preface. For a man who wishes to rise in the law, must be supposed to have no other object.
* C. REVICZKI to Mr. JONES.
Vienna, Oct. 13, 1771. I have waited nearly twelve months to no purpose, for an opportunity of sending you my last work, which at your recommendation has been published; the politeness of one of the secretaries of the English embassy, who is returning to England, has at last supplied it, by kindly offering to take charge of this production of mine (unless you will call it yours) and deliver it to you. It is my wish to avail myself of the same opportunity to thank you for your present, but it is not in my power to make you the due acknowledgements: it is sufficient to proclaim your deeds.
* Appendix, No. 20.
I admire A wise Physician, high distinction claims.
I admire your wonderful labour and learning, and more particularly your diligence in the triple work, with which you have favoured me; but I blush at the extravagant encomiums which you have bestowed upon me. If you persevere as you have begun in cultivating Oriental literature, the republic of letters will be greatly obliged to you. I am extremely anxious to know what recompence his Danish Majesty, or your own Sovereign, at his recommendation, has conferred upon your learned labours. I should rejoice to have it in my power to congratulate you, and those who esteem you as much as I do, on your distinguished merit having been honourably rewarded.—Farewell.
* Mr. JONES to C. REWICZK.I.' Oxford, Dec. 1771. Thirteen months, or rather I may say years, have elapsed, without a line from my friend I have however written to you twice, once and very fully in Latin, last March, and again in July, in a great hurry, in French. These letters contained a detailed account of my occupations and views, of the profession which I had adopted, and of the splendid objects to which I ambitiously looked forward. You have, I trust, received my four books, which Mr. Whitchurch, Chaplain to our Ambassador, at my request promised to deliver to you at Vienna. I recommend him to your particular attention, as a young man of an excellent disposition, and very fond of literature. This will be presented to you by Mr. Drummond, a man of letters, who proceeds to Vienna for the purpose of studying physic. You know that the medical profession is held in the highest estimation with us, and, as Homer says,
* Appendix, No. 21–This letter must have been written before the receipt of the last from Reviczki.
your reception of them both will, I hope, do credit to my recommendation.
I beg your acceptance also of a little Philippic”, which I wrote against an obscure coxcomb, who had the audacity to abuse our University, not with impunity, I trust, if the edge of my discourse have any effect upon the senseless knave. “I have disquieted,” (as Cicero says of his Commentaries) “ the French nation.” How goes on Hafez, our mutual delight? Shall we never see your translation of his charming odes? Tell me, if you like my English version of the second ode +? it has been favourably received by my own countrymen. I should like to translate several more of his odes, but I want leisure.
I have not yet found any translator capable of doing justice to your Treatise on the Military Art of the Turks. All agree that your preface is both learned and elegant; but they urge, as you yourself remark in the introduction, that the book does not correspond with its title, The Principles of the Science of Government.
The original of this work in the Turkish language, with many others printed at Constantinople, including a most beautiful copy of the Odes of Mesihi, are deposited in the library of our Royal Society. I beg to be informed if all the works published by Ibrahim, which you so much commend, are to be purchased in Germany, Hungary, or the Eastern parts of Turkey; as in that case, I should wish to procure them.
What news from Turkey 2 no mention of Peace P Whenever the war with Russia is at an end, I propose making an open and direct application for the office of Minister at Constantinople; at present, I can only privately whisper my wishes. The King is very well disposed towards me; so perhaps are the men in power; and the Turkish Company wish much to oblige me; all that I have to apprehend, is the appearance of some powerful competitor who may drive me off the stage. If I should succeed in my wishes, how shall I bound for joy! First, I shall enjoy your company at Vienna, then I shall drink deep of Asiatic literature, and I shall explore the Turkish manners in their most hidden sources. If I am disappointed, philosophy remains; the bar is open, and I shall not, I trust, want employment; for the harvest of litigation is always abundant. I shall apply to the study of eloquence, to poetry, history, and philosophy, each of which, if properly cultivated, would occupy a complete life of **
* Works, vol. iv. p. 183, t Works, vol. ii. p. 244. f I can
“Such men as live in these degenerate days.”
I could say much more, but I yield to the imperious summons (not of Proserpine I hope, but) of the goddess, if there be one, who presides over our tribunals. You may expect longer letters in future from me: and in the mean time I hope to hear very fully from you.-Farewell, my dear friend.
Mr. JONES, to Mr. HAWKINS.
Westminster, Jan. 16, 1772.
As I have a frank directed to you, I take the liberty to inclose a letter for my mother, which I beg you will be so kind as to send to her. I have nothing at present to say on the subject of my publication, except that you will be so good as to send me the sheets of the Essays, under cover, to Mr. Brudenell, lest there should be any thing that may be, altered. I entreat you also to criticise my prose, as you have done my verse, and to reprimand me severely, where you find it stiff, forced, or obscure. I forgot to mention another respectable scholar, who saw and approved my poems, I mean the present Bishop of St. Asaph, whose learning, to say a great deal, is as extensive as his virtues are : amiable. Dr. Warton, of Winchester, is another excellent critic, through whose hands my trifles shall pass before they see the light. I have dined with him at Sir Joshua Reynolds's, where he paid me a compliment before the whole company, which I cannot write without blushing: he said, my Greek poems which he had seen in manuscript, were worthy of ancient Greece. I dare say this learned and ingenious man, will suffer me to send to him a copy of the poems at Winchester; and that he will make his remarks very sincerely. When I have collected the criticisms of these gentlemen, I will compare them, and add my corrections at the end, under the title of emendations, as Pope has inserted his alterations in the text of his poems, and set down the variations, or first readings, in the margin. I think it will be better (as we must not lose the season for publication) to send the copies to my friends, as soon as the trifle on Chess is printed, and to shew them the prose afterwards.
My Turkish History will go to the press on Monday. Lord Radnor has given me leave, in the most flattering terms, to inscribe it to him. o
I have a notion I shall be a great talker when I am at the bar; for I cannot take up my pen without filling three sides of paper,
though I have nothing to say when I sit down.
* Mr. JONES to ROBERT ORME, Esq.
It is impossible for me to describe the delight and admiration I have felt, from the perusal of your History of the
* Appendix, No. 22. 2 War