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mental faculties had suffered any serious injury from his apoplectic seizure. On coming in sight of St. Paul's, he began to speak of Sir Christopher Wren, lamenting the treatment that he had received in the latter part of his life, and observing that "even in our days we were too apt to neglect modest unassuming merit."

About a quarter past nine they reached the house of the Institution, when, on getting out of the coach, his bodily debility was very observable, but he was able to walk, with some effort, to his room, where he took a slight breakfast, consisting of two cups of green tea, which he always preferred, and two small slices of toast. Soon afterwards he went down into the Library, and happened to be met by Dr. Adam Clarke, who published an account of the meeting, as well as of Porson's "last illness and death," and from whose narration it will be proper to give some considerable extracts.

"That his prodigious memory had failed a little for some months before," he observes, "I had myself noticed, and spoken of it with regret to some of my friends; but neither then, nor at the time of which I am now writing, could any other symptom of mental decay be discovered. What follows will probably appear a sufficient proof that he was not only in possession of his ordinary faculties, but that his critical powers were vigorous, and capable of embracing and discerning the nicest distinctions.


Having that morning occasion to call at the Institution, to consult an edition of a work to which the course of my reading had obliged me to refer, on returning from one of the inner rooms, I found, that, since my entrance, Mr. Porson had walked into that room through which I had just before passed. I went up to him, shook hands, and, seeing him look extremely ill, and not knowing what had happened, I expressed both my surprise and regret. He then drew near


to the window, and began in a low, tremulous, interrupted voice, to account for his present appearance; but his speech was so much affected, that I found it difficult to understand what he said. He proceeded however to give me, as well as he could, an account of his late seizure, and two or three times, with particular emphasis, said, 'I have just escaped death.'


"When he had finished his account of the fit into which he had lately fallen, and on which he seemed unwilling to dwell, except merely to satisfy my inquiries, he suddenly turned the conversation by saying, 'Dr. Clarke, you once promised, but probably you have forgotten, to let me see the stone with the Greek inscription, which was brought from Eleusis.' I replied, 'I have not, Sir, forgotten my promise, but I am now getting a fac simile of the stone and inscription engraved, and hope soon to have the pleasure of presenting you with an accurate copy.' To which he answered, 'I thank you, but I should rather see the stone itself.' I said, 'Then, Sir, you shall see it. When will you be most at leisure, and I shall wait upon you at the Institution, and bring the stone with me? Will to-morrow do?' After considering a little, he said, 'On Thursday morning, about eleven o'clock, for at that time of the day I am generally in the library in my official capacity.' This time was accordingly fixed, though from his present appearance I had small hopes of being gratified with that luminous criticism with which, I well knew, he could illustrate and dignify even this small relic of Grecian antiquity.

"It may be necessary here to state that, about twelve months ago, when this stone came into my possession, I took a copy one morning of the inscription to the Institution to show it to the Professor. He was not up, but one of the sub-librarians carried it up to his room. Having examined it, he expressed himself much pleased with it, observing that it afforded a very fair specimen of the Greek character after the time that Greece fell under the power of the Romans; 'for it was evident,' he said, 'that the inscription was not prior to that period.' Some days afterwards, I met him in


the library of the Institution, and he surprised me by saying, I can show you a printed copy of the inscription on your stone.' He then led me up stairs to his study, and, taking down Meursius's Theseus, showed me in the tract de Pagis Atticis, at the end, the very inscription, which had been taken down from the stone, then at Eleusis, by Dr. Spon, in 1676. From this time he wished particularly to see it, as by it the existence of the village Besa, and the proper method of writing it with a single s, to distinguish it from a village called Bissa, in Locris, was confirmed; and he considered the character to be curious."

The stone exhibited the inscription TIBEPION ΚΛΑΥΔΙΟΣ ΘΕΟΦΙΛΟΣ ΤΙΒΕΡΙΟΥ ΚΛΑΔΙΟΥ ΘΕΜΙΣΤΟΚΛΕΟΣ ΒΗΣΑΙΕΩΣ. It was found in the kitchen of an old house in North Green, Worship Street, by a young man surveying the premises, who, noticing the letters on it, procured it from the tenant, and presented it to Dr. Clarke. The Doctor supposes that it was brought from Eleusis by Sir George Wheeler, who accompanied Spon in his travels through Greece, and that it passed from him to John Kemp, a great antiquary, at whose death it was sold, among other curiosities, by auction.

