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a letter from Count Reviczki*; the reader will see with pleasure, that the mutual regard professed by the'two friends had suffered no abatement from time or separation.
London, June 30, 178R.
By the Vestal frigate, which was to convey Lord Cathcart to China, I wrote an answer to your elegant Persian letter, which I received through Mr. Elmsley. It was a most agreeable proof to me, that I was still honoured with a place in your remembrance, notwithstanding the distance which separates us. I have since learned, that Colonel Cathcart died on the voyage; and as the Vestal, in consequence of this event, returned to England, I am not without apprehension, that my letter never reached you. I have since received a most superb work printed at Calcutta, and which would do honour to the first printing-office in Europe, accompanied with an elegant and obliging letter. I recognized in it the hand of a skilful penman, if I may be allowed to judge; for I have so long neglected the cultivation of Oriental literature, that I am almost as much a stranger to it, as if I had never learned it. I have never yet seen so elegant a specimen of Oriental typography, as that in the Persian poem with which you favoured me.
I cannot express how much I regret the loss of your society during my residence in London, which would have afforded me so much gratification; and I doubt if I shall have an opportunity of enjoying it after your return, as I must soon enter upon the new office conferred upon me by the emperor, of minister at Naples. But whatever my destination may be, of this you may be assured, that neither absence nor distance will ever weaken my attachment to you, and that during life I shall consider myself equally bound by gratitude and inclination to preserve it. I am, Sir,
Your most obedient humble servant,
* Appendix, No. 38.
Sir WILLIAM JONES to Dr. PRICE.
MY DEAR SIR, Chrishna-nagur, Sept. 14, 1790.
I give you my warmest thanks for your friendly letter, and acceptable present of an admirable discourse, which I have read with great delight.
* * * * • • We have twenty millions (I speak with good information) of Indian subjects, whose laws I am now compiling and arrauging, in the hope of securing their property to themselves and their heirs. They are pleased with the work; but it makes me a very bad correspondent. I had flattered myself with a hope of making a visit to our venerable friend at Philadelphia, before the retreat which I meditate to my humble cottage in Middlesex; but God's will be done. We shall meet, I devoutly hope, in a happier state.
To the Rev. Dr. FORD, Principal of Magdalen Hall, Oxford.
Chrishna-nagur, Oct. 11, 1790.
Though I am for the best of reasons the worst of correspondents, yet I will no longer delay to thank you for your friendly letter of the fourth of February, and for your kind attentions to Colonel Polier. You have a much better correspondent in Mr. Langlas, whose patriotism, I hope, will succeed, and whose Persian literature will be a source of delight to him, if not to the public. Mr. Weill's favour never reached me, or I would have answered it immediately, and I request you to inform him of my disappointment. The chances are about three to one against your receiving this; and the fear of writing for the sport of winds and waves, disheartens me whenever I take up a pen.
Sir WILLIAM JONES to WILLIAM SHIPLEY, Esq.
DEAR SIR, Chrishna-nagur, Oct. 11, 1790.
The ships which brought your kind letters arrived so near the end of my short vacation, that I have but just time to thank you for them, as I do most heartily, as well as for your acceptable presents. Anna Maria has recovered from the pang which the sad intelligence from England gave her, and a pious resignation has succeeded to her natural anguish. You are I hope quite recovered from your illness, and again promoting the welfare and convenience of mankind, by your judicious exertions and ingenious inventions, to which all possible attention shall be shewn in this country. May you very long enjoy the pleasure of doing good, which is, I well know, the only reward you seek. It is now settled here, that the natives are proprietors of their land, and that it shall descend by their own laws. I am engaged in superintending a complete system of Indian laws; but the work is vast, difficult, and delicate; it occupies all my leisure, and makes me the worst of correspondents. I trust, however, that long letters are not necessary to convince you, that I am, &c.
Sir WILLIAM JONES to Mrs. SLOPER*.
Chrishna-nagur, Oct. IS, 1790. I deserve no thanks for the attentions which it is both my duty and my delight to shew our beloved Anna; but you deserve, and I beg you to accept my warmest thanks for your entertaining letter, for your frequent kind remembrance of me, and your acceptable present of a snuff-box in the most elegant taste. All that you write concerning our friends, is highly interesting to me; and all pleasing, except the contents of your last page; but the most agreeable part of your letter is the hope which you express, that * Sister to Lady Jones, and married to William Charles Slopcr, Esq.
the Bath waters would restore you to health: and it gives me infinite pleasure to know, that your hope has been realized. Anna will give you a full account of herself, and will mention some of the many reasons, that make me a bad correspondent. I thank you for Erskine's speech, but I was myself an advocate so long, that I never mind what advocates say, but what they prove; and I can only examine proofs in causes brought before me. I knew you would receive with your usual good-nature my saucy jests about your hand-writing, but hope you will write to me, as you write to Anna, for you know, the more any character resembles pot-hooks, &c. the better I can read it. My love to Amelia, and to all whom you love, which would give them a claim, if they had no other, to the affection of,
My dear Madam,
Your ever faithful,
Sir WILLIAM JONES to Sir J. MACPHERSON, Bart.
Chrishna-nagur, Oct. 15,1790.
I give you hearty thanks for your postscript, which (as you enjoin secrecy) I will only allude to ambiguously, lest this letter should fall into other hands than yours. Be assured, that what I am going to say does not proceed from an imperfect sense of your kindness, but really I want no addition to my fortune, which is enough for me; and if the whole legislature of Britain were to offer me a different station from that which I now fill, I should most gratefully and respectfully decline it. The character of an ambitious judge is. in my opinion, very dangerous to public justice; and if I were a sole legislator, it should be enacted that every judge, as well as every bishop, should remain for life in the place which he first accepted. This is not the language of a cynic, but of a man, who loves his friends, his country, and mankind; who knows the short duration of human life, recollects that he has lived four-and-forty years, and has learned to be contented. Of public affairs you will receive better intelligence, than I am able to give you. My private life is similar to that which you remember: seven hours a day on an average are occupied by my duties as a magistrate, and one hour to the new Indian digest, for one hour in the evening I read aloud to Lady Jones. We are now travelling to the sources of the Nile with Mr. Bruce, whose work is very interesting and important. The second volume of the Asiatic Transactions is printed, and the third ready for the press. I jabber Sanscrit every day with the pundits, and hope, before I leave India, to understand it as well as I do Latin. Among my letters I find one directed to you; I have unsealed it, and though it only shews that I was not inattentive to the note, with which you favoured me on the eve of your departure, yet I annex it, because it was yours, though brought back by my servant.
The latter part of it will raise melancholy ideas; but death, if we look at it firmly, is only a change of place: every departure of a friend is a sort of death; and we are all continually dying and reviving. We shall all meet; I hope to meet you again in India; but, wherever we meet, 1 expect to see you well and happy. None of your friends can wish for your health and happiness more ardently than, my dear Sir, &c.
Sir WILLIAM JONES to R. MORRIS, Esq.
Calcutta, Oct. 30, 1790.
When your letter arrived, I had begun my judicial campaign, and am so busy I can only answer it very shortly. Lady J. and myself are sincerely rejoiced, that you have so good an establishment in so fine a country. Need I say, that it would give me infinite delight to promote your views? as far as I can, I