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summer of 1765, he repaired to Wimbledon Park, to take upon himself the charge of his young pupil. He had not been long in Lord Spencer's family, when he was flattered by an offer from the Duke of Grafton, of the place of interpreter of eastern languages. This situation, though it might not have interfered with his other pursuits, he thought fit to decline ; but earnestly requested that it might be given to his Syrian teacher, Mirza, whose character he wrote. The solicitation was, however, unnoticed; and the event only gave him an opportunity of regretting his own ignorance of the world, in not accepting the proffered office, that he might consign its emoluments to Mirza. At Wimbledon he first formed his acquaintance with the daughter of Dr. Shipley, the Dean of Winchester, to which he owed the future happiness of his life. The ensuing winter, 1766, he removed with Lord Spencer's family to London, where he renewed his pursuit of external as well as intellectual accomplishments, and receiv d lessons from Gallini as well as Angelo. It is amusing to find his biographer add, that he took lessons at the broad sword from an old Chelsea pensioner, seamed with scars, to whose military narrations he used to listen with delight.
In 1767 he made a short trip with the family of his pupil to the continent, where, at Spa, he pursued the study of German ; and availed himself of the opportunity of finding an incomparable teacher of dancing, whose name was Janson. In the following
La life of Nadirmishing a veound willip
year he was requested by the secretary of the Duke of Grafton to undertake a task, in which no other scholar in England was found willing to engage, namely, in furnishing a version of an eastern MS. a life of Nadir Shaw, which the King of Denmark had brought with him to England, and which his Danish majesty was anxious to have translated into French. Mr. Jones undertook the translation from a laudable reluctance to allow the MS. to be carried out of the country for want of a translator ; although the subject was dry, the style of the original difficult, and although it obliged him to submit his translation to a native of France, in order to give it the idioms of a French style. He was at this time only twenty-one years of age. The only reward which he obtained for his labour was a diploma from the Royal Society of Copenhagen, and a recommendation from the court of Denmark to his own sovereign. To the “ History of Nadir Shaw” he added a treatise of his own, on Oriental poetry, in the language of the translation. In the same year he began the study of music, and took some lessons on the Welch harp.
In 1770 he again visited the continent with the Spencer family, and travelled into Italy. The genius which interests us at home redoubles its interest on foreign ground; but it would appear, from Jones's letters, that, in this instance, he was too assiduous a scholar to be an amusing traveller. His mind, during this visit to the continent, was less intent on
men and manners than on objects which he might have studied with equal advantage at home. We find him decyphering Chinese, and composing a tragedy. The tragedy has been irrecoverably lost. Its subject was the death of Mustapha, the son of Soliman; the same on which Fulk Greville, Lord Brooke, composed a drama.
On his return to England, he determined to em. brace the law as a profession, the study of which he commenced in 1771, being then in his twentyfourth year. His motives for choosing this profession are best explained in his own words. In a letter to his friend Schultens, he avows at once the public ambition and personal pride which had now grown up with the maturity of his character. « The die” (he says) “ is cast. All my books and “ MSS., with the exception of those only which “ relate to law and oratory, are locked up at Oxford; “ and I have determined, for the next twenty years “ at least, to renounce all studies but those which “ are connected with my profession. It is needless " to trouble you with my reasons at length for this “ determination. I will only say, that if I had lived " at Rome or Athens, 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 * “ If the study of the law were really unpleasant and
“ disgusting, which is far from the truth, the ex“ample of the wisest of the ancients, and of Minerva, “ would justify me in preferring the useful olive to “ the barren laurel. To tell you my mind freely, I “ am not of a disposition to bear the arrogance of “ men of rank, to which poets and men of letters “ are so often obliged to submit.”
This letter was written some years after he had resigned his situation in Lord Spencer's family; and entered himself of the Middle Temple. In the mean time, though the motives which guided him to the choice of a profession undoubtedly made him in earnest with his legal studies, he still found spare hours to devote to literature. He finished his tragedy of Mustapha, and sketched two very ambitious plans; the one of an epic poem, the other of a Turkish history. That he could have written an useful and amusing history of Turkey, is easy to supposé ; but the outline, and the few specimens of his intended epic, leave little room for regret that it was not finished. Its subject was the discovery of Britain ; the characters Tyrian, and the machinery allegorical, in the manner of Spenser. More unpromising symptoms of a poem could hardly be announced.
In 1772 he published his French letter to Du Perron, the French traveller, who, in his account of his travels in India, had treated the University of Oxford, and some of its members, with disrespect. In this publication, he corrected the French writer, VOL. VI.
perhaps, with more asperity than his maturer judgment would have approved. In the same year he published a small volume of poems, with two dissertations; one on Oriental literature, and another on the arts commonly called imitative. In his Essay on the Arts, he objects, on very fair grounds, to the Aristotelian doctrine, of the universal object of poetry being imitation. Certainly, no species of poetry can strictly be said to be imitative of nature except that which is dramatic. Mr. Twining, the translator of the “ Poetics,” has, however, explained this theory of Aristotle pretty satisfactorily, by shewing, that when he spoke of poetry as imitative, he alluded to what he conceived to be the highest department of the art, namely, the drama; or to the dramatic part of epic poetry, the dialogue, which, in recitation, afforded an actual imitation of the passion's which were described. - When Mr. Jones had been called to the bar, he found that no human industry could effectively unite the pursuits of literature with the practice of the profession. He therefore took the resolution, already alluded to in one of his letters, of abstaining from all study, but that of the science and eloquence of the bar. He thought, however, that consistently with this resolution, he might translate “ the Greek « Orations of Isæus, in cases relating to succession “ to doubtful property.” This translation appeared in 1778. In the interval, his practice became considerable; and he was made, in 1776, a commissioner
whic, affordedoetry, thes, drama