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To Mr. Justice Hyde.
Comarcaly, June 15, 1786. I FIND that, in this county, travellers are perfect slaves to the seasons and elements. It was my resolution, when I left Dacca, to push on as expeditiously as possible to Calcutta ; but, in our passage of eight days, last year, through the Tulsi creek, and the Artai river, our boat was hotter, day and night, than ever I felt a vapour-bath : till then, as much as I had reason to dread an Indian
ledge which they possessed. For this purpose, he deter. mined, at all hazards, to visit England; and, after a long opposition from his father, having obtained his reluctant assent, he adopted the only means left for the accomplishment of his purpose-by working his passage as a common sailor in one of the ships belonging to the East India Com. pany. After his arrival in England, he lost no time in beginning to acquire the instruction which he so anxiously desired; but his progress was retarded by the narrowness of his circumstances, and he was compelled to submit to menial occupations, and laborious employments, to procure a subsistence. In a moment of despair, he was accidentally introduced to the notice of the duke of Northumberland, and afterwards to that of many gentlemen of rank and fortune. by whose assistance his views were promoted.
sun, I had not a complete idea of it. This affected both lady Jones and myself so much, that it would have been madness to have passed the Sundarbaus in such weather; and Mr. Redfearn having promised to send me word when the Jelinga becomes navigable, (which is usually about the middle of this month) I expect every day to receive that intelligence; after which, I shall be in Calcutta in eight days. I am principally vexed at this delay, because, from your having taken the charge when it was sir R. Chambers's turn, I fear he must be ill; and con. sequently that you must have a great deal of trouble. Give my affectionate remembrance to him.
I am, &c.
To Miss E. Shipley.
On the Ganges, Sept. 7, 1786. You do too much honour, my dear madam, to my compositions : they amuse me in the few hours of leisure that my business allows; and if they amuse my friends, I am amply rewarded.
Ma si 'l Latino e'l Greco
We talk of the year 1790, as the happy limit of our residence in this unpropitious climate; but this must be a family secret, lest applications should be made for my place, and I should be shoved out before my resignation. God grant, that the bad state of my Anna's health may not compel her to leave India before me! I should remain like a man with a dead palsy on one of his sides : but it were better to lose one side for a time, than both for ever. I do not mean that she has been, or is likely to be, in danger from her complaints : I have proposed a visit to her friend lady Campbell, and she seemed to receive the proposal with pleasure; the sea air, and change of scene, at a proper season, may do more than all the faculty, with all their prescriptions.-As to politics and ministers, let me whisper another secret in your ear :
In non credo più al nero ch'all' azzurro :
and, as to coalitions, if the nero be inixed with the azzurro, they will only make a dirtier colour. India is yet secure, and improveable beyond ima. gination : it is not, however, in such a state of security, but that wise politicians may, with strong well-timed exertions, and well-applied address, contrive to lose it. The discharge of my duty, and the study of Indian laws in their original languages, (which is no inconsiderable part of my duty) are an exeuse for my neglect of writing letters; and indeed I find by experience, that I can take up my pen for that purpose but once a year, and I have a hundred unanswered letters now lying before me; but my Anna, who is my secretary
of state, and first, or rather sole lady of the treasury, has written volumes. Loves and regards to all who love and regard us: as to compliments, they are unmeaning things, and neither become me to send, nor you to convey.
I am, with great regard, dear madam, your faithful and affectionate servant,
To Dr. Patrick Russel.
Crishna-nagur, Sept. 28, 1786. Various causes contribute to render me a bad correspondent; particularly the discharge of my public duty, and the studies which are connected with that duty, such as the Indian and Arabic laws in their several difficult languages, one of which has occu. pied most of my leisure for the last twelvemonth, excepting when I travelled to Islamabad, for the benefit of the sea-air and verdant hillocks, during the hot season. It is only in such a retirement as the cottage, where I am passing a short vacation, that I can write to literary friends, or even think much on literary subjects; and it was long after I left this solitude last autumn, that I had the pleasure of receiving your most agreeable letter,
I am tolerably strong in Sanscrit; and hope to prove my strength soou by translating a law.tract of great intrinsic merit, and extremely curious, which the Hindus believe to be almost as old as the creation : it is ascribed to Menu, the Minos of India, and, like him, the son of Jove. My present study is the original of Bidpa's fables, called Hitopadesa,* which is a charming book, and wonderfully useful to a learner of the language. I congratulate you on the completion of your two works, but exhort you to publish them. Think how much fame Koenig lost by delaying his publications. God knows whether any use, honourable to his memory, will be made of his manuscripts. Think of Mr. D'Herbelot, whose posthumous work, like most others, had the fate of being incorrectly published. Printing is dear at Calcutta; but if government would print your works, as they ought) I could cheerfully superintend commas and colons. I ane delighted with your botanical pursuits. They talk of a public garden on the banks of the river, near Calcutta. How I wish, for our sakes, you could be allured from the Sircars! I long to visit them, however, and to view your collections; though I must be so honest as to own, that accurate botanical descriptions give me inore pleasure than an herbal, I mean where the fresh plants can be examined. For this reason, I have not begun to collect specimens, but describe as well as I can; and for brevity, in coarse Latin. Lady Jones assists me by her accuracy in drawing and colouring.
• Translated by sir W. Jones, and published in his works.