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years afterwards, and from the manner in which it was written, it is impossible not to regret the irrecoverable loss of the larger discussion which he originally proposed. The poems present us with a curious specimen of the manners of the natives of Arabia, and on this account, must be particularly interesting to those, who consider the study of human nature in all its varieties, as an. instructive subject of contemplation. “ They ex“hibit to use the words of Mr. Jones) an exact " picture of the yirtues and vices of the Arabs in “ the age of the seven poets, their wisdom and “their folly, and shew what may be constantly “ expected from men of open hearts, and boiling “passions, with no law to control, and little reli“ gion to restrain them.”
The period was now arrived, when Mr. Jones had the happiness to gain the accomplishment of his most anxious wishes. In March 1783, during the administration of Lord Shelburne, he was appointed a judge of the supreme court of judicature at Fort william at Bengal, on which occasion the honour of knighthood was conferred upon him; and, in the spril following, he married Anna Maria Shipley, the eldest daughter of the Bishop of St. Asaph. I have remarked the early impression made upon the affections of Sir William Jones by this lady, and the honourable determination which he formed upon that occasion ; and if I should have succeeded in imparting to my readers any portion of that interest, which I
feel in his personal concerns, they will see bin with pleasure receiving the rewards of principle and affection.
The Bishop of St. Asaph, of whose respectable character and high literary reputation it is unnecessary to remind the public, possessed too en: lightened an understanding not to appreciate the early distinguished talents and viriles of Sir Wil. liam Jones, and their friendship was cemented by an union of political principles, and the zealous admiration each felt for the constitution of their country. The Bishop, in the choice of a son-inlaw, had every reason to indulge the pleasing hope that he had consulted, as far as human foresight can extend, the happiness of his beloved daughter; nor were his expectations disappointed. · For his appointment to India, Mr. Jones was indebted to the friendship of Lord Ashburton : in October 1782, I find a letter from his Lordship to Mr. Jones, with the following words: “You will “ give me credit for not being indifferent about “ the important stake still left in India, or your “ particular interest in it, in which I consider that “ of the public so materially involved.” The intelligence of his success was communicated to Mr. Jones, in the following letter of congratulation; to which I subjoin one from the cclebrated Frank. lin on the same occasion. MY DEAR SIR,
March 3, 1783. It is with little less satisfaction to myself than it can give you, that I send you the in
closed, closed, and I do assure you there are few events, in which I could have felt so sensible a mortification, as in that of your finally missing this favourite object. The weather suggests to me as no slight topic of congratulation, your being relieved from such a journey and under such circumstances, as your last favour intimates you had in contemplation for Wednesday; but when I consider this appointment as securing to you at once, two of the first objects of human pursuit, those of ambition and love, I feel it a subject of very serious and cordial congratulation, which I desire you to accept, and to convey accordingly.
I am, with every good wish, dear Sir, your
faithful humble servant, ASHBURTON.
Passy, March 17, 1783. ' I duly received your obliging letter of Nov. 15. You will have since learnt how much I was then and have been continually engaged in public affairs, and your goodness will excuse my not having answered it sooner. You announced your intended marriage with my much respected friend Miss Anna Maria, which I assure you gave me great pleasure, as I cannot conceive a match more likely to be happy, from the amiable qualities each of you possess so plentifully. You mention its taking place as soon as a prudent attention to worldly interests would permit. I just now learn from Mr. Hodgson, that you are appointed to an honourable and profitable place in
the Indies; so I expect now soon to hear of the wedding, and to receive the profile. With the good Bishop's permission, I will join my blessing with bis; adding my wishes that you may return from that corrupting country, with a great deal of money honestly acquired, and with full as much virtue as you carry out with you.
The engraving of my medal, which you know was projected before the peace, is but just finished. None are yet struck in hard metal, but will in a few days. In the mean time, having this good opportunity by Mr. Penn, I find you one of the Épreuves. You will see that I have profited by some of your ideas, and adopted the mottos you were so kind as to furnish. · I am at present quite recovered from my late illness, and flatter myself that I may in the ensuing summer be able to undertake a trip to Eng. land, for the pleasure of seeing once more my dear friends there, among whom the Bishop and his family stand foremost in 'my estimation and affection.
I thank you for your good wishes respecting me. Mine for your welfare and prosperity are not less earnest and sincere ; being with great truth, dear Sir, your affectionate friend, and most obedient servant,
I have mentioned the literary productions of Sir William Jones in the order in which they were published. I observe however two compositions which had escaped my attention; an abridged History of the Life of Nadir Shah, in English, and a History of the Persian Language, intended to be prefixed to the first edition of his Persian Grammar*.
A long list might be formed of works which he meditated at different periods. He had projected a Treatise on Maritime Contracts; and with a' view to the completion of this work, he commissioned a friend to purchase for him the Collections of Heineccius, containing the Dissertations of Stypman and Kerrick, with any other works that could be procured on the same subject. It was also his intention to republish Lyttleton's Treatise ou Tenures, from the first edition of 1482, with a new translation, explanatory notes, and a commentary; and to prefix an Introductory Dis
* The reader will peruse with pleasure the following lines from the Arabic, written by Sir William Jones, in 1783, and addressed to Lady Jones:
While sad suspense and chill delay
Bercave my wounded soul of rest,
By turns assail my lab’ring breast.
Throbs with each agonizing thought; So flutters with entangled plumes,
The lark in wily meshes caught. There she, with unavailing strain,
Pours thro’ the night her warbled grief; The gloom retires, but not her pain;
The dawn appears, but not relief.
Their thrilling sorrows to appease :