Imatges de pÓgina

way, we have a few decisive instances. He talks of Hygiea .. (p. 54.) prima mobile (131.) besides announcing himself in his title-page as Member of an Athanæum. He alludes, as if he were familiarly acquainted with it, to a system of punctuation applied to Horace, which would make “ the poems of that famous Roman satirist produce a direct contrary meaning ;" and he prints Mrs. Jordan's epitaph in the following exquisite Latinity.

« Dorothea Jordan, quæ per multos annos Londine cuique aliis Brittanniæ Urbibus, Scænam Egregice Ornavit, Obiit 30 nodas Julii, 1816, Annos Nata 50." P. 308.

Mr. Ireland, perhaps, will be gratified to hear that Mr. Exaniner Hunt transcribed this unparalleled morceau into his Newspaper, verbatim et literatim, a few Sundays back. :


ART. III. Memoir of Richard Roberts Jones, of Aberdaron,

in the County of Caernarvon, in North Wales ; exhibiting a remarkable Instance of a partial Power and Cultivation of Intellect. 8vo. 50 pp. Portrait. Cadell & Arch. 1822.

The extraordinary subject of this very interesting little memoir, is the son of a carpenter, residing in a small sea-port on the wildest part of the coast of Wales. His father is in circumstances of extreme poverty, and occasionally employs himself in fishing, or in voyages from Aberdaron to Liverpool, in a small boat. Richard was born in 1780, and, by certain constitutional defects, particularly weakness of eye-sight, was disqualified from the more robust bodily labour in which the situation of his parents, made it desirable he should be employed.

At about nine years of age, he was instructed by his mother and his younger brother, to read the Bible in Welsh. He then attempted the acquisition of English, in which however he is far from a proficient. The reasons which be assigns for the difficulty of this language, is that the ortbography is unfixed, and that the pronunciation changes every ten years. By the aid of a boy in the parish-school, he commenced Latin at fifteen ; 'and, though unable to attend this school himself at the stated hours, he frequently made use of the books which he found in it, during the absence of the other boys, and thus added largely to his stock of information. About the same time he acquired a mode of writing, which though evidently self-taught, is particularly legible.


When nineteen he purchased a Greek grammar of a Welsh poet; and, in the following year, accident threw in his way an Epitome of Buxtorf's Hebrew Grammar. The discovery to which his initiation into Hebrew led, must be not a little gratifying to such of our Cambrian friends, as possess pedigrees in Chaldee, and can confidently annex their genealogy to the Præademite Kings. sitges

« Of the ardour with which he engaged in this pursuit, some idea may be formed by the following singular anecdote, which is related in his own hand-writing: If it had not been the reverse of fortune, I would study a little of Hebrew music. A short time before i commenced to study Hebrew, I dreamed ; and saw in my dream Johan. Buxtorfius singing Hebrew psalms to the harp; viz. as he sang psalms, he played the harp with his hands, and sang with his voice. He stood upon a mound opposite to my father's house.'

“ On being asked by a friend, how he could have known the language in which Buxtorf sang, if he had not then commenced the study of Hebrew ? he replied, that he knew very little of Hebrew when the dream occurred to him ; that he sung the twelfth chapter of the Psalms, the whole of which Richard repeated by memory; that the person who appeared to him, whoever he was, had a He. brew book with points lying near him, and that the harp was a very large one, of the ancient Welsh construction.P. 7,

Poor Richard's inaptitude to labour, and the total ignorance of the remainder of his family as to the object or the value of pursuits so widely differing from their own, brought down upon him, very frequently, anger, remonstrances, and blows. Having accompanied his father to Liverpool in the year 1804, he wandered into a bookseller's shop. Here the singularity of his appearance soon attracted notice, and by a casual bounty he was presented with a few books; amongst which were the Analecta Græca Minora, Schurhardii Horologium Hebreeum, Virgil and Blair's Grave. The greater part of his library, however, was unfortunately lost or damaged by the upsetting of his boat in his voyage home.

Freshi severities awaited bis increase of learning; but it was not until his shoulders bore the marks of an iron poker, that he determined to quit his paternal hut. Having collected his few books, he took ihe road to Caernarvon, wholly unprovided with money. His burden, like Æsop's, grew lighter as his journey lengthened; for board and lodging could only be purchased by the disposal of part of his literary stock ; so that when he arrived at Bangor, he possessed nothing but some fragments of a Latin and Greek, and a Welsh and Latin dictionary,

Bishop Cleaver was struck by his appearance, clothed him,

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encouraged him in his pursuits, employed him in his garden, and presented him with some useful books; among which were Schrevelius's Lexicon, and Robert Stephens's Greek Testament. After about two months he betook himself, without assigning any reason, to the Isle of Anglesey; where he remained about half a year under the roof of the Rey. John Williams, principally employing himself in the study of Greek. His departure hence also is involved in some mystery: and the cause of it is thas recorded in his own hand-writing.

46 I dreamed at Treffos : and I saw in my dream the head of Herod brought into the parlour, and the hair thereof bearing three colours mixed, viz. black, red, and the colour of brimstone burn. ing; and I heard that the death of Herod was sadly lamented : wherefore his head was received th great veneration and honour. And I heard that Herod was beheaded in the battle against the Γαλαται Αλλοβρογες, when fighting against them at the head of one of the Roman armies : consequently my welfare was changed at Treffos !!P. 12.

Some French refugees, whom he met in Anglesey, supplied him with a grammar: and by some farther assistance from them, he not only reads their language, but speaks it with a good accent. He has sipce acquired an equal knowledge of Italian.

