Walking to Death and Wakefield’s Ignorance

Recollections of the Table Talk of Samuel Rogers, to which is added Porsoniana:

“Porson felt much respect for Gilbert Wakefield’s integrity, but very little for his learning. When Wakefield put forth the Diatribe Extemporalis on Porson’s edition of the Hecuba, Porson said, ‘If Wakefield goes on at this rate, he will tempt me to examine his Silva Critica. I hope that we shall not meet; for a violent quarrel would be the consequence.’ (Wakefield was a very agreeable and entertaining companion. ‘My Lucretius’ he once said to me, ‘is my most perfect publication, it is, in fact, Lucretius Restitutus.’

He was a great walker; he has walked as much as forty miles in one day; and I believe that his death was partly brought on by excessive walking, after his long confinement in Dorchester gaol. What offended Wakefield at Porson was, that Porson had made no mention of him in his notes. Now, Porson told Burney expressly, that out of pure kindness he had forborne to mention Wakefield; for he could not have cited any of his emendations without the severest censure.)”

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