William Jones (philologist)

From Wikiquote
Jump to: navigation, search
Sir William Jones

Sir William Jones (September 28, 1746April 27, 1794) was an English philologist and student of ancient India, particularly known for his proposition of the existence of a relationship among Indo-European languages. He was also the founder of the Asiatic Society.

Quotes[edit]

  • The Sanscrit language, whatever be its antiquity, is of a wonderful structure; more perfect than the Greek, more copious than the Latin, and more exquisitely refined than either, yet bearing to both of them a stronger affinity, both in the roots of verbs and the forms of grammar, than could possibly have been produced by accident; so strong indeed, that no philologer could examine them all three, without believing them to have sprung from some common source, which, perhaps, no longer exists; there is a similar reason, though not quite so forcible, for supposing that both the Gothic and the Celtic, though blended with a very different idiom, had the same origin with the Sanscrit; and the old Persian might be added to the same family.
    • Jones' third annual discourse before the Asiatic Society on the history and culture of the Hindus (delivered on 2 February 1786 and published in 1788)
  • I have carefully and regularly perused the Holy Scriptures, and am of opinion that the volume contains more sublimity, purer morality, more important history, and finer strains of eloquence, than can be collected from all other books, in whatever language they may have been written.
    • Reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 31.
  • Voices of the glorified urge us onward. They who have passed from the semblances of time to the realities of eternity call upon us to advance. The rest that awaits us invites us forward. We do not pine for our rest before God wills it. We long for no inglorious rest. We are thankful rather for the invaluable training of difficulty, the loving discipline of danger and strife. Yet in the midst of it all the prospect of rest invites us heavenward. Through all, and above all, God cries, " Go forward!" " Come up higher!"
    • Reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 564.
  • Than all Bocara's vaunted gold,
    Than all the gems of Samarcand.
    • A Persian Song of Hafiz, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
  • Go boldly forth, my simple lay,
    Whose accents flow with artless ease,
    Like orient pearls at random strung.
    • A Persian Song of Hafiz, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919). Compare: "'T was he that ranged the words at random flung, Pierced the fair pearls and them together strung", Eastwick: Anvari Suhaili. (Translated from Firdousi).
  • On parent knees, a naked new-born child,
    Weeping thou sat'st while all around thee smiled;
    So live, that sinking in thy last long sleep,
    Calm thou mayst smile, while all around thee weep.
    • From the Persian, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
  • What constitutes a state?
    Men who their duties know,
    But know their rights, and knowing, dare maintain.
    And sovereign law, that state's collected will,
    O'er thrones and globes elate,
    Sits empress, crowning good, repressing ill.
    • Ode in Imitation of Alcæus, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919). Compare: "Neither walls, theatres, porches, nor senseless equipage, make states, but men who are able to rely upon themselves", Aristides, Orations (Jebb's edition), vol. i. (trans. by A. W. Austin); By Themistocles alone, or with very few others, does this saying appear to be approved, which, though Alcæus formerly had produced, many afterwards claimed: "Not stones, nor wood, nor the art of artisans, make a state; but where men are who know how to take care of themselves, these are cities and walls."—Ibid. vol. ii.
  • Seven hours to law, to soothing slumber seven,
    Ten to the world allot, and all to heaven.
    • Reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919) Compare: "Six hours in sleep, in law's grave study six, Four spend in prayer, the rest on Nature fix", Translation of lines quoted by Edward Coke.

External links[edit]

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about:
Wikisource has original works written by or about: