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liberè tamen profiteor me, tua cum legam ac relegam, ea edoctum esse a te, non folùm quæ nesciebam prorsùs, fed etiam quæ antea didiciffe mihi visus sum. Modeftè itaque nimium de opere tuo sentis, cùm juventuti tantùm instituendæ elaboratum id esse contendis. Ea certe fcribis, quæ à viris istiusmodi rerum haud imperitis, cum voluptate & fructu legi possunt. Vetera quidem & fatis cognita revocas in memoriam; fed ita revocas, ut illustres, ut ornes; ut aliquid vetuftis adjicias quod novum fit, alienis quod omnino tuum: bonasque dicturas bonâ in luce collocando efficis, ut etiam iis, a quibus fæpiflimè conspectæ funt, elegantiores tamen solitò appareant, & placeant magis.
Čertè, dum Xenophontem fæpiùs verfas, ab illo, & ea quæ à te plurimis in locis narrantur, & ipsum ubique narrandi modum videris traxisse, stylique Xenophontei nitorem ac venustam fimplicitatem non imitari tantùm, fed planè affequi: ita ut si Gallicè scîfset Xenophon, non aliis illum, in eo argumento quo tractas, verbis usurum, non alio prorsùs more scripturum judicem.
Hæc ego, haud assentandi causâ (quod vitium procul a me abest) sed verè ex animi fententiâ dico. Cùm enim pulchris a te donis ditatus sim, quibus, in eodem, aut in alio quopiam doctrinæ genere referendis imparem me fentio, volui tamen propensi erga te animi gratique testimonium proferre, & te aliquo faltem munusculo, etfi perquam
Perge, vir docte admodum & venerande, de bonis literis, quæ nunc neglectæ paffim & fpretæ jacent, benè mereri: perge juventutem Gallicam (quando illi folummodo te utilem efle vis) optimis & præceptis & exemplis informare.
. Quod ut facias, annis ætatis tuæ elapfis multos adjiceat Deus! iifque decurrentibus sanum te præstat atque incolumem. Hoc ex animo optat ac vovet.
P. S. Pransurum te mecum poft Festa dixit mihi amicus ille nofter qui tibi vicinus est. Cùm ftatueris tecum quo die adfuturus es, id illi significabis. Me certè annis malisque debilitatum, quans docunque veneris, domi invenies.
6. Kal. Jan. 1731.
Reverend and most Learned Sir, W HEN a Friend, who is your near Neigh
W bour, informed me of your Return to Paris, I resolved to see you, as soon as I found myself able to stir abroad. The Gout obliged me to defer that Happiness for some Time; and when at length I hoped to enjoy it, it was my Misfortune that you was not at home. It remains therefore, that I perform by Letter, what I could not do by Word of Mouth; and that I give you hearty Thanks for the many Favours you have conferred on me, of which I shall always retain a grateful Remembrance.
Those Presents of the Books which you have published of late Years, are to me very valuable, and do me abundance of Honour; for, most worthy Sir, I greatly esteem you, and every Thing of yours. Every Thing you write in that Kind of Learning, is finely finished ; and I not only prefer you before all other Writers in that Way, but esteem you as the most perfect Master both of Style and Sentiment: And tho' I have spent some little Time and Pains myself in Pursuit of this very Study, yet I freely own, that when I read your Works over and over, I learn not only those Things from you which I did not know, but also many Things which I thought I had been Master of before. Therefore you speak too modestly of your Performance, when you say it is only calculated for the Instruction of Youth. Men who are well acquainted with this Branch of Learning, may certainly read your Writings with Pleasure, and with Profit. You revive indeed to our Memories Facts that are ancient and well known, but in reviving them, you illustrate and adorn them ;. to the Old you add something New ; to the Works of Others, something that is intirely your Own; and by placing good Pictures in a good Light, you bring it to pass, that they give' greater Pleasure, and appear more beautiful than ever, even to those who have often seen them before.
As you frequently turn over Xenophon, you clearly seein to have borrowed from him both the
Matter which you relate in many Places, and the Manner of relating it, and you have not only imitated, but have manifestly acquired the Perspicuity and neat Simplicity of his Style: So that, if Xenophon had understood French, I am of Opinion he would have written in no other Words or Manner than you have done upon the same Subject.
I say not these Things to flatter (a Vice I am not at all liable to) but from my real Sentiments; and as you have inriched me with the choicest Gifts, to which I know myself unable to make a suitable Return, in the same, or any other, Kind of Learning. I was at least desirous to fhew a willing and grateful Mind to you, and to make you some small Present,* tho' very unlike what Í had received. Go on, most Learned and Reverend Sir, to deserve well of the Republick of Letters, in these Days too much neglected and despised: Go on to form the Youth of France (since you will acknowledge yourself useful only to them) by the best Precepts and Examples.
Which that you may accomplish, may God add many Years to your Life; and may they be attended with Health and Tranquillity. These, Sir, are the hearty Wishes of
Your most Obedient Servant,
* The Bishop fent Him his Sermons.