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at Harrow school, where he continued nearly ten years, and became an accomplished and critical classical scholar. He did not confine himself merely to the ancient authors usually studied, but added a knowledge of the Arabic characters, and acquired sufficient Hebrew to read the Psalms. In 1764 he was entered of University college, Oxford. Here his taste for oriental literature continued, and he engaged a native of Aleppo, whom he had discovered in London, to act as his preceptor. He also assiduously perused the Greek poets and historians. In his nineteenth year, Jones accepted an offer to be private tutor to Lord Althorp, afterwards Earl Spencer. A fellowship at Oxford was also conferred upon him, and thus the scholar was relieved from the fear of want, and enabled to pursue his favourite and unremitting studies. An opportunity of displaying one branch of his acquirements was afforded in 1768. The king of Denmark in that year visited England, and brought with him an eastern manuscript, containing the life of Nadir Shah, which he wished translated into French. Jones executed this arduous task, being, as Lord Teignmouth, his biographer, remarks, the only oriental scholar in England adequate to the performance. He still continued in the noble family of Spencer, and in 1769 accompanied his pupil to the continent. Next year, feeling anxious to attain an independent station in life, he entered himself a student of the Temple, and, applying himself with his characteristic ardour to his new profession, he contemplated with pleasure the stately edifice of the laws of England,' and mastered their most important principles and details. In 1774 he published Commentaries on Asiatic Poetry, but finding that jurisprudence was a jealous mistress, and would not admit the eastern muses to participate in his attentions, he devoted himself for some years exclusively to his legal studies. A patriotic feeling was mingled with this resolution. Had I lived at Rome or Athens,' he said, I should have preferred the labours, studies, and dangers of their orators and illustrious citizens -connected as they were with banishment and even death-to the groves of the poets or the gardens of the philosophers. Here I adopt the same resolution. The constitution of England is in no respect inferior to that of Rome or Athens.' Jones now practised at the bar, and was appointed one of the Commissioners of Bankrupts. In 1778, he published a translation of the speeches of Isæus, in causes concerning the law of succession to property at Athens, to which he added notes and a commentary. The stirring events of the time in which he lived were not beheld without strong interest by this accomplished scholar. He was decidedly opposed to the American war and to the slave trade, then so prevalent, and in 1781 he produced his noble Alcaic Ode, animated by the purest spirit of patriotism, and a high strain of poetical enthusiasm. He also joined in representing the necessity that existed for a reform of the electoral system in England. But though he made speeches and wrote pamphlets in favour of liberty and pure government, Jones was no party man, and was desirous, he said, of being transported to the distance of five thousand leagues from all the fatal discord of contending politicians. His wishes were soon accomplished. He was appointed one of the judges of the supreme court at Fort William, in Bengal, and the honour of knighthood was conferred upon him. He married the daughter of Dr Shipley, bishop of St Asaph; and in April 1783, in his thirty-seventh year, he embarked for India, never to return. Sir William Jones entered upon his judicial functions with all the advantages of a high reputation, unsullied in
tegrity, disinterested benevolence, and unwearied perseverance. In the intervals of leisure from his duties, he directed his attention to scientific objects, and established a society in Calcutta to promote inquiries by the ingenious, and to concentrate the knowledge to be collected in Asia. In 1784, his health being affected by the climate and the closeness of his application, he made a tour through various parts of India, in the course of which he wrote The Enchanted Fruit, or Hindoo Wife, a poetical tale, and a Treatise on the Gods of Greece, Italy, and India. He also studied the Sanscrit language, being unwilling to continue at the mercy of the Pundits, who dealt out Hindoo law as they pleased. Some translations from oriental authors, and origi nal poems and essays, he contributed to a periodical established at Calcutta, entitled The Asiatic Miscellany. He meditated an epic poem on the Discovery of England by Brutus, to which his knowledge of Hindoo mythology suggested a new machinery, the agency of Hindoo deities. To soften the violence of the fiction into harmony with probability, the poet conceived the future comprehension of Hindostan within the circle of British dominion, as prospectively visible in the age of