New York March 20 1827.
My dear Sir.
I ought to have answered some things in your letters earlier--but some how it has happened that whenever I have written to you lately it has been in haste so that I was obliged to defer or at least forgot many things which I had to say.
In answer to a question you put me some time since concerning the nature of the articles furnished from your quarter and the manner in which the work has been conducted there, 1 answer that I have been well pleased with the former, and particularly gratified with the latter. I believe that the later numbers are, if any thing, superior to the others and as far as I can judge the work is gaining in the good will of the public. I have however something to say on two or three articles. In the first place, although I doubt not that the utmost care is taken to prevent it, one or two articles of intelligence have found their way into our pages which are not quite new. For example the Chinese Advertisement in the first No. was published in all the newspapers five or six years ago. The Turkish Anecdote is more modern but I had seen it before--I cannot tell where-- some time since. I do not know from what sources this part of the journal is gleaned but I should think the Revue Encyclopedique, might furnish a good many valuable items. 2 It seemed to me that the article on Williston's Tacitus was too caustic and contemptuous in its tone. 3 Had you no doubt about the insertion of Micromegas? 4 It was well-translated I allow-exceedingly so--but it is not new to many of our subscribers in N. Y. who have read Voltaire in the original. Besides, Micromegas had been translated into English already--the translation was published in London in 1753 along with that of the Universal History. It has been intimated to me that the extracts from the eulogies on Adams and Jefferson were a little too liberal for the taste of readers in this quarter--but this remark might have its origin in a feeling of local jealousy--the authors of those eulogies being all except Mr. Sergeant New Englanders. 5
As to Jones's Indian Tales of which you ask my opinion 6 I confess that I did not like his Nantucket at all--the attempt at humour was too violent and outrageous if I may so speak. But the Indian Tradition I thought a great deal better--indeed it was quite good in its way--with the exception of the interview between the Great Spirit and the Evil Spirit which is altogther too extravagant for my taste. This tale if divested of the blemish to which I allude I should think a desirable contribution--but of the nature of the rest in Mr. Jones's collection I can of course form no judgment.
Prof. Renwick's article of which you speak occasioned no complaint