S.A. Bent, comp. Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men. 1887.
[Richard Porson, an eminent Greek scholar; born in Norwich, England, Dec. 25, 1759; Greek professor at Cambridge, 1790 or 1792; died September, 1808.] 1
In some places he draws the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument.
From Loves Labors Lost, V. 1; quoted in the Letters to Travis, of Gibbons Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. 2
Wit is in general the finest sense in the world. I had lived long before I discovered that wit was truth. 3
When smoking began to go out of fashion, learning began to go out of fashion also.
W ATSON: Life. He was very irregular in his habits of eating, dining one day heartily, and fasting the three following. Thus, when asked by a friend to stay to dinner, Thank you, sir, he replied, I dined yesterday. He once offered to make a rhyme on any subject, and the Latin gerund was suggested. He immediately responded to the challenge:
When Dido found Æneas would not come, She mourned in silence, and was di-do-dum. 4
If I had a son, I should endeavor to make him familiar with French and German authors, rather than with the classics. Greek and Latin are only luxuries. 5
Mr. Southey is a wonderful writer. His works will be read when Homer and Virgil are forgotten.
And only then, unnecessarily added Byron. Ibid.
Of a volume of poems not remarkable for originality or elegance, he said, They have much of Horace, and much of Virgil, but nothing Horatian and nothing Virgilian. Ibid. A man once said to Porson, My opinion of you is most contemptible.I never knew an opinion of yours, he retorted, that was not contemptible. Ibid. 6
If I had a carriage, and met a well-dressed person on the road, I would always invite him in, and learn from him what I could. 7