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degree of anguish, which I never before felt. Mr. Shore has kindly promised to take care, that all her letters by the Indiamen shall be sent in a sealed packet to me, that I may select for her first perusal the letter from her wisest friend, the dowager Lady Spencer, whose hand-writing I cannot mistake; I wish I could suppress them all, but that is impossible. The pain of losing our parents, time, and time only, will mitigate; but my dread is, that the first shock will have some terrible effect on her health, and this fear haunts me night and day. That your letters may contain the most comfortable news, and that I may see you on Wednesday in perfect health, is the hearty wish of, my dear Sir, Your faithful and affectionate



June 9, 1789.

I am glad Jayadeva* pleases you, and thank you for the sublime period of Hooker; of which I had only before seen the first part. His idea of heavenly and eternal law is just and noble ; and human law as derived from it, must partake of the praise as far as it is perfectly administered; but corruptio optimi fit pessima, and if the administration of law should ever be corrupted, some future philosopher or orator will thus exhibit the reverse of the medal.

Of law there can be no more acknowledged, than that her seat “ is the storehouse of quirks, her voice the dissonance of brawls; " all her followers indeed, both at the bar and below it, pay her

homage, the very least as gaining their share, and the greatest as

hoping for wealth and fame; but kings,' nobles, and people of « what condition soever, though each in different sort and manner,

* Gitagovinda, or the songs of Jayadeva; Works, vol. i. p. 463.

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yet all have uniformly found their patience exhausted by her “ delays, and their purse by her boundless demands*.”

The parody was so obvious, that I could not refrain from shewing you the wrong side of the tapestry, with the same figures and flowers, but all maimed and discoloured.


1789. We have finished the twentieth, and last book of Guicciardini's History, the most authentic, I believe (may I add, I fear) that ever was composed. I believe it, because the historian was an actor in his terrible drama, and personally knew the principal performers in it; and I fear it, because it exhibits the woeful picture of society in the 15th and 16th centuries. If you can spare Reid, we are now ready for him, and will restore his twovolumes on our return from Chrishna-nagur.

When we meet, I will give you an account of my progress in detecting a most impudent fraud, in forging a Sanscrit book on oaths, by Hindus, since I saw you. The book has been brought to me, on a few yellow Bengal leaves apparently modern. The Brahman, who brought it from Sambhu Chaudra Rai, said it was twelve years old; I believe it had not been written twelve days. He said

• The reader will thank me for giving him an opportunity of perusing the passage, at the close of the first book of the Ecclesiastical Polity, which Sir William Jones has parodied.

“ Of law, there can be no less acknowledged than that her seat is the bosom of God, “ her voice the harmony of the world : all things in Heaven and Earth do her homage, " the very least as feeling her care, and the greatest as not exempted from her power ; “ both angels and men, and creatures of what condition soever, though each in different " sort and manner, yet all with uniform consent, admiring her as the mother of their peace and joy."


the original work of Mahadeva himself, from which the prohibition of swearing by the water of the Ganges was extracted, was at Chrishna-nagur. I desired him to tell Sambhu Chaudra, who wants me to admit him a suitor, in formâ pauperis, without taking his oath, that unless he brought me the original, and that apparently ancient, I should be convinced that he meant to impose upon me.

Sir WILLIAM JONES to Mr. Justice HYDE.

Sept. 19, 1789. You have given Lady Jones great pleasure, by informing us from so good authority, that a ship is arrived from England; she presents you with her best compliments. .

Most readily shall I acquiesce in any alleviation of Horrebow's* misery, that


and Sir Robert Chambers shall think just and legal. I have not one law book with me, nor if I had many, should I perfectly know where to look for a mitigation by the court of a sentence, which they pronounced after full consideration of all its probable effects on the person condemned. I much doubt, whether it can legally be done; nor do I think the petition states any urgent reason for it. First, he mentions losses already sustained (not therefore to be prevented by his enlargement), and, in my opinion, they cannot easily be more than he deserves. Next, his wife's health may have been injured by his disgrace, and may not be restored by our shortening the time of his confinement, which, if I remember, is almost half expired, and was as short as justice tem

* This man, a foreigner, commanding a vessel, trading to Bengal, was convicted before the supreme court of judicature, of purchasing the children of natives, for the purpose of carrying them out of the country, and selling them as slaves. It was the first instance of an attempt of this kind; he was prosecuted by order of the government of Bengal, and since the punishment inflicted upon Horrebow, the attempt has not been repeated.


pered with lenity would allow. His own health is not said to be affected by the imprisonment in such a place, at such a season, for if it were proved that he were dangerously ill, we might, I suppose, remove him to a healthier place, or even let him go to sea, if able surgeons swore, that in their serious opinion, nothing else could save his life. That is by no means the case, and I confess, I have no compassion for him; my compassion is for the enslaved children and their parents.

Nevertheless I know the benevolence of your heart, and shall approve whatever you and Sir R. C. may do, if any precedent can be found or recollected of a power in the court to do what is now prayed.

I am, &c.


Sept. 20, 1788. It is but a fortnight ago since the gentleman, to whom the most flattering proof of your kind remembrance was committed, delivered it into my hand. I received it with a joined sentiment of gratitude and of vanity. It will be an easy task for you to find out why I am grateful, and every body, but yourself, will soon hit upon the reasons, why your having thought of me makes me vain.

The letter, the idea of the man who wrote it, the place from whence it came, the language of Hafez, all that put together, set my imagination at once in a blaze, and wafted me over in a wish from the Pole to the Indies. It has awakened a train of ideas, which lay dormant for a while, and rekindled my somewhat forgotten heat for the Oriental muses, which is not however to be put on the account of inconstancy, but to my having been crossed in my love for them, very near as much as Sir Roger de Coverly is said to have been, in his addresses to his unkind widow. The war, broke out of late, deprived me of my last resource, which was a dervish native of


Samercand, who was just come to live with me in the capacity of munsni, bis religious zeal woald not allow him to continue out of sight of the Sangiale Sheriff, so he hastened back to his brethren. After the reception of your letter I grieved still more in seeing myself deprived of proper and easy means to cultivate so interesting a branch of learning, and could not forbcar casting an impatient reflection on that warlike spirit, whose influence leaves nothing happy, nothing undisturbed. The acquisition of a language will always appear to me much more valuable than that of a desert. The sudden departure of my dervish has, I find, soured my temper against conquest and conquerors. I wished it was in my power to sweeten it again by the charms of your intercourse, under the benign influence of the climate


inhabit. How happy should I think myself in the enjoyment of your leisure hours, in perusing a country where every object is worth dwelling upon, in paying a visit to the Rajah of Kisnagoor, with a letter of recommendation from your hand! But, whilst, with a heated fancy, I am expatiating on those delightful subjects, I find myself in reality circling in a round of things as little suiting with my inclination, as the roughness of the heaven does with my constitution ; for quid frigore sarmatico pejus? which becomes still more intolerable, if you add to it the in arcto et inglorius labor, to which we are unfortunately doomed. I cannot finish this letter without repeating to you the warmest acknowledgment of your kind remembrance. I shall be certain to preserve it for ever, if the highest degree of esteem for your eminent qualities and talents, and the most sincere regard for your person, are sufficient titles to ensure it. I am invariably, &c.


Sept. 17, 1789. The season for paying my annual epistolary rents being returned with the rough gales of the autumnal equinox, I am eager


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