« PreviousContinue »
has only been conferred upon great monarchs, and illustrious universities. I really was at a loss to decide, whether I should begin my letter by congratulating you on having so excellent a translator, or by thanking you for this agreeable proof of your remembrance. I look forward to the increasing splendour, which the arts and sciences must attain in a country, where the son of the king possesses genius and erudition, capable of translating and illustrating with learned notes, the first of the Roman historians; how few youths amongst the nobility in other countries possess the requisite ability or inclination for such a task! The history of Sallust is a performance of great depth, wisdom, and dignity: to understand it well, is no small praise; to esplain it properly, is still more commendable; but to translate it elegantly, excites admiration. If all this had been accomplished by a private individual, he would have merited applause; if by a youth, he would have had a claim to literary honours; but when to the title of youth, that of prince is added, we cannot too highly extol, or too loudly applaud, his distinguished merit.
Many years are elapsed since I applied myself to the study of your learned language, but I well remember to have read in it with great delight the heroic poem of Alonzo, the odes of Garcilasso, and the humorous stories of Cervantes ; but I most sincerely declare, that I never perused a more elegant or polished composition than the translation of Sallust, and I readily subscribe to the opinion of the learned author in his preface, that the Spanish language approaches very nearly to the dignity of the Latin.
May the accomplished youth continue to deserve well of his country and mankind, and establish his claim to distinction above all the princes of the age! If I may be allowed to offer iny sentiments, I would advise him to study most diligently the divine works of Cicero, which no man, in my opinion, ever perused with out improving in eloquence and wisdom. The epistle which he wrote to his brother Quintus, on the government of a province, deserves to be daily repeated by every sovereign in the world ; his books on offices, on moral ends, and the Tusculan questions, merit a hundred perusals ; and his orations, nearly sixty in number, deserve to be translated into every European language; nor do I scruple to affirm, that his sixteen books of letters to Atticus, are superior to almost all histories, that of Sallust excepted. With respect to your own compositions, I have read with great attention, and will again read, your most agreeable book. I am informed that you propose giving a Latin translation of it, and I hope you will do it for the benefit of foreigners. I see nothing in it which requires alteration,-nothing which is not entitled to praise. I much wish that you would publish more of your treatises on the antiquities of Asia and Africa. I am confident they would be most acceptable to such as study those subjects. I have only for the present to conclude by bidding you farewell in my own name, and that of the republic of letters.-Farewell.
* Mr. JONES to G. S. MICHAELIS.
November 1774. I beg you will do me the justice to believe that I have read your books with great attention. I neither entirely admit, nor reject your opinion on the fables of the Hebrews; but until the subject be better known and explored, I am unwilling to depart from the received opinions concerning them. Your approbation of my Commentaries gives me sincere pleasure. Nothing is more true than that I have renounced the Asiatic muses and polite literature, and that for twenty years at least I have determined * Appendix, No. 28.
neither neither to write nor think about them. The Forum is my lot, and the Law engrosses all my attention. Be assured, however, that I shall ever retain my esteem both for yourself and your works.-- Farewell.
Mr. JONES to Lady SPENCER.
Duke Street. I take the liberty to present your Ladyship with a copy of my poems, and cannot refrain from acquainting you with a plain truth, that the first of them, called Solima, would never have been written, if I had never had the honour of knowing your Ladyship.
I am just come from Harrow, where it gave me inexpressible happiness to see Lord Althorpe perfectly well, extremely improved, and deservedly beloved by all, as much as by his real friend, and
Lady SPENCER to Mr. JONES.
Althorpe, Jan. 10, 1775. The continual hurry occasioned by having a house full of company, added to my not having been quite well, has prevented my thanking you sooner for your letter; you cannot doubt of my being much flattered, at your thinking you find any resemblance between my character and that of Solima, and still more at your telling the world you do: I shall always look upon that poem, as a model you have set up for my imitation, and shall only be sorry I do not approach nearer to it, especially after you have called upon me in so public a manner, to improve myself in the ways of virtue and benevolence. I must decline your second
request, of criticising, as I have neither time nor talents for such an office, nor do I think your works require it.
I am delighted with your invention of the Andrometer, and wish every body would form one for themselves; it would be of infinite use to numbers of people, who, from indolence and dissipation, rather go backwards than forwards in every useful attainment.
I am, Sir, with great esteem,
* H. A. SCHULTENS to Mr. JONES.
Amsterdam, Jan. 6, 1775. Although the incessant and extraordinary occupations in which I am at this time engaged, do not allow me to think even of writing to my friends, I cannot refuse a few lines to the most learned Bjornstahl, both for the purpose of introducing him to you, and to shew that I have not forgotten you. You will find our Philarabic Swede, a most agreeable companion; he has not only travelled much, but is deeply versed in Oriental literature, of which he is very fond. I think I may venture to promise that the society of a person, who loves what you still delight in, (for I will not with you say, what you once delighted in) will be most acceptable to you. * * *
+ Mr. JONES to C. REVICZKI.
London, February 1775. Do not suppose that I have forgotten you, because I write to you so seldom; I have not met with any person to whom I could entrust my packet, and I have no inclination to risk my * Appendix, No. 29.
† Appendix, No. 30.
familiar letters by the post. I doubt if this will ever reach you, and I fear therefore to write to you on any subject with my usual freedom, as your last letter of January, from Warsaw, was delivered to me opened ; it is probable that you will receive this in the same manner. I am so constantly occupied with law and politics, that I have no leisure for literature. I have published two books, and only want a safe opportunity to send them to you. Write to me, I beseech you, for your friendship is my greatest delight. How much I wish that you were in England, or I in Germany, that we might live together!
After all, I could not think of accepting the Turkish embassy. I will live in my own country, which cannot easily spare good subjects: it is scarcely yet free from commotion.-Oh! how I should rejoice if I could see you here in a diplomatic character: I should not then envy the monarchs of Europe or Asia. - Farewell again and again.
* C. REVICZKI to Mr. JONES.
If you are fully sensible of the very great regard I entertain for you, you will then conceive how much pleasure I felt at the receipt of your highly valued letter. Incessantly occupied for a long time, I have been compelled to forego the pleasure of corresponding with you, and I the more readily acknowledge your kindness in writing to me, when I could have no expectation of hearing from you. Though I think it more prudent not to say any thing, the disclosure of which might be attended with unpleasant consequences, I impute the opening of my letter which you mention, rather to accident than design. Your business as a lawyer must necessarily engage your closest attention; I cannot therefore ask you to write to me often, but thus much I wish you to know, that * Appendix, No. 31.