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May 8, 1780. It is with pleasure I observe the public papers mention you as one of the candidates to represent the University of Oxford at the ensuing election. As a literary society, the rank you hold in the republic of letters ought certainly to point you out as one of the first objects of her choice. But it is not merely upon this principle that I feel myself interested in your success : exclusive of that veneration with which I look up to superior talents, I have an additional motive (which indeed ought to supersede every other) in the very high opinion I have forwxed of your integrity. If in this opinion I should be mistaken, your own writings have greatly contributed to mislead me. You will perceive, Sir, my reason for troubling you with this letter is to desire that when you make out a list of your friends upon this occasion, my name may be admitted into the number. I am, Sir, with truth, your very sincere wellwisher, &c.


Mr. JONES to the Rev. E. CARTWRIGHT.

Lamb's Buildings, Temple, May 16, 1780. Since my friends have declared me a candidate for the very honourable seat which Sir Roger Newdigate intends to vacate, I have received many flattering testimonies of regard from several respectable persons; but your letter, dated May 8th, which I did not receive till this morning, is, without a compliment, the fairest and most pleasing fruit of the competition in which I am engaged. The rule of the University, which is a very noble one, forbidding me to solicit votes for myself, I have not been at liberty even to apply to many persons whom it is both a pleasure and honour to know. Your unsolicited approbation is a great reward of my past toil in my literary career, and no small incentive to future exertions. As to my integrity, of which you are pleased to express a good opinion, it has not yet been tried by any very strong temptations : I hope it will resist them if any be thrown in my way. This only I may say (and I think without a boast) that my ambition was always very much bounded, and that my views are already attained by professional success adequate to my highest expectations. Perhaps I shall not be thought very unambitious, if I add, that my great object of imitation is Mr. Selden, and that if I could obtain the same honour which was conferred on him, I should, like him, devote the rest of my life to the service of my constituents and my country, to the practice of an useful profession, and to the unremitted study of our English laws, history, and literature. To be approved by you, and such men as you (if many such could be found), would be a sufficient reward to, &c.


W. Jones.

Permit me to add an ode printed (but not published) before the present competition, and at a time when I should have been certainly made a judge in India, by the kindness of Lord North, if any appointment had taken place. It proves sufficiently that no views or connections can prevent me from declaring my honest sentiments when I think they may be useful to my country.



Hadley, near Barnet, May 23, 1780. For the first time I am sorry I did not take all my degrees. I should have been happy to have given the testimony of an individual to a merit, which I have long considered as the

reproach, reproach, as well as ornament of this age and country : I must add, it would have given me particular pleasure to have expressed my gratitude to one who has so much contributed to my instruction and amusement.

I most heartily wish you success, as the republic seems in great danger of taking some harm from the weakness of her friends, and the vigour of her foes, and never in any time of her life stood in more need of the attracting and repelling powers of men of ability. I must own too, I have an additional reason for wishing you seated in the British parliament, as I shall take great satisfaction in seeing the dull of all denominations convinced, that men of wit and learning are as capable of excelling in public business, as they call it, as the most illiterate of them all.

I am, &c.



May 30, 1780. Although I have not yet the honour, to which I have long aspired, of your acquaintance and friendship, yet I am persuaded that the bond which ought in this crisis to unite all honest men is, idem sentire de republicâ ; and my friend, Mr. Milles, having imparted to me the contents of your yesterday's note, I beg leave to assure you, that I never imagined it possible, in this metropolis, at the busiest time of the year, for professional men to attend a committee of canvassers, and never thought of soliciting the attendance or exertions of my friends, any farther than might be consistent with their engagements and avocations. Accept, Sir, my very warm and very sincere thanks (and when I have the honour of being known to you, you will find that my warmth and my sincerity are


perfectly undissembled) for the sentiments which you express to Mr. Milles in regard to me. Whatever be the event of the competition in which I am engaged, I shall certainly reap the most pleasing fruit from the kindness of many excellent persons, by whom it is an high honour to be esteemed.

This only I can say, that my friends having nominated me, I have nothing to do but to steer right onward, as Milton says, to a poll. The voyage will probably last a twelvemonth at least; and though I began to sail after the Monsoon, yet I am by no means in despair of reaching the port with flying pennons, how unfavourably soever some few breezes may blow. Without an allegory, it will necessarily take up much time for my friends to canvass nine hundred voters, a great majority of whom is dispersed in various parts of the kingdom. · As to my competitors, I know them both, and respect the benevolence of Sir W. Dolben as much as I admire the extensive erudition and fine taste of Dr. Scott: but their political principles are the reverse of mine.



Leyden, June 2, 1780. Although increasing, and, at this particular time, incessaut occupation reluctantly compels me, in some measure, to forego the pleasure of corresponding with my friends, yet the subject of your last letter appears to me so important, that I am determined to hazard an immediate answer to it in three words, rather than, by waiting for a more favourable opportunity, run the risk of exciting a suspicion of any want of regard and affection for you, by an apparent inattention to your interest. I should be as happy to promote it as my own, although I am unfortunately deficient in the means of doing it.

* Appendix, No. 36.


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The situation for which you are canvassing, my friend, is most honourable and important; and If it be attainable by merit, not favour, I know no person more worthy of it than yourself, none who has higher pretensions to genius, none who possesses a greater extent of useful knowledge, nor a more powerful and commanding eloquence, none who exceeds you in love for liberty and your country, none more capable of applying a remedy to the disastrous situation of affairs by wise counsels, prudence, fortitude, and integrity ; none therefore to whose care our alma mater (allow me to evince my affection to the University by this expression) can more safely trust her interests and prosperity.

Have you however no apprehension that your enthusiasm for liberty, which is so generally known, may, in these unpropitious times, injure the success of your cause? Will those upon whose votes your election depends, allow the University to be represented in parliament by Julius Melesigonus ? My countrymen have adopted an opinion, that, in the present situation of affairs, no mar who publicly avows his attachment to liberty, can be employed in the administration.

This you will say is no concern of mine; be that as it may, no exertions on my part shall be wanting to promote your success, and I wish you would inform me how they can be directed to your advantage. Have I the power of sending a vote in your favour ? I much doubt it. Shall I apply to any of my friends, at Oxford who are well disposed towards me; for instance, Messrs. Kennicot, White, and Winstanley? Write to me without delay, and inform me what I shall do, that I'may convince you of my zeal and sincerity to serve you.

I am at present at Leyden, having succeeded my father, who died about six months ago, in the professorship of Oriental literature.

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