1780 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir William Jones

Horace Walpole to William Mason, May 1780; Letters, ed. Cunningham (1906) 7:361.



Mr. Jones, the orientalist, is candidate for Oxford. On Tuesday was se'nnight Mrs. Vesey presented him to me. The next day he sent me an absurd and pedantic letter, desiring I would make interest for him. I answered it directly, and told him I had no more connection with Oxford than with the Antipodes, nor desired to have. I doubt I went a little further, and laughed at Dr. Blackstone, whom he quoted as an advocate for the rights of learning, and at some other passages in his letter. However, before I sent it, I inquired a little more about Mr. Jones, and on finding it was a circular letter sent to several, I did not think it necessary to answer it at all; and now I am glad I did not, for the man it seems is a staunch Whig, but very wrong-headed. He was tutor to Lord Althorp, and quarrelled with Lord Spencer, who he insisted should not interfere at all in the education of his own son.