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obliged to you. I cannot say that your remarks have wrought much conviction in me, in some places they have,) but they have had what I esteem a better effect, that is, they will make me more cautious and circumspect in some of my expressions; and they will oblige me to bring more proofs and illustrations of some points than I thought were needful. In all these respects, your friendly remarks have done me much greater service than unmeaning compliments ; and as to your differing so widely in opinion from me, your frank declaration of this difference proves you the honester man, and the more to be esteemed.

I am, &c.


Warsaw, Nov. 26, 1778. It is the fate of those who, like you, are an ornament to the literary world, to be known to those who are perfectly unknown to them; each is entitled to call to them for light, and this I hope will be a sufficient apology for my intruding upon you, and interrupting those studious hours which you consecrate with so much success to the instruction of your readers.

I was happy enough of late to hit upon your Essay on the Poetry of the Eastern nations, and your History of the Persian language. I found that you had made up in these two works a quarrel of a very old standing between erudition and taste: you have brought them to meet together in such a friendly manner, that one who had never read but your writings, would be apt to think they always went hand in hand.

I have been applying myself since a few years to the study of Eastern languages; though I cannot flatter myself with having


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reward * Fron: the short account given of Meninski in the Biographical Dictionary, it appears, that he was no less distinguished for his extensive erudition and profound knowledge of languages, particularly Oriental, than by the propriety of conduct, and abilities displayed by him in various official situations to which he had risen by his merit. His first station was that of first interpreter to the Polish embassy at the Porte, and from this he was gradually advanced to the rank of a counsellor of war to the Emperor at Vienna, and first interpreter of Oriental languages. He died at Vienna at the age of 75, in 1698, eighteen years after the publication of his famous and useful work, the Oriental Thesaurus. The compilers of this account do not notice the circumstances mentioned by Prince Czartoryski.

reward which he had a right to expect*; after having wasted his health and fortune in the finishing of his work, he died unnoticed at Vienna; and his daughter ended her life in the same city a few years ago, very ill used by those who had advanced money to her father, for the publishing of his work. You live in a country where such a sin would be ranked among the mortal ones. Baron Reviczki, so justly and honourably mentioned in your works, has been residing here for several years, as minister of the Court of Vienna: we have often made the wish, that something could tempt you to take our part of the world in your way. If that should ever happen, I would consider it as a most agreeable circumstance for me, if you could be prevailed upon to accept of my house during your stay, and consider it as your own. I know what advantages we might reap from so useful and agreeable an intercourse, and would make it our business not to let time lay heavy upon your hands. I must (before I end) express to you the sense of pleasure which I felt as a Pole, in reading that passage of your preface which concerns our country : it bears the stamp of humanity and spirit. Now, after having repeated my excuses for having been so forward, and perhaps so tedious,

I am, with all possible regard, &c.




Lamb's Buildings, Temple, London, Feb. 17, 1779. Nothing could be more honourable to me than your letter, nothing more flattering than the sentiments which you express in it; but I am so little used to converse or correspond with Princes, and have so long been accustomed to the plainness of the ancients, that I should address your Highness with more facility in Latin than in any modern idiom. Yet as you not only perfectly understand my native language, but even write it (I speak sincerely) with elegance, I will try to answer you in English, with Roman simplicity.

It gives me great pleasure, that my juvenile compositions have been at all useful or entertaining to you. What higher reward can a writer desire, than the approbation of such a reader ? In supposing, however, that you interrupt my studious hours which I am consecrating to literature, allow me to say, that, unhappily for me, you are a little mistaken. My last four years have been spent in forensic labours, which, however arduous, are no less pleasing than reputable, and would be perfectly congenial with my temper and disposition, if they did not wholly preclude me from resuming my former studies. It is possible, however, that I may soon succeed to a high judicial office in Bengal, where the vacations will give me leisure to renew my acquaintance, which I now am obliged to intermit, with the Persian and Arabian classics. Should my appointment take place, I shall set a high value on your correspondence, and will not fail to send both your Highness, and my friend, Baron Reviczki, (to whom I will write very soon,) some wreaths of flowers from the banks of the Ganges.

In answer to your questions, I must inform your Highness, that the project of reprinting Meninski here is entirely dropt; but Richardson is indefatigable, and advances as expeditiously as possible with the second part of his dictionary. How so many European words crept into the Persian language, I know not with certainty. Procopius, I think, mentions the great intercourse, both in war and peace, between the Persians and the nations in the north of Europe and Asia, whom the ancients knew by the general name of Scythians. Many learned investigators of antiquity are fully persuaded, that a very old and almost primæval language was in use among these northern nations, from which not only the Celtic dialects, but even the Greek and Latin, are derived ; in fact we find watre and untries in Persian, nor is Sunyatrie so far removed from dockter, or even óvouce and nomen from nâm, as to make it ridiculous to suppose, that they sprang from the same root. We must confess that these researches are very obscure and uncertain; and you will allow, not so agreeable as an ode of Hafez, or an elegy of Amr’alkeis. How happy should I be, my dear Prince, if on my return from India, I could visit Poland, accept the kind invitation of your Highness, and enjoy the promised pleasure of your conversation and friendship. My good genius forbids me wholly to despair of that happiness; and the sperata voluptas suavis ami. citiæ, which enabled Lucretius to endure any toil, and to spend the starry nights, as he says, in contemplation, shall have a similar effect on, &c.



Feb. 12, 1779. I beg you to accept my new work, as a mark of my best observance. The subjects are very important, very curious,


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