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play entitled Mormon, and a volume of poetry, under the designation of Prolusions. By lucubrations, precocious and elaborate, as these, he grew to be the pride of the place, and was styled the Great Scholar.
In the spring of the year 1764, he matriculated at University College, Oxford, and, in the course of a few months, was unanimously elected a scholar, on one of the four foundations established by Sir Simon Bennėt. To his knowledge of languages he next added an acquaintance with the Spanish, Portuguese, and Persian authors, and rendered the Arabian Tales of Galland into the original tongue. In his nineteenth year he became tutor to Lord Althorpe, the eldest son of Earl Spencer, and in 1766 obtained a fellowship at his college. Here it is curious to remark the universality of his ambition; for, not content with the reputation of deep learning, he aspired to excellence in every accomplishment by which a gentleman can be distinguished. He now took regular lessons froni the most fashionable dancing and fencing masters in London, and even hired an old pensioner from Chelsea College to teach him the exercise of the broad sword. On these flirting vanities it cannot be interesting to dilate, but the extent to which he carried them may be estimated by the fact, that, during a visit of three weeks, which he made to Spa, in the Netherlands, he consumed part of his time in going over to Aixla-Chapelle to receive graces from a dancing-master,
After refusing the place of Interpreter of the Eastern languages, which was tendered to him by Lord North, he translated into French, for the King of Denmark, a Persian Manuscript, entitled the History of Nadir Shah. This performance, after the style had been corrected by a native, he published in 1770, with a prefatory Treatise on Eastern Poetry.' Continuing his attendance on Lord Althorpe, he conducted him through Harrow School, and had the advantage of accompanying the family in a journey through France, Switzerland, and the South of Italy, in the years 1769 and 1770. At the close of this year he renounced the office of Preceptor, and became a student-at-law in the Temple.
By this time we are assured that Jones's reputation was nearly as extensive as his attainments : he had a vast correspondence with the literary characters of his own country, and foreign na
tions; and, notwithstanding the accumulation of labour thús entailed upon him, he pored over books with his wonted avidity and success. Taking up his degrees of Bachelor and Master of Arts, in due course, he was admitted a Fellow of the Royal Society, and entertained his friends with projects of works, and aspirations of dignities, which, like many others, he never had the perseverance to execute, or the fortune to seize. In 1774, he was called to the bar, and published his Commentaries on Asiatic Poetry,' (De Poesi Asiaticâ,) a work on which he had spent eight years in corrections, and which was reviewed with many praises by the learned throughout Europe. Choosing the Oxford Circuit for practice, he began his career as a barrister in the following year, and was almost immediately nominated a Commissioner of Bankrupts-an office which he rather pettishly described as one of great importànce, but little emolument.
In 1778 he relapsed into polite letters, and produced a version of the Orations of Isæus, with a prefatory discourse, and notes critical and historical, which was dedicated to Earl Bathurst, and honoured with the approbation of Edmund Burke.
Finding his business now increase with rapidity, he made an abortive attempt to figure as a politician, and signalised his objections to the American War in an Alcaic Ode to Liberty, of which it is enough to observe, that the style is crudely imitated from Horace, and the sentiments are mainly copied from Collins, He started as a candidate for the University of Oxford, at the general election in 1780, but was obliged to resign the contest through want of sufficient support. For the loss of this distinction, he consoled himself by forth with issuing from the press, in rapid succession, a treatise "On the Maritime Jurisprudence of the Athenians, illustrated by five speeches of Demosthenes on Commercial Causes;': A Dissertation on the Manners of the Arabians before the time of Mahomet, illustrated by a translation of the Seven Arabian Poets;' and “ An Enquiry into the legal Mode of Suppressing Riots, with a Constitutional Plan of future Defence.' These productions were soon followed by an Essay on the Law of Bailment;' and a translation of an Arabic Poem,
On the Mahommedan Law of Succession to the Property of Intestates.' Connected with this epoch of his life, are farther to be mentioned his enrolment into the Society for Constitutional
Information ; his advocacy of the delusive theme of universal suffrage, and his Dialogue between a Farmer and a Country Gentleman, on the Principles of Government, a party production, for the circulation of which his future father-in-law, Dr. Shipley, the Dean of St. Asaph, was subjected to a government prose.. cution,