From Treffos he repaired.again to Liverpool: where his appearance is thus described.

“ His person and dress at this time were extremely singular : to an immense shock of black hair be united a bushy beard of the same colour. His clothing consisted of several coarse and ragged vestments, the spaces between which were filled with books, surrounding him in successive layers, so that he was literally a walking library. These books all occupied their proper stations, being placed higher or lower, according as their sizes suited the confor. mation of his body; so that he was acquainted with the situation of each, and could bring it out, when wanted, without difficulty.

When introduced into a room, he had not the least idea of any ething that surrounded him; and when he took his departure, he appeared to have forgotten the entrance. Absorbed in his studies, he had continually a book in his hand, to which be frequently referred, as if to communicate or receive information, and apparently under a conviction, that every person he met with was as much interested in such studies as himself.-His sight was imperfect, his voice sharp and dissonant ; and, upon the whole, his appearance and manners grotesque in the highest degree; yet, under all these disadvantages, there was a gleam in his countenance which marked in. telligence, and an unaffected simplicity in his behaviour which conGliated regard.":7.P. 13,

It was necessary however for his support, that he should be permanently employed; and as he professed to have been brought up a sawyer, he was engaged by a person in that trade. When put into the pit, he worked at first with extraordinary activity; but his efforts by degrees relaxed, till he fell breathless and exhausted at full length on his face, piteously calling for help. It seems that he had worked at the full extent of his arms length, without being aware of the necessity of advancing bis feet. When lifted up, he complained bitterly of his evil treatment, and of being put under ground. Upon farther inquiry, it was found that the only sawing to which he had been used, was that of the branches of timber fallen in the Welsh woods.

For the next six months he appears to have been comfortably posted, by some benevolent persons in Liverpool, in a situation in which he could uninterruptedly pursue his studies. But his disposition was restless, and packing up his books, which were increased by Pagninus's Thesaurus Lingua Sanctæ, Erpenius's Arabic Grammar, and Bythner's Lyra Prophetica, he returned to Aberdaron. His father for a time “was not so fierce against him;" but when his little cash was exhausted, his former barbarous treatment was renewed, and he sought refuge once more in Liverpool. Here “his ambition,” as he says, “ brought upon him many troubles and offences, almost inextricable and innumerable;" and in the course of these, he was obliged to part with his Hebrew Bible. To replace this, and to obtain instruction in Chaldee and Syriac, he resolved upon a journey to London ; and, accordingly in the summer of 1807, deposited his few remaining books in the folds of his dress, threw a small package over bis shoulder, and with a long pole in his hand, round which was rolled a map of the roads, set off for the great city on foot.

But-Quid Romæ faciat? He could find no employment, nor obtain assistance" by any meaus whatever” So he made his way to Dover, perhaps with the intention of passing to the Continent. Fortune however threw him in the way of the superintendent of the Dock-yards; who allowed him breakfast, gave him a chest to keep his books in, and paid him, 2s. 4d. a-day for sifting, ashes, like a He-Cinderella. His earnings enabled bim to engage the Rabbi Nathan, as his Hebrew master; and he remained no less than three years in a state of happiness and tranquillity, during which be has recorded little more than the following dream, which is illustrated by a drawing.

“Before my continual disappointments and troubles in learn. ing, I dreamed, and saw myself in my dream upon the plain near

the river of Babylon, where I saw the harps of the captives of Israel bung upon the willows; and I saw the willows grown to an exceed ing great height, and the harps were hung upon them in the night when being rainy weather.'” P. 18.

In 1810 he returned to London, and fell into the hands of the Society for promoting Christianity among the Jews. Con. sidering the liberal protection which this sagacious and salutary institution has from time to time afforded to Judah Catarevus, Hyam Isaacs, John Myers, Lazarus Leon, Schlusselburg, Josephson, Marinus, and the inimitable Joseph-SamuelChristian Frederick Frey, we are by no means surprized to hear that its kindness to a simple and unfortunate applicant, who possessed no recommendation but that of honesty and learning, was of short continuance. Mr. Lewis Way perhaps may tell the public why it was converted into "hostility and oppression;" insomuch that Richard was “ reduced to the atmost distress, and compelled to sell his books, to preventhis being starved to death.” His beard, bis want of personal cleanliness, and his broken English, would have formed admirable saint-traps for an anniversary meeting; but probably Richard had too much single-heartedness, to lend himself as a tool to folly and fanaticism.

The bounty of the Welsh Bardic Society, enabled him to return to Bangor, where he lived for six months with the Rev. Richard Davies; and, during that time, “copied for his patron all the Hebrew words in Littleton's Latin Dictionary, and corrected several of the errata in them, according to the Hebrew Lexicon of Sanctes Pagninus, abridged by Raphelengius.Soon after he was placed with a printer at Liverpool; but it was of no avail; he could learn nothing. In an Irish lodging-house he was robbed of Martin's Chaldee Grammar, and several other books, and the remainder were thrown through the window into the street. We do not learn the offence which he gave his landlady; it might be asserting the antiquity of the Jews above the Milesians. One of his friends withdrew to London ; " consequentlyhe says, the Hebrew words which he had copied from Littleton's Dic. tionary, were stolen from him. To complete his misfortunes, he was at length obliged to pawn Schrevelius, Erpenius, and his Hebrew Grammar.

Since this time he has passed a year or or two at Baghillt, in the county of Flint, where in full accordance with his love of Hebrew fore, he learnt to blow a ram's horn, to the great annoyance of the neighbourhood; to this musical acquirement, he has since added a knowledge of the French horn, and his native harp,

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