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tunity, which his situation, there afforded, of beginning to learn music; and, having made choice of the Welch harp, for which he had a national partiality, he received lessons from Evans, as long as he remained in town; but, as he was then ignorant of the theory of music, the mere practice, without a knowledge of the principles of the art, gave hiin little delight, I know not that he ever afterwards resumed the practice of the harp, nor , is it to be regretted that he employed the time, which must have been dedicated to the attainment of any degree of perfection on this instrument, in more important pursuits.
In the beginning of this year, Mr. Jones formed an acquaintance with Reviczki, afterwards the Imperial Minister at Warsaw, and Ambassador at the Court of England, with the title of Count. This learned and accomplished nobleman was deeply captivated with the charms of Oriental literature; and the reputation of Mr. Jones as an Oriental scholar attracted his advances towards an intimacy, which were eagerly received
After their separation, they commenced a correspondence, which was cultivated with attention for many years. Of this correspondence, much has been lost, and many of the remaining letters are defaced and mutilated. They generally wrote in Latin, occasionally in French, on literary subjects chiefly, but more particularly on Oriental literature. From that part of the correspondence, which took place in 1768, I select such letters as seem to fall within my plan, and now present a · familiar translation of them to my readers.
* Mr. JONES to C. REVICZKI.
How pleasing was that half-hour to me, in which we conversed on Persian poetry, our mutual delight. I considered it the commencement of a most agreeable friendship and intercourse between us; but my expectations are disappointed by the circumstances in which we are unavoidably placed ; for, my business will confine me to the country longer than I wish; and you, as I am in. formed, are preparing to return immediately to Germany. I have, therefore, to lament that our intimacy is, as it were, nipped in the bud. I am not, however, without this consolation, that if I cannot personally converse with you, I can át least correspond with you, and thus enjoy the satisfaction arising from a communication of our sentiments and studies. In mentioning our friendship, I shall not, I trust, be deemed guilty of an improper freedom. Similarity of studies, fondness for polite literature, congenial pursuits, and conformity of sentiments, are the great bonds of intimacy amongst mankind. Our studies and pursuits are the same, with this difference indeed, that you are already deeply versed in Oriental learning, whilst I am incessantly labouring with all my might to obtain a proficiency in it. But I will
* Appendix, No. 1.
not allow you to excel me in partiality for those studies, since nothing can exceed my delight in them. From my earliest years, I was charmed with the poetry of the Greeks ; nothing, I then thought, could be more sublime than the Odes of Pindar, nothing sweeter than Anacreon, nothing more polished or elegant than the golden remains of Sappho, Archilochus, Alcæus, and Simonides : but when I had tasted the poetry of the Arabs and Persians * * * * * * * * * *
The remainder of this letter is lost: but from the context, and the answer of Reviczki, we may conclude that it contained an elaborate panegyric on Eastern poetry, expressed with all the rapture, which novelty inspires, and in terms degrading to the Muses of Greece and Rome.
CC. REVICZKI to W.JONES, Esquire.*
London, Feb. 19, 1768. I am highly gratified by your recollection of nie, as well as by the repeated compliments which you pay me, in your letters to Madame de Vaucluse. I must acknowledge, that I feel not a little proud of them ; but still more, that an interview of a quarter of an hour has procured me the honour of your friendship. I should be most happy to cultivate it, if my plans allowed
me to remain longer in this country, or if I could at least see you at Oxford, which I purpose visiting before I leave England. I hear, with pleasure, that you have undertaken to publish a Treatise on Oriental Prosody. As I am convinced that you will perform this task most ably and successfully, I anticipate with satisfaction, the mortification of all our European Poets, who must blush at the poverty of their prosaic language, when they find that the Oriental dialects (independently of rhyme, which is of their invention) have true syllabic quantities as well as the Greek, and a greater variety of feet, and consequently the true science of metre and prosody.
I take the liberty of sending you a rough sketch of one of my latest translations from Hafez, with whom I sometimes amuse myself in a leisure hour. You are too well acquainted with the genius of the Persian language, not to perceive the rashness of my attempt; I do not indeed pretend to give the beauty of the original, but merely its sense, simple and unornamented. I liave added to it a very free · paraphrase in verse, in which, however, the greatest from the Greek and Latin Poets, which occurred to my recollection, whilst I was reading Hafez, expressing the same sentiments with the Persian. I hope to have the satisfaction of seeing you here before I leave England, assuring you with truth, that I consider the honour of your acquaintance among the greatest advantages attending my visit to this country.
deviation from the text consists in the occasional substitution of mistress for mignon, either to give a connection to the stanzas, which in this kind of composition is never preserved, or to make it more conformable to our European taste. The Persian poet indeed speaks of his mistress in the first verse, You will find in the margin several quotations
I am, &c.
*C. REVICZKI to Mr. JONES. SIR,
London, Feb. 24, 1768. I received your learned and obliging letter on the same day on which I wrote to you; and I read it with the greatest pleasure, though I could have wished that it had been more just to your own merit, and less flattering to me. I will not however take your expressions literally; and notwithstanding your declarations, the 'taste and judgement which you have displayed in the passages quoted by you, evidently prove that you have advanced far in Oriental literature. I must however beg quarter for the Greek and Latin ; for, admitting, what I am not disposed to deny, the perfection, and even the superiority of the Orientals, particularly the Persians in some species of poetry, I would without hesitation renounce all • knowledge of the three Eastern languages for that
* Appendix, No. 3.