Слике страница
PDF
ePub

Offerings of sin, and peace. Nor yet was laid · The temple's new foundation. Corn, and wine, Sweet balm, and oil, they mete with liberal hand To Tyrian, and Sidonian. To the sea Of Joppa down they heave their stately trees From Syrian Lebanon. And now they square Huge blocks of marble, and with ancient rites Anoint the corner stone. Around the priests, The Levites, and the sons of Asaph stand With trumpets, and with cymbals. Jeshua first, Adorn'd in robes pontifical, conducts The sacred ceremony. An cphod rich Purple, and blue, comes mantling o'er his arms, Clasp'd with smooth studs, round whose meand'ring

hem A girdle twines its folds: to this by chains Of gold is link'd a breastplate: costly gems, Jasper, and diamond, sapphire, amethyst,' Unite their hues; twelve stones, memorial apt ... Of Judah's ancient tribes. A mitre decks His head, and on the top a golden crown Graven, like a signet, by no vulgar hand, Proclaims him priest of God. Symphonious hymns, Are mix'd with instrumental melody, And Judah's joyful shouts. But down thy cheeks, O Ananiah, from thine aged eye, O Phanuel, drops a tear; for ye have seen The house of Solomon in all its pride, And ill can brook this change. Nor ye alone, But every ancient wept. Loud shrieks of grief,

Mix'd with the voice of joy, are heard beyond
The hills of Salem. Even from Gibeon's walls
The astonish'd peasant turns a listening ear,
And Jordan's shepherds catch the distant sound.

SIR WILLIAM JONES.

BORN 1746.—DIED 1794.

SIR WILLIAM Jones is not a great poet; but his name recals such associations of worth, intellect, and accomplishments, that if these sketches were not necessarily and designedly only miniatures of biography, I should feel it a sort of sacrilege to consign to scanty and inadequate bounds the life of a scholar, who, in feeding the lamp of knowledge, may be truly said to have prematurely exhausted the lamp of life. .

He was born in London. His father, who it is said could trace his descent from the ancient princes of North Wales, and who, like his son, was no discredit to his lineage, was so eminent a mathematician as to be distinguished by the esteem of Newton and Halley. His first employment had been that of a schoolmaster, on board a man of war; and in that situation he attracted the notice and friendship of Lord Anson. An anecdote is told of him, that at the siege of Vigo, he was one of a party who had the liberty of pillaging the captured town. With no very rapacious views, he selected a bookseller's shop for his share; but finding no book worth taking away, he carried off a pair of scissars, which he used to shew his friends, as a trophy of his military success. On his return to England, he established himself as a teacher of mathematics, and published several scientific works, which were remarkable for their neatness of illustration, and brevity of style. By his labours as a teacher he acquired a small fortune; but lost it through the failure of a banker. His friend, Lord Macclesfield, however, in some degree indemnified him for the loss, by procuring for him a sinecure place under government. Sir William Jones lost this valuable parent when he was only three years old; so that the care of his first education devolved upon his mother. She, also, was a person of superior endowments; and cultivated his dawning powers with a sagacious assiduity, which undoubtedly contributed to their quick and surprising growth. We may judge of what a pupil she had, when we are told, that at five years of age, one morning, in turning over the leaves of u Bible, he fixed his attention, with the strongest admiration, on a sublime passage in the Revelations. Human nature perhaps presents no authentic picture of its felicity more pure or satisfactory, than that of such a pupil superintended by a mother capable of directing him..

At the age of seven, he went to Harrow school, where his progress was at first interrupted by an

accident which he met with, in having his thighbone broken, and he was obliged to be taken home for about a twelvemonth. But after his return, his abilities were so distinguished, that before he left Harrow, he was shewn to strangers as an ornament to the seminary. Before he had reached this eminence at school, it is a fact, disgraceful to one of his teachers, that, in consequence of the ground which he had lost by the accident already mentioned, he was frequently subjected to punishment, for exertions which he could not make; or, to use his own expression, for not being able to soar before he had been taught to fly. The system of severity must have been merciless indeed, when it applied to Jones, of whom his master, Dr. Thackery, used to say, that he was a boy of so active a spirit, that if left friendless and naked on Salisbury Plain, he would make his way to fame and fortune. It is related of him, that while at Harrow, his fellow scholars having determined to act the play of the Tempest, they were at a loss for a copy, and that young Jones wrote out the whole from memory. Such miracles of human recollection are certainly on record; but it is not easy to conceive the boys at Harrow, when permitted by their masters to act a play, to have been at a loss for a copy of Shakespeare; and some mistake or exaggeration may be suspected in the anecdote. He possibly abridged the play for the particular occasion. Before leaving Harrow school, he learned the Arabic characters,

and studied the Hebrew language, so as to enable him to read some of the original psalms. What would have been labour to others, was Jones's amusement. He used to relax his mind with Philidor's Lessons at Chess, and with studying botany and fossils.

In his eighteenth year he was entered of University college, Oxford, where his residence was rendered more agreeable by his mother taking up her abode in the town. He was also, fortunately, permitted by his teachers to forsake the study of dialectic logic, which still haunted the college, for that of Oriental literature; and he was so zealous in this pursuit, that he brought from London to Oxford a native of Aleppo, whom he maintained at his own expense, for the benefit of his instructions in Arabic. He also began the study of modern Persic, and found his exertions rewarded with rapid success. His vacations were spent in London, where he attended schools for riding and fencing, and studied Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese. He pursued in theory, and even exceeded in practice, the plan of education projected by Milton; and boasted, that with the fortune of a peasant, he could give himself the education of a prince. He obtained a fellowship at Oxford; but before he obtained it, whilst he was yet fearful of his success, and of burthening the slender finances of an affectionate mother for his support, he accepted of the situation of tutor to Lord Althorpe, the son of Earl Spencer. In the

ations were riding and ese. He pura olan of

« ПретходнаНастави »