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Dacca : an old engagement will oblige us to deviate a little out of our way to Comarcaly; and if the Jellingy be navigable, we shall soon be in Calcutta; if not, we must pass a second time through the Sun. darbans : in all events, nothing, I think, can hinder my being in court on the 15th of June. Suffer me now to thank you, as I do most heartily, for the very useful information which you give me concerning money matters. The apcients said (not very properly), of their insaginary gods, "scarior est Divis homo quam sibi ;” but I may truly say, “ carior est amicis quam sibi," speaking of myself, and of your friendly attentions to me.
To Sir John Macpherson, Bart.
May 6, 1786. I DELAYED, from day to day, and from week to week, the pleasure of answering your acceptable letter, which I received, I am afraid, so long ago as the middle of March : I wished to send you something interesting ; but my days flowed on in the same equable and uniform tenor, and were only to be distinguished by the advances I made in my Persian, Indian, and botanical pursuits. In short, as it sometimes happens, by intending to write much, I had written nothing; and was preparing to give you some account of my motions towards the presidency, when I had the very great satisfaction of receiving your packet full of matter, full of pleasing accounts, and full of just observations. * * * * * *
piece of silver, placed in the conduit for carrying off the superfluous water, was discoloured in a few minutes, and an infusion of tea gave a dark tinge to the water.
On the side of a hill, distant about three miles from the burning well, there is a spot of ground of a few feet only in dimensions, from which flashes of fire burst, on stamping strongly with the foot. The appearance of this spot resembles that of earth, on which a fire has been kindled.
I read with pleasure, while I was at breakfast, Mr. Forster's lively little tract; and having finished my daily task of Persian reading with a learned parsi of Yezd, who accompanied me hither, I allot the rest of the morning to you.
The approbation given at home to your seasonable exertions here, was but natural ; it could not have been otherwise, and therefore it gives me great pleasure, but no surprise. Be assured, that general applause ever has resulted, and ever will result, from good actions and salutary ineasures, as certainly as an echo, in rocky places, follows the voice. You will readily believe me, when I assure you, that I have few things more at heart than that you may enjoy as much as you can desire of that echo, and receive no pain or injury from the rocks; for rocks abound, my friend, in the sea of life.
The Scripture speaks of nations overturning their judges in stony places; and ambitious judges ought to be overturned : but as I do uot aspire, I can never fall from an eminence.
The state of parties in England still makes me rejoice, that I am not in London : my friendships would lead me uaturally to wish the rise of the * * * * * * while my conscience, and my humble judgment oblige me to prefer ...... system, as far as I know it. God gradìt he may adopt the best measures for this country, and give them effect by the best means, without disarranging your measures; since the wheel of continual changes cannot but have a bad effect in the minds of the governed :--but I sat down to write a letter, not a treatise.
By the way, I have read a second time here your friend's Treatise on the History of Civil Society, and am extremely pleased with it, especially his chapter on the relaxation of national spirit.
Your communications about the Lama will be truly interesting. I have read, since I left Calcutta, 800 pages in quarto, concerning the Mythology and History, both civil and natural, of Tibet : the work was printed with every advantage of new types and curious engravings at Rome, about ten years ago, and was compiled from the papers of an Italian father, named Orazio, who had lived thirty years in that country and Napal, where he died. On my return, I purpose, with the permission of the society, to send a treatise * to the press, which ought to stand first in our collections, as it will be a key to many other papers. I have caused six or seven plates to be engraved for it.
• A Dissertation on the Orthography of Asiatic Words, in Roman Letters.See Sir W. Jones's Works, vol. i.
Always excepting my own imperfect essays, I may venture to foretell, that the learned in Europe will not be disappointed by our first volume. But my great object, at which I have long been labouring, is to give our country a complete digest of Hindu and Mussulman law. I have enabled myself, by excessive care, to read the oldest Sanscrit law-books, with the help of a loose Persian paraphrase; and I have begun a translation of Menu into English ; the best Arabian law-tract I translated last year. What I can possibly perform alone, I will, by God's blessing, perform ; and I would write on the subject to the minister, chancellor, the board of control, and the directors, if I were not apprehensive that they who know the world, but do not fully know me, would think that I expected some advantage either of fame or patronage, by purposing to be made the Justinian of ludia ; whereas I ain conscious of desiring 10 advantage, but the pleasure of doing general good. I shall consequently proceed in the work by my owu strength, and will print my digest by degrees at niy own expense, giving copies of it where I kuow they will be useful. Ove point I have already attained : I made the puudit of our court read and correct a copy of Halhed's* book in the original Sanscrit, and I then obliged him to attest it as good law; so that he never now can give corrupt opinions, without certain detection.
May your commercial blossom arrive at maturity with all the vigour of Indian vegetation !
A translation by N. B. Halhed, esq. of the code compiled by pundits, by the direction of Mr. Hastings.
My soul expands, like your blossom, at the idea of improved commerce : no subject is to me more animating.
I have a commercial idea for you, not a blossom, but as yet a germ only. What if Persia should now flourish! and what if the present king, Jaffier Khau, be really as great a man as represented ! Persia wants many manufactures of India, and her king would be a valuable ally. * * *
* I have already thanked you for your kind attentions to Emin, and I beg to repeat them : many in England will be equally thankful. He is a fine fellow; and if active service should be required, he would seek nothing so much, as to be placed in the most perilous edge of the battle.*
• In this letter, we see the unabated activity of a vigo. rous mind, uniting recreation with improvement, and colJecting, in its progress through the gardens of literature, the flowers of every soil. A detailed account of the daily studies of sir William Jones would surprise the most indefatigable ; and it may not be impertinent to mention, in proof of this observation, that he found time, during his short residence at Chatigan, in addition to the occupations which he has described, to peruse twice the heroic poein of Ferdosi, the Homer of Persia, supposed to contain sixty thousand couplets,
Few persons have passed through a greater variety of hardships and perilous adventures, than the person mentioned by sir William Jones under the name of Emin. Born at Hamadan, in Persia, of Armenian parents, and exposed during his infancy to uncommon disasters; while a mere youth, he followed his father and ruined family to Calcutta : he had there an opportunity of observing the superiority of Europeans, in arms, arts, and sciences, over the Asiatics; and the impression which he received from it, inspired an invincible desire in Emin to acquire the know