« PreviousContinue »
I have much to say upon this. subject, and hope shortly to. write fully to you about it. I long to'know how you are, as well as that best of women your mother, and your sister, (to whose friendship I am so much obliged). Present my affectionate regards to them. Farewell, and remember me.
Some catalogues of my fathers library, which is to be sold in September, have been forwarded, I think, to Ehnsley, and I have ordered one to be sent to you.
Mr. JONES to Dr. WHEELER.
MY DEAR SIR; September 2, WO*
The parliament being suddenly dissolved, I must beg you, as one of my best and truest friends, to make it known in the University, that I decline giving the learned body any further trouble, and am heartily sorry for that which has already been given them. It is needless to add, what you well know, that I should never have been the first to have troubled them at all. I always thought a delegation to parliament from so respectable a society, a laudable object of true ambition ;• but I considered it as a distant object, as the reward of long labour and meritorious service in our country; and I conceived, that, had I filled a judge's scat in India, with the approbation of my countrymen, I might on my return be fixed on as a proper representative of the University. Had not that happened which you know, I should no more have thought of standing now, than of asking for a peerage. As to principles in politics, if my success at Oxford, at any future time, depend upon a change of them, my cause is hopeless: I cannot alter or conceal them without abandoning either my reason or my integrity; the first of which is my only guide, and the second my chief comfort in this passage through life. Were I inclined to boast 3 of of any thing, I should certainly boast of making those principles my rule of conduct, which I learned from the best of men in ancient and modern times; and which, my reason tells me, are conducive to the happiness of mankind. As to men, I am certainly not hostile to the ministers, from whom I have received obligations; but I cannot in conscience approve their measures.
Mr. JONES to Mr. CARTWRIGHT.
DEAR SIR, September 4, 1780.
Permit me again to express (what I can never express too often, or too warmly) my very sincere thanks for your kind letter, dated May 8, and to assure you, as I may with the greatest truth, that I am just as much obliged to you as if your kindness had been attended with the most brilliant success; but as my strength in the great elective body of our University, (which strength, all circumstances considered, was very respectable,) lay chiefly among the non-resident voters, it would be unpardonably ungrateful in me were I to give my friends the trouble of taking long journeys, without a higher probability of success than my late enquiries have left me room to expect. I therefore decline giving any farther trouble to the learned body, and am heartily sorry for that which has already been given them, though not originally by me or my friends. I am perfectly conscious that had I been so fortunate as to succeed at Oxford, I should not have advanced, nor wished to advance, a single step in the career of ambition, but should cheerfully have sacrificed my repose and peace of mind to such a course as I conceived likely to promote the public good; and this consciousness cannot but prevent me from being in the least depressed by my failure of success. I should never repent of this little struggle, if it had produced no other fruit than the testimony of your approbation. The hurry of the general election to a professional man, has obliged
me me to suspend till another long vacation, two little works, which I hoped to finish in the remainder of this. The first is a treatise On the Maritime Jurisprudence of the Athenians, illustrated by five speeches of Demosthenes in commercial causes; and the second, a dissertation On the Manners of the Arabians before the Time of Mahomet, illustrated by the seven poems, which were written in letters of gold, and suspended in the temple at Mecca, about the beginning of the sixth century. When they are printed, I shall be proud in submitting them to your judgment, as their excellence is well known.
Mr. JONES to Lord ALTHORPE.
Sept. 4, 1780.
The intelligence which you so kindly sent me, my dear Lord, and which was perfectly unexpected, has suspended for a short time my excursion to Passy; for though I have not received any positive retainers for election business, yet there will be some contests in Wales, where I may possibly be employed; and, though the whole system of election-laws, and of elections themselves, (I always except the Grenville judicature) is quite repugnant to my ideas of the constitution, yet it would be thought unprofessional to be absent from England at such a time; nor ought indeed any Englishman to be absent when the question to be decided is, "Whether his country shall be free in form only, or in substance." I have therefore postponed my expedition for a fortnight at least, in which time all the borough elections will, I suppose, be over; and by that time, I shall be able to form a tolerable judgment of the counties. In the several counties through which I lately passed, I received (what I did not ask or desire) much praise from many worthy men for my plan to prevent the necessity of making a standing army perpetual; but the uniform objection which I heard was, " the plan is legal and constitutional, but this is not the time
"for it." Lord Mansfield himself thought otherwise, when he said in the House of Lords, that no time was to be lost in giving strength to the civil power; but let the objectors beware, lest by refusing to adopt such a plan while they are able, because they think the time improper, they should not, when the proper time shall come, be allowed to adopt it. We had some entertaining causes on the circuit, particularly a singular indictment for alarming a village on the coast of Pembrokeshire, with a report that a hostile ship of war was approaching. The prosecutors were two magistrates (one of whom was an Indian ) who were angry at
having been made fools of a point however which they could not easily have proved, inasmuch as they were fools already made. I defended the prosecuted man with success, and mingled in my speech many bitter reflections on the state of this country at the time of the alarm, and on the attempt, because the English laws were not relished in India, to import the Indian laws into England, by imprisoning and indicting an honest man, who had done no more than his duty, and whose only fault was fear, of which both his prosecutors were equally guilty. On my return through Oxford, I was convinced by undoubted authority, that although I had been continually gaining ground, and had collected no fewer than ten or twelve' votes on the circuit, yet I had no chance of success against Sir W. D., and any attempt to shake Mr. Page would have been not only consummate rashness, but even inconsistent with my repeated declarations.
Let me request you to give my very sincere thanks to Dr. Preedy for his kind promise and assistance, assuring him (which is very true) that I am just as much obliged to him, as if his kindness had been attended with success, and desiring him to thank his friend Dr. Ruding in the same terms, and with the same sincerity. Must I add this trouble to that which you' have already
taken? taken? I will make no apologies after a friendship of fifteen years, uninterrupted even for a sipgle moment. How shall I conclude? by wishing you prosperity in the Greek, or health in the Roman form? No man, my dear Lord, wishes you both more ardently than I do. Farewell.
Mr. JONES to Dr. WETHEREL.
It having been suggested to me by a most respectable friend, that it would be proper, and was in fact the due form, to apprise you and the Vice-Chancellor as soon as possible, of my being no longer a candidate for the University, I sent to the houses of those gentlemen who honoured me with forming my committee, thinking it more regular, that they should make the declaration of my having declined a poll; but as they are out of town, I am necessitated to trouble you with this letter. If Dr. Scott should stand the poll, I am ready to perform my promise of giving him my vote, as I am no more his competitor. Since I have taken up my pen (which it was by no means my intention to do) I cannot help saying that the conduct of some of my friends in respect of me gives me surprise, and (for their sakes rather than my own) uneasiness. If I have not been able to prove my attachment to my fellowcollegiates, it is because they never called for my service; if they had, they should have found that no man would have exerted himself with more activity to serve them; nor was I deficient in zeal, I well remember, when you in particular required my exertions. I am conscious of having deserved very well of the college; and if any of its members are so unkind as to think otherwise, I will shew my sense of their unkindness by persisting till my last hour in deserving well of them. After this, I should little have expected, that my letters, couched in the most sincere and affectionate terms, and absolutely unexceptionable, if they had been fairly represented,