From these fluctuating avocations Jones was finally removed in 1783, by an appointment which, in its contingencies, proved most, accordant with his predilections, and subsidiary to his reputation. This was his elevation by Lord Shelburne's ministrý to a seat. on the judicial bench of Fort William, at Bengal, whither he repaired with the honour of knighthood during the course of the same year. Previous to his departure he married Anna Maria, the daughter of the Dean of St. Asaph, a lady to whom he had for some years paid court, and in whom he found a companion the most devoted to his interest and tender of his happiness. Searcely had he settled himself at Calcutta, than, associating with the most experienced scholars in the Eastern tongues, he began to study Sanscrit, and projected the plan of a society which was speedily incorporated for the avowed purposes of exploring the literature and antiquities of Asia. Of this body the Presidentship was tendered to Warren Hastings, then Governor-general of India, but by him politely renounced in favour of the founder. For this responsible situation no man was better qualified, and to the prosecution of its objects few enthusiasts could have more profitably bent their exertions. The society commenced its sittings in 1784, and has since continued to labour with signal credit to the members, and instruction to the country. The first volume of its Researches, edited by the President, appeared in 1787; he superintended the publication of two others, and a fourth was ready for press at his death. But one avocation alone was insufficient for the busy mind of Sir William Jones: before a twelvemonth had elapsed he made an excursion into the interior, though suffering under severe illness ; and upon his return to the presidency, set on foot a periodical publication entitled the Asiatic Miscellany,' to which, for two years, he was a liberal contributor of poems and essays connected with Indian topics.
Thus, sedulously diversifying his time between the cares of his situation, and the varieties of literature, he seized every op
portunity of adding to his information, and supported his health, by short journeys from Calcutta. But the climate had fixed its influence upon his constitution, and the progress of dissolution was gradual but secure. Indifferent, however, to these sufferings, he looked forward with vain confidence to a happy return to England, and in the interval bestowed his leisure upon two undertakings, which were commensurate in difficulty and importance. These were a translation of the Ordinances of Menu, comprising a system of civil and religious duties, and a Digest of the Hindoo Code of Laws;' performances, of which the first appeared in 1793, and the second remained incomplete at his death. Nor was he less prone in poetical indulgence, for in 1788 he translated from Hafeti the Loves of Laili and Mujnoon,' and published the versification at his own expense, giving the profits of the sale to the insolvent debtors in the jail of Calcutta. During the following year he also presented the world with • Sacontala, or the Fatal Ring,' a translation from an ancient Indian drama, which in England was by some considered spurious, but which, as Sir William lustily maintained, was an original composition.
At length the delicacy of Lady Jones's health could no longer withstand the extreme enervation of the climate, and as the only preservative of existence, she was compelled to revisit Europe, in December 1793. Her husband designed to follow her after a season or two, but life was spared to him for only a few months after her departure. On the evening of the 20th of April, 1794, he prolonged his walk to an unusually late hour, and in consequence of this partial irregularity, was seized with an inflammation of the liver, which, in seven days more, put an end to his career without any symptoms of particular suffering. Among his papers was discovered an epitaph, which was apparently designed for his own grave, and is inserted here, because it is a composition incomparably more characteristic than the one placed on his monument.
Here was deposited
but sought not riches :
with an ardour
and who, having devoted
resigned it calmly,
in the year of our blessed Redeemer,
Of Sir William Jones's works, which were printed by his lady, in six volumes, 4to., the only portion now read, comprises his poetry; and of the character pervading that, an anecdote preserved of his babit of study in early life, may serve to indicate the peculiarity. He used to read, we are told, with a pen in his hand, and mark every striking passage for subsequent imitation. The influence of this propensity pervades all he ever wrote, and he will be found a copyist or plagiarist throughout all his pages. But the reputation of one who once held a great name re. quires us to descend a little to particulars. Foremost, then, in the edition of his poems, as they are now published, is placed · Arcadia,' a pastoral, taken from a paper by Addison in the Guardian. It
presents a correctness of versification and classical bearing, which will always remain creditable, but can never rise to any very high praise, while the more original qualities of rich expression and fine imagery are cultivated, and approved as warmly as they deserve to be. In the next poem Caissa, or the Game of