Brutus, to the guardian angels of the Indian peninsula. This gorgeous design he had matured so far as to write the arguments of the intended books of his epic, but the poem itself he did not live to attempt. In 1789 Sir William translated an ancient Indian drama, Sacontala, or the Fatal Ring, which exhibits a picture of Hindoo manners in the century preceding the Christian era. He engaged to compile a digest of Hindoo and Mahometan laws; and in 1794 he translated the Ordinances of Menu or the Hindco system of duties, religious and civil. His motive to this task, like his inducement to the digest, was to aid the benevolent intentions of our legislature in securing to the natives, in a qualified degree, the administration of justice by their own laws. Eager to accomplish his digest, Sir William Jones remained in India after the delicate health of Lady Jones compelled her departure in December 1793. He proposed to follow her in the ensuing season, but in April he was seized with inflammation of the liver, which terminated fatally, after an illness of one week, on the 27th of April 1794. Every honour was paid to his remains, and the East India Company erected a monument to his memory in St Paul's Cathedral. The attainments of Sir William Jones were so profound and various, that it is difficult to conceive how he had comprised them in his short life of fortyeight years. As a linguist he has probably never been surpassed; for his knowledge extended to a critical study of the literature and antiquities of various nations. As a lawyer he had attained to a high rank in England, and he was the Justinian of India. In general science there were few departments of which he was ignorant: in chemistry, mathematics, botany, and music, he was equally proficient. He seems,' says his biographer, to have acted on this maxim, that whatever had been attained was attainable by him; and he was never observed to overlook or to neglect any opportunity of adding to his accomplishments or to his knowledge. When in India, his studies began with the dawn; and in seasons of intermission from professional duty, continued throughout the day; meditation retraced and confirmed what reading had collected or investigation discovered. By a regular application of time to particular occupations, he pursued various objects without confusion; and in undertakings which depended on his individual perseverance, he was never deterred by difficulties from proceeding to a successful termination.' With respect to the
division of his time, Sir William Jones had written in India, on a small piece of paper, the following lines:
Sir Edward Coke:
Six hours in sleep, in law's grave study six, Four spend in prayer-the rest on nature fix.
Seven hours to law, to soothing slumber seven, Ten to the world allot, and all to heaven.*
The poems of Sir William Jones have been collected and printed in two small volumes. An early collection was published by himself, dedicated to the Countess Spencer, in 1772. They consist of a few original pieces in English and Latin, and translations from Petrarch and Pindar; paraphrases of Turkish and Chinese odes, hymns on subjects of Hindoo mythology, Indian Tales, and a few songs from the Persian. Of these the beautiful lyric from Hafiz is the most valuable. The taste of Sir William Jones was early turned towards eastern poetry, in which he was captivated with new images, expressions, and allegories, but there is a want of chasteness and simplicity in most of these productions. The name of their illustrious author 'reflects credit,' as Campbell remarks, on poetical biography, but his secondary fame as a composer shows that the palm of poetry is not likely to be won, even by great genius, without exclusive devotion to the pursuit.'
A Persian Song of Hafiz.
Sweet maid, if thou would'st charm my sight,
Boy, let yon liquid ruby flow,
O! when these fair perfidious maids,
In vain with love our bosoms glow: Can all our tears, can all our sighs, New lustre to those charms impart? Can cheeks, where living roses blow, Where nature spreads her richest dyes, Require the borrowed gloss of art?
Speak not of fate: ah! change the theme,
Beauty has such resistless power,
But ah! sweet maid, my counsel hear
Go boldly forth, my simple lay,
The Concluding Sentence of Berkeley's Siris Imitated.
*The following is the last sentence of the Siris:-' He that would make a real progress in knowledge must dedicate his age as well as youth, the latter growth as well as the first fruits, at the altar of Truth.'
Tetrastic-From the Persian.
On parent knees, a naked new-born child,
FRANCIS FAWKES (1721-1777) translated Anacreon, Sappho, Bion, and other classic poets, and wrote some pleasing original verses. He was a clergyman, and died vicar of Hayes, in Kent. Fawkes enjoyed the friendship of Johnson and Warton; but, however classic in his tastes and studies, he seems, like Oldys, to have relished a cup of English ale. The following song is still, and will always be, a favourite:
The Brown Jug.
