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much on my account that I could not avail myself of his introduction to be honored by your personal acquaintance. The necessity of joining my regiment then prevented it; and the necessity of remaining with the corps, and the duties attached to the situation of major, too frequently interfere with my literary pursuits. But I hope it will not be many weeks before I shall be once more my I have some notion of retiring from the military profession; and Mr. White, my bookseller, has promised to look out for me a small house at Hampstead, which has been always a favorite spot with me. I need not say that it would be the more pleasing from affording me frequent opportunities of enjoying your society.
I have lately added, at considerable expense, to my collection of Mss., already very extensive, two large and valuable parcels. Among the Persian books, in one, is a copy of the Shah Nameh, by Ferdousi, and of the whole works of Jami, the most superb Mss. I ever saw they accordingly cost, several years ago in India, seventy pounds a
piece! But among the plainer books is one perhaps as valuable; a fine copy of Nezami's works (which comprises the History of Alexander), transcribed so long ago as the year of the Hegira 841 (1437). Being already in possession of several copies of this noble work (I mean the History of Alexander, some of which are full of marginal notes), I feel much tempted to undertake a translation of it; for I look upon it as an historical record of infinite value, and I have declared my opinion of it in the Persian Miscellanies, pp. 23,
51, 75, 132. But, as I am engaged on the plan of a most extensive and laborious work (from which, however, I am not likely to shrink), I fear the execution of it will leave me no opportunity of celebrating the son of Philip for some time; at least in any other manner than as the writings of Nizami may be spoken of in the course of my work. Some specimens of beautiful lyric poetry I perhaps shall soon offer to the public; but only in the form of a simple literal translation, which has amused me as a relaxation from the more serious studies of eastern antiquities and philology. On the subject of the former, some strange conjectures have arisen in my mind on the nature of the sculptures at Persepolis; and I find it no difficult task to discover thousands of derivations from Greek and Chaldaic in Persian words, though not inclined to rest much on mere etymology.
If I have wearied your patience, by dwelling so long on these subjects, you must accuse yourself of having induced me to believe you enthusiastic in oriental literature, and blame our friend Walker for impressing me with the same notions. I am inconceivably anxious to return to London: it is, after all, the only place in which a studious man can find himself at home. The British Museum, especially since Mr. Halhed's Oriental Mss. have been added to the former collection, must contain many treasures in my way.
I have availed myself of the reviewers' hints, and provided the books they recommended to me on the subject of Persepolis, Rivers of Paradise, &c. &c.;
but I cannot procure from any bookseller in London, a work in Latin on the Expedition of Alexander, from an Oriental manuscript in the Bodleian Library, which a German, Henry G. Paulus, published, I think, at Gottingen, seven or eight years ago. He had been some time at Oxford, and gave a copy of this book (in octavo) to a gentleman, who unfortunately lost it before he mentioned it to me. This, and the remarks "Sur les Antiquités de la Perse, by Silvestre de Sacy," are amongst my desiderata. Such wants, however, I hope to remove on visiting London, as I shall be very moderate in my domestic establishment: a small (neat) house is all I want; and the nearer to your cottage, the pleasanter will be its situation to me.
MR. OGILVIE TO MR. PINKERTON.*
King's College, Aberdeen, July 19th, 1796.
I regret very much that I cannot send a better drawing of Andrew Cant; but the person I employ finds the picture in such a miserable state of disrepair, that he cannot make it out to better purpose. I am certain the paintings mentioned in the Gentleman's Magazine must be daubings of no authenticity; but one of these days I shall
Rev. William Ogilvie, professor of Humanity at Aberdeen, published an Essay on the right of Property in Land, with respect to its foundation in the Law of Nature, &c. 8vo. 1781. 2 D
revisit them, after an interval of thirty years, and let you know if they are any other. I remember to have read in that magazine, some time ago, a notice of a picture of Morison, the botanist, in University College (if I remember right), in the lodgings once occupied by Obadiah Wolbyer, his friend.
Have you got any of the Gregorys? Lord Buchan mentions their progenitor, David Anderson, of whom we have a painting in Aberdeen; but the reputation of his genius (though deservedly high) is local, and merely traditionary. You will find an account of him in the Life of Dr. John Gregory, prefixed to the edition of his works, in four volumes. The Jameson mentioned by Lord Hailes is to be found in Banff Castle; but that house is shut up at present. I shall attend to this, and the other particulars mentioned in your letter, as occasion offers. I have no access to Darnway Castle; nor is it possible to find a draughtsman in that country, unless Lord Moray should, at any time, carry one there in his family. Might you not send his lordship some specimens of the work, requesting to be favored with the drawings wanted?
Have you got Barclay the Apologist? It is in vain, I believe, to make any inquiry in this country for the author of Argenis, or his father.
Lord Buchan is not satisfied that Hector Boece is authentic. The countenance, indeed, is too lively and smirking for a portrait of that century; yet, if you wish to see it, a drawing shall be sent.
MR. J. C. WALKER TO MR. PINKERTON.
August 30th, 1796.
In a letter which I had lately occasion to write to my friend, Major Ouseley, I begged of him to call on you, and acquaint you with my anxious wish to render you any service in my power in this kingdom; and, at the same time, to recommend to you a new Irish Magazine, entitled The Monthly Miscellany, or Irish Review and Register, particularly the second and third numbers, in which are given lists of Irish Manuscripts. This, and Mr. Ledwich's Statistical Account of his own parish, are the only recent Irish publications of merit on your favorite subject. Sir Lawrence Parsons' Defence of Irish History, I presume you have seen. rather ingenious than learned: a book to read, not to quote. However, as he is a man of talents and application, I should be glad if he would range himself under our banners.
Smitten with the charms of Italian literature, I have for a while abandoned the subject of Irish antiquities; but I shall return to it again, should my health permit, as soon as I have put the last hand to a little work, upon which I am at present engaged. But nothing, I hope, has drawn you aside from your important pursuits. In the course of the next winter, the press, I trust, will impart the result of your learned researches.
Of the new publications, I have, as yet, only read my friend Mr. Hayley's Life of Milton,