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Hindu and Mahommedan Law, from lation, and as an auxiliary to it, he Sanscrit and Arabic originals, with was led to study the works of Mean offer to superintend the compi- nu, reputed by the Hindus to be lation, and with a promise to trans. the oldest and holiest of legiflators; late it. He had foreseen, previous and finding them to comprise a systo his departure from Europe, that, tem of religious and civil duties, without the aid of such a work, the and of law in all its branches, so wise and benevolent intentions of comprehensive and minutely exact, the legislature of Great Britain, in that it might be considered as the leaving to a certain extent the na- institutes of Hindu law, he presenttives of these provinces in poffef- ed a translation of them to the gofion of their own laws, could not be vernment of Bengal. During the completely fulfilled; and his expe- fame period, deeming no labour rience, after a fhiort residence in excessive or superfluous that tended India, confirmed what his fagacity in any respect to promote the welhad anticipated, that, without prin- fare or happiness of mankind, he ciples to refer to in a language fa- gave the public an English version miliar to the judges of the courts, of the Arabic text of the Sirajiyah, adjudications amongft the natives or Mahommedan law of inheritance, must too often be subject to an un- with a commentary. He had alcertain and erroneous exposition, ready publithed in England, a or wilful misinterpretation of their translation of a tract on the faine
Tubject by another Mahommedan " To the superirtendance of lawyer, containing, as his own this work, which was immediately words exprefs, a lively and eleundertaken at his fuggeftion, he af- gant epitome of the law of inheritfiduously devoted thole hours which ance of Zaid.' he could spare from his profeffional The vanity and petulance of duties. After tracing the plan of Anquetil du Perron, with his illibethe Digest, he prefcribed 'its ar. ral reflections on some of the learnrangement and mode of execution, ed members of the university of and selected from the most learned Oxford, extorted from him a letter Hindus and Mahommedans fit per- in the French language, which has sons for the task of compiling it. been admired for accurate criticism, Flattered by his attention, and en- just satire, and elegant composition. couraged by his applause, the Pun- A regard for the literary reputation dits profecuted their labours with of his country, induced him to cheerful zeal to a satisfactory con- translate, from Persian original, inclufion. The Molavées have also to French, the life of Nadir Shah, nearly finished their portion of the that it inight not be carried out of work; but we must ever regret, England with a refleétion, that no that the promised translation, as person had been found in the Bri. well as the meditated preliminary tish dominions capable of translatdissertation, have been frustrated by ing it. The students of Perfian lithat decree, which so often inter- terature must ever be grateful to' cepts the performance of human him for a grammar of that language, purposes."
in which he has shown the possibi. During the course of this compi- lity of combining taste and elegance
with the precision of a grammarian; difquifitions which he laid before and every admirer of Arabic poe- the Society. try must acknowledge his obliga “ I have hitherto principally con.tions to him for an English version fined my discourse to the pursuits of the seven celebrated poems, fo of our late prefident in oriental liwell known by the name of Moal- terature, which from their extent lakat, from the distinction to which might appear to have occupied all their excellence had entitled them, his time; but they neither preof being suspended in the temple cluded his attention to profesional of Mecca.
ftudies, nor to science in general. “Of his lighter productions, the Amongst his publications in Euelegant amulements of his leisure rope, in polite literature, exclufive hours, comprehending hymns on of various compofitions in profe the Hindu mythology, poems, con- and verse, I find a Translation of the fisting chiefly of translations from Speeches of Ifæus, with a learned the Asiatic languages, and the ver comment; and in law, an Elly on fion of Sacontala, an ancient In- the Law of Bailments. Upon the dian drama, it would be unbecom. fubject of this last work, I cannot ing to speak in a style of import- deny myself the gratification of ance which he did not himself an- quoting the sentiments of a celenex to them. They show the ac- brated historian : “ Sir William tivity of a vigorous mind, its fer “ Jones has given an ingenious and tility, its genius, and its taste. Nor“ rational Ellay on the Law of BailMall I particularly dwell on the " ments. He is perhaps the only discourses addressed to this Society,“ lawyer equally conversant with which we have all perused or heard, “ the year-books of Westminster, or on the other learned and inter " the Commentaries of Ulpian, esting dissertations which form fo “ the Attic Pleadings of Jfæus, and large and valuable a portion of the " the sentences of Arabian and records of our researches. Let us " Persian Cadhis." lament that the spirit which dic “ His professional studies did not tated them is to us extinct, and that commence before his twentieth the voice, to which we listened with year; and I have his own authority improvement and rapture, will be for allerting, that the first book of heard by us no more.