Dear Tom, this brown jug that now foams with mild ale,
His body when long in the ground it had lain,
And with part of fat Toby he formed this brown jug;
Johnson acknowledged that 'Frank Fawkes had done the Odes of Anacreon very finely.'
WILLIAM WHITEHEAD (1715-1785) succeeded to the office of poet-laureate, after it had been refused by Gray. He was the son of a baker in Cambridge, and distinguished himself at Winchester school, on leaving which he obtained a scholarship at Clare-hall, in the university of his native town. He was afterwards tutor to the son of the Earl of Jersey. Whitehead had a taste for the drama, and wrote The Roman Father, and Creusa, two indifferent plays. After he had received his appointment as laureate, he was attacked by Churchill, and a host of inferior satirists, but he wisely made no reply. In the family of Lord Jersey he enjoyed comfort and happiness, till death, at seventy, put a period to his inoffensive life.
[This easy and playful poem opens with the description of a rural pair of easy fortune, who live much apart from society.]
Two smiling springs had waked the flowers That paint the meads, or fringe the bowers, (Ye lovers, lend your wondering ears, Who count by months, and not by years), Two smiling springs had chaplets wove To crown their solitude, and love: When, lo! they find, they can't tell how, Their walks are not so pleasant now. The seasons sure were changed; the place Had, somehow, got a different face,
Some blast had struck the cheerful scene;
A courteous neighbour at the door, Was deemed intrusive noise no more. For rural visits, now and then, Are right, as men must live with men. Then cousin Jenny, fresh from town, A new recruit, a dear delight! Made many a heavy hour go down, At morn, at noon, at eve, at night: Sure they could hear her jokes for ever, She was so sprightly and so clever!
Yet neighbours were not quite the thingWhat joy, alas! could converse bring With awkward creatures bred at homeThe dog grew dull, or troublesome, The cat had spoiled the kitten's merit, And, with her youth, had lost her spirit. And jokes repeated o'er and o'er, Had quite exhausted Jenny's store. -And then, my dear, I can't abide This always sauntering side by side. Enough!' he cries, the reason's plain: For causes never rack your brain. Our neighbours are like other folks ; Skip's playful tricks, and Jenny's jokes, Are still delightful, still would please, Were we, my dear, ourselves at ease. Look round, with an impartial eye, On yonder fields, on yonder sky; The azure cope, the flowers below, With all their wonted colours glow; The rill still murmurs; and the moon Shines, as she did, a softer sun.
No change has made the seasons fail, No comet brushed us with his tail.
The scene's the same, the same the weather-
Agreed. A rich old uncle dies,
Why should we paint, in tedious song, How every day, and all day long, They drove at first with curious haste Through Lud's vast town; or, as they passed 'Midst risings, fallings, and repairs Of streets on streets, and squares on squares, Describe how strong their wonder grew At buildings and at builders too?
When Night her murky pinions spread, And sober folks retire to bed, To every public place they flew, Where Jenny told them who was who. Money was always at command, And tripped with pleasure hand in hand. Money was equipage, was show, Gallini's, Almack's, and Soho;
The passe-partout through every vein
Suffice it, that by just degrees
While Jenny, now n o more of use,
Advanced to fashion's wavering head,
So separate, so quite bon-ton,
Now scarce retained its faintest streak,
Silence is eloquence, 'tis said.
Both wished to speak, both hung the head.
'How delicate the married life!
True to the bias of our kind,
We left the lonesome place, and found, In dissipation's giddy round, A thousand novelties to wake The springs of life, and not to break. As, from the nest not wandering far, In light excursions through the air, The feathered tenants of the grove Around in mazy circles move, Sip the cool springs that murmuring flow, Or taste the blossom on the bough; We sported freely with the rest; And still, returning to the nest, In easy mirth we chatted o'er The trifles of the day before.
Behold us now, dissolving quite In the full ocean of delight;
In pleasures every hour employ,
As makes our home the more our own.
