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My mother, whom I most tenderly loved, was ever in my opinion the best of women; I trust she is now the happiest. But my affliction for her loss is inconsolable. I shall be most happy to hear that you and your wife are well, and the early gratification of my wishes will be an additioal pleasure.
The Bishop of St. ASAPH to Mr. JONES.
DEAD SIR ', Nov.S, 1781,
A letter from you is always welcome, come sooner or later; yet I cannot help rejoicing at that ceaseless hurry of business, which occasioned your delay in writing, and made me lose a very valuable visit. Riches and reputation, after shewing a little coyness at first* are now making their advances at a very great rate, and will soon be as lavish of their charms as you could wish; yet I know you think too liberally, to let either your friends or your liberty suffer by their engrossing you too much.
I thank you for the nuptial ode, which,* notwithstanding its incorrectness, which you need not complain of, is the most genuine imitation of Pindar I have ever seen. I don't know whether I can assent to your criticism on the word replete, that it is never used in a good sense. Were it left to me, I would use it in no senses It has but little meaning. It was never naturalized in conversation, or in prose, and I think makes no figure in verse.
I have another present of value to thank you for—your essay on the Law of Bailments. To own the truth, your name to the advertisement made me impatient, and I had sent for it and read it before. It appears to me to be clear, just, and accurate, I mean as clear as the subject will permit. My want of law language, and perhaps of a legal understanding, made me feel great difficulty in
following following you through your very ingenious distinctions and consequences, of which I thought I could perceive the solidity. I foretell that this will be your last work. For the future your business and the public will allow you to write no more.
Though I fear it will not be consistent with your employment in Westminster-Hall, I cannot help telling you, that for as many days as you can spare between this time and the meeting of parliament, * you will find a warm bed, and a hearty welcome at Chilbolton. Mrs. Shipley and her daughters desire their compliments, and join in the invitation. I am, &c. J. St. Asaph.
Mr. JONES to Mr. CARTWRIGHT.
DEAR SIR; Dec. 1781.
Since I received your obliging letter an interval of six months has elapsed, but in all that interval, I have either been deeply engaged in professional labours, or confined by illness: I have enjoyed no rest. At this moment I am slowly recovering from a severe inflammatory disorder; yet your letter and your fine sonnets have remained constantly on my miud, and I now take up my pen to thank you most warmly for the pleasure which they have given me. I hope my friend Watson has seen the noble wreath of laurel which your animated muse has woven for him. I entreat you to send me the two others, which I long to see. The few copies which were printed of the Latin ode are so dispersed, that I have not one for myself, and would print a few more, if a learned friend of mine had not engaged to publish it with notes, historical and critical, for want of which, it is in some parts obscure. You may depend on receiving one of the first copies that car* see the light, and my seven Arabian poets will wait upon you as soon as the European dresses are finished. I take the liberty to enclose an ode composed without preparation, and almost without any premeditation: it is the work of a few hours. In truth, when I attended the
wedding, I had no thought of writing, but the young ladies would not hear of an excuse: you must therefore make all due allowance for poetry by compulsion. I am, &c.
Mr. JONES to Lord ALTHORPE.
January 5, 1782.
O la bella cosa ilfar niente! This was my exclamation, my dear Lord, on the 12th of last month, when I found myself, as I thought, at liberty to be a rambler, or an idler, or any thing I pleased: but my mal di gola took ample revenge for my abuse and contempt of it, when I wrote to you, by confining me twelve days with a fever and quinsey: and I am now so cramped by the approaching session at Oxford, that I cannot make any long excursion. I enclose my tragical song of " a shepherdess going," with Mazzanti's music, of which my opinion at present is, that the modulation is very artificial, and the harmony good, but that Pergolesi (whom the modern Italians are such puppies as to undervalue) would have made it more pathetic and heart-rending, if I may compose such a word. I long to hear it sung by Mrs. Poyntz. Pray present the enclosed, in my name, to Lady Althorpe. I hope that I shall in a short time be able to think of you, when I read these charming lines of Catullus*:
And soon to be completely blest,
Soon may a young Torquatus rise;
To bis known sire shall turn his eyes,
Half ope his little lips and smile.
* The original is quoted by Mr. Jones:—
Torquatus volo parvulus,
What a beautiful picture! can Dominichino equal it? Howweak are all arts in comparison of poetry and rhetoric! Instead however of Torquatus, I would read Spencerus. Do you not think that 1 have discovered the true use of the fine arts, namely, in relaxing the mind after toil? Man was born for labour; his configuration, his passions, his restlessness, all prove it; but labour would wear him out,. and the purpose of it be defeated, if he had not intervals of pleasure; and unless that pleasure be innocent, both he and society must suffer. Now what pleasures are more harmless, if they be nothing else, than those afforded by polite arts and polite literature? Love was given us by the Author of our being as the reward of virtue, and the solace of care; but the base and sordid forms of artificial, (which I oppose to natural,) society in which we live, have encircled that heavenly rose with so many thorns, that the wealthy alone can gather it with prudence. On the other hand, mere pleasure, to which the idle are not justly entitled, soon satiates, and leaves a vacuity in the mind more unpleasant than actual pain. A just mixture, or interchange of labour and pleasures, appears alone conducive to such happiness as this life affords.. Farewell. I have no room to add my useless name, and still more
useless professions of friendship.
The sentiments expressed in this letter do credit to the heart and understanding of Mr. Jones; they exhibit the pure feelings of an uncorrupted mind; but in giving them to the public, I deem it a duty to observe, that though a just mixture of labours and pleasures, (such innocent pleasures as Mr. Jones describes, and such only as he ever enjoyed,) is greatly conducive to the happiness of this life, the true foundation of real happiness must be sought in a higher source. In the unpremeditated effusions of friendly correspondence, expressions are not to be scrupulously weighed, nor rigorously criticised; but I feel a confidence, which the reader, if he peruses 5 the the whole of these memoirs, will participate with me, that Mr. Jones would have himself approved the observation which I have made upon his letter.
In March of this year, a proposal was made to Mr. Jones, to become a member of the society for constitutional information, and it appears from a letter which he wrote to the secretary of the society, in reply, that he readily accepted it. To prove that he was not regardless of the objects of the society's institution, a short time afterwards he addressed a second letter to the secretary, for the express purpose of confuting some doctrines in the writings of the celebrated Fielding, which he thought dangerous to the constitution of England; I insert both from a periodical publication of 1787, in which they have been preserved.
Mr. JONES to Mr. THOMAS YEATES.
Sir; Lamb's Buildings, AiprxllS, 1782.
It was not till within these very few days that I received, on my return from the circuit, your obliging letter, dated the 18th of March, which, had I been so fortunate as to receive earlier, I should have made a point of answering immediately. The society for constitutional information, by electing me one of their members, will confer upon me an honour, which I am wholly unconscious of deserving, but which is so flattering to me, that I accept of their offer with pleasure and gratitude. I should indeed long ago have testified my regard for so useful an institution by an offer of my humble service in promoting it, if I had not really despaired in my present situation of being able to attend your meetings as often as I should ardently wish.
My future life shall certainly be devoted to the support of that excellent constitution, which it is the object of your society to unfold