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tións, the volumes of the Asiatic Researches will ever remain an honourable testimony of the zeal and abilities of the British residents in Hindustan.*
A copy of this work was transmitted by Sir William Jones to the Right Honourable Henry Dundas, with a letter intimating a wish that the King would honour the society by his acceptance of it, with which his Majesty graciously compliedt.
* I cannot omit this opportunity of paying a tribute to the enlightened views and enlarged policy of Marquis Wellesley, Governor-General of India, in founding a college at Fort William, in Bengal, for the instruction of the servants of the East-India Company, in every branch of useful knowledge. The plan of the institution may perhaps have been more extensive than was absolutely necessary for this purpose, but against the principle of it, no solid objection could be urged. The functions assigned to the servants of the East-India Company, are of great magnitude, variety, and iniportance; and to discharge them properly, requires the education of a statesman and legislator, and a thorough knowledge of the dialects in use in Hindustan. To enable the servants of the Company to acquire the necessary qualifications for the due discharge of these important duties, was the grand object of the institution, which at the same time comprehended the religious instruction, and the superintendance of the morals and habits of the pupils. Considered in a secondary and subordinate point of view, it was calculated to promote the objects proposed in the formation of the Asiatic society. A volume of essays by the students in the college has been published, which does equal honour to them and to the institution.
† The acceptance of the volume by the King, was announced by the following letter:
Lord GRENVILLE to the Right Honourable H. DUNDAS.
Whitehall, Feb. 22, 1790. Having laid before the King, Sir William Jones's letter to you; I am directed by His Majesty, to signify his gracious acceptance of the volume transinitted by you; and at the same time, to express His Majesty's satisfaction in the progress of the sciences in the British establishment in India, and his approbation of the important undertaking in which Sir William Jones is engaged. I am, Sir, Your most obedient humble servant,
W. W. GRENVILLE, E E 2
In the same year, Sir William presented to the public a translation of an ancient Indian drama, under the title of Sacontala, or the Fatal Ring, exhibiting a most pleasing and authentic picture of old Hindu manners, and one of the greatest curiosities that the literature of Asia had yet brought to light. Calidas, the author of it, whom Sir William Jones calls the Shakspeare of India, lived in the first century before Christ, not many years after Terence, and he wrote several other dramas and poetical pieces, of which, only Sacontala has Beceived an European dress. The violation of the unities, as well as the mixture of foreign mythology, which constitutes the machinery of the play, are irreconcileable with the purer taste, which marks the dramatic compositions of Europe: but, although the translator declined offering a criticism on the characters and conduct of the play, “from
a conviction that the tastes of men differ as “ much as the sentiments and passions, and that “ in feeling the beauties of art as in smelling * flowers, tasting fruits, viewing prospects, and "hearing melody, every individual must be gui" ded by his own sensations and incommunicable
associations of his own ideas," we may venture to pronounce that, exclusive of the wild, picturesque, and sublime imagery which characterizes it, the simplicity of the dialogue in many of the scenes, and the natural characters of many of the personages introduced, cannot fail of exciting pleasure and interest in the reader, who will wish with me, perhaps, that Sir William Jones had not rigidly adhered to the determination which he expressed, not to employ his leisure in translating more of the works of Calidas.
In December 1789, the author of these memoirs was compelled, by the reiterated attacks of severe iudisposition, to leave India. For an account of the occupations of Sir William Jones, from that period to his return, I refer to his correspondence, begin. ning with a letter from Count Reviczki*; the reader will see with pleasure, that the mutual regard professed by the two friends had suffered no abatement from time or separation.
London, June 30, 1789. By the Vestal frigate, which was to convey Lord Cathcart to China, I wrote an answer to your elegant Persian letter, which I received through Mr. Elmsley. It was a most agreeable proof to me, that I was still honoured with a place in your remembrance, notwithstanding the distance which separates us.
I have since learned, that Colonel Cathcart died on the voyage; and as the Vestal, in consequence of this event, returned to England, I am not without apprehension, that my letter never reached you. I have since received a most superb work printed at Calcutta, and which would do honour to the first printingoffice in Europe, accompanied with an elegant and obliging letter. I recognized in it the hand of a skilful
penman, if I may be allowed to judge; for I have so long neglected the cultivation of Orien* Appendix, No. 38.
tal literature, that I am almost as much a stranger to it, as if I had never learned it. I have never yet seen so elegant a specimen of Oriental typography, as that in the Persian poem with which you favoured me.
I cannot express how much I regret the loss of your society during my residence in London, which would have afforded me so much gratification; and I doubt if I shall have an opportunity of enjoying it after your return, as I must soon enter upon the new office conferred upon me by the emperor, of minister at Naples. But whatever my destination may be, of this you may be assured, that neither absence nor distance will ever weaken my attachment to you, and that during life I shall consider myself equally bound by gratitude and inclination to preserve
it. I am, Sir,
Sir WILLIAM JONES to Dr. PRICE. MY DEAR SIR; Chrishna-nagur, Sept. 14, 1790.
I give you my warmest thanks for your friendly letter, and acceptable present of an admirable discourse, which I have read with great delight.
-We have twenty millions (I speak with good information) of Indian subjects, whose laws I am now compiling and arranging, in the hope of se. curing their property to themselves and their heirs. They are pleased with the work; but it makes me a very bad correspondent. I had flattered myself with a hope of making a visit to our venerable friend at Philadelphia, before the retreat which I meditate to my liumble cottage in Middlesex ; but God's will be done! We shall meet, I devoutly hope, in a happier state. To the Rev. Dr. FORD, Principal of Magdalen
Chrishna-nagur, Oct. 11, 1790. Though I am, for the best of reasons, the worst of correspondents, yet I will no longer delay to thank you for your friendly letter of the fourth of February, and for your kind attentions to Colonel Polier. You have a much better correspondent in Mr. Langlas, whose patriotism, I hope, will succeed, and whose Persian literature will be a source of delight tahim, if not to the public. Mr. Wehl's favour never reached me, or I would have answer. ed it immediately, and I request you to inform him of my disappointment. The chances are about three to one against your receiving this; and the fear of writing for the sport of winds and waves, disheartens me whenever I take up a pen.
Sir William Jones to William Shipley, Esq.
Chrishna-nagur, Oct. 11, 1790.
The ships which brought your kind letters, arrived so near the end of my short vacation, that I have but just time to thank you for them, as I do most heartily, as well as for your acceptable presents. Anna Maria has recovered