• Josiah Dornford to August Wilhelm von Schlegel

  • Place of Dispatch: London · Place of Destination: Göttingen · Date: 22.08.1790
Edition Status: Newly transcribed and labelled; double collated
    Metadata Concerning Header
  • Sender: Josiah Dornford
  • Recipient: August Wilhelm von Schlegel
  • Place of Dispatch: London
  • Place of Destination: Göttingen
  • Date: 22.08.1790
  • Notations: Empfangsort erschlossen.
    Manuscript
  • Provider: Sächsische Landesbibliothek - Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Dresden
  • OAI Id: DE-1a-33442
  • Classification Number: Mscr.Dresd.e.90,XIX,Bd.6,Nr.19
  • Number of Pages: 4S. auf Doppelbl., hs. m. U.
  • Format: 23,2 x 18,9 cm
  • Incipit: „[1] Dear Schlegel
    It is with no small degree of pleasure I assure you that I seize an hours leizure to [...]“
    Language
  • English
    Editors
  • Bamberg, Claudia
  • Cook, Hermione
  • Varwig, Olivia
[1] Dear Schlegel
It is with no small degree of pleasure I assure you that I seize an hours leizure to devote to an undeservedly neglected friend; for as such I am sure you will think I have treated you, by not writing to you sooner; although I hope I need not use any arguments to convince you that my neglect has been undesigned. I am exceedingly obliged to you for the kind letter you sent me when my Servant returned from
Göttingen, and am happy to hear that my young friend, whom I recommended to your care has answered the character I was authorized to give of him from personal acquaintance, and the general opinion of his friends.. It is no small satisfaction to me to have in any respect contributed to gratify the desire which you often expressed of being placed in such a situation when I had the pleasure of conversing with you on the subject. The letter you lately sent to Mrs Smith has given you a very high place in her esteem, and your account of her son is very satisfactory. I hope he will continue to profit from his very eligible situation, and remember that it the fortunate lot of few of his countrymen, at his years to enjoy such peculiar advantages. I often regret that I did not pass the younger years of my life at Göttingen instead of Oxford, because an ambitious mind is gratified there by being reputed studious, whilst with us a man who devotes his time to books is too frequently treated with contempt. I was much pleased a short time since with a letter written in your favour by Hofrath Zimmerman of Hanover, who seems to have your welfare very much at heart. It was written to a particular friend of mine, who sent it for the perusal of Mr Smith. I [2] have lately received a long letter from your friend Arenhold from Kiel. He appears to be very happy in his situation, which I am glad to hear for he is a very deserving young man. My time has been entirely occupied for these last ten months with printing my translation of Pütters book I have corrected the Press myself, which I have found the most tedious and unpleasant work I ever was engaged in, particularly the index, which I have been often tempted to leave with all its errors. I have often thought of the difficult task you must have had in preparing the index for Mr Heynes Virgil, which has astonished all our Literary men. I suppose you have heard that it will be reprinted in a very splendid manner in London. The edition will certainly be very profitable to the booksellers – I wish I could say that it would be profitable to the learned, and worthy Professor to whom they are so much obliged indebted. I am glad to hear that Völkersahm is well I have a great respect for the qualities of his heart and head, and feel interested in his welfare. When you write to him again I beg you will remember me to him in the most friendly manner. Is it true that Bürger is married? Drake told me lately that one of his Poems had proved an arrow in the breast of his present Lady, and that a similarity of genius was the occasion of their union. The Hamburg papers, which I take in, to hear some German News, mention a dispute between the Students and tradesmen of Gottingen. I hope it was not of a very serious nature. We had a dispute of that kind once at Oxford in which several lives were lost. I am told that Count Broglio is gone to finish his studies at Leipsic. He must be in a very unpleasant predicament, considering the present state of affairs in France. It is a happy circumstance for many of the unfortunate fugitives, that they retain their volatile dispositions in the midst of their distress. They seem but little affected, if I may judge from those I have been in company with here [3] by the losses they have sustained by the revolution. Our Theater Coffee Houses, and public walks are crowed with chearful Aristocrats who are as vociferous and gay, as if they visited the metropolis of England merely for amusement, although many of them poor fellows! are scarcely able to support themselves, and such a number of valuable Jewels of their distinguished Nobles even, are exposed to sale at the windows of very inferior Pawn brokers, that the newspapers say the price of Diamonds is considerably decreased I know not whether you ever saw a character of the French by the late Lord Littleton, which is very descriptive
A nation here I pity and admire,
Whom noblest sentiments of glory fire;
Yet taught by customʼs force, and bigot fear,
To serve with pride, and boast the yoke, they bear;
Whose nobles born to cringe, and to command,
In Courts a mean, in camps a generous band;
From each low tool of powʼr content receive,
Those laws their dreaded arms to Europe give,
Whose people, vain in want, in bondage blest,
Thoʼ plunderʼd, gay; industrious thoʼ oppressʼd
With happy follies rise above their fate,
The jest and envy of each wiser State.
