The young Jones was sent to Harrow in the Michaelmas of 1753. In Lower School he made little mark, illness interrupt­ ing his progress; but by the age of twelve he had become some­ thing of a legend for precocity. His memory was prodigioushe once wrote out The Tempest by heart-and it was matched by a refined taste and elegance of expression. He was an excel­ lent classical scholar; he wrote much poetry, both translated and original, in his schooldays, but most of his juvenilia have perished. A notable exception in his ode Saul and David, com­ posed in his fourteenth year, which Samuel Johnson’s friend Mrs Thrale deemed sufficiently remarkable to transcribe into

In 1764 Jones was admitted to University College, Oxford, and was elected Bennett Scholar. To his normal studies he now added Arabic and Persian-he had taught himself Hebrew at Harrow-and for a time maintained at his own expense an Arab from Aleppo whom he brought up to Oxford from Lon­ don to assist him in his new linguistic adventure. He passed his vacations in London, attended the riding and duelling school of the fashionable Angelo, and filled in his leisure hours with the Italian, Spanish and Portuguese classics.