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In his ninth year he had the mis never been instructed to furnishi. fortune to break his thigh-bone in But, in truth, he far excelled his a scramble with his school-fellows, school-fellows in general, both in and this accident detained him from diligence and quickness of appreschool twelve months. After his hension; nor was he of a temper to relief from pain, however, the pe- submit to imputations which he riod of his confinement was not knew to be anmerited. Punishment suffered to pass in indolence; his failed to produce the intended ef. mother was his constant companion, fect; but his emulation was roused. and amused him daily with the pe. He devoted himself incessantly to rusal of such English books as she the perusal of various elementary deemed adapted to his taste and ca. treatises, which had never been ex. pacity. The juvenile poems , of plained, nor even recommended to Pope, and Dryden's translation of him; and, having thus acquired the Æneid afforded him incessant principles, he applied them with delight, and excited his poetical ta. such skill and success, that in a few Jents, which displayed themselves months 'he not only recovered the in the compilation of verses in imic station from which he had been de. tation of his favourite authors. graded, but was at the head of his But his progress in classical learning, class : his compositions were corduring this interval, was altogether rect, his analyses accurate, and he suspended; for, although he might uniformly gained every prize offered have availed himself of the proffered for the best exercise. He voluntainstruction of a friend, in whose rily extended his studies beyond the house he resided, to acquire the ru- prescribed limits, and by- solitary diments of Latin, he was then so labour, having acquired a competent unable to comprehend its utility, knowledge of the rules of prosody, and had so little relish for it, that he composed verses in imitation of he was left unrestrained to pursue Ovid, a task which had never been his juvenile occupations and amuse- required from any of the students ments; and the little which he had in the lower school at Harrow. gained in his first two years was In his twelfth year Jones was renearly lost in the third.
moved into the upper school. or On his return to school he was, the retentive powers of his memory, however, placed in the same class at this period, the following anecwhich he would have attained if dote is a remarkable instance : his the progress of his studies had not school-fellows proposed to amuse been interrupted. He was, of themselves with the representation course, far behind his fellow-labour- of a play; and at his recommendaers of the same standing, who erro. tion they fixed upon the Tempest: neously ascribed his insufficiency to as it was not readily to be procured, laziness or dullness; while the mas. he wrote it for them so correctly ter, who had raised him to a situa- from memory, that they acted it tion above his powers, required ex. with great satisfaction to themselves, ertions of which he was incapable; and with considerable entertaiument and corporal punishment and degra. to the spectators. He performed dation were applied for the non the character of Prospero. performance of tasks wbich he had His diligence increased with his
advancement in the schools; he and civil government. In these un. now entered' upon the study of the usual amusements, Jones was ever Greek tongue, the characters of the leader; and he might justly have which he had already learned for his appropriated to himself the words amusement. His genius and assidu. of Catullus : ity were also displayed in various compositions, not required by the
Ego gymnasii flos, ego decus olei. discipline of the school. He trans. Dr. Thackeray retired from the lated into English verse several of superintendance of the school at the epistles of Ovid, all the pasto. Harrow when his pupil had attained rals of Virgil, and composed a dra. bis fifteenth year. It was a singular matic piece on the story of Meleager, trait in the character of this good which he denominated a tragedy ; man and respectable tutor, that he and it was acted, during the vaca- never applauded the best composi. tion, by some of his school-fellows, tions of his scholars, from a notion with whom he was most intimate. which he had adopted, that praise In his own play he performed the only tended to make them vain or part of the hero.
idle. But the opinion which he gave In the usual recreations of his of Jones in private was, that he was school-fellows at Harrow, Jones was a boy of so active a mind, that if rarely a partaker; and the hours he were left naked and friendless on which they allotted to amusement, he Salisbury plain, he would, never. generally devoted to improvement. theless, find the road to fame and The following anecdote strongly in- riches. dicates the turn of his mind, and the Dr. Thackeray was succeeded by impression made by his studies. He Dr. Sumner; and for his informainvented a play, in which Dr. Wil. tion of the course of study pursued liam Bennet, bishop of Cloyne, and at Harrow, a plan of the lectures the celebrated Dr. Parr, were his and exercises in the upper school principal associates. They divided was accurately delineated by Jones, the fields in the neighbourhood of at the suggestion of the principal Harrow according to a map of assistant, who presented it to the Greece, into states and kingdoms; new master, with many encomiums each fixed upon one as his dominion, on the talents of his favourite scho. and assumed an ancient name. Some lar. He annexed it to a collection of their school-fellows consented to of his compositions, including his be styled barbarians, who were to translation of the pastorals of Virgil. invade their territories, and attack Dr. Sumner quickly distinguished their hillocks, which were denomi- him; and of the two complete years nated fortresses. The chiefs vigo- which he passed under that excellent rously defended their respective do. instructor, it is sufficient to say, that mains against the incursions of the he employed them in reading and enemy; and in these imitative wars, imitating the best ancient authors; the young statesmen held councils, nor did he confine himself merely to made vehement harangues, and com- the compositions of Greece and posed memorials, all, doubtless, Rome; he learned the Arabic cha. very boyish, but calcula to fill racters, and studied the Hebrew their minds with ideas of legislation language sufficiently to enable him
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to read some of the original Psalms. recommended by Dr. Sumner, whe His ardour for knowledge was so had received his education there; unlimited, that he frequently de- but Dr. Glasse, who had private voted whole nights to study, taking pupils at Harrow, and had always coffee or tea as an antidote to drow- distinguished Jones by the kindest siness: and his improvement by these attention, recommended Oxford. extraordinary exertions was so rapid, His choice was adopted by Mrs. that he soon became the prime fa. Jones, who, in compliance with vourite of his master, who, with an the wishes of her son, had deter. excusable partiality, was heard to mined to reside at the university declare, that Jones knew more with him, and greatly preferred the Greek than himself, and was situation of Oxford. greater proficient in the idiom of In the Spring of 1764 he went to that language. Nor was he less a the university, for the purpose of favourite with his fellow-students being matriculated and entered at than with his master. He acquired college ; but he returned to Has. popularity with them, by the fre- row for a few months, that he quent holidays that rewarded the might finish a course of lectures excellence of his compositions. His which he had just begun, and in reputation at the same time was so which he had been highly interested extensive, that he was often flattered by the learning, eloquence, taste, hy the enquiries of strangers, under and sagacity of his excellent inthe title of the great scholar.
