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some had not prompted them to spur on the populace, instead of holding them in. 1 cannot therefore restrain my indignation against Wilkes, a bold and able, but turbulent man, the very torch and firebrand of sedition: but what can be said in defence of the honour and consistency of some of our nobility, who, after having given him their countenance and support, shamefully deserted and betrayed him?
If you wish to obtain more accurate information respecting our laws and customs, I recommend to your perusal Smith's Treatise on the English Constitution, and the Dialogue of Fortescue in praise of the Laws of England. Thomas Smith was the English ambassador in France in the reign of Elizabeth, and his work is in Latin, aud not inelegantly written. To Fortescue's little tract, we may apply the words of Xenophon to the Teleboas; "it is not large, but "beautiful." He was Chancellor of England under Henry the Sixth, and was compelled by the distractions of the times, to take .refuge with his pupil Prince Edward in France, where, in an advanced age, he composed his little golden dialogue. These books will convince you that our laws are framed with the greatest wisdom, and that as Pindar, quoted by Plato in his Gorgias, says,
Sov'reign o'er all, eternal law
When I reflect on our constitution, I seem as it were to contemplate a game at chess, a recreation in which we both delight. For we have a king whose dignity we strenuously defend, but whose power is very limited; the knights, and rooks, and other pieces, have some kind of resemblance to the orders of nobility, who are employed in war, and in the management of public affairs; but the
principal principal strength is in the pawns, or people; if these are firmly united, they are sure of victory, but if divided and separated, the battle is lost. The motions of all, as in the game of chess, are regulated by fixed laws: lastly, when I consider myself, I seem like a spectator, contemplating for his mere amusement the two parties at the game; but if it ever should be my lot to be concerned in the administration of affairs, I will renounce gain and popularity, and pursue one object, and one only, to preserve our beautiful constitution inviolate.
Contrary to my intention, I find I have been prolix; I will, therefore, turn to another subject. I read your last letter with an apprehension, that it might communicate the intelligence of your speedy departure from England; but as you are silent on this head, as my business here will soon be concluded, and as I know the uncertainty of all human affairs, I am determined to embrace an opportunity, which, if I now neglect, may not again occur, of paying you a visit in London about the middle of the month.— Farewel.
* Mr. JONES to C. REVICZKI.—No Date.—1768.
I have received your two letters replete with taste and erudition: your kindness towards me is as conspicuous in them, as the brilliancy of your genius. I now reply to both.
Your approbation of my intention to publish my work, gives me, as it ought, great pleasure ; for I cannot but rejoice, as Hector in the tragedy says, "in the praise of one, who is himself entitled to "praise." The perusal of the two odes of the divine poet, afforded me infinite delight; they are very beautiful, but their beauties are
* Appendix, No, 8.
more more conspicuous from your luminous interpretation. Your metrical imitation of them is elegant, and if you will allow me to publish it in my work, you will equally oblige me and my readers, who will be glad to hear the Persian poet speak Latin; if you object to this, copies of them shall be deposited with my treasures, and the originals restored to you as soon as possible. You bid me return the verses to you when I am tired with them: this is as much as to say keep them for ever, for it is impossible that I can ever be tired with the perusal.
* Mr. JONES to C. REVICZKI.
Oxford, November 1768. I cannot resist the temptation of writing to you, although I fear you may have quitted this country before my letter arrives.
I have received your obliging letter, with an elegant ode of Hafez, which I read with the greatest pleasure, or rather devoured.
But what necessity is there to say more, since it is possible that what I write, may never reach you? Let me, again and again, intreat and beseech your remembrance of me wherever you go, and that you will write to me as speedily, and at as great a length as possible. Be assured that nothing has, or ever can, afford me greater pleasure than your friendship. . v
These letters strongly mark the enthusiasm of Mr. Jones, and his learned friend Reviczki, for Oriental literature; nor am I surprised to find that the former should have been led by it, to entertain an intention of visiting the East: no one, however, will regret that it
• Appendix, No. 9.
was was at that period abandoned. Every reader will peruse with pleasure, the enthusiastic veneration expressed by Mr. Jones for the British constitution, and the ardour with which he pronounces himself its champion; they will also remark that his attachment to it was indelible, and acquired strength from his increasing knowledge of its laws and principles.
For an account of his occupations at Wimbledon, where he passed the Spring of 1769, I shall transcribe part of a letter which he wrote to an intimate friend, John Wilmot, Esquire.
"My life is one unvaried scene of writing letters, and attending "the donzelle vezzose e tenerolle, by whose beauties I confess my"self easily overcome.
"I have just read Robertson's Life of Charles the Fifth, the nar"rative of which is amusing and instructive, and the style flowing and elegant: but the former wants that spirit and fire of genius, "that alone can make a history animated, and leave great impres"sions on the mind; and the latter has too great a sameness in the "turn of the sentences, and abounds with too many affected "words.
"I have also given my favourite Petrarch a second reading, and "was so much pleased with his lamentations over Laura, that I "selected the most beautiful passages, and threw them all together "in the form of an Elegy*, which I send you inclosed, but beg "you will return it as soon as you can, as I have no other copy. "I fear I shall not be at Oxford this Spring, but am not certain. "Give my compliments to Poore, and tell him, if he will descend '* from the starry temple of philosophy, and write to a very idle
* Works, vol. iv. p. 459.
"fellow, "fellow, I shall be glad to hear from him, especially as I am "desirous of knowing his sentiments about my Treatise De Poesi "Asiatica."
In the Summer of this year, Lord Althorpe was settled at Harrow, and Mr. Jones, who accompanied him there, had the satisfaction of seeing himself restored to the society of Dr. Sumner, Their enthusiasm for literature was equal: the master contemplated, with delight unmixed with envy, a rival of his own erudition in his scholar, who acknowledged with gratitude his obligations to his preceptor. Their intercourse, although interrupted, had never been discontinued; and Mr. Jones seldom suffered any considerable time to elapse without visiting Harrow. During his residence there at this period, he transcribed a Persian Grammar, which he had three years before composed for the use of a school-fellow whq liad been destined for India, but had since relinquished that object for a commission in the army.
I find also from his correspondence, that he had begun a Dictionary of the Persian Language, in which the principal words were illustrated from the most celebrated authors of the East: but he expressed at the same time his determination not to continue the work, unless the India Company would purchase it at a considerable expense.
The serious reader has probably remarked, that, amidst the attention of Mr. Jones to general literature, Religion has not been mentioned as an object of his study, and he may be solicitous to know his opinions on this important subject, and whether he had made any, and what, progress in that knowledge, in comparison of which all erudition is trifling, and human science vain. Notwithstanding