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libere tamen prositeor me, tua cum legam ac relegam, ea edoctum efle a te, non soliim quæ nesciebam prorsus, sed etiam quæ antea didiciffe mihi visus sum. Modeste itaque nimium de opere tuo sentis, cum juventuti tantum instituendæ elaboratum id efle contendis. Ea certe scribis, quæ a viris istiusmodi rerum haud imperitis, cum voluptate & fructu legi possunt. Vetera quidem & satis cognita revocas in memoriam; fed ita revocas, ut illustres, ut ornes; ut aliquid vetustis adjicias quod novum sit, alienis quod omnino tuum: bonasque dicturas bona in luce collocando essicis, ut etiam iis, a quibus fæpiffime conspectae funt, elegantiores tamen solito appareant, & placeant magis.
Certe, dum Xenophontem fæpiiis versas, ab illo, & ea quæ a te plurimis in locis narranrur, & ipsum ubique narrandi modum videris traxisie, stylique Xenophontei nitorem ac venustam simplicitatem non imitari tantum, sed plane assequi: ita ut si Gallice fcisset Xenophon, non aliis ilium, in eo argumento quo tractas, verbis usurum, non alio prorsus more feripturum judicem.
Hæc ego, haud assentandi causa (quod vitium procul a me abest) sed vere ex animi sententia dice Cum enim pulchris a te donis ditatus sim, quibus, in eodem, aut in alio quopiam doctrinæ genere reserendis imparem me sentio, volui tamen propensi erga te animi gratique testimonium proferre, & te aliquo laltem munusculo, etsi perquam dissimili, remunerari.
Perge, vir docte admodum & venerande, de bonis literis, quæ nunc neglectæ passim & spretæ jacent, bene mereri: perge juventutem Gallicam (quando illi folummodo te utilem esse vis^ optimis & præceptis & exemplis informare.
Quod ut sacias, annis ætatis tuæ elapsis multos adjiceat Deus! iisque decurrentibus sanum te præstat atque incolumem. Hoc ex animo optat ac vovet.
P. S. Pransurum te mecum post Festa dixit mihi amicus ille noster qui tibi vicinus est. Cum statueris tecum quo die adsuturus es, id illi significabis. Me certe annis malisque debilitatum, quandocunque veneris, domi invenies.
6. Kal. Jan. 17 31.
Reverend and mojl Learned Sir,
WHEN a Friend, who is your near Neighbour, 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, E" that 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 (hall 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 preser you before all other Writers in that Way, but esteem you as the most persect 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 &ve greater Pleasure, and appear^more beautiful than ever, even to those who Jiave often seen them before.
As you frequently turn over Xenophon, you Hearty seem to have borrowed from him both the
Matter Matter which you relate in many Places, and the Manner of relating it, and you have not only imitated, but have manisestly acquired the Perspicuity and neat Simplicity of his Style: So that, if Xenopbon had understood French, I am of Opinion he would have written in no other Words or Manner than you have done upon the fame Subject.
I say not these Things to flatter (a Vice I ant 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 shew a willing and gratesul Mind to you, and to make you some small Present,* tho' very unlike what I 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 (fince 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 Lise; and may they be attended with Health and Tranquillity. These, Sir, are the hearty Wishes of
Your most Obedient Servant,
* The Bisliop sent Him his Sermons.