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his humanity and probity, as well as his benevolence, which every living creature participated.
Could the figure, (I quote with pleasure his own words,) instincts,
and qualities of birds, beasts, insects, reptiles, and fish, be ascertained,
either on the plan of Buffon, or on that of Linnaeus, without giving
pain to the objects of our examination, few studies would afford us
more solid instruction, or more exquisite delight; but I never could
learn by what right, nor conceive with what feelings, a naturalist
can occasion the misery of an innocent bird, and leave its young,
perhaps, to perish in a cold nest, because it has gay plumage, and
has never been accurately delineated, or deprive even a butterfly of
its natural enjoyments, because it has the misfortune to be rare or
beautiful: nor shall I ever forget the couplet of Ferdausi, for which
Sadi, who cites it with applause, pours blessings on his departed spirit:
Ah! spare yon emmet, rich in hoarded grain;
This may be only a confession of weakness, and it certainly is not meant as a boast of peculiar sensibility; but whatever name may be given to my opinion, it has such an effect on my conduct, that I never would suffer the cocila, whose wild native wood-notes announce the approach of spring, to be caught in my garden, for the sake of comparing it with Button's description; though I have often examined the domestic and engaging Mayana, which M bids us "good morrow" at our windows, and expects, as its reward, little more than security: even when a fine young manis or pangolin was brought to me, against my wish, from the mountains, I solicited his restoration to his beloved rocks, because I found it impossible to preserve him in comfort at a distance from them.
I have noticed his cheerful and assiduous performance of his filial and fraternal duty : "To the other virtues of Mr. Jones, (I quote
the testimony and words of professor Bjornshal, who visited Oxford whilst Sir William Jones resided there, obligingly communicated to mc by Dr. Ford of Mag. Hall,) " I ought to add that of filial duty, "which he displays at all times in the most exemplary manner. 1 "am not singular in the observation here made. Every one ac"quainted with Mr. Jones, makes it likewise. I feel a pleasure in "dwelling upon a character that does such high honour to human "nature." The unceasing regret of Lady Jones is a proof of his claim upon her conjugal affections; and I could dwell with rapture on the affability of his conversation and manners, on his modest, unassuming deportment, nor can I refrain from remarking, that he was totally free from pedantry, as well as from that arrogance and self-sufficiency, which sometimes accompany and disgrace the greatest abilities; his presence was the delight of every society, which his conversation exhilarated and improved.
His intercourse with the Indian natives of character and abilities was extensive: he liberally rewarded those by whom he was served and assisted, and his dependents were treated by him as friends. Under this denomination, he has frequently mentioned in his works the name of Bahman, a native of Yezd, and follower of the doctrines of Zoroaster, whom he retained in his pay, and whose death he often adverted to with regret. Nor can I resist the impulse which I feel to repeat an anecdote of what occurred after his demise; the pundits who were in the habit of attending him, when I saw them at a public durbar, a few days after that melancholy event, could neither restrain their tears for his loss, nor find terms to express their admiration at the wonderful progress which he had made, in the sciences which they professed*.
* The following is a translation of a Sanscrit note written to Sir William Jones, by a venerable pundit, whom he employed in superintending the compilation of Hindu law.
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If this character of Sir William Jones be not exaggerated by the partiality of friendship, we shall all apply to him his own words, "it is happy for us that this man was born." I have borrowed the application of them from Dr. Parr: and who more competent can be found, to estimate the merit of the great scholar, whom he deems worthy of this eulogium?
In the pleasing office of delineating his virtues, my regret for his loss has been suspended, but will never be obliterated; and whilst I cherish with pride the recollection that he honoured me with his esteem, I cannot cease to feel and lament that the voice, to which I listened with rapture and improvement, is heard no more.
From my own communications with the writer of the note, I can venture to assert, that his expressions of respect for Sir William Jones, although in the Oriental style, were most sincere.
Triv6di Servoru Sarman, who depends on you alone for support, presents his humble duty, with a hundred benedictions.
1. To you there are many like me; yet to me there is none like yon, but yourself; there are numerous groves of night flowers; yet the night flower sees nothing like the moon, but the moon.
S. A hundred chiefs rule the world, but thou art an ocean, and they are mere wells; many luminaries are awake in the sky, but which of them can be compared to the Sun f
Many words are needless to inform those who know all things. The law tract of Atri, will be delivered by the hand of the footman, dispatched by your Excellence.—Prosperity attend you!
I add a translation of two couplets in elegant Arabic, addressed by Maulavi Casim to Sir William Jones. The writer was employed by him in compiling the Mohammedan law.
Mayest thou remain with us perpetually, for thy presence is an ornament and a delight
to the age!
May no unpleasant event find its way to thee; and mayest thou have no share in the vicissitudes of fortune!
3 F As
As far as happiness may be considered dependent upon the attainment of our wishes, he possessed it. At the period of his death, by a prudent attention to economy, which never encroached upon his liberality, he had acquired a competency, and was in a situation to enjoy dignity with independence. For this acquisition he was indebted to the exertion of his talents and abilities, of energies well directed, and usefully applied to the benefit of his country and mankind. He had obtained a reputation which might gratify the highest ambition: and as far as human happiness is also connected with expectation, he had in prospect a variety of employments, the execution of which depended only on the continuance of his health and intellectual powers. I shall not here enlarge upon the common topic of the vanity of human wishes, prospects, and enjoyments, which my subject naturally suggests; but if my reader should not participate that admiration which the memory of Sir William Jones excites in my mind, I must submit to the mortification of having depreciated a character, which I had fondly hoped would be effectually emblazoned by its own excellence, if I did but simply recite the talents and virtues which conspired to dignify and adorn it.
THE following Epitaph, evidently intended for himself, was written by Sir William Jones, a short time only before his demise. It displays some striking features of his character; resignation to the will of his Creator, love and good-will to mankind, and is modestly silent upon his intellectual attainments.
Here was deposited,
the improvement of his mind,
resigned it calmly,