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To tell you my mind freely, I am not of a disposition to bear the arrogance of men of rank, to which poets and men of letters are so often obliged to submit. Accept this friendly reply to your friendly expostulation, and believe my assurances, that I entertain the highest value for your esteem, of which I have received so many proofs. I most anxiously expect your dissertation. May the Almighty prosper your labours, and particularly your laborious task of Meidani! May the most learned Scheidius persevere with resolution in completing the gigantic work, which he meditates! I admire his most laudable industry; but after the fate of Meninski, (I- do not speak of his works, but of his fortunes) no prudent man (for he that is not wise to himself, is wise to no end) will venture to expose his vessel to the perils of shipwreck in so uncertain a sea. The work is worthy of a king, but the expense of it will require the revenue of a king.
My mother and sister cordially unite with me in congratulations on your marriage, and I beg you to make my compliments to your amiable consort, and most respectable father. I thank you for your invitation to Amsterdam, and assure you that I should be most happy to avail myself of it. In your society, I should prefer a winter in Holland to the gardens of the Hesperides, nor indulge a wish for the vales of Tempe, but my legal occupations make the summer more convenient for travelling. I promise you therefore to pass some time with you in the July, or August, of the next or following year.
I rejoice to find you pleased with Joseph the Syrian, and equally so that he means to travel through Germany. His history is somewhat long. If I had not exerted myself in my application to some men of rank in London, who have access to the
King, King, he must have passed a life of misery here, or have died most wretchedly.
The bookseller keeps for you the books which you desired to purchase. You cannot as yet have received a short letter which I wrote to you in July, and sent by a young gentleman of the name of Campbell. The son of the king of Spain, Prince Gabriel, did me the honour to send me a most splendid copy of his Sallust, for which I returned my grateful acknowledgments.
You have doubtless heard of the travels of Mr. Bruce, a native of Scotland, into Syria, Arabia, Abyssinia, Nubia, and Egypt. He is as well acquainted with the coast of the Red Sea, and the sources of the Nile, as with his own house. He has brought with him some iEthiopic manuscripts, and amongst them the Prophecies of Enoch, an ancient book, but to be ranked only with the Sibylline oracles.
Whilst I was writing this letter, a person called upon me with a manuscript, which he had received at Venice from Mr. Montague, a man of family. I immediately perceived it to be a most beautiful and correct copy of Motanabbi, with a letter addressed to myself in Arabic verse, from some person named Abdurrahman, whom Mr. Montague had probably seen in Asia. I owe great obligations to the politeness of the learned Arab, but I by no means think myself worthy of his exaggerated encomiums;—but you know the pompous style of the Orientals. Do not suppose that I have any present intention of reading the poems of Motanabbi; that must be reserved for Oxford, when I have leisure to attend to this, and my other treasures of the same kind. Believe my assurance, that I entertain the highest esteem for you, and that nothing will give me greater pleasure than to hear from you
frequently frequently and at length. Take care of your health, and continue your regard for me.
Mr. HOWARD to Mr. JONES.
SlR, Parit, September 13, 1774.
As my stay here may be considerably longer than I at first'proposed, it is a duty incumbent on me to acquit myself of a charge committed to my care in the month of June last by Mr. Montague, at Venice, by transmitting to you the manuscript which accompanies this letter. I should indeed have sent it to you much sooner, but the hopes I had of an earlier return to England, was the cause of my postponing it, that I might myself have had the pleasure of delivering it, which I flattered myself might have served as an introduction to the honour of your acquaintance, a happiness which, without compliment, I have long been very ambitious of. But as my affairs are likely to detain me some time longer in this city, I cannot with any propriety prefer my own interest to a more material one; nor ought I longer to injure the public, by depriving them of the pleasure and advantage they may reap from this manuscript's coming to your hands. Mr. Montague loaded me with compliments to you, meant as real testimonies of the esteem he has for you, which I am very unfortunate in not having the pleasure of delivering.
I have the honour to be, &c.
Mr. JONES to Mr. HOWARD.
Sir, Oct. 4, 1774.
I cannot express how much I am flattered by the kind attention, with which you honour me. I have just received your most obliging letter, with a fine Arabic manuscript, containing the works of a celebrated poet, with whom I have been
long long acquainted; this testimony of Mr. Montague's regard is extremely pleasing to me, and I have a most grateful sense of his kindness. I am conscious how little I have deserved the many honours I have lately received from the learned in Europe and Asia; I can ascribe their politeness to nothing but their candour and benevolence. I fear they will think me still less deserving, when they know that I have deserted, or rather suspended, all literary pursuits whatever, and am wholly engaged in the study of a profession, for which I was always intended. As the law is a jealous science, and will not have any partnership with the Eastern muses, I must absolutely renounce their acquaintance for ten or twelve years to come. This manuscript however is highly acceptable to me, and shall be preserved among my choicest treasures, till I have leisure to give it an attentive perusal. There is a compliment to me written in Arabic verse in the first leaf of the book, and signed Abdurrahman Beg; the verses are very fine, but so full of Oriental panegyric, that I could not read them without blushing. The present seems to come from the learned Arabian; but as he has not inserted my name in his verses, and speaks of Oxford, he must have heard me mentioned by Mr. Montague, to whom therefore I am equally indebted for the present. If I knew Mr. Montague's direction, I would send him a letter of thanks for his indulgence to me, and would also return my compliments in Arabic to his Asiatic friend, who seems to have sent the took. Before your return to England, I shall probably be removed to the Temple, where I shall wait impatiently for the pleasure of seeing you.
I am, &c. William Jones.
Mr. WADDILOVE to Mr. JONES.
Sir, St. Ildefonso, Jug. 1, 1774.
Upon my arrival at Madrid, I delivered your present of your Asiatic Commentaries to my friend Dr. Fco Perez Bayer;
he he desires me to return you bis compliments and thanks for your politeness to him, and begs your acceptance of a copy of the Infant Don Gabriel's Sallust, which he accordingly sent to me the night before we left Madrid. As we shall not be there again till next Christmas, I shall have no opportunity of forwarding it to }'ou very soon; whenever any one offers, you may depend upon receiving it, but as this probably will not be before next spring, I hope you will not defer acknowledging the favour till then. If you should wish to see the Sallust before you write again to Mr. Bayer, you will find a copy in the Museum. If you have had any time to examine the Dissertation upon the Phoenician Language, &c, Dr. F. P. Bayer will be glad of any remarks upon it, as a new edition of it in Latin will soon be printed. He has a curious collection of Samaritan coins, and is now employed upon that subject; and if he could be prevailed upon to publish more of his enquiries into the antiquities of this and other countries, the learned world would be much indebted to him. Casiri is engaged at present in deciphering Moorish inscriptions, which have been found in different parts of Spain. Some are already engraved, but not yet published. He reduces first the characters to the modern Arabic, and then gives a translation and comment in Latin. Your Sallust is unbound, and you have already the dissertation to add to it.
I am, &c.
R. D. Waddilove. * Mr. JONES to F. P. BAYER.
Oct. 4, 1774.
I can scarcely find words to express my thanks for your obliging present of a most beautiful and splendid copy of Sallust, with an elegant Spanish translation. You have bestowed upon me, a private untitled individual, an honour which heretofore
* Appendix, No. 27.