« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
At an examination in the University of Cambridge, the examiner, whose name was Hawkes, proved a very talkative man; indeed, so much so, that some of the students, undergoing examination, requested one of their companions, rather famous for trite sayings, to make an epigram upon him. He immediately answered :
PORSON AND THE GERMANS.
Porson was a great master of Iambic measure, as he has shown us in the preface to the second edition of his Hecuba. The German critic, Herman, whom he makes to say, in his notes on the Medea,- "We Germans understand quantity better than the English," accuses the professor of being more dictatorial than explanatory, in his metrical decisions. Upon which the professor fired the following epigram against the German :
Νηΐδες ἐστὲ μέτρων ὦ τεύτονες, οὐχ ὁ μεν, ὡς δ ̓ου, Παντες πλην Ερμαννος, ὁ δ ̓ Ερμαννος σφόρρα Τευτων.
The Germans, in Greek,
Are sadly to seek;
DEFINITION OF HAPPINESS.
At an examination for the degree of B. A. in the Senate House, Cambridge, under an examiner whose name was Payne, one of the moral questions was— "Give a definition of happiness?" To which one of the candidates returned the following laconic answer,— "An exemption from Payne." Some persons are so unfortunate as to buy their wit at a great price, as was proved in the above case; for, on the gentleman declining to apologize to Mr. Payne, he was suspended from his degree, for a very considerable time.
ONE TONGUE SUFFICIENT FOR A WOMAN.
Milton was asked by a friend, "whether he would instruct his daughters in the different languages?" To which Milton replied,-" No, Sir, one tongue is sufficient for a woman!"
A NEW READING.
Towards the close of the administration of Sir Robert Walpole, he was talking very freely to some of his friends of the vanity and vexations of office; and, alluding to his intended retirement, quoted from Horace the following passage:
"Lusisti satis, edisti satis, atque bibisti :
"Pray, Sir Robert," said one of his friends, "is that
good Latin?" "Why, I think so," answered Sir Robert; "what objection have you to it?" "Why," said the other drily, "I did not know but the word might be bribe-isti in your Horace."
A SAYING OF LORD BACON.
James the First, King of England, asked Lord Chancellor Bacon,- -"What he thought of the French ambassador?" His lordship replied,—" that he was a tall proper man." "Aye," said his majesty, "but what think you of his headpiece?"—"Sir," said Lord Bacon, tall men are like high houses, wherein commonly the uppermost rooms are worst furnished."
A lady, whose nephew was a student at Cambridge, meeting a Cantab, an acquaintance, asked him, how he conducted himself?" "Why truly, madam," was the reply, "he is a brave fellow, and sticks close to Catherine Hall?" "I protest," said she, "I feared as much; he was always hankering after the wenches from a boy!"
Sir Isaac is reported to have said, a little before he expired-"I don't know what I may seem to the world; but, as to myself, I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself by now and then finding a smoother pebble, or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me."
Was bred at Jesus College, Cambridge, where it is said he studied very little, laughed a great deal, and was particularly fond of puzzling his tutors. He left Cambridge with the character of being singular, without guile, and possessed of considerable talents whenever he thought proper to use them. The following is a tale told by himself:-"I happened," said he, "to be acquainted with a young man who had been bound apprentice to a stationer in Yorkshire; he had just then finished his time, set up in London, and rented a window in one of the flagged alleys in the city. I hired one of the panes of glass from my friend, and stuck upon it, with a wafer, the following
"Epigrams, Anagrams, Paragrams, Chronograms, Monograms, Epitaphs, Epithilamiums, Prologues, Epilogues, Madrigals, Interludes, Advertisements, Letters, Petitions, Memorials on every occasion, Essays on all subjects, Pamphlets for or against Ministry, with Sermons upon any Text, or for any Sect, to be written here on reasonable terms, by A. B. PHILOLoger.
"The uncommonness of the titles occasioned numerous applications; and at length I used privately to glide into my office to digest the notes or heads of the day, and to receive the earnings, which were always directed to be left with the memorandums; the writing to be paid for on delivery, according to the subject. The ocean of vice and folly," says Sterne, "that opened itself to my view during the time continued this odd department of
my life, shocked and disgusted me so much, that the very moment I realized a small sum, and discharged the rent of my pane, I closed the horrid scene."
A student of St. John's College, who was remarkable for his larks and eccentricities, during the time he was dining in hall, called to a bon-vivant at another table, to say, "that he had got a fine for in his rooms, for him!" This being overheard by the marker, who was a kind of mongrel fetch-and-carry to a certain dean, and who understood the student in a literal sense, he took an early opportunity to inform the dean of the circumstance. The student was very soon summoned before the master and seniors, for what he knew not; however, on entering, he was informed, "they had learned he kept a for in his rooms-a thing not to be tolerated by the college." "It is very true," replied the accused; "I have a bust of CHARLES JAMES Fox, at your service!"
DEFINITION OF A FELLOWSHIP
Through an avenue of trees, at the back of Trinity College, a church may be seen at a considerable distance, the approach to which affords no very pleasing scenery. The late Professor Porson, on a time, walking that way with a friend, and observing the church, remarked, "That it put him in mind of a fellowship, which was a long dreary walk, with a church at the end of it."