They may change their government, and system of politics; but it certainly will not be in this century that they lose their levity.
I wish I could give you some interesting information respecting English Literature. I suppose you have seen
the five celebrated Quartos of Mr Bruce, Peter Pindar our famous Satyrist, and if I may so express myself, Literary Bull Dog, has attacked him violently. His motto is Wonders! Wonders! Wonders! A gentleman generally known here by the name of the Walking Stewart has lately published two volumes, called Travels to discover the Source of Moral motion, Such an eccentric mixture has not appeared this age. He has literally visited most parts of the habitable world on foot, & lived among the various natives in their Palaces, and Cottages – Many of his remarks are pertinent and new [4] and as he is not a man of reading his style is almost as novel as his sentiments.
You will much oblige me by desiring
Diederich the bookseller to send me the new Almanack, which contains Schillers history of the thirty years war, Buschings acct of the King of Prussia and the first vol of Putters History of the University of Göttingen, I have the second, which has several references to the other. I wish to have it soon, as a friend of mine has requested I will procure him a list of all Mr Heynes publications which are there enumerated. I should like very much to have the Göttings: Gelehr: Anzeig. every week if it could be sent by means of the Secretary at Hanover. Will you be so good as to speak to Diederich about it, and desire him at the same time to send me his account, & an order for the payment of it. I dare say our friend Tatter would have the goodness to forward the Anz: for me. If he can, I should like to begin with it in November when I settle in London for the winter Pray inform me of any interesting German publications, which any of your friends among the Professors wish to have noticed in our English reviews. Pray Make my respectful compliments to all my old Friends, particularly to those families, from whom I experienced such civilities, as Mr Heyne Feder Michaelis & Schlötzers. Are none of the Ladies married? I often look in the Hamburg papers for thy, Heyne, Schlözer or Michaelisʼs name. Remember me to Mr Smith who I hope has received my letter, and to Arnswald, Bürger, Tatter and our old friend Möller, & believe me I am with great regard
Your sincere Friend
Josiah Dornford
Lincolns Inn Augt 22. 1790.
I write in English for
the same reason you profess to write in German & I believe most people express their sentiments best in their native language – Do me the favour to forward the inclosed letter to Arenhold at Kiel. I intend writing by this or the next Post to Mr De Launay
[1] Dear Schlegel
It is with no small degree of pleasure I assure you that I seize an hours leizure to devote to an undeservedly neglected friend; for as such I am sure you will think I have treated you, by not writing to you sooner; although I hope I need not use any arguments to convince you that my neglect has been undesigned. I am exceedingly obliged to you for the kind letter you sent me when my Servant returned from
Göttingen, and am happy to hear that my young friend, whom I recommended to your care has answered the character I was authorized to give of him from personal acquaintance, and the general opinion of his friends.. It is no small satisfaction to me to have in any respect contributed to gratify the desire which you often expressed of being placed in such a situation when I had the pleasure of conversing with you on the subject. The letter you lately sent to Mrs Smith has given you a very high place in her esteem, and your account of her son is very satisfactory. I hope he will continue to profit from his very eligible situation, and remember that it the fortunate lot of few of his countrymen, at his years to enjoy such peculiar advantages. I often regret that I did not pass the younger years of my life at Göttingen instead of Oxford, because an ambitious mind is gratified there by being reputed studious, whilst with us a man who devotes his time to books is too frequently treated with contempt. I was much pleased a short time since with a letter written in your favour by Hofrath Zimmerman of Hanover, who seems to have your welfare very much at heart. It was written to a particular friend of mine, who sent it for the perusal of Mr Smith. I [2] have lately received a long letter from your friend Arenhold from Kiel. He appears to be very happy in his situation, which I am glad to hear for he is a very deserving young man. My time has been entirely occupied for these last ten months with printing my translation of Pütters book I have corrected the Press myself, which I have found the most tedious and unpleasant work I ever was engaged in, particularly the index, which I have been often tempted to leave with all its errors. I have often thought of the difficult task you must have had in preparing the index for Mr Heynes Virgil, which has astonished all our Literary men. I suppose you have heard that it will be reprinted in a very splendid manner in London. The edition will certainly be very profitable