“Bentley Is Alone and Supreme”

“I chanced to remark that more than once in Cambridge he had been described in my hearing as the greatest scholar since Bentley. His face darkened, his whole frame grew taut, and in an angered voice he replied, ‘I will not tolerate comparison with Bentley. Bentley is alone and supreme. They may compare me with Porson if they will – the comparison is not preposterous – he surpassed me in some qualities as I claim to surpass him in others.'”

-Conversation of Percy Withers quoted in A.S.F. Gow’s, A.E. Housman: A Sketch (Cambridge : Cambridge University Press) p.40

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