"After having fixed Thursday morning," proceeds Dr. Clarke," to wait on him with the stone, I approached the table, and took up the quarto edition of Dr. Shaw's Travels, and, unfolding the plate containing the Lithostroton Palastrinum, (a copy of a mosaic pavement, found at Palæstrini, now Preneste, in Italy,) said, 'I wish just to look at the title of this plate, as I have got a copy of it, collated with that in Montfaucon, engraved for a work which I am just now about to publish.' Whether this part of Dr. Shaw's work had ever attracted his notice before, I cannot tell; but seeing several words in the uncial Greek character interspersed



through the plate, he appeared particularly struck with an animal of the lutra species, there denominated ENHTAPIE, where the evidently serves as an aspirate to the u, and immediately observed, 'If this be authentic, here is an additional proof that the 7 was anciently used and pronounced as we do our aspirated H.' I replied, it certainly was; and as to the authenticity of the Prenestine Pavement, I believed it could not reasonably be called in question.


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"He seemed to wish to converse further on the subject, though his speech was greatly affected, so that he was a long time before he could complete a sentence, not only because of the paralytic affection of all the organs of speech, but also through extreme debility, and the dryness of the tongue and fauces, his lips being parched so as almost to resemble a cinder. Though I wished to hear his remarks, yet feeling a desire to save him from the great pain he appeared to have in speaking, I would have withdrawn, but felt reluctant on account of his appearing pleased with my visit. I endeavoured therefore to change the conversation, in order to divert him as much as possible from feeling the necessity of any mental exertion; and, taking occasion from the remark he had made on the power of the 7 in the ENHTAPIE, I observed that I had noticed a very curious peculiarity in the formation of an omega on my Eleusinian stone; it resembles, said I, a kappa lying on its left perpendicular limb, with a semicircle drawn between the two arms on the left, thus, V, making the form with my pen on a piece of paper. I then asked him if he had ever noticed this form of the omega in any ancient inscription. He said, 'No, but it may serve to form a system from;' and then began to relate with considerable pleasantry the story of the critic, who, having found some peculiarity in writing one of the tenses of the verb γράφω, made an entire new person of it. I said I wish the system-makers, especially in literature, would have done, as they are continually perplexing and retarding science, and embarrassing one another. To this he answered,

Your wish is the wish of all, and yet each in his turn will

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produce his system; but you recollect those lines in the Greek Anthology,

Οὐκ ἔστι γήμας ὅστις οὐ χειμάζεται,
Λέγουσι πάντες, καὶ γαμοῦσιν εἰδότες.

As soon as he had repeated these lines, which he did, considering his circumstances, with a readiness that surprised me, he proceeded, as was his general custom, when he quoted any author in the learned languages, to give a translation of what he had quoted. This was a peculiar delicacy in his character. He could not bear to see a man confounded, unless he knew him to be a pedant; and therefore, though he might presume that the person to whom he spoke understood the language, yet, because it might possibly be otherwise, and the man feel embarrassed on the occasion, he always paid him the compliment of being acquainted with the subject, and saved him, if ignorant, from confusion, by translating it. This however, in the above case, cost him extreme pain, as he was some minutes in expressing its meaning, which astonished me the more, because, notwithstanding his debility, and the paralysis under which the organs of speech laboured, he had so shortly before quoted the original in a few seconds, and with comparatively little hesitation. The truth is, so imbued was his mind with Grecian literature, that he thought, as well as spoke, in that language, and found it much more easy at this time, from the power of habit and association, to pronounce Greek than to pronounce his mother-tongue.

"Seeing him so very ill and weak, I thought it best to withdraw, and, having shook hands with him, (which, alas! was the last time that I was to have that satisfaction,) and, with a pained heart, earnestly wished him a speedy restoration to health, I walked out of the room, promising to visit him, if possible, on Thursday morning, with the Greek inscription. He accompanied me to the head of the great staircase, making some remarks on his indisposition, which I did not distinctly hear; and then, leaning over the balus

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