to the booksellers – I wish I could say that it would be profitable to the learned, and worthy Professor to whom they are so much obliged indebted. I am glad to hear that Völkersahm is well I have a great respect for the qualities of his heart and head, and feel interested in his welfare. When you write to him again I beg you will remember me to him in the most friendly manner. Is it true that Bürger is married? Drake told me lately that one of his Poems had proved an arrow in the breast of his present Lady, and that a similarity of genius was the occasion of their union. The Hamburg papers, which I take in, to hear some German News, mention a dispute between the Students and tradesmen of Gottingen. I hope it was not of a very serious nature. We had a dispute of that kind once at Oxford in which several lives were lost. I am told that Count Broglio is gone to finish his studies at Leipsic. He must be in a very unpleasant predicament, considering the present state of affairs in France. It is a happy circumstance for many of the unfortunate fugitives, that they retain their volatile dispositions in the midst of their distress. They seem but little affected, if I may judge from those I have been in company with here [3] by the losses they have sustained by the revolution. Our Theater Coffee Houses, and public walks are crowed with chearful Aristocrats who are as vociferous and gay, as if they visited the metropolis of England merely for amusement, although many of them poor fellows! are scarcely able to support themselves, and such a number of valuable Jewels of their distinguished Nobles even, are exposed to sale at the windows of very inferior Pawn brokers, that the newspapers say the price of Diamonds is considerably decreased I know not whether you ever saw a character of the French by the late Lord Littleton, which is very descriptive
A nation here I pity and admire,
Whom noblest sentiments of glory fire;
Yet taught by customʼs force, and bigot fear,
To serve with pride, and boast the yoke, they bear;
Whose nobles born to cringe, and to command,
In Courts a mean, in camps a generous band;
From each low tool of powʼr content receive,
Those laws their dreaded arms to Europe give,
Whose people, vain in want, in bondage blest,
Thoʼ plunderʼd, gay; industrious thoʼ oppressʼd
With happy follies rise above their fate,
The jest and envy of each wiser State.
They may change their government, and system of politics; but it certainly will not be in this century that they lose their levity.
I wish I could give you some interesting information respecting English Literature. I suppose you have seen
the five celebrated Quartos of Mr Bruce, Peter Pindar our famous Satyrist, and if I may so express myself, Literary Bull Dog, has attacked him violently. His motto is Wonders! Wonders! Wonders! A gentleman generally known here by the name of the Walking Stewart has lately published two volumes, called Travels to discover the Source of Moral motion, Such an eccentric mixture has not appeared this age. He has literally visited most parts of the habitable world on foot, & lived among the various natives in their Palaces, and Cottages – Many of his remarks are pertinent and new [4] and as he is not a man of reading his style is almost as novel as his sentiments.
You will much oblige me by desiring
Diederich the bookseller to send me the new Almanack, which contains Schillers history of the thirty years war, Buschings acct of the King of Prussia and the first vol of Putters History of the University of Göttingen, I have the second, which has several references to the other. I wish to have it soon, as a friend of mine has requested I will procure him a list of all Mr Heynes publications which are there enumerated. I should like very much to have the Göttings: Gelehr: Anzeig. every week if it could be sent by means of the Secretary at Hanover. Will you be so good as to speak to Diederich about it, and desire him at the same time to send me his account, & an order for the payment of it. I dare say our friend Tatter would have the goodness to forward the Anz: for me. If he can, I should like to begin with it in November when I settle in London for the winter Pray inform me of any interesting German publications, which any of your friends among the Professors wish to have noticed in our English reviews. Pray Make my respectful compliments to all my old Friends, particularly to those families, from whom I experienced such civilities, as Mr Heyne Feder Michaelis & Schlötzers. Are none of the Ladies married? I often look in the Hamburg papers for thy, Heyne, Schlözer or Michaelisʼs name. Remember me to Mr Smith who I hope has received my letter, and to Arnswald, Bürger, Tatter and our old friend Möller, & believe me I am with great regard
Your sincere Friend
Josiah Dornford
Lincolns Inn Augt 22. 1790.
I write in English for
the same reason you profess to write in German & I believe most people express their sentiments best in their native language – Do me the favour to forward the inclosed letter to Arenhold at Kiel. I intend writing by this or the next Post to Mr De Launay
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