Page images
PDF
EPUB

acknowledgement of it; for I assure you with great truth, that nothing can give me more pleasure than a letter from you, however hasty. You perhaps wish to know how I employed my time after your departure from England; a short expla. nation will suffice. Amongst other occupations, I revised and corrected my Commentaries on Oriental Poetry, and when I was preparing an accurate transcription of the manuscript for your perusal, I was unexpectedly interrupted by a business of more importance*.

I had scarcely brought this work to a conclusion, when, in consequence of the sudden indisposition of the younger sister of my pupil, (who frequently talks of you) her father determined to pass the winter with his family in Italy, or the South of France. I was therefore under the necessity of entrusting my history (as the King of Denmark was anxious for its publication) to a Frenchman, upon whose accuracy I could depend, for correcting the errors of the press. I have just learned from him, that the work is printed; and I will take care that not even his Danish Majesty shall receive a copy of it before you. Having thus left England, we repaired to Paris, and after rather a tedious residence there, we proceeded with great rapidity by the Rhone to Lyons, and from that place continued our journey by Mar. seilles, Frejus, and Antibes, to Nice,

* The business here alluded to, is the translation of the Life of Nadir Shah, the circumstances of which have been already detailed, and are repeated in another letter ; the particular mention made of them in the letter before the reader, is therefore untranslated.

rather

Where Spring in all her charms perpetual reigns,

And banish'd Winter flies the blooming plains. Even here we shall remain longer than I wish; but I hope to return to England by the beginning of June. I propose, however, if I should have an opportunity, to cross the sea about the iniddle of this month, and visit Florence, that celebrated colony of the Triumviri, and the cradle of reviving literature, as well as Rome, the nurse of all elegant arts, and perhaps Naples; but on this plan you shall hereafter know my determination. You may perhaps enquire, what are my occupations at this place: I will tell you in few words ; music, with all its sweetness and feeling; difficult and abstruse problems in mathematics; the beautiful and sublime in poetry and painting; these occupy all my senses and thoughts : nor do I neglect the study of the military art, which it would be the greatest disgrace to an English gentleman, not to be acquainted with. I have written much in my native language, and amongst other things a little Tract on Education, in the manner of Aristotle, that is, the analytic manner. I have moreover begun a tragedy, to which I have given the title of Soliman, whose most amiable son perished miserably, as you know, by the treachery of a step-mother. The

: story story is full of the most affecting incidents, and has more sublimity even than the tragedies of Æschylus, as it abounds with Oriental images. I send you translations of two odes, one from Hafez, the other from a very ancient Arabic poet; but I have adapted the images of the latter to the Roman manners, and I fill the remainder of the paper with a Greek epigram, in imitation of a little English song.-Farewell.' You shall have your papers as soon as I am informed that you have received this letter.

* Mr. JONES to N. B. HALHED. .

Nice, March 1, 1770. I received your short letter with great pleasure, as it convinced me, that you were not insensible of my esteem for you, and such as resemble you. I wrote immediately to my friends, as you desired, most earnestly requesting them to promote your views, as if my own interest were concerned; if they accede to my wishes in this repsect, they will oblige me and themselves too; for doubtless I shall be ready to make them every return that I can. I think however that I shall have it in my power to serve you more effectually, after my return to England; and I beg you to believe, that no inclination or efforts on my part, shall ever be wanting to promote your wishes.

My health is good; but I long for those enjoyments, of which I know not well how to bear the * Appendix, No. 12.

privation

privation. When I first arrived here, I was delighted withi a variety of objects, rarely, if ever, seen in my own country, -olives, myrtles, pomegranates, palms, vineyards, aromatic plants, and a surprising variety of the sweetest flowers, blooming in the midst of winter. But the attraction of novelty has ceased; I am now satiated, and begin to feel somewhat of disgust. The windows of our inn are scarcely thirty paces from the sea, and, as Ovid beautifully says

Tired, on the uniform expanse I gaze.

- I have therefore no other resource than, with Cicero, to count the waves, or, with Archimedes and Archytas, to measure the sands. I cannot describe to you how weary I am of this place, nor my anxiety to be again at Oxford, where I might jest with you, or philosophize with Poore. If it be not inconvenient, I wish you would write to me often, for I long to know how you and our friends are : but write if you please in Latin, and with gaiety, for it grieves me to observe the uneasiness under which you appear to labour. Let me ever retain a place in your affection, as you do in mine; continue to cultivate polite literatúre; woo the muses; reverence philosophy; and give your days and nights to composition, with a due regard however to the preservation of your health.

Mr.

* Mr. JONES to C. REVICZKI.

Nice, April 1770. It is impossible to describe my vexation at not hearing from you, and I can only conclude that you have not received my letter of February, or, what would be more unpleasant, that your letter has miscarried, or finally, what I dread even to suspect, that I no longer retain a place in your remembrance. I have written to you from this place, not (as Cicero says to Lucceius) a very fine epistle, but one that I cannot but think would be acceptable to you, because it was very long, and contained, besides, much information respecting myself. After a sufficient time for the receipt of an answer, which I most anxiously expected, I daily enquired if there were any letters from Vienna ;-none, none, was the reply day after day. My anxiety and uneasiness at this disappointment daily increased, and nearly two months are now elapsed without a line from you. What can I do? or what shall I devise? I fear to trust your papers, which you desired me to return, to a conveyance so hazardous as the post; although I am persuaded it will be inconvenient for you to be so long without them; but although I cannot venture to send them before I hear from you, I. inclose my remarks, which you may throw into the fire, if you do not like them :--they are, as * Appendix, No. 13.

you

« PreviousContinue »