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I shall soon have more leisure for corresponding with you, as the late close of the Diet, which lasted for two years (in my estimation a century) has almost left me at liberty. So much for the affairs of this part of the world. Of what is doing in your country, your
letter gives me no information; but I hear from other quarters, of the agitations amongst you, in consequence of the commotions in the colonies, which I consider worse than a foreign war. For my own part, I confess to you that I am tired both of my situation and my office, not so much on account of their difficulty as their unpleasantness, and all the consolation I feel arises from the hope that my present troublesome occupation will not last more than a year.
I heartily wish I were in London, and at liberty to sit seriously down to the composition of some political work on the subject of our republic; the task would be no less useful than agreeable, indeed I can conceive nothing more pleasant than such an employment.
If, contrary to my expectations, my wish should be gratified, I hope to find you there, and to enjoy as formerly your society and conversation. I am anxious to have your last publication, (the subject of which you do not mention,) and doubt not that the perusal of it will afford me great pleasure. Farewell, and think of me always with affection.
The preceding correspondence proves the high degree of estimation in which the learning and abilities of Mr. Jones were holden by the literati of Europe; and we find that his reputation had extended into Asia. From the manner in which he mentions his renunciation of the embassy to Constantinople, it is evident that his attention was strongly fixed upon the political state of his own country.
The Andrometer, mentioned by Lady Spencer to have been invented by Mr. Jones, affords a striking specimen of the extent of his views, in the acquisition of intellectual excellence. It may be defined, A scale of human attainments and enjoyment; he assumes seventy years, as the limit of exertion or enjoyment; and with a view to progressive improvement, each year is appropriated to a particular study or occupation. The arrangement of what was to - be learned, or practised, during this period, admits of a fourfold division.
The first, comprising thirty years, is assigned to the acquisition of knowledge as preparatory to active occupation.
The second, of twenty years, is dedicated principally to public and professional employment.
Of the third, which contains ten years, the first five are allotted to literary and scientific composition, and the remainder to the continuation of former pursuits.
The last ten, constituting the fourth division, which begins with the sixty-first year, are devoted to the enjoyment of the fruits of his labours; and the conclusion of the whole is specified to be a preparation for eternity.
The Andrometer, is to be considered as a mere sketch, never intended for publication. In the construction of it, Mr. Jones probably had a view to those objects, the attainment of which he then meditated. We are not to conclude, that the preparation for eternity which stands at the top of the scale, was to be deferred until the seventieth year; it is rather to be considered as the object to
which he was perpetually to look, during the whole course of his life, and which was exclusively to engross the attention of his latter years. He was too well convinced of the precarious tenure of human existence, to allow himself to rest the momentous concern of his eternal welfare, on the fallacious expectation of a protracted life; he knew moreover too well the power of habit, to admit a supposition, that it could be effectually resisted or changed at the close of life. Neither are we to suppose, that moral and religious lessons which constitute the occupation of the eighth year, were from that period to be discontinued, although they are not afterwards mentioned; but the meaning of Mr. Jones probably was, that they should be seriously and regularly inculcated at an age, when the intellectual faculties had acquired strength and expansion by preceding exercises. That the order of arrangement in the Andrometer, could never be strictly adhered to in the application of our time, and cultivation of our talents (if it were intended) is evident; but to those who from their situation are enabled to avail themselves of the suggestions which it furnishes, it will supply useful hints for improvement, and serve as a standard of comparison for their progress. With respect to Mr. Jones hinself, if his own acquisitions in his thirtieth year, when he constructed the Andrometer, be compared with it, they will be found to rise to a higher degree in the scale.
With these explanations, I present it to the reader; reversing, for the sake of convenience, the order of the scale.
Ideas received through the senses.
Civil knowledge mature.