English jurisprudence which he “ But I cannot pass over a paper, ever studied, was Fortescue's Elay which has fallen into my poffeflion in Praife of the Laws of England. since his demise, in the hand-writ. “ His addresses to the jurors were ing of Sir William Jones himself, not less diftinguitbed for philanthroentitled Desiderata, as more explan- py and liberality of sentiment, atory than any thing I can say of than for just expofitions of the the comprehensive views of his en- law, perfpicuity, and elegance of lightened mind. It contains, as a diction; and his oratory was perusal of it will show, whatever captivating as his arguments were is most curious, important, and at- convincing. tainable in the sciences and his “ In an Epilogue to his Commen. tories of India, Arabia, China, and taries on Afiatic Poetry, he lies Tartary; subjects which he had farewell to polite literature, without already most amply discussed in the relinquishing his affection for it :
cly disti Manner
Is than painters to that i
of the 1
* The differe,
ANNUAL REGISTER, 1797. and concludes with an intimation that his admiration of the strua of his intention to study law, ex. of the human frame had induc pressed in a willi, which we now him to attend, for a season, to knou to have been prophetic. course of anatomical lectures
Mihi fit, pro, non inutjis toga, livered by his friend the
“ I have already enumerated at “ We all recollect, and can ref
felled his conviction of the truth of plication of them to events long
“ There were, in truth, few sci- ginally began under the confine-
ay Rubens wanted foli
arts or method he was enabled to from the illiterate ; and wherever
are the best records. To you who
“ But what appears to me more animated, and encouraged by him. particularly to have enabled him to genius was called forth into exeremploy his talents so much to his tion, and modeft merit was excited own and the public advantage, was to distinguish itself. Anxious for the regular allotment of his time, the reputation of the Society, 'he and a fcrupulous adherence to the was indefatigable in his own endeadistribution which he had fixed. vours to promote it, whilft he cheerHence all his studies were pursued fully aflisted those of others. In
interruption or confufion. lofing him, we have not only been Nor can I here oinit remarking, deprived of our brightest ornament, what may probably have attracted but of the guide and patron, on your obfervation as well as mine, whose inttructions, judgment, and the candour and complacency with candour, we could most implicitly which he gave his attention to all rely. perfons, of whatsoever quality, la.
<< But it will, I trust, be long, very lents, or education : he justly con- long before the remembrance of cluded, that curious or important his virtues, his genius, and abilities jnformation might be gained even lose that influence over the mem
AS curately d the
504 ANNUAL REGISTER, 1797. bers of this Society, which his liv- venture to assert, he would have ing example had maintained ; and if, replied, “ By exerting yourselves previous to his demise, he had been to support the credit of the Soarked by what pofthumous honours ciety;" applying to it perhaps the or attentions we could best show dying with of Father Paul, “ Efte our respect for his memory, I may perpetua."
THE FOLLOWING EPITAPH WAS WRITTEN BY
SIR WILLIAM DUNKIN.
all his co
" It would bo
Gulielmus Jones, Eq. Cur: fup: in Bengal ex Judicibus unu
Legum peritus, fidusque Interpres,
270 Apr. 1794.
and facility in Ruber cates will urge, and, ce a laborious hearicis i,