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no sympathy with that infamous sentiment, “Our country right or wrong." Like Lord Chatham, and Burke, and Pitt, and Fox, he did not hesitate to rebuke, and rebuke severely, his country, or rather the ruling administration, when he deemed its measures to be wrong. But his inflexible adherence to correct principles, and to a just line of action, together with an “Ode to Liberty," which he had published, caused him to lose favor with those who had offices in their gift, and he did not obtain the situation of the judgeship at Fort William, in Bengal, which became vacant in 1780, though he was doubtless the most competent person at that time in England to fill it. But on a change of administration in 1782, he was appointed to this responsible station, and received the honor of knighthood. In April, 1783, he married Anna Maria Shipley, the daughter of the Bishop of St. Asaph, to whom he had been engaged for sixteen years. He immediately set sail for India, having secured, as his friend Lord Ashburton congratulated him, the two first objects of human pursuit, those of love and ambition.
In December, 1783, he commenced the discharge of his duties as an Indian judge, with his characteristic ardor ; but it is impossible, in this short space, to do any justice to his great labors. He early formed a society of which he was the president, for «Inquiring into the istory and Antiquities, the Arts, Sciences, and Literature of Asia ;" and to the “ Asiatic Researches,” which this society published, he himself was the chief contributor. The following are some of his papers: “ Eleven Anniversary Discourses on the different nations of Asia, &c.;" “ A Dissertation on the Orthography of Asiatic Words in Roman Letters;" « On the Gods of Greece, Italy, and India;” “On the Chronology of the Hindoos;" “On the Antiquity of the Indian Zodiac;" “ On the Mystical Poetry of the Persians and Hindoos;" with very many other treatises of less importance. All these literary labors he performed when not attending to his official duties, which, for the greater part of the year, occupied him seven hours a day. But such labors, enough to try the strongest constitution anywhere, were too much for him in the debilitating climate of Bengal; his health gave way, and he died at Calcutta, on the 27th of April, 1794.1
“ In the course of a short life,” says Campbell, “Sir William Jones acquired a degree of knowledge wbich the ordinary faculties of men, if they were blessed with antediluvian longevity, could scarcely hope to surpass. His learning threw light on the laws of Greece and India, on the general literature of Asia, and on the history of the family of nations. He carried philosophy, eloquence, and philanthropy, into the character of a lawyer and a judge. Amidst the driest toils of erudition, he retained a sensibility to the beauties of poetry, and a talent for transfusing them into his own language, which has seldom been united with the same degree of industry. When he went abroad, it was not to enrich himself with the spoils of avarice or ambition; but to search, amidst the ruins of oriental literature, for treasures which he would not have exchanged
For all Bocara's vaunted gold,
Or all the gems of Samarcand.'” “ Sir William Jones," says his biographer, “seems to have acted on this maxim, that whatever had been attained was attainable by him; and he was never observed to overlook or neglect any opportunity of adding to his ac
1 The best edition of his works is that by Lord Teignmouth, in 13 vols. 8vo.; to which is prefixed A well-written life of this illustrious scholar.
complishments or to his knowledge. When in India, his studies began with the dawn; and, in seasons of intermission from professional duty, continued through the day; while 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, he had written in India, on a small piece of paper, the following lines :
Sir Edward Coke.
Ten to the world allot, and 'all to heaven. But we cannot conclude this short sketch of the life of this eminently great and good man, without adding his beautiful encomium on the Bible. Let it be borne in mind that those peculiar attainments which rendered him so fully competent to utter it, were scarcely ever possessed by any other man; for he was not only critically acquainted with the original languages of the Bible, but with all the various cognate languages and dialects of the East, a knowledge of which imparts new beauty and lustre to that wonderful book.
I have regularly and attentively read the Holy Scriptures, and am of opinion that this volume, independent of its Divine origin, contains more sublimity and beauty, more pure morality, more important history, and finer strains of poetry and eloquence, than can be collected from all other books, in whatever language or age they may have been composed.
In Imitation of Alcæus.
Thick wall or moated gate;
Not bays and broad-arm'd ports,
Not starr'd and spangled courts,
No:-MEN, high-minded MEN,
1 "ONE" is naturally expected, to make up the twenty-four: instead of that, by an unexpected turn, he says “ALL to heaven," intending one to be reserved for purposes of devotion. See remarks on the same in Macaulay's Review of Croker's Boswell.
2 "I am confident,” says Sir Richard Steele, “that whoever reads the Gospels, with a heart as much prepared in favor of them, as when he sits down to Virgil or Homer, will find no passage there which is not told with more natural force than any episode in either of those wits, who were this chief of mere mankind."
In forest, brake, or den,
Men, who their duties know,
Prevent the long-aim'd blow,
These constitute a State,
O'er thrones and globes elate
Smit by her sacred frown,
And e'en th' all-dazzling Crown
Such was this heaven-loved isle,
No more shall Freedom smile?
