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which have the double advantage, of strengthening the constitution, by promoting a free and regular circulation, and of giving grace to the body, by forming it to easy and elegant motions. Hence arises the great advantage of manly sports, of dancing, of swimming, of managing the horse, and of using every sort of weapon; to which must be added, the habit of declaiming with an oratorical voice and gesture, an exercise by no means general, but perhaps more useful and more ornamental than any of the others. Consistently with this division of necessary accomplishments, I shall add two discourses, on the polite arts, and on exercise. # * # # :: #
From the terms in which Mr. Jones speaks of the tragedy of Soliman, in one of his letters, it appears, that he was considerably advanced towards its completion; and from the mention which he afterwards makes of it, in another to Reviczki, it would seem that it was actually finished, but I have in vain attempted to discover any traces of it. The preface to Soliman, written by Mr. Jones, has been communicated to me, but does not appear sufficiently correct for publication. He notices in it the custom of poets to send abroad their pieces with prefatory discourses calculated to mislead the taste or judgment of their readers, and exemplifies the remark, by reference to Dryden, La Motte, and Corneille. Of Dryden, he observes, that, having composed tragedies in rhyme, he thought it necessary to prepare the public for so novel an attempt by telling them in his advertisements, that every tragedy should be written in rhyme; that La Motte purposely violated the unities of the Drama; while Corneille preserved them with an exactness approaching to affectation; and that each endeavoured in a presatory discourse to prove himself alone in the right. He disclaims all idea of imitating a conduct, which he pronounces absurd and useless, and contents himself with a few hints on the principles
which had directed him in the composition of the tragedy. ' N The
The object of theatrical representation, he remarks, is to convey pleasure, and the hope of receiving it, is the inducement which carries people to the theatre; observing, that Shakespeare delights and transports him, while Corneille lulls him to sleep, and judging of the feelings of others by his own, he concludes, that all who understand both authors perfectly, must be affected in the same manner. He determines therefore to take Shakespeare for his model, not by adopting his sentiments, or borrowing his expressions, but by aiming at his manner, and by striving to write as he supposes he would have written himself, if he had lived in the eighteenth century.
Mustapha, upon whose story the tragedy is founded, was put to death by his father, Soliman the Magnificent, about the year 1553. The history of this unnatural murder is pathetically related by Knolles, in his General History of the Turks, who styles Mustapha “ the mirror of courtesie, and rare hope of the Turkish nation.” In the representation of his tragedy, Mr. Jones intended to observe closely the costume of the Turks, which he had attentively studied.
Mr. Jones now determined to enter upon a new career of life. Whatever satisfaction he might derive from his connection with the noble family, in which he had undertaken the office of tutor, or whatever recompence he might ultimately hope to receive from their gratitude or friendship, the situation did not altogether correspond with his feelings, nor the extent of his views. To a spirit of independence, which from his earliest years strongly marked his character, he united the laudable desire of acquiring public distinction, and of making his fortune by his own efforts; above all, he was animated with the noble ambition of being useful to his country. In the capacity of private tutor, his expectations were bounded by a narrow prospect, and his exertions circumscribed; whilst
whilst in the profession of the law, he saw an ample scope for the gratification of all his wishes; and from his extensive knowledge, studious habits, and indefatigable industry, he had every reason to expect the most brilliant success. The advice and importunity of his friends confirmed the suggestions of his own reflection, and he. resolved to resign his charge in Lord Spencer's family, and to devote himself in future to the study and practice of the law. In consequence of this determination, which he immediately executed, he was admitted into the Temple on the nineteenth of September
- 1770. - *
His attention, however, was not at first exclusively confined to his professional studies, nor was it indeed to be expected, that. he would at once renounce his attachment to Oriental learning and, literature in general. It would have required more than ordinary resolution to abandon at once, what had cost him so much pains. to acquire; the attainment of which had been the source both of pleasure and distinction to him. But as his letters and those of his friends, during the two following years, contain all that I can say of him, I refer the reader to them for information, rather than to as
narrative of my own.
*Mr. JONES to C. REWICZKI. - - March 1771. A plague on our men in office, who for six months. have amused me with idle promises, which I see no prospect of their fulfilling, that they would forward my books and a letter to , you ! They say, that they have not yet had an opportunity; and;
that the apprehension of a Spanish war (which is now no more). furnishes them with incessant occupation. I have however so much: to say to you, that I can no longer delay writing; I wish indeed, I could communicate it in person. On my late return to England, I found myself entangled, as it were, in a variety of important considerations. My friends, companions, relations, all attacked me with urgent solicitations to banish poetry and Oriental literature for a time, and apply myself to oratory and the study of the law; in other words, to become a barrister, and pursue the track of ambition. Their advice in truth was conformable to my own inclinations; for the only road to the highest stations in this country is that of the law, and I need not add, how ambitious and laborious I am. Behold me then become a lawyer, and expect in future, that my correspondence will have somewhat more of public business in it. But if it ever should be my fortune to have any share in admimistration, you shall be my Atticus, the partner of my plans, the confidant of my secrets. Do not however suppose, that I have altogether renounced polite literature. I intend shortly to publish my English poems, and I mean to bring my tragedy of Soliman on the stage, when I can find proper actors for the performance of it. I intend also composing an epic poem, on a noble subject, under the title of Britannels: but this I must defer until I have more leisure, with some degree of independence. In the mean time, I amuse myself with the choicest of the Persian poets; and I have the good fortune to possess many manuscripts, which I have either purchased or borrowed from my friends, on various subjects, including history, philosophy, and some of the most celebrated poetry
* Appendix, No. 18.
I am highly delighted with Jami's poem of Yusef and Zuleika; it contains somewhat more than four thousand Qouplets, each of which is a star of the first brilliance. We have six copies of this work at Oxford, one of which is correct; it has the vowel points, and is illustrated with the notes of Golius. I also possess a copy, which, as soon as I have leisure, I will print. Let me ask in the * mean mean time how you are employed 2 Do you continue your occupation of elucidating your favourite Hafez: I will most wiflingly give all the assistance in my power to the publication of your work, if you will have it printed in London ; but I scarcely think that any printer will undertake it at his own expense, unless the poems are accompanied with an English or French translation, for you cannot conceive how few English gentlemen understand Latin. Let me recommend to you therefore to give a literal version of Hafez in French, with annotations in the same language; and this I think will be more acceptable even to your own countrymen, than a Latin translation ; though indeed you may annex to your work such odes as you have translated into that language. The new edition of Meninski goes on tolerably well; I inclose a specimen of the new Arabic types, and earnestly beg your opinion upon them, that any defects may be corrected as soon as possible. I have had a copper-plate engraving made of one of the odes of Hafez, and may perhaps, when my circumstances afford it, print an edition of Jami's whole poem in the same manner. A work of this. kind on silken paper, would I doubt not be very acceptable to the Governor of Bengal, and the other principal persons in India. I cannot conceive what is become of the book which I sent to you, but I will take the first opportunity of transmitting a fairer and more correct copy, together with my little Treatise on the Literature of Asia, and my Grammar of the Persian Language, which is printed with some degree of elegance; and I earnestly entreat you to tell me, if any thing is wrong in it, or any thing omitted, that the next edition may be more perfect. I only wait for leisure to publish my Commentaries on Asiatic Poetry.