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insupportable, from my attachment to other pursuits, by no motive but affection for you, and that I can propose to myself no object but the advancement of your happiness. Few people also have been more accurately observant of men and manners than myself: so that my suggestions will not only be the offspring of affection, but the deductions of experience.
I suppose that almost every supposeable circumstance will conspire to render your present situation agreeable. The attentions.
of a family, whose wishes for your company were ardent and spontaneous, and whose attachment to your mother and myself has been long and sincere: occasional visitors of very pure manners, and highly cultivated understandings. These circumstances, and many more, will combine to reconcile you to a tem
writers, he says, "Make no apologies for delay in answering my letters. You know my failing in this respect; but it arises from the extreme eagerness with which I have always pursued my studies as my necessary duty, and have, therefore, regarded all interruption from correspondence as a loss, unless some service were connected with it beyond the mere formalities of profession: but you are one of the few, to whom I have written, and will continue to write, with pleasure, while I can write at all;
"Dum memor ipse mei, dum spiritus hos regit artus."
porary separation from ourselves, who rejoice in every occasion of promoting your comfort, and cordially acquiesce in this excursion, as probably beneficial both to your health and manners, by a more enlarged communication with society. No young person, my dear child in a similar rank of life, was ever encompassed by greater blessings than yourself: and, I am sure, you must be sensible of the variety and peculiarity of your comforts.
You have that frankness and openness of manners and conversation, which I have always encouraged in you, and which is the result, I am persuaded, of an undisguised and uncorrupted heart. But let me entreat you, my dearest love! to express, on all occasions, your dissent from the opinion of others in the softest manner, and in the most conciliating language. Though some people regard me as violent and self-willed, I know very well that I owe the extraordinary affection of my many friends to no one property so much as a kind attention to their sentiments, and a civil manner of disputing them. Nothing so much becomes all mankind as gentleness, condescension, and an unassuming proposal of our opinious: but this complacency of deportment is most of all becoming the young and inexperienced, and especially your own sex,
Sir Isaac Newton, the most sublime intelligence among the sons of men, was also the most modest, the most humble, and the least disputatious person, that has yet existed. I need not mention that self-love and pride urge every human being to oppose, repress, and disparage the forward and the petulant; whilst the benevolent, and polite and conciliating, secure to themselves the universal homage of deference, esteem, and love. So certainly will our own happiness be effected by an undeviating assiduity in promoting the happiness of others. Adieu! my dear child, accept the affectionate wishes and remembrances of us all, and fail not in communicating our respectful acknowledgments to all the family.
Believe me, my dear,
Your most loving father,
He was now desirous of undertaking a work which, from its perfect congeniality with his taste, and the general cast of his studies, would have furnished a most agreeable relief to his solitary hours. This intention, however, was never carried into execution. Here again his schemes were interrupted by the want of his library. Other circum
stances also discouraged him from pursuing this design.
In a letter (dated Oct. 9), he says, "I meditate a beginning, during the winter, of my criticisms on all the ancient Greek and Latin authors by small peace-meals, on the cheapest possible paper, and at the least possible expence of printing. As I can never do more than barely indemnify myself, I shall print only two hundred and fifty copies; and should like to know from Hamilton what would be the cheapest and least wasteful size, Svo. or 12mo.
In a subsequent letter, he observes, "This project has no connexion with my Silva Critica."
The vast expence which he had incurred by his splendid edition of Lucretius, in the flattering expectation of a more liberal encouragement from the wealthy patrons of classic learning, had taught him a dear lesson of prudence. He was cautious of hazarding a similar disappointment, and eventually deterred from prosecuting even the present very contracted scheme of publication.
Thus having abandoned the hopes of accomplishing any original work in a manner either satisfactory to himself, or correspondent
to the reasonable expectation of the public, he was induced to direct his attention to the translation of some ancient author. In a letter of Nov. 5, he thus notices his new project: "I thought of translating some of the more interesting essays of Dio Chrysostom, none of which, I dare say, have ever appeared. in an English dress. But this might be enquired into.
They would make but a small 8vo. volume, and if Phillips approve, I will translate them immediately, and require no recompence but a dozen copies for my friends, unless the success of this publication should justify him any additional acknowledgment.
"Should this answer, some of Plutarch might then be safely undertaken."
No sooner was the plan settled, than the completion of it followed with his accustomed rapidity.
In the letter just quoted, he had remarked, "I am exceedingly immersed in study. I have got an old manuscript Statius from the Duke of Grafton, and expect some Greek manuscripts from Cambridge at Christmas. Still however, within a few days, we find him fully occupied in his new work. He writes, "I am up to the neck in my translation, as well as a great deal of necessary, but most irksome