structor. They separated soon During the vacations, his applica- after, with mutual regret, and in tion was directed to improve his the following term he fixed himself knowledge of French and arithme. at Oxford. tic, to which he also added the study
A collection of English poems, of the Italian. Books he had always composed by Mr. Joncs, at Harrow, at command; for his mother, who was presented by him to his friend contemplated with delight the pro. Parnell,* in 1763. The first and gress of her son, with a wise libe- longest of the collection, containing rality, allowed him unlimited credit more than three hundred and thirty on her purse. But of this indulgence, lines, is entitled Prolusions, and is as he knew that her finances were a critique on the various styles of restricted, he availed himself no pastoral writers. This was written farther than to purchase such books by Mr. Jones, at the age of fifteen, as were essential to his improve. and is the original of the poem ment.
which he afterwards published under The period of tuition under Dr. the title of Arcadia. Sumner passed rapidly, to the mu The remaining poems in the coltual satisfaction of the master and lection consist of translations and scholar, until Jones had reached his imitations of Horace, Sophocles, and seventeenth year, when it was de. Theocritus; Saul and David, an termined to remove him to one of ode; and a Satire on the inordinate the universities. Cambridge was love of novelty,
The late sir John Parnell, who filled the office of chancellor of the exchequer, in Ireland.
A manuscript of these poems, in sist his exertions, and rewarded their the hand-writing of Mr. Jones, was success with unlimited applause, his presented to lady Jones by sir ardour for learning had been raised John Parnell, a few weeks only be. to a degree of enthusiasm ; at the fore his death. We select as a speci- university he expected to find a men of Mr. Jones's poetical talents, Sumner or an Askew in every master at the age of fourteen, the shortest of arts, and generally the same pasin the collection, in imitation of a sion for literature which he had him. well known ode of Borace, and ad. self imbibed. It was evident that dressed to his friend Parnell:-- such extravagant expectations must
he disappointed; and from the pub. How quickly fades the vital flower!
lic lectures he derived little gratifi. Alas, my friend ! each silent hour Steals unperceived away:
cation or instruction: they were The early joys of blooming vouth,
much below the standard of his at. Sweet innocence and dove-ey'd truth
tainments, and, in fact, were consi. Are destin’d to decay.
dered as merely formal; and instead
of pure principles on subjects of Can zeal drear Pluto's wrath restrain ?
taste, on rhetoric, poetry, or pracNo-tho' an hourly victini stain His hallow'd shrine with blood,
tical morals, he complained that he Fate will recal her doom for none :
was required to attend dull comThe scepter'd king must leave his throne, ments on artificial ethics, and logic, To pass the Stygian flood.
detailed in such barbarons Latin,
that he professed to know as little In vain, my Parnell, wrapt in ease, of it as he then knew of Arabic. We shun the merchant-marring seas; The only logic then in fashion was
In vain we fly from wars :
that of the schools; and in a memo. (The slow Cocytus must be past,)
randum written by himself, which is How needless are our cares !
our authority for these remarks, we
find an anecdote related of one of Our house, our land, our shadowy grove, the fellows, who was reading Locke The very mistress of our love,
with his own pupils, that he careAh me! we soon must leave! Of all our trees, the hated boughs
fully passed over every passage in Of cypress shall alone diffuse
which that great metaphysician de. Their fragrance o'er our grave.
rides the old system.
After the residence of a few To others shall we then resign
months at the university, on the The numerous casks of sparkling wine 31st of October, 1764, Mr. Jones
Which frugal now we store; With them a more deserving heir
was unanimously elected one of the (Is this our labour, this our care?)
four scholars on the foundation of Shall stain the stucco floor. 1760. Sir Simon Bennett, to whose muni.
ficence he was ever proud to acThe new situation of Mr. Jones, knowledge his obligations. The at the university, did not at first prospect of a fellowship, to which correspond with his expectations. he looked with natural impatience, Under the tuition of a master, who was, however, remote, as he had saw with admiration his capacity and three seniors. application, who was anxious to as. Ilis partiality for oriental litera
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ture now began to display itself in don, where he daily attended the
mon industry and method for his
If the prospect of acquiring that ad. His vacations were passed in Lon- vantage had not been remote, na