DR JAMES GRAINGER.
DR JAMES GRAINGER (1721-1766) was, according to his own statement, seen by Mr Prior, the biographer of Goldsmith, of a gentleman's family in Cumberland.' He studied medicine in Edinburgh, was in the army, and, on the peace, established himself as a medical practitioner in London. His poem of Solitude appeared in 1755, and was praised by Johnson, who considered the opening very noble.' Grainger wrote several other pieces, translated Tibullus, and was a critic in the Monthly Review. In 1759 he went to St Christophers, in the West Indies, commenced practising as a physician, and married a lady of fortune. During his residence there, he wrote his poem of the Sugar-Cane, which Shenstone thought capable of being rendered a good poem; and the arguments in which, Southey says, are ludicrously flat and formal.' One point is certainly ridiculous enough; 'he very poetically,' says Campbell, dignifies the poor negroes with the name of "swains." Grainger died in the West Indies.
Ode to Solitude.
O Solitude, romantic maid!
Sparks of fire Dissension blowing, Ductile, court-bred Flattery, bowing, Restraint's stiff neck, Grimace's leer, Squint-eyed Censure's artful sneer, Ambition's buskins, steeped in blocd, Fly thy presence, Solitude.
Sage Reflection, bent with years,
You, with the tragic muse retired, The wise Euripides inspired; You taught the sadly-pleasing air That Athens saved from ruins bare. You gave the Cean's tears to flow, And unlocked the springs of wo; You penned what exiled Naso thought, And poured the melancholy note. With Petrarch o'er Vaucluse you strayed, When death snatched his long-loved maid; You taught the rocks her loss to mourn, Ye strewed with flowers her virgin urn. And late in Hagley you were seen, With bloodshot eyes, and sombre mien; Hymen his yellow vestment tore, And Dirge a wreath of cypress wore. But chief your own the solemn lay That wept Narcissa young and gay; Darkness clapped her sable wing, While you touched the mournful string; Anguish left the pathless wild, Grim-faced Melancholy smiled, Drowsy Midnight ceased to yawn, The starry host put back the dawn; Aside their harps even seraphs flung To hear thy sweet Complaint, O Young! When all nature's hushed asleep, Nor Love nor Guilt their vigils keep, Soft you leave your caverned den, And wander o'er the works of men; But when Phosphor brings the dawn By her dappled coursers drawn, Again you to the wild retreat And the early huntsman meet, Where, as you pensive pace along, You catch the distant shepherd's song, Or brush from herbs the pearly dev, Or the rising primrose view. Devotion lends her heaven-plumed wings, You mount, and nature with you sings. But when mid-day fervours glow, To upland airy shades you go, Where never sunburnt woodman came, Nor sportsman chased the timid game; And there beneath an oak reclined, With drowsy waterfalls behind, You sink to rest.
Till the tuneful bird of night
What is fame? an empty bubble.
JAMES MERRICK (1720-1766) was a distinguished classical scholar, and tutor to Lord North at Oxford He took orders, but was unable to do duty, from delicate health. Merrick wrote some hymns, and attempted a version of the psalms, with no great success. We subjoin an amusing and instructive fable by this worthy divine :
Oft has it been my lot to mark
Two travellers of such a cast, As o'er Arabia's wilds they passed, And on their way, in friendly chat, Now talked of this, and then of that; Discoursed awhile, 'mongst other matter, Of the Chameleon's form and nature. 'A stranger animal,' cries one, 'Sure never lived beneath the sun : A lizard's body lean and long, A fish's head, a serpent's tongue, Its foot with triple claw disjoined ; And what a length of tail behind! How slow its pace! and then its hueWho ever saw so fine a blue?'
'Hold there,' the other quick replies, 'Tis green, saw it with these eyes, As late with open mouth it lay, And warmed it in the sunny ray; Stretched at its ease the beast I viewed, And saw it eat the air for food."
'I've seen it, sir, as well as you, And must again affirm it blue; At leisure I the beast surveyed Extended in the cooling shade.'
Tis green, 'tis green, sir, I assure ye.' 'Green' cries the other in a fury: