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Document number: 944
Date: 11 Dec 1821
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: PORTER Charles
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA21-33
Last updated: 19th February 2012

Caius College, Cambridge
Decr 11th 1821.

My dear Talbot

I have long delayed to answer your kind letter from Nice, for which delay the more apologies are necessary as your progress is Arabic has been stopped by it - Professor Lee <1> was very kind to me on my calling on him to obtain the information you wished - He recommends the Grammar <2> published by the Propaganda Society at Rome as decidedly the best, price about 2½ Guineas.

There is also an abridgement of Dr Sacy's Grammar by Rosenmüller, <3> about 25 shillings. Jahn's Chrestomathia and Lexicon; <4> Vienna. 1802. and for reading, the Koran by Ludovico Maracci; <5> Les seances de Hariri, <6> publiées a arabe & par le Baron Silvester de Sacy - Paris 1821.

Prof. Lee has published edited a sylloge librorum orientalum by Jahn; <7> which I will send you if I meet with an opportunity -

Your Tour in Switzerland appears to have been complete; I do not expect to leave our shores again till the Summer of 1823: as I shall have plenty of reading in Classics Mathematics and Divinity - I am examiner in the College this year, at which I make my debut on Thursday - Arnold <8> is going on very well, but the weak state of his eyes is a great loss to him at this critical moment; I hope in a few weeks time or months at most, he will be Fellow - I am Dean at present, & as far as human events can be foreseen shall be Tutor in Spring, the Senior tutor - Your next letter must be directed to Revd C Porter - I am not in Priests Order yet, but am qualified to wear a Cardinals Hat -

Were you not surprised to hear of the new Fellow at Trinity this year, Baynes of our year. Professor Viner is dead, Woodhouse <9> gets the Plumian Professorship, & Turton <10> succeeds to the Lucasian - We still confidently expect to have the Senior Wrangler this year; & our Freshmans year is <11>

Dreadful accounts from Ireland,<12> fresh murders in every days paper; and there is a great outcry against the Conceit and conciliatory measures that had been adopted by C. <13> [illegible] the Secretary in Ireland; the fruits are now seen - Reconciliations with such an ignorant barbarian unprincipled set as the lower orders in Tipperary & Clare & Limerick is impossible; but I dare not say that their improvement is sufficiently attended to -

Let me hear from you an account of your pursuits and how you like Italy; and which of the numerous delights, offered to the Scholar in that rich country, you enjoy most - But why are you not a more dutiful son to Alma Mater?

I am ashamed to send you so [illegible] a letter from so great a distance - Let me hear from you soon -

very sincerely yours
Charles Porter

Poste Restante
Al Signore
Signore W. H. Talbot
(Nice Maritime)


1. Samuel Lee (1783-1852), Professor of Arabic, and Regius Professor of Hebrew at the University of Cambridge, Canon of Bristol.

2. Possibly a version of Grammatica arabica ... Agrumia appellata. Cum versione latina, ac dilucida expositione Thomae Obicini published by the Sacred Congregation of Propaganda Fide (Rome: 1631).

3. Baron Antoine Isaac Silvestre de Sacy (1758-1838), French orientalist, and Ernst Friedrich Karl Rosenmüller (1768-1835), theologian and orientalist. Sacy wrote Grammaire Arabe l'usage des élèves de l'École spéciale des langues orientales vivantes ... (2 volumes, Paris: 1810) and the Chrestomathie Arabe, ou, Extraits de divers écrivains arabes, tant en prose qu'en vers, à l'usage des élèves de l'École spéciale des langues orientales vivantes (3 volumes, Paris: 1806).

4. Johann Jahn, Lexicon arabico-latinum chrestomathiae arabicae accommodatum (1802).

5. Ludovico Maracci Alcorani textus universus ex correctioribus Arabum exemplaribus summa fide atque pulcherrimis characteribus descriptus (1698).

6. Probably Hariri, Les cinquante séances de Hariri (Paris: 1819).

7. In 1821, Samuel Lee issued Sylloge Librorum Orientalium.

8. William L Arnold, brother of Rev Thomas Kerchever Arnold (1800-1853), editor & author.

9. Robert Woodhouse (1773-1827), 8th occupant of the Lucasian Professorship of Mathematics at Cambridge University. He also held the Plumian Chair of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy. [See Doc. No: 00874].

10. Thomas Turton (1780-1864), 9th occupant of the Lucasian Chair, Bishop of Ely.

11. Text torn away under seal.

12. These were the Rockite Uprisings, an agrarian guerilla movement led by 'Captain Rock' (Patrick Dillane). The Anglo landlord system had created periodic artificial famines in Ireland, creating much unrest since the mid-eighteenth century, and the Rockite movement became active in the Southwest of Ireland from 1821-1824. Just weeks after this letter, in January 1822, violent uprisings took place in Cork, Kerry, Limerick and Tipperary and led to the imposition of a draconian Insurrection Act.

13. Charles Chetwynd-Talbot, Earl Talbot (1817-1821), Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

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