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TRANSLATED FROM THE LATIN,
By ROBERT FELLOWES, A.M. Oxon.
To his Tutor THOMAS JURE.
HOUGH I had determined, my excellent tutor, to write you an epiftle in verfe, yet I could not fatisfy myfelf without fending alfo another in profe. For the emotions of my gratitude, which your fervices fo juftly infpire, are too expanfive and too warm to be expreffed in the confined limits of poetical metre; they demand the unconstrained freedom of profe, or rather the exuberant richness of Afiatic phrafeology. Though it would far exceed my power accurately to defcribe how much I am obliged to you, even if I could drain dry all the fources of eloquence, or exhauft all the topics of difcourse which Ariftotle or the famed Parifian Logician has collected. You complain with truth, that my letters have been very few and very fhort; but I do not grieve at the omiffion of fo pleasurable a duty, fo much as I rejoice at having fuch a place in your regard as makes you anxious often to hear from me. I beseech you not to take it amifs, that I have not now written to you for more than three years; but with your ufual benignity and candour to impute it rather to circumftances than to inclination. For, heaven knows, that I regard you as a parent, that I have always treated you with the utmoft refpect, and that I was unwilling to teaze you with my compofitions. And I was anxious that if my letters had nothing else to recommend them, VOL. I.
they might be recommended by their rarity. And lastly, fince the ardour of my regard makes me imagine that you are always prefent, that I hear your voice and contemplate your looks; and as thus (which is ufually the cafe with lovers) I charm away my grief by the illufion of your prefence, I was afraid when I wrote to you the idea of your distant feparation fhould forcibly ruth upon my mind; and that the pain of your abfence which was alinoft foothed into quiefcence should revive and difperfe the pleasurable dream. I long fince received your defirable prefent of the Hebrew Bible. I wrote this at my lodgings in the city, not as ufual, furrounded by my books. If therefore there be any thing in this letter which either fails to give pleasure, or which fruftrates expectation, it fhall be compenfated by a more elaborate compofition as foon as I return to the dwelling of the Mufes.
I RECEIVED your letters and your poem, with which I was highly delighted, and in which I discover the majefty of a poet, and the ftyle of Virgil. I knew how impoffible it would be for a perfon of your genius entirely to divert his mind from the culture of the Muses, and to extinguish thofe heavenly emotions, and that facred and ethereal fire which is kindled in your heart. For what Claudian faid of himself may be faid of you, your "whole foul is inftinct with the fire of Apollo." If therefore, on this occafion, you have broken your own promises, I here commend the want of conftancy which you mention; I commend the want of virtue, if any want of virtue there be. But, in referring the merits of your poem to my judgment, you confer on me as great an honour as the Gods would if the contending mufical immortals had called me in to adjudge the palm of vic