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Markland he had such respect that he went to see the house near Dorking where he spent the latter years of his life.*

Of Bishop Pearson he said that "he would have been a first rate critic in Greek, equal even to Bentley, if he had not muddled his brains with divinity.” †

Coray's scholarship he used to extol, and especially commended his edition of Hippocrates's "Treatise on Airs, Waters, and Places," in Greek and French. He also liked Larcher's Translation of Herodotus, as well as Larcher's other productions.

Elmsley he appears to have esteemed, until he found him too ready to make use of other men's emendations of authors without acknowledgment. In a critique on Schweighauser's Athenæus, in the "Edinburgh Review," Elmsley inserted, as original, some restorations of passages that had defied the sagacity of that editor as well as his predecessors. When Porson saw the corrections, he at once recognised them as his own, but was unable to guess how the reviewer, whoever he was, had got hold of them, till he was reminded that he had some time before met Elmsley at a dinner party, where he had poured forth his emendations of Athenæus with great liberality.§ Another story says that he met Elmsley by chance in an umbrella shop, and, falling into conversation with him about Athenæus, told him of some emendations of which Elmsley took advantage.

* Rogers's Table Talk, "Porsoniana," p. 325.

† Ibid. p. 326. Barker's Lit. Anecd. vol. ii. p. 24.

Rogers's Table Talk, "Porsoniana," p. 326.

§ Quart. Rev. vol. v. p. 207. Church of England Quart. Rev. vol. v. p. 413.


Both accounts may be true. But after the appearance of that review Porson would never open his mouth about Greek to Elmsley.

Dobree used to call Elmsley ἀρχικλεπτίστατος, the most thievish of thieves; and a story is told in the “Church of England Quarterly Review,"* which, if true, amply justifies the application of the epithet. When the authorities of Trinity College, Cambridge, after Porson's death, had selected that portion of his books which they were desirous to purchase, they were placed under the care of Mackinlay the bookseller, with strict injunctions that nobody should have access to them. But Elmsley's uncle had been Mackinlay's partner, and Elmsley, being consequently well known to the servants, found entrance, by their means, to the literary treasures, and employed part of a Saturday, and the whole of a Sunday, during Mackinlay's absence, in transcribing what was likely to be useful to him as the editor of Aristophanes. Unhappily for the success of his schemes, however, many of the emendations, which he passed off as his own in his edition of the "Acharnenses," had been communicated by Porson to some of his friends; and such wonderful coincidences led to a questioning of Mackinlay, who, on examining his cook, found that she had admitted Elmsley on the Saturday, and prepared his meals for him on the Sunday. Elmsley, in dread of exposure, attempted to suppress his "Acharnenses ;" but found, to his dismay, that it had been reprinted at Leipsic. Such is the tale told by the reviewer; ceterum fides ejus rei penes auctores erit. Elmsley was a sound Greek scholar, but may have been too fond of purloining.


* Vol. v. p. 413.


Kidd he called "a very pretty scholar;" and Kidd worshipped him as a deity. him as a deity. "It was amusing," says Mr. Maltby, "to see Kidd in Porson's company; he bowed down before Porson with the veneration due to some being of a superior nature, and seemed absolutely to swallow every word that dropped from his mouth."*

One letter from Kidd to Porson, preserved among Porson's papers, at Cambridge, will show in what style Kidd used to write to him. It accompanied a list of some of Bentley's emendations of Aristophanes, compared with those of Porson's on the same passages. It is in a clear neat hand, an accomplishment in which he seems to have been desirous to imitate his master.


"Vouchsafe to accept a transcript of certain emendations from the pen of Bentley, which furnish additional evidence in favour of those restorations with which every scholar is acquainted. The inclosed collation of a MS. of three tragedies of Eschylus was found in a copy of Aristophanes, ed. 1. Bas. which belonged formerly to Matth. Raper; it is not of much value, but it may lead to inquiry about the MS.

"On Thursday next at about eleven o'clock permit me to submit to you materials for an edition of Dawes's Miscellanea Critica. Mr. Heber's copy of Dawes's proposals for publishing a Greek translation of the first book of Milton's Paradise Lost with a specimen is mislaid; to wait for it any longer would not, I fear, be prudent; I cannot, however, but regret the absence of that paper, since appearing with the M. C., it would evince the rapid progress as well as real candour of Dawes's mind. The remarks upon Askew's projected edition of Eschylus, which were inserted in a weekly

* Rogers's Table Talk, "Porsoniana," p. 325.

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paper published at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, are irretrievably lost; the copies of those fragments, which the late Mr. Brand had preserved, did not turn up at the sale of his library; they were announced at the end of a pamphlet entitled 'Tittle-tattle-Mongers,' printed at Newcastle, 1747. 'Speedily will be published: Philonoi Antipolypragmonis epistola ad juvenem ἀλαζονοχαυνοφλύαρον Antonium Askew, M.B., Coll. Emman. apud Cantabrigienses non ita pridem Pseudo-Socio-Commensalem, Eschyli editionis promissorem. In quo ó dɛîva obiter, festivum caput, ex suis virtutibus ornatur.'


"I am, dear Sir,


Your very obliged

and most obedient humble Servant, THO. KIDD.

"3 Hoxton Square, 11th June 1808."

Malone's diligence and accuracy as a critic Porson greatly admired, and said that he thought the Essay on the Three Parts of Henry VI., the object of which was to prove that those plays were not original compositions of Shakspeare, but had merely received an infusion of his spirit after they were written, was "one of the most convincing pieces of criticism that he ever read."*

For Dr. Raine, master of the Charter House School, who had been his fellow collegian, he had always a high esteem; and with him, Dr. Davy, Cleaver Banks, and William Maltby, he seems to have held closer intercourse than with any other persons.

To such intimate friends he sometimes expressed his regret that he had not, instead of devoting himself to learning, gone out to the wilds of America, and settled

* Nichols's Illustr. of Lit. History, vol. v. p. 455. Prior's Life of Malone, p. 131.

there. At other times he would wish that he had been brought up as a farmer, or to some kind of business. As he was once speaking thus, Maltby said to him, "What would you then have done without books?" He replied, "I should have done without them." *

* Rogers's Table Talk, "Porsoniana," p. 309.

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