Since all must life resign,
'Tis folly to decline,
And steal inglorious to the silent grave. Among the most instructive and pleasing of Sir William Jones's prose compositions, are his Letters; from which we take the following charming
DESCRIPTION OF MILTON'S RESIDENCE. To LADY SPENCER ::
September 7, 1769. The necessary trouble of correcting the first printed sheets of my History, prevented me to-day from paying a proper respect to the memory of Shakspeare, by attending his jubilee. But I was resolved to do all the honor in my power to as great a poet, and set out in the morning, in company with a friend, to visit a place where Milton spent some part of his life, and where, in all probability, he composed several of his earliest productions. It is a small village, situated on a pleasant hill, about three miles from Oxford, and called Forest-Hill, because it formerly lay contiguous to a forest, which has since been cut down. The poet chose this place of retirement after his first marriage, and he describes the beauty of his retreat in that fine passage of his L’Allegro:
Sometimes walking not unseen,
1 In the summer of 1768 the Earl of Spencer's son went to Harrow school, (ten miles N. W. of London,) and Sir William (then Mr.) Jones accompanied him thither. During the autumnal vacation of the next year, our author visited his friends at Oxford, and during his residence among them, he made the excursion to Forest-Hin, which is related with so much animation and true poetic feeltvg in this most interesting letter to Lady Spencer.
And the milkmaid singeth blithe,
Hard by, a cottage chimney smokes,
From betwixt two aged oaks, &c. It was neither the proper season of the year, nor time of the day, to hear all the rural sounds and see all the objects mentioned in this description ; but by a pleasing concurrence of circumstances, we were saluted, on our approach to the village, with the music of the mower and his scythe; we saw the ploughman intent upon his labor, and the milkmaid returning from her country employment.
As we ascended the hill, the variety of beautiful objects, the agreeable stillness and natural simplicity of the whole scene, gave us the highest pleasure. We at length reached the spot whence Milton undoubtedly took most of his images : it is on the top of the hill, from which there is a most extensive prospect on all sides ; the distant mountains that seemed to support the clouds, the villages and turrets, partly shaded by trees of the finest verdure, and partly raised above the groves that surrounded them, the dark plains and meadows, of a grayish color, where the sheep were feeding at large; in short, the view of the streams and rivers, convinced us that there was not a single useless or idle word in the above-mentioned description, but that it was a most exact and lively representation of nature. Thus will this fine passage, which has always been admired for its elegance, receive an additional beauty from its exactness. After we had walked, with a kind of poetical enthusiasm, over this enchanted ground, we returned to the village.
The poet's house was close to the church; the greatest part of it has been pulled down, and what remains, belongs to an adjacent farm. I am informed that several papers in Milton's own hand were found by the gentleman who was last in possession of the estate. The tradition of his having lived there is current among the villagers : one of them showed us a ruinous wall that made part of his chamber; and I was much pleased with another, who
had forgotten the name of Milton, but recollected him by the title of the poet.
It must not be omitted, that the groves near this village are famous for nightingales, which are so elegantly described in the Penseroso. Most of the cottage-windows are overgrown with sweetbriers, vines, and honeysuckles; and that Milton's habitation had the same rustic ornament, we may conclude from his description of the lark bidding him good-morrow :
Through the sweetbrier, or the vine,
Or the twisted eglantine: for it is evident that he meant a sort of honeysuckle by the eglantine, though that word is commonly used for the sweetbrier, which he could not mention twice in the same couplet. If I ever pass a month or six weeks at Oxford, in the summer, I shall be inclined to hire and repair this venerable mansion, and to make a festival for a circle of friends, in honor of Milton, the most perfect scholar, as well as the sublimest poet, that our country ever produced. Such an honor will be less splendid, but more sincere and respectful, than all the pomp and ceremony on the banks of the Avon.
I have, &c.
ROBERT BURNS. 1759-1796. ROBERT BURNS, the celebrated Scottish poet, was born in Ayrshire," one of the western counties of Scotland, January 25, 1759. His father was a small farmer, and Robert had no advantages of early education beyond what the parish schools afforded. But he made the most of what he had; and in the possession of discreet, virtuous, and most pious parents, he had the best of all education, the education of the heart; and in the “Cotter's Saturday Night," we see what was the foundation of the whole-THE BIBLE. He early showed å strong taste for reading; and to the common rudiments of education he added some knowledge of mensuration, and a smattering of Latin and French. But poetry was his first delight, as it was his chief solace through life. A little before his sixteenth year, as he tells us himself, he had “ first committed the sin of rhyme." His verses soon acquired him considerable village fame, to which, as he made acquaintances in Ayr and other neighboring towns with young men of his own age, he greatly added by the remarkable fluency of his expression, and the vigor of his conversational powers. The charms of these social meetings, at which he shone with so much distinction, gradually introduced him to new habits, some of which were most destructive to his happiness and his virtue.
About this time, to escape the ills of poverty, and to break away from some of the associations by which he was surrounded, he resolved to leave his native country, and to try his fortune in Jamaica. In order to raise funds for this purpose, he resolved to publish a volume of his poems. They were received with great favor, and Burns cleared, thereby, twenty pounds. He
1 He was born in a clay-built cottage, about two miles to the south